The Constitution, first drafted in 1787, stands as the supreme law of the land in the US. But Mary Anne Franks — a law professor at the University of Miami who grew up attending a fundamentalist church in Arkansas — says that often “we read it not as a text but as scripture,” much in the same way she was taught to read the Bible as a child.
Franks, author of "The Cult of the Constitution," argues that originalism — the judicial view that the Constitution should only be interpreted as its writers meant it to be when it became law — has been used to justify ahistorically broad interpretations of both the First Amendment and Second Amendment. Rather than claiming “transcendental access” to the founders’ legal intentions, she proposes we honor the Constitution communally by extending its rights and values to all, including the most vulnerable members of our society.
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