What is Originalism? That’s the question Brion McClanahan explores in Episode Ten of his podcast.
Originalism is the idea that you interpret the Constitution the way the proponents of the document said it would be interpreted when it was going through ratification in 1787 and 1788.
McClanahan makes the case that this is the only viable way to interpret the Constitution by contrasting it with other methods, including the “living breathing” judicial approach preferred by most progressives and “textualism,” popular with some conservatives.
McClanahan covers other facets of the originalism diamond such as: the significance of James Wilson’s speech, events during Pennsylvania’s Ratifying Convention, the concerns of the smaller states being engulfed by the larger general government, how the Constitution is a compact between the states, and the debate between the nationalists and federalists.
The show is great introduction to those new to the subject and a refresher for those who have already studied it.
Dr. Brion McClanahan is the author of several books, including The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes and now his most recent book, 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America: And Four Who Tried to Save Her. He’s also a faculty member of Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom and a Tenth Amendment Center contributor.