Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz said Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s “most fundamental contribution” was “originalism,” or viewing the Constitution as a fixed document that does not evolve over time.
“The most fundamental contribution was his methodology — his way of looking at originalism, his way of looking at intention … his way of disregarding precedent,” said Dershowitz, according to Business Insider.
The Constitution is “dead, dead, dead,” Scalia said in January of 2013. The conservative icon often observed, for example, that the Constitution did not grant people the right to abortion or the right to marry people of the same sex.
In 2013, Dershowitz–a self-professed liberal–told CNBC there is no right to an abortion in the Constitution. He said:
I can’t find anything in the Constitution that says you prefer the life of the mother, or the convenience of the mother if it’s an abortion by choice, over the potential life of the fetus. Look, I think women if they’re required to not have abortions could die and could — so I favor a woman’s right to choose. But I can’t find it in the Constitution. And everything I favor I don’t think is necessarily constitutionally based.
UCLA law professor Adam Winkler also told Business Insider that Scalia made originalism popular during his tenure on the high court.
“Now originalism is a leading, if not the leading, way to interpret the Constitution,” Winkler said.