The 2 Views of the Constitution


The 2 Views of the Constitution

The 2 Views of the Constitution

A tale as old as time itself. The argument that shapes the Supreme Court and our everyday lives. How do we interpret the Constitution of the United States? While you might be thinking that this has everything to do with where a person might fall on the political spectrum, it really does not. In fact, this debate is more ideological and philosophical over everything.

When reduced down to the basics, the two views on the constitution are originalists and non-originalists. In common language, they are understood as understanding the constitution as a living, breathing document, and a stagnant document.

Here is the information regarding the two viewpoints…


Constitutional originalists believe that the constitution should be interpreted exactly how it was written and understood by the founders. In effect, they believe that there is little to no flexibility when it comes to understanding the law, even in modern day.

Even though times have drastically changed since the constitution was written, the intent is exactly the same as it was when the country was founded.

Originalists tend to be much more conservative in their views, especially when cases arise in regards to social issues, such as same-sex marriage, etc.


Non-originalists believe that the constitution is a living, breathing document. In effect, this basically means that the constitution is much more flexible, and the passing of new laws that are brought to the Supreme Court must be analyzed and decided upon depending on both the constitution, as well as changing attitudes of the general populace.

Non-originalists tend to lean more towards liberal progressivism in terms of the kinds of things they deem constitutional or non-constitutional.

Despite whatever judges on the Supreme Court are currently serving, they all have the same intention in mind – to discuss and deem the legality of new laws and cases being brought to them.


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