It’s Time for a Progressive Reading of the Constitution
Erwin Chemerinsky
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One of the great mysteries about the mindset of originalists is their steadfast refusal to discuss or even acknowledge the values forming and informing the original intent of the framers. I have in mind the exchange between Sheldon Whitehouse and Neil Gorsuch during the confirmation hearing, where Whitehouse practically begged Gorsuch to say something, anything about values enshrined in the Constitution that would lead a high court jurist to want to protect people and institutions from the corrupting effects of corporate power and influence. Instead, Gorsuch says that Citizens is now precedent and he follows the law. Same thing happened when Senator Durbin asked him about Hobby Lobby, RIFRA, and the Dictionary Act, and the troubling conclusion that corporations are persons and have equal speech protections. Gorsuch responded that recent law and precedent support the conclusion that was reached, and if it’s wrong, then Congress is free to pass laws that say so.