Thursday, June 30, 2011
Mike Ramsey links to a poll purporting to get people's views about originalism versus the living Constitution approach. But as with all polls, it depends on how you ask the question. It seems (although I cannot confirm it) that the poll asked the following question:
Should the Supreme Court base its rulings on what the Constitution means in current times or meant as originally written?
This is how I would design the poll if I wanted to increase its support for the living Constitution approach, and so I assume that was what they did.
What's wrong with the poll? There is no single answer as to what "the Constitution means in current times." That is the problem. Instead, the poll should say something like what "judges today believe the Constitution should mean in current times." To make it totally fair, one could even correct the originalism choice with "what judges believe the Constitution meant as originally written."
Then, let's see the results.
Cross posted at the Originalism Blog.