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Manly Originalism

The Constitution cannot, and should not, be twisted to favor abortion.

The originalist firmament is on tenterhooks. Many leading originalists, trying their best to channel the great founding myth of William F. Buckley righteously kicking the nefarious Birchers out of the Big Tent, have been trying to gatekeep Harvard Law School professor Adrian Vermeule and his proposal for a non-originalist jurisprudence grounded in the classical legal tradition. Some have even come for me, too.

These originalists fear that Vermeule’s proposal might gain momentum in the event that Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, this term’s marquee abortion case, fails to mollify conservative misgivings with the state of the “conservative legal movement.” These originalists wait, with bated breath, to see whether Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked Dobbs majority opinion, which would overturn Roe v. Wade, will indeed withstand the unprecedented intimidation campaign now before us to prevent precisely

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