David French: What happened to the Originalism of the Originalists?

4 days ago 22

When I read the majority opinion last week in Trump v. United States, which held that presidents enjoy absolute immunity for official acts within their “conclusive and preclusive” constitutional authority and presumptive immunity for all other official acts, I was genuinely and sincerely confused. The Supreme Court’s opinion is difficult to decipher, and in many important ways it is not originalist. For the second time this term — after Trump v. Anderson, which blocked efforts to remove Donald Trump from the ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment — the court has reached a decision that’s truly difficult to square with the constitutional text.

What is going on?

I reject the simplest explanation — the explanation you can see plastered all over social media — that the court’s conservative majority is biased in favor of Trump. In this era of institutional collapse, I’m certainly more open to allegati...

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