Sigh: Dan Rather, Hillary Clinton, Other 'Progressives' Painfully Ignorant on Originalism

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Posted: Oct 16, 2020 10:35 AM
Sigh: Dan Rather, Hillary Clinton, Other 'Progressives' Painfully Ignorant on Originalism

One of the more cringe-inducing elements of opposition to Judge Amy Coney Barrett has been ostensibly smart and accomplished people embarrassing themselves with very stupid efforts to discredit originalism, her guiding judicial philosophy.  A few typical entries, via twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and disgraced former news anchor Dan Rather.  Clinton surely knows better.  Rather?  Unclear:


Judge Barrett specifically said that a law has "the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it. That meaning doesn't change over time and it's not up to me to update it or infuse my policy views into it."  She added that laws can be updated by legislatures, and by constitutional amendment.  In the case of women having the right to vote, that didn't happen magically.  The constitution was amended, and that amendment still means today what it did then.  Clinton's "point" blends the ignorant with the facile, seemingly designed to rack up likes from under-informed people who don't understand basic things.  In that sense it worked, of course.  Rather's tweet is somehow even dumber, inviting deserved scorn:


And here's one of the late Justice Scalia's sons urging Rather (with a reference to this) to make some effort to educate himself:


Perhaps reading a whole book may prove too big of an ask for the Rathers of the world -- so might I suggest a simple, idiot-proof (I think) video primer?  The first seven minutes or so should suffice:

I'll leave you with more facepalm material, courtesy of some of America's future lawyers (language warning on the tweet):


Law students are frequently asked to analyze hypothetical scenarios, using case law as their guide.  Barrett obviously knows this, as an esteemed and popular law professor.  That's different than a judicial nominee being asked about scenarios that could come before her as a judge or justice -- which is why the 'Ginsburg Rule' was explicitly established by RBG, and has been adhered to by numerous nominees since.  I'll leave you with this: