This is truly unbelievable. As far as I’m concerned South Carolina can get booted out of the union. Nothing but trash there.
One key problem with originalism—the theory that the Constitution should be interpreted as its drafters understood it—is that the men who wrote our constitution had some pretty barbaric views about humanity. The author of the Bill of Rights, James Madison, owned hundreds of slaves. The same Congress that passed the 14th Amendment segregated schools and opposed women’s suffrage. Under originalist theory, almost every landmark equality case, including Brown v. Board of Education, is almost certainly wrong. Few originalists, however, have the courage to admit that their theory would lead to an appallingly unequal and unjust America.
South Carolina, it turns out, is the glittering exception to this cowardice. In a jaw-dropping amicus brief recently filed with the Supreme Court, the state’s attorney general argues for a truly originalist understanding of the 14th Amendment, insisting that the Constitution permits discrimination not just against gays, but also against women. This argument is as morally abhorrent as it is historically accurate. And South Carolina deserves some credit for having the chutzpah to raise it.