ADVANTAGES

Originalism, as a general family of theories which ties constitutionalinterpreters to original understandings and/or intentions, is subjectto a number of objections. For example, original intentions andunderstandings are often very unclear, if not largely indeterminate,leaving the interpreter with the need to appeal to other factors.[] Sometimes the only things upon which joint authors can agree are thewords actually chosen. Yet another serious difficulty faced byoriginalism is one alluded to above: contemporary life is often verydifferent from the life contemplated by those who lived at the time ofthe constitution’s adoption. As a result, many concrete applicationsor results suggested by original intentions and understandings may nowseem absurd or highly undesirable in light of new scientific andsocial developments and improved moral understanding. Furthermore,modern life includes countless situations that our predecessors couldnot possibly have contemplated, let alone intended or meant to bedealt with in a particular way. The right to free speech that foundits way into many constitutions in the early modern period could notpossibly have been understood (or intended) by its defenders toencompass, e.g., pornography on the internet.

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