The Best Originalist Speech Ever Given

I was thinking recently about what might be considered the most eloquent originalist statement ever given. There are many writings that one could nominate, but what about speeches? One candidate is Attorney General Edwin Meese's speech to the American Bar Association in 1985, in which he made a strong case for using "original intention" as an interpretive baseline. A significant flaw in that talk, though, is that Meese claimed that the incorporation of the Bill of Rights was Exhibit A in what such an approach would reject, which was completely wrong on the facts.I then arrived at a counterintuitive conclusion. Perhaps the best originalist speech was given by an elected official who was liberal. And she did so in a very high-profile setting watched by millions of Americans. Indeed, aside from one reference to Woodrow Wilson, the entire address focuses on the original public meaning of a specific phrase in the Constitution. And she used an originalist approach even…

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