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Constitutional Originalism

Author: Robert W. Bennett
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801461111
Size: 48.73 MB
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Problems of constitutional interpretation have many faces, but much of the contemporary discussion has focused on what has come to be called "originalism." The core of originalism is the belief that fidelity to the original understanding of the Constitution should constrain contemporary judges. As originalist thinking has evolved, it has become clear that there is a family of originalist theories, some emphasizing the intent of the framers, while others focus on the original public meaning of the constitutional text. This idea has enjoyed a modern resurgence, in good part in reaction to the assumption of more sweeping power by the judiciary, operating in the name of constitutional interpretation. Those arguing for a "living Constitution" that keeps up with a changing world and changing values have resisted originalism. This difference in legal philosophy and jurisprudence has, since the 1970s, spilled over into party politics and the partisan wrangling over court appointments from appellate courts to the Supreme Court. In Constitutional Originalism, Robert W. Bennett and Lawrence B. Solum elucidate the two sides of this debate and mediate between them in order to separate differences that are real from those that are only apparent. In a thorough exploration of the range of contemporary views on originalism, the authors articulate and defend sharply contrasting positions. Solum brings learning from the philosophy of language to his argument in favor of originalism, and Bennett highlights interpretational problems in the dispute-resolution context, describing instances in which a living Constitution is a more feasible and productive position. The book explores those contrasting positions, to be sure, but also uncovers important points of agreement for the interpretational enterprise. This provocative and absorbing book ends with a bibliographic essay that points to landmark works in the field and helps lay readers and students orient themselves within the literature of the debate.

Originalism

Author: Steven G. Calabresi
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1596980605
Size: 53.89 MB
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What did the Constitution mean at the time it was adopted? How should we interpret today the words used by the Founding Fathers? In ORIGINALISM: A QUARTER-CENTURY OF DEBATE, these questions are explained and dissected by the very people who continue to shape the legal structure of our country.This is a lively and fascinating discussion of an issue that has occupied the greatest legal minds in America, and one that continues to elicit strong reactions from both those who support and those who oppose the rule of law. Steven G. Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society and professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law, has compiled an impressive collection of speeches, panel discussions, and debates from some of the greatest and most prominent legal experts of the last twenty-five years.

The American Constitution And The Debate Over Originalism

Author: Dennis J. Goldford
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521607797
Size: 70.23 MB
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This is a work of constitutional theory that explores the nature of American constitutional interpretation through a reconsideration of the long-standing debate between the interpretive theories of originalism and nonoriginalism. The book presents the novel argument that a critique of the underlying premises of originalism dissolves not just originalism but nonoriginalism as well, which leads to the recognition that constitutional interpretation is already and always structured. By their fidelity to the Constitution, Americans are a textual people in that they live in and through the terms of a fundamental text. On the basis of this central idea, the book presents a new understanding of constitutional interpretation and an innovative account of the democratic legitimacy and binding capacity of the Constitution.

Originalism And The Good Constitution

Author: John O. McGinnis
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 067472626X
Size: 15.14 MB
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Originalism holds that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted according to its meaning at the time it was enacted. In their innovative defense of originalism, John McGinnis and Michael Rappaport maintain that the text of the Constitution should be adhered to by the Supreme Court because it was enacted by supermajorities--both its original enactment under Article VII and subsequent Amendments under Article V. A text approved by supermajorities has special value in a democracy because it has unusually wide support and thus tends to maximize the welfare of the greatest number. The authors recognize and respond to many possible objections. Does originalism perpetuate the dead hand of the past? How can originalism be justified, given the exclusion of African Americans and women from the Constitution and many of its subsequent Amendments? What is originalism's place in interpretation, after two hundred years of non-originalist precedent? A fascinating counterfactual they pose is this: had the Supreme Court not interpreted the Constitution so freely, perhaps the nation would have resorted to the Article V amendment process more often and with greater effect. Their book will be an important contribution to the literature on originalism, now the most prominent theory of constitutional interpretation.

Living Originalism

Author: Jack M. Balkin
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674063031
Size: 41.25 MB
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Originalism and living constitutionalism, often seen as opposing views, are not in conflict. So argues Jack Balkin, a leading constitutional scholar, in this long-awaited book. Step by step, Balkin shows how both liberals and conservatives play important roles in constitutional construction, and offers a way past the angry polemics of our era.

Originalism In American Law And Politics

Author: Johnathan O'Neill
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801881114
Size: 55.59 MB
Format: PDF
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This book explains how the debate over originalism emerged from the interaction of constitutional theory, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and American political development. Refuting the contention that originalism is a recent concoction of political conservatives like Robert Bork, Johnathan O'Neill asserts that recent appeals to the origin of the Constitution in Supreme Court decisions and commentary, especially by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, continue an established pattern in American history. Originalism in American Law and Politics is distinguished by its historical approach to the topic. Drawing on constitutional commentary and treatises, Supreme Court and lower federal court opinions, congressional hearings, and scholarly monographs, O'Neill's work will be valuable to historians, academic lawyers, and political scientists.

A Debt Against The Living

Author: Ilan Wurman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108419801
Size: 20.27 MB
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This book is an introduction to and defense of originalism and the Founding intended for a more general audience. No similar book exists. It is aimed at law students, advanced college students, policymakers, and the politically interested reader seeking a general introduction to originalism and its implications for today.

The Failed Promise Of Originalism

Author: Frank Cross
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804784698
Size: 12.27 MB
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Originalism is an enormously popular—and equally criticized—theory of constitutional interpretation. As Elena Kagan stated at her confirmation hearing, "We are all originalists." Scores of articles have been written on whether the Court should use originalism, and some have examined how the Court employed originalism in particular cases, but no one has studied the overall practice of originalism. The primary point of this book is an examination of the degree to which originalism influences the Court's decisions. Frank B. Cross tests this by examining whether originalism appears to constrain the ideological preferences of the justices, which are a demonstrable predictor of their decisions. Ultimately, he finds that however theoretically appealing originalism may seem, the changed circumstances over time and lack of reliable evidence means that its use is indeterminate and meaningless. Originalism can be selectively deployed or manipulated to support and legitimize any decision desired by a justice.

Interpreting The Constitution

Author: Erwin Chemerinsky
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0275926745
Size: 29.75 MB
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"Interpreting The Constitution" doesn't fit neatly into the extensive literature on judicial review and constitutional interpretation that reconciles judicial review with democracy defined as majority rule. Indeed, Chemerinsky criticizes this method of interpretation and contends that the Constitution exists to protect political minorities and fundamental rights from majority rule. Chapter by chapter, he keenly defends this unique method of interpretation, challenges the general approach, and offers thorough, expert coverage.

Originalism As Faith

Author: Eric J. Segall
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107188555
Size: 75.20 MB
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Tracing the development of originalism, Eric J. Segall shows how judges often use the theory to reach politically desirable results.