The premise on which originalism rests is simple: judges should apply the law as written because otherwise they’re not actually applying law.
Last Monday, a conference was held at NYU on Richard Epstein’s new book The Classical Liberal Constitution. Epstein’s book is in some sense his magnum opus — at least as to constitutional law — setting forth in 700 pages his classical liberal view of the Constitution and its development. It is a beautiful book and well worth reading.
My presentation at the conference discussed whether the book could be classified as following an originalist methodology. I conclude that it cannot. The entire conference is available on video. For the panel I participated in see, here. (I start talking at the 30 minute mark.)