The Origin of America’s War with Itself

Conservatives are fond of talking about the importance of the Constitution, the Framers, and their intents. Today, each of the conservative Supreme Court justices describes themself as some flavor of ‘textualist’ or ‘constructionist’ or ‘originalist’ with respect to how they understand and interpret the Constitution. These judicial philosophies ostensibly describe a philosophy of judicial restraint, wherein the text of the law is given priority over the urge to attempt to fix every problem that comes before the Court. However, the movement toward such ‘textualist’ philosophies accepts at face value some dubious…