Since Framers didn’t allow abortion, the issue is settled
Edwin Meese, Reagan’s attorney general, provided a framework for conservative critique when he called for a “jurisprudence of original intention.” The words of the Constitution, he said, meant only what the authors of the document thought they meant; the meaning of the words did not evolve over time. This was an unprecedented view. Most justices thought that the words of the Constitution were to be interpreted in light of a variety of factors, beyond just the intentions of the framers.
The debate over original intent amounted to a proxy for the legal struggle over legalized abortion. No one argued that the authors of the Constitution intended for their words to prohibit states from regulating a woman’s reproductive choices; to Scalia, that ended the debate over whether the Supreme Court should protect a woman’s right to choose. If the framers did not…
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