In the midst of the campaign and the push to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, we’re hearing again the term “originalism.”

Some modern historical context: in 1971 tobacco lawyer Lewis Powell, soon appointed by Nixon to the Supreme Court, wrote a memo warning of the court trend protecting the civil rights of individuals and their health and safety (e.g., tobacco, automobile safety) as infringements on the rights of corporations to do whatever they wished. The Federalist Society was established in 1982 to replace judges who found in the Constitution justification for real world protection of civil rights, health, and safety of individuals in the world as it is today, including such things as the right to make choices concerning ones’ own body, environmental protections, voting rights, the rights of workers — rights threatening corporations’ bottom line.

Originalist interpretation leaves the Constitution anchored in the America of 230 years ago, leaves businesses unregulated and unfettered, and fits poorly the world of 2020 — like taking a shirt bought for a wonderful 5-year-old and trying to force it to fit a 25-year-old.

With Barrett, there would be six Federalist Society members. Noteworthy too is that only three justices have been Democratic appointees, and that McConnell’s refusal to hear Obama’s March 2016 nomination of Garland as too close to the election, was part of his successful multi-year strategy to pack the courts with judges who support the rights of corporations over human beings.

James Cogan, Lewiston

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