display | more...
Strict Construction or Originalism is a judicial philosophy whose main proponent is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The philosophy basically states, if the founders of the country put words in the constitution for a specific reason then that's how everything related to that portion should be interpreted.

For example, on abortion Scalia has said, "My difficulty with Roe v. Wade is a legal rather than moral one. I do not believe -- and no one believed for 200 years -- that the Constitution contains a right to abortion." In other words, no inherent right to an abortion, but no prohibition either. Scalia in this case has called for legislative action to clarify the issue, since no representative body of the people has dealt with it.

Strict Construction is the opposite of "judicial activism". Critics say "judicial activists" legislate from the bench, and usurp their constitutionally given authority, which Scalia and other like minded individuals read literally, which gets us back to the beginning again.

Source: "Justice Scalia vs. the Pope". Slate.com, February 18, 2002

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.