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The Strengths of Constitutional Law and Originalism Essay

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Updated: Sep 12th, 2022

Originalism has several strengths that include is its ability to easily resolve cases that involve abortion, same-sex marriages, and homosexual behaviors. It also deters judges from interpreting the constitution in their ways, allows amendment of the constitution n case it fails to meet the demands of the society and prevents arbitrary changes to the constitution. In addition, it gives room for discussions of constitutional texts in order to cipher the original meaning. Finally, originalism does not impose solutions because it serves to interpret the constitution and not to apply it to different scenarios. Therefore, it acts as a guide. Under originalism, different results can be obtained from similar cases based on individual interpretation.

Non-originalism allows for flexibility with regard to interpretation of the constitution, facilitates the evolution of the constitution in order to deal with contemporary issues, and prioritizes the role of the constitution in protecting individual liberty. It also considers the importance of developing ways to deal with issues that are not addressed in the constitution. The main aim of the constitution is to protect individual liberty. Therefore, non-originalism promotes evolution of the constitution in order to cater for contemporary issues that were not considered by the drafters of the constitution.

Originalists are inflexible. Therefore, they would approach abortion by considering what the constitution states about termination of life. A victim would thus be convicted for abortion because it is a crime to terminate the life of another human being. On the other hand, non-originalists would approach the issue differently. They would evaluate the cause of the abortion to determine its moral and legal implications. For example, they would allow it if it was done because the baby was deformed or endangered the life of the mother.

The US vs. Nixon was a1974 court case between the United States and President Richard Nixon regarding the Watergate scandal. Nixon was accused of involvement in the break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic Party. He denied the accusations but an investigation into the issue revealed the existence of tapes that incriminated him. However, he declined to present the tapes to Congress on the grounds of executive privilege because he was president. The court ruled that Nixon was not protected by executive privilege in that case because the issue did not affect national security and because he was not above the law.

I agree with the court’s decision because Nixon was abusing his presidential privileges. On the other hand, the fact that he was the president did not mean that he was above the law. The court’s decision discouraged the development of a culture of impunity where leaders could abuse power in pretext of executive privileges. Finally, the decision discouraged leaders from committing crime and using the constitution to absolve themselves of any wrongdoing.

The Bush vs. Gore case resolved the dispute of the 2000 presidential election in which both differed on methods used to count votes in the state of Florida. Seven court justices held that using different counting methods violated the Equal Protection Clause. On the other hand, five justices held that the day of the hearing was the deadline for recounts. Therefore, the court ruled that a recount could not be completed because the case was heard on the same day the state of Florida had set as the deadline for recounts. I think that the case was decided primarily due to political preference. Justices who ruled against Gore were appointees of the Republican Party. The decision was made regardless of the evidence of violation of the Equal protection clause.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "The Strengths of Constitutional Law and Originalism." September 12, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-strengths-of-constitutional-law-and-originalism/.

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