A Reply to Professor Thomas
11 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2007 Last revised: 8 May 2010
Date Written: October 5, 2007
This article replies to the response offered by Professor George C. Thomas III to Professor Wildenthal's lead article, Nationalizing the Bill of Rights: Revisiting the Original Understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1866-67, 68 Ohio State Law Journal 1509 (2007) (available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=963487). See Thomas, The Riddle of the Fourteenth Amendment: A Response to Professor Wildenthal, 68 Ohio State Law Journal 1627 (2007) (available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1005685).
Wildenthal's lead article offers a fresh analysis, building upon extensive prior work by other scholars (including Thomas, in an important 2001 article), of the evidence regarding whether the Fourteenth Amendment was originally understood to incorporate and apply the Bill of Rights to the states. The lead article concludes that the evidence is sufficient to support that inference. Thomas's response agrees in part with the analytical approach of the lead article, but disagrees with its conclusions in several important respects.
This article offers a concise reply to Professor Thomas's thoughtful arguments in his response. The reply points out the common ground shared and seeks to clarify the extent and nature of the disagreements, so as to facilitate further study and debate.
Keywords: Fourteenth Amendment, Bill of Rights, originalism, incorporation theory, George Thomas
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation