Amy Coney Barrett is a constitutional ‘originalist’ – but what does it mean? | Amy Coney Barrett


The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as a supreme court justice marks the advent of a bedrock conservative majority on the court that analysts expect to influence American life for a generation.

Barrett’s arrival on the court will make it easier for the conservative bloc to get to a five-vote majority on future cases involving everything from environmental regulations to voting rights. But, as the latest conservative judge to declare herself a constitutional “originalist” during confirmation hearings, Barrett could also influence what kinds of arguments hold sway on the court for years to come – and what cases the court hears in the first place.

It has been rare over the course of American history for a particular brand of judicial philosophy to gain such prominence that it catches the public eye. A torrent of judicial appointments by Donald Trump over the last four years,…

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