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The Originalist Context of Amy Coney Barrett

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I did an extended interview with Dylan Matthews at Vox on current originalist theories and how Judge Amy Coney Barrett fits into that theoretical landscape. From his intro:

To better understand her academic writings, I reached out to Keith Whittington, a professor of politics at Princeton and a leading expert on originalism and constitutional interpretation. I wanted to get a better sense of what it means that Barrett is an originalist, how her variety of originalism works, and how to understand her most prominent academic papers.

You can read the whole thing here.

I expect to have more on Barrett’s originalism in coming days after I do more reading. I doubt I will completely agree with her opinions over time, but I expect she will be a thoughtful and capable justice and a valuable addition to the current Court. She will have to endure what will likely be an extraordinarily stressful and unpleasant experience in the coming days, and the commentary on social media and the press has already been very ugly. I do not envy her.


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About The Author

Keith E. Whittington

Founded in 1968, Reason is the magazine of free minds and free markets. We produce hard-hitting independent journalism on civil liberties, politics, technology, culture, policy, and commerce. Reason exists outside of the left/right echo chamber. Our goal is to deliver fresh, unbiased information and insights to our readers, viewers, and listeners every day. Visit

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