Constitutional theorists on the right are engaged in a debate about the moral foundations of originalism, the theory that government officials, including judges, are bound by the original meaning of the Constitution. I recently offered a defense of originalism’s moral authority grounded in the natural-law tradition. Harvard law professor Adrian Vermeule and his sometime co-author, University of Liverpool law professor Conor Casey, recently responded to my draft article, as did another supporter of Vermeule’s theory, lawyer and blogger Pat Smith. In the interest of furthering this important discussion about the moral foundations of originalism, I respectfully offer this reply.
J. Joel Alicea, Why Originalism is Consistent with Natural Law: A Reply to Critics, Nat’l Rev. (May 3, 2022), https://www.nationalreview.com/2022/05/why-originalism-is-consistent-with-natural-law-a-reply-to-critics/.