WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr., apparently answering Reagan Administration critics, said Saturday that "arrogance cloaked as humility" motivated recent calls for the high court to follow the Constitution's "original intent."
"It is arrogant to pretend that from our vantage we can gauge accurately the intent of the framers . . . to specific, contemporary questions," Brennan, one of the most liberal justices, said in a speech at Georgetown University.
Brennan did not specifically mention the Reagan Administration in his remarks, but his comments appeared to be a response to recent remarks about high court rulings from Administration officials.
People who want such a strict interpretation are motivated by politics and "have no familiarity with the historical record," Brennan said.