An email from Jonathan Weinberg:
I’m passing along, for whatever interest it holds, Jonathan Gienapp’s new (to my mind very good) essay on originalism in constitutional law, which I thought you might appreciate. [(myl) Jonathan Gienapp, "Constitutional Originalism and History", Process 3/20/2017.] His focus is on originalists’ shift from their initial position that the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with its drafters’ intentions, to their more recent position that it should be interpreted in accordance with its “original public meaning” — that is, in accordance with what a well-educated person, at the time the document was promulgated, would have understood its text to mean. Gienapp makes the point, which I had not before thought to put that way, that while “Originalism 1.0” called for the use of historians’ tools, Originalism 2.0 — the search for original public meaning — calls instead for linguists’ tools. As a historian, he decries this; he urges that historians’ tools are essential to determine the meaning of a document in its original historical context.
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