Should the Constitution just be destroyed, with even the original document burned so that it may never, ever rear its head again? Nobody of note has yet suggested this, literally, but the people tearing down our statues, renaming buildings, and now occasionally even saying Mount Rushmore should be destroyed may as well do so. It would be more honest than the continual attacks on the Constitution’s meaning under the pretence of constitutional rectitude.
One of the latest examples of the latter is a Thursday Atlantic article asserting, “Originalism Is Going to Get Women Killed,” which is essentially no different than stating our Constitution is going to get women killed (in-depth explanation later).
For sure, writer Madiba Dennie, despite being a lawyer (with the Brennan Center), has a real problem with the supreme law of the land. She evidences this with lines such as:
- “By its very nature, originalism threatens women and other minority groups who were disempowered at the time of the Constitution’s adoption.”
- “Originalist ideology glorifies an era of blatant oppression along racial, gender, and class lines, transforming that era’s lowest shortcomings into our highest standards.”
- “Originalism limits who gets to be a part of ‘our’ and who is entitled to the Constitution’s rights and protections.”
Ironically, though, the current bee in Dennie’s bonnet is that certain people’s constitutional rights and protections are not being limited. That is, she complains about the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ reliance on originalism in last week’s United States v. Rahimi case, which concerned a law restricting domestic-violence offenders’ gun rights. “The central legal issue in Rahimi was not whether protecting women and children from gun violence is good; the court conceded that it is,” Dennie writes. “Rather, the question before the court was whether protecting women and children from gun violence is constitutional. And the court concluded that it is not.”
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