• Law

Originalism and the Good Constitution


Author: John O. McGinnis,Michael B. Rappaport
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674727363
Category: Law
Page: 308
View: 6311
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.

    • Law

Originalism and the Good Constitution


Author: John O. McGinnis,Michael B. Rappaport
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 067472626X
Category: Law
Page: 308
View: 8699
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.

    • Law

Originalism and the Good Constitution


Author: John O. McGinnis,Michael B. Rappaport
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674725072
Category: Law
Page: 308
View: 5979
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.

    • Law

The Failed Promise of Originalism


Author: Frank Cross
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804784698
Category: Law
Page: 240
View: 2570
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.

    • Law

Constitutional Originalism

A Debate
Author: Robert W. Bennett,Lawrence B. Solum
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801461111
Category: Law
Page: 224
View: 8432
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.

    • History

Originalism in American Law and Politics

A Constitutional History
Author: Johnathan O'Neill,Professor Johnathan O'Neill
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801881114
Category: History
Page: 281
View: 1038
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.

    • Law

Living Originalism


Author: Jack M. Balkin
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674063031
Category: Law
Page: 480
View: 9108
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.

    • History

Original Intent and the Framers' Constitution


Author: Leonard W. Levy
Publisher: Ivan R. Dee
ISBN: 1461730287
Category: History
Page: 543
View: 6966
For more than two hundred years a debate has raged between those who believe that jurists should follow the original intentions of the Founding Fathers and those who argue that the Constitution is a living document subject to interpretation by each succeeding generation. The controversy has flared anew in our own time as a facet of the battle between conservatives and liberals. In Original Intent and the Framers' Constitution, the distinguished constitutional scholar Leonard Levy cuts through the Gordian Knot of claim and counterclaim with an argument that is clear, logical, and compelling. Rejecting the views of both left and right, he evaluates the doctrine of "original intent" by examining the sources of constitutional law and landmark cases. Finally, he finds no evidence for grounding the law in original intent. Judicial activism—the constant reinterpretation of the Constitution—he sees as inevitable.

    • Law

The American Constitution and the Debate Over Originalism


Author: Dennis J. Goldford
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521607797
Category: Law
Page: 305
View: 4767
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.

    • Political Science

Originalism

A Quarter-Century of Debate
Author: Steven G. Calabresi
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1596980605
Category: Political Science
Page: 360
View: 2862
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.

    • Law

A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law

Federal Courts and the Law
Author: Antonin Scalia
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400882958
Category: Law
Page: 200
View: 2773
We are all familiar with the image of the immensely clever judge who discerns the best rule of common law for the case at hand. According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a judge like this can maneuver through earlier cases to achieve the desired aim—"distinguishing one prior case on his left, straight-arming another one on his right, high-stepping away from another precedent about to tackle him from the rear, until (bravo!) he reaches the goal—good law." But is this common-law mindset, which is appropriate in its place, suitable also in statutory and constitutional interpretation? In a witty and trenchant essay, Justice Scalia answers this question with a resounding negative. In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Scalia urges that judges resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history. In his view, it is incompatible with democratic government to allow the meaning of a statute to be determined by what the judges think the lawgivers meant rather than by what the legislature actually promulgated. Eschewing the judicial lawmaking that is the essence of common law, judges should interpret statutes and regulations by focusing on the text itself. Scalia then extends this principle to constitutional law. He proposes that we abandon the notion of an everchanging Constitution and pay attention to the Constitution's original meaning. Although not subscribing to the “strict constructionism” that would prevent applying the Constitution to modern circumstances, Scalia emphatically rejects the idea that judges can properly “smuggle” in new rights or deny old rights by using the Due Process Clause, for instance. In fact, such judicial discretion might lead to the destruction of the Bill of Rights if a majority of the judges ever wished to reach that most undesirable of goals. This essay is followed by four commentaries by Professors Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, and Ronald Dworkin, who engage Justice Scalia’s ideas about judicial interpretation from varying standpoints. In the spirit of debate, Justice Scalia responds to these critics. Featuring a new foreword that discusses Scalia’s impact, jurisprudence, and legacy, this witty and trenchant exchange illuminates the brilliance of one of the most influential legal minds of our time.

    • Law

A Debt Against the Living


Author: Ilan Wurman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108419801
Category: Law
Page: N.A
View: 3738
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.

    • Political Science

Original Meanings

Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution
Author: Jack N. Rakove
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307434516
Category: Political Science
Page: 464
View: 1333
From abortion to same-sex marriage, today's most urgent political debates will hinge on this two-part question: What did the United States Constitution originally mean and who now understands its meaning best? Rakove chronicles the Constitution from inception to ratification and, in doing so, traces its complex weave of ideology and interest, showing how this document has meant different things at different times to different groups of Americans. From the Trade Paperback edition.

    • BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Scalia Speaks

Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived
Author: Antonin Scalia
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 0525573321
Category: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Page: 420
View: 1808
"By any measure, Antonin Scalia lived an extraordinary life. A Supreme Court justice for three decades, he transformed the way that judges and lawyers think about the law. Married to his beloved Wife, Maureen, for more than fifty years, a father to nine children, and a grandfather to dozens, he was devoted to his family and his faith. He was gregarious, energetic, and a friend to people of all political stripes. Over his career, Justice Scalia delivered Hundreds of speeches across the country and throughout the world. Scalia Speaks collects for the first time his best speeches, covering topics as varied as the law, faith, virtue, pastimes, and his heroes and friends. Featuring a foreword by longtime friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an intimate introduction by his youngest son, this volume includes dozens of speeches, some deeply personal, and nearly all of which have never been published before. Americans have long been inspired by Justice Scalia's ideas, delighted by his wit, and instructed by his intelligence. Scalia Speaks enables readers to encounter the man in full--to understand the legal insights that made him one of the most important justices in the Court's history and to learn from his broader insights into a life well lived. This timeless book is perfect for any reader interested in a man and mind that helped shape our nation."--Jacket.

    • Law

Constitutional Construction

Divided Powers and Constitutional Meaning
Author: Keith E Whittington
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674045156
Category: Law
Page: 316
View: 9786
This book argues that the Constitution has a dual nature. The first aspect, on which legal scholars have focused, is the degree to which the Constitution acts as a binding set of rules that can be neutrally interpreted and externally enforced by the courts against government actors. This is the process of constitutional interpretation. But according to Keith Whittington, the Constitution also permeates politics itself, to guide and constrain political actors in the very process of making public policy. In so doing, it is also dependent on political actors, both to formulate authoritative constitutional requirements and to enforce those fundamental settlements in the future. Whittington characterizes this process, by which constitutional meaning is shaped within politics at the same time that politics is shaped by the Constitution, as one of construction as opposed to interpretation. Whittington goes on to argue that ambiguities in the constitutional text and changes in the political situation push political actors to construct their own constitutional understanding. The construction of constitutional meaning is a necessary part of the political process and a regular part of our nation's history, how a democracy lives with a written constitution. The Constitution both binds and empowers government officials. Whittington develops his argument through intensive analysis of four important cases: the impeachments of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson, the nullification crisis, and reforms of presidential-congressional relations during the Nixon presidency.

    • History

America's Constitution

A Biography
Author: Akhil Reed Amar
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1588364879
Category: History
Page: 672
View: 7170
In America’s Constitution, one of this era’s most accomplished constitutional law scholars, Akhil Reed Amar, gives the first comprehensive account of one of the world’s great political texts. Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this “biography” of America’s framing document explains not only what the Constitution says but also why the Constitution says it. We all know this much: the Constitution is neither immutable nor perfect. Amar shows us how the story of this one relatively compact document reflects the story of America more generally. (For example, much of the Constitution, including the glorious-sounding “We the People,” was lifted from existing American legal texts, including early state constitutions.) In short, the Constitution was as much a product of its environment as it was a product of its individual creators’ inspired genius. Despite the Constitution’s flaws, its role in guiding our republic has been nothing short of amazing. Skillfully placing the document in the context of late-eighteenth-century American politics, America’s Constitution explains, for instance, whether there is anything in the Constitution that is unamendable; the reason America adopted an electoral college; why a president must be at least thirty-five years old; and why–for now, at least–only those citizens who were born under the American flag can become president. From his unique perspective, Amar also gives us unconventional wisdom about the Constitution and its significance throughout the nation’s history. For one thing, we see that the Constitution has been far more democratic than is conventionally understood. Even though the document was drafted by white landholders, a remarkably large number of citizens (by the standards of 1787) were allowed to vote up or down on it, and the document’s later amendments eventually extended the vote to virtually all Americans. We also learn that the Founders’ Constitution was far more slavocratic than many would acknowledge: the “three fifths” clause gave the South extra political clout for every slave it owned or acquired. As a result, slaveholding Virginians held the presidency all but four of the Republic’s first thirty-six years, and proslavery forces eventually came to dominate much of the federal government prior to Lincoln’s election. Ambitious, even-handed, eminently accessible, and often surprising, America’s Constitution is an indispensable work, bound to become a standard reference for any student of history and all citizens of the United States.

    • Law

How to Read the Constitution

Originalism, Constitutional Interpretation, and Judicial Power
Author: Christopher Wolfe
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780847682355
Category: Law
Page: 226
View: 8440
This text challenges popular opinions held by many legal scholars by presenting a defence of originalist interpretations of the US Constitution. The author's controversial conclusions expand the debate over the understanding of original intention.

    • History

America's Unwritten Constitution

The Precedents and Principles We Live by
Author: Akhil Reed Amar
Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)
ISBN: 0465029574
Category: History
Page: 615
View: 2590
A renowned constitutional scholar explores the little-understood relationship between the written Constitution and the many external factors that shape our interpretations of this foundational document.

    • Law

The Challenge of Originalism

Theories of Constitutional Interpretation
Author: Grant Huscroft,Bradley W. Miller
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139505130
Category: Law
Page: N.A
View: 3770
Originalism is a force to be reckoned with in constitutional interpretation. At one time a monolithic theory of constitutional interpretation, contemporary originalism has developed into a sophisticated family of theories about how to interpret and reason with a constitution. Contemporary originalists harness the resources of linguistic, moral, and political philosophy to propose methodologies for the interpretation of constitutional texts and provide reasons for fidelity to those texts. The essays in this volume, which includes contributions from the flag bearers of several competing schools of constitutional interpretation, provides an introduction to the development of originalist thought, showcases the great range of contemporary originalist constitutional scholarship, and situates competing schools of thought in dialogue with each other. They also make new contributions to the methodological and normative disputes between originalists and non-originalists, and among originalists themselves.

    • Law

Original Sin

Clarence Thomas and the Failure of the Constitutional Conservatives
Author: Samuel A. Marcosson
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814756409
Category: Law
Page: 218
View: 2331
Original Sin brings a rigorous review of the performance of the "new originalists" to the debate, applying their methodology to real cases. Marcosson focuses on the judicial decisions of Clarence Thomas, an avowed originalist who nevertheless advocates "color blind" readings of the Constitution which are at odds with the framers' ideas concerning anti-miscegenation and other laws.