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Originalism: The legal theory guiding conservative Supreme Court justices, explained

People protest in response to the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Court's decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health overturns the landmark 50-year-old Roe v Wade case and erases a federal right to an abortion. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
People protest in response to the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Court's decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health overturns the landmark 50-year-old Roe v Wade case and erases a federal right to an abortion. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Last month, the Supreme Court handed down closely watched rulings in several cases that included ending the constitutional right to an abortion, expanding the right to carry guns and limiting Environmental Protection Agency’s powers to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

All of these rulings were led by the conservative supermajority on the court, who were guided by the niche judicial philosophy known as “originalism.” What is this theory? Where does it come from? And what could this philosophy mean for the future of the United State of America?

Here & Now talks with Harvard University law professor Noah Feldman.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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