The Spirit of Scalia: "Originalist" Lawyers, Scholars Form Anti-Trump Group

The Spirit of Scalia: "Originalist" Lawyers, Scholars Form Anti-Trump Group

Justice Antonin Scalia left some big shoes to fill. We may never get a conservative voice like his on the Supreme Court again, in our lifetime.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there willing to actively stand for what Judge Scalia brought to our judicial system, and that means standing against anyone who would serve as a stumbling block to that end – even the current GOP nominee.

With just over 3 weeks left until the general election, a newly organized group, calling themselves Originalists Against Trump, has formed to oppose Trump’s nomination. They cite things such as his character, temperament, and lack of judgment as their reasons for taking a stand.

Originalism, a judicial philosophy popularized by Scalia and beloved by conservatives, holds that the Constitution has a static meaning. The adherents to originalism stand in stark opposition to the left-leaning proponents of a “living Constitution,” whose meaning may change based on new historical circumstances.

Law professor Stephen Sachs of Duke University told the Washington Examiner via email that he and William Baude, a University of Chicago law professor, drafted the statement for the movement. The statement includes 29 signatories, including prominent conservatives such as columnist George Will and National Affairs editor Yuval Levin, as of this article’s publication. Sachs said more people are writing in to join the cause since the list’s Monday morning publication.

“Many Americans still support Trump in the belief that he will protect the Constitution. We understand that belief, but we do not share it,” wrote Sachs and Baude in the group’s statement. “Trump’s long record of statements and conduct, in his campaign and in his business career, have shown him indifferent or hostile to the Constitution’s basic features — including a government of limited powers, an independent judiciary, religious liberty, freedom of speech and due process of law.”


Trump wants to be a strongman. He wants to have ultimate and total say. That won’t work in a constitutional republic.

The worst part: He has an adoring, brainwashed fan base that don’t quite grasp the value of a constitutional republic. They’re absolutely convinced that if we just give him the unchecked power he demands, he’ll fix everything, with no input from the “insiders” in the federal government.

Even as they use the Supreme Court as their excuse, they really just want Trump to handle it all, which means bypassing Congress and the Supreme Court.

“Whatever reasons there might be to support Donald Trump, the Constitution is not among them,” wrote Sachs and Baude. “We are under no illusions about the choices posed by this election — or about whether Hillary Clinton, were she elected, would be any friend to originalism.

“Yet our country’s commitment to its Constitution is not so fragile that it can be undone by a single administration or a single court. Originalism has faced setbacks before; it has recovered. Whoever wins in November, it will do so again.”

I admire their confidence.

Sachs goes on to say that they had no intention of waiting until this point in time, in an effort to impact the outcome of the election. They simply took their time in thinking through and crafting the organization.

“I’d thought about organizing an effort like this earlier in the year, but I wasn’t sure whether to speak out in this way,” Sachs said. “Everything Trump has said and done since then has helped convince me that it’s necessary.”

Trump has put out several lists of potential SCOTUS appointees.

The first was ripped from the Heritage Foundation’s website.

After causing a stir, Trump then announced that the names were “just a suggestion.”

His second list was pretty much for the purpose of sucking up to conservative voters, who had balked at falling in with the alt-right riff-raff that make up Trump’s base.

Senator Mike Lee, included on the second list, has politely declined the offer to be appointed by a President Trump.

Others, such as Senator Ted Cruz, cite their belief/hope that Trump will stick to that SCOTUS list, should he win the presidency, as their purpose for now supporting him.

Meanwhile, there is nothing in his behavior during this election season that should instill any confidence in anyone that he will do anything he says.

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