During a speech in Atlanta Friday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Friday defended interpreting the Constitution as it was originally written and intended.

Scalia delivered a speech titled “Interpreting the Constitution: A View From the High Court,” as part of a constitutional symposium hosted by the State Bar of Georgia. Originalism and trying to figure out precisely what the ratified document means is the only option, otherwise you’re just telling judges to govern, Scalia argued.

“The Constitution is not a living organism,” he said. “It’s a legal document, and it says what it says and doesn’t say what it doesn’t say.”

But an originalist interpretation still provides for a flexible legal system, he said.

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