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The Challenge of Originalism: Theories of Constitutional Interpretation


Grant Huscroft


University of Western Ontario - Faculty of Law

Bradley W. Miller


University of Western Ontario - Faculty of Law; James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University

July 1, 2011

THE CHALLENGE OF ORIGINALISM: THEORIES OF CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION, Grant Huscroft and Bradley W. Miller, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2011

Abstract:     
Originalism is a force to be reckoned with in American constitutional theory. From its origins as a monolithic theory of constitutional interpretation, originalism has developed into a sophisticated family of theories about how to interpret and reason with a constitution. Contemporary originalists have harnessed the resources of linguistic, moral, and political philosophy in responding to critics. Recent work is characterized by methodological concerns about how to identify the meaning of constitutional texts as well as the development of normative arguments for fidelity to them.

The essays in this volume are contributed by leading constitutional scholars and theorists not only from the United States but also Australia, Canada, and the UK. The essays define, defend, and critique various schools of originalist thought, assessing the problems and the prospects for originalist theory in constitutional law. Although originalism is generally understood as an American phenomenon, the papers in this volume are theoretical works that have something to say about constitutional law not only in the United States but also internationally.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

Keywords: Constitutional theory, judicial review, originalism, living constitutionalism, comparative constitutional law, bills of rights, moral reasoning

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K30, K39

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Date posted: July 3, 2011 ; Last revised: July 7, 2011

Suggested Citation

Huscroft, Grant and Miller, Bradley W., The Challenge of Originalism: Theories of Constitutional Interpretation (July 1, 2011). THE CHALLENGE OF ORIGINALISM: THEORIES OF CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION, Grant Huscroft and Bradley W. Miller, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1875052

Contact Information

Grant Huscroft (Contact Author)
University of Western Ontario - Faculty of Law ( email )
London, Ontario N6A 3K7 N6A 3K7
Canada
519-661-2111 ext 88375 (Phone)
519-661-3790 (Fax)
Bradley W. Miller
University of Western Ontario - Faculty of Law ( email )
London, Ontario N6A 3K7 N6A 3K7
Canada
519.661.2111 (80038) (Phone)
519.661.3790 (Fax)
James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University ( email )
Bobst Hall
83 Prospect Avenue
Princeton, NJ 08540
United States
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