One especially wants a better ground than piety for genuflecting to originalism because Bork rightly if incongruously reminds us of the danger of "absolutisms" and "abstract principles," criticizes reliance in constitutional law on "history and tradition," and implies in his interesting discussion of originalism's historical roots that the nonoriginalist heresy may be part of the original 'understanding of the Constitution.
Calabresi Clayton J. Under a written constitu- tion, which is law and is binding on government, the practice of judicial review raises questions of the relationship between constitutional interpretation and the Constitution—the law that is construed.
The legitimacy of construction by an unelected entity in a republican or democratic system becomes an issue whenever the construction is controversial, as it frequently is. For example, cases involving freedom of speech sometimes require justices to make a distinction between legally permissible speech and speech that can be restricted or banned for, say, reasons of safety, and the task then is for justices to balance these conflicting claims.
Constitution is to set up the electoral cycle to slow change the way a sea anchor does in the middle of the ocean. Maryland, a constitution that attempted to detail every aspect of its own application "would partake of the prolixity of a legal code, and could scarcely be embraced by the human mind.
Promote the Rule of Law—A seventh purpose of the Constitution is to promote the rule of law and not of individual men or women.
The broader principle, which applies to the Constitution as much as to a spoken utterance, is that if one possible interpretation of an ambiguous statement would entail absurd or terrible results, that is a good reason to reject it.