originalism and moral skepticism
msellers at ubalt.edu
Thu Aug 24 12:24:03 PDT 2006
I would like to come out as one of those people (dismissed by Mark as
"mistaken"), who believes that judges and citizens should generally
defer to the liberal protections and democratic processes embedded in
the U.S. Constitution.
This gets to the heart of constitutionalism. I think that it is decent
humility, not moral skepticism, which should encourage us to respect
well-designed constitutional procedures of democratic decision-making.
On particular moral questions, I may think that I know the answer, but
be mistaken. This does mean that there is no right answer, but that I
should recognize the possibility of my own error and sometimes defer to
good procedures, even when I have not been completely convinced of the
result that they yield.
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Mark Graber
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 8:11 PM
To: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Re: originalism and moral skepticism
I think Larry Solum is right as a philosophical matter. Still, one
might note that a number of scholars have made assertions of the form,
"since we cannot achieve objective truth on questions of moral
philosophy, we should abide by a) what the democratic processes yield or
b) the original meaning of legal language. That the argument strikes
both of us as mistaken does not mean it was not popular, indeed, I saw
many versions of such claims in the 1980s.
Mark A. Graber
>>> lsolum at gmail.com 08/22/06 8:01 PM >>>
I must admit to deep confusion about this conversation. True moral
cannot commit to originalism as a normative constitutional theory.
skepticism is inconsistent with any normative position--including
in political morality and normative constitutional theory. Perhaps Mark
Stein can explain what he meant by "moral skeptic."
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