Is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson a constitutional originalist? Of course not. In no possible universe will we get a Justice Jackson who turns out to be a closet moderate or even a conservative. The last Democratic Supreme Court pick who moved to the right was Byron White, appointed by President Kennedy. Democrat court appointees never defect.
But for some reason Judge Jackson felt compelled to say this in her confirmation hearing:
“I believe that the Constitution is fixed in its meaning. . . I believe that it’s appropriate to look at the original intent, original public meaning, of the words when one is trying to assess because, again, that’s a limitation on my authority to import my own policy.”
When Robert Bork talked this way in 1987, the media and the liberal establishment (but we repeat ourselves) rushed to declare that this “exotic” and “out of the mainstream” view disqualified him for the Supreme Court. Now originalism is the mainstream, such that progressive jurists must lie about it.
There are many difficulties with originalism, or the different versions of it, which Lucretia and I have discussed at length in the past, but in this episode we simply marvel at the spectacle of Judge Jackson’s tergiversations from the old party line.
So listen here, or file a motion with our hosts at Ricochet.