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The theory that the US Constitution should be interpreted based on the intent of its authors, as determined by examining evidence of their understanding of the meaning of its wording in its historical context.

o·rig′i·nal·ist adj. & n.
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Noun1.originalism - the belief that the United States Constitution should be interpreted in the way the authors originally intended it
belief - any cognitive content held as true
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Justice Scalia's originalism differs from that of Judge Robert Bork's originalism, as Justice Scalia's originalism searches not merely for the Framers' intent, (39) but gives ultimate primacy to the text, structure, and history of the document, precisely in that order.
Balkin's version of originalism is particularly concerned with accounting for the influence of social movements in influencing contemporary conceptions of constitutional meaning, even as the ancient text is preserved.
By requiring adherence to the original meaning of the constitutional text, Senator Lee sided with originalism.
and Orin Kerr, A Comment on District Court Originalism, THE VOLOKH CONSPIRACY (February 1, 2011, 5:35 PM), http://volokh.
In the debate about originalism in the United States, scholars have devoted scant attention to the question whether the United States stands alone in its fascination with originalism.
And since originalism relies upon the claim of intellectual consistency for legitimacy and credibility, this is a small price to pay.
Justice Scalia remains, of course, the most famous proponent of originalism.
Although Scalia has more respect for stare decisis than does Thomas, both justices seem to adhere to a rigid originalism in interpreting the Constitution.
Originalists can inquire into the original public meaning of the Equal Protection Clause without defending originalism.
In Active Liberty, Breyer explains for a popular audience why his approach to statutory and constitutional interpretation is preferable to textualism (as it is called in respect to interpreting statutes) or originalism (in respect to interpreting the Constitution).
In discussing these cases, the single point that I would emphasize most strongly is that any argument in favor of exclusive originalism cuts against the grain of nearly everyone's sense of appropriate methodology in the "easy" cases that I canvassed above.
The ink on the Constitution had barely dried when Americans raised questions pertaining to originalism and the Constitution's meaning.