Linda Greenhouse: A Tree Grows in Canada (and Are Women "Persons"?)Michael Ramsey - The Originalism Blog: "My view is that originalists should contest the living tree metaphor. (It's a bit unfortunate that Justice Scalia was once given to joking that the Constitution was "dead," because that allows opinion writers to make all sorts of tired commentary levered off his remark, as Greenhouse doesn't fail to do). Why isn't a tree more like an originalist conception of the Constitution? A tree is rooted in one place; has a core central trunk that holds firm its main shape; and changes its outer bounds only incrementally. Similarly originalist interpretation is rooted and fixed to a core shape -- but it can hardly be said that it doesn't change. The text doesn't change (except by amendment), but the whole body of constitutional law does: application of the text develops as ambiguities are discovered and explored, new policy initiatives are tested, and new technologies invented. Constitutional law, under an originalist conception, would look different today than it did at the outset because of these changes in application. The "dead" Constitution is a strawman."
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