About: Originalism is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 1205 publications have been published within this topic receiving 7410 citations.
Papers published on a yearly basis
15 Apr 2006
TL;DR: Introduction: Law and Morals 1. Pragmatism and Law 2. In Praise of Theory 3. Darwin's New Bulldog 4. Moral Pluralism 5. Originalism and Fidelity 6. Hart's Postscript and the Point of Political Philosophy
Abstract: Introduction: Law and Morals 1. Pragmatism and Law 2. In Praise of Theory 3. Darwin's New Bulldog 4. Moral Pluralism 5. Originalism and Fidelity 6. Hart's Postscript and the Point of Political Philosophy 7. Thirty Years On 8. The Concepts of Law 9. Rawls and the Law Notes Sources Index
TL;DR: In constitutional law, first-order perfectionism represents an effort to cast the Constitution's ideals in the best constructive light as mentioned in this paper, whereas second-order imperfection attempts to set out an account of constitutional adjudication that is sensitive to the fallibility of federal judges.
Abstract: In constitutional law, first-order perfectionism represents an effort to cast the Constitution's ideals in the best constructive light. Ronald Dworkin's conception of law as "integrity" can be seen as a form of first-order perfectionism. By contrast, second-order perfectionism attempts to set out an account of constitutional adjudication that is sensitive to the fallibility of federal judges. Originalism is best defended as a form of second-order perfectionism; the same can be said of Thayerism, captured in the view that judges should uphold statutes unless they are unquestionably violative of the Constitution. Minimalism, which calls for narrow, incompletely theorized judgments, is another form of second-order perfectionism. Whether first-order perfectionism is best, and what kind of second-order perfectionism might be chosen instead, cannot be decided without an appreciation of the characteristics of relevant institutions. Under certain institutional assumptions, originalism is preferable; under other assumptions, first-order perfectionism, Thayerism, or minimalism may be the right approach. Freestanding normative assessments are also inescapable. For example, originalism cannot be evaluated without some kind of assessment of the results that it would produce. These claims have implications for first-order perfectionism of the sort defended by Dworkin and more recently by James Fleming.
•01 Sep 1999
TL;DR: Whittington as discussed by the authors examines what it means to interpret a written constitution and how the courts should go about that task, concluding that when interpreting the Constitution, the judiciary should adhere to the discoverable intentions of the Founders.
Abstract: Constitutional scholarship has deteriorated into a set of armed camps, with defenders of different theories of judicial review too often talking to their own supporters but not engaging their opponents. This book breaks free of the stalemate and reinvigorates the debate over how the judiciary should interpret the Constitution. Keith Whittington reconsiders the implications of the fundamental legal commitment to faithfully interpret our written Constitution. Making use of arguments drawn from American history, political philosophy, and literary theory, he examines what it means to interpret a written constitution and how the courts should go about that task. He concludes that when interpreting the Constitution, the judiciary should adhere to the discoverable intentions of the Founders. Other originalists have also asserted that their approach is required by the Constitution but have neither defended that claim nor effectively responded to critics of their assumptions or their method. This book sympathetically examines the most sophisticated critiques of originalism based on postmodern, hermeneutic, and literary theory, as well as the most common legal arguments against originalists. Whittington explores these criticisms, their potential threat to originalism, and how originalist theory might be reconstructed to address their concerns. In a non-dogmatic and readily understandable way, he explains how originalist methods can be reconciled with an appropriate understanding of legal interpretation and why originalism has much to teach all constitutional theorists. He also shows how originalism helps realize the democratic promise of the Constitution without relying on assumptions of judicial restraint. This book carefully examines both the possibilities and the limitations of constitutional interpretation and judicial review. It shows us not only what the judiciary ought to do, but what the limits of appropriate judicial review are and how judicial review fits into a larger system of constitutional government. With its detailed and wide-ranging explorations in history, philosophy, and law, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in how the Constitution ought to be interpreted and what it means to live under a constitutional government.
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