Heller High Water? The Future of Originalism

Harvard Law & Policy Review, Vol, 3, 2009

Columbia Public Law Research 09-208

24 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2009 Last revised: 26 Aug 2009

See all articles by Jamal Greene

Jamal Greene

Columbia University - Law School

Date Written: June 3, 2009


This Article considers the future of originalism in the wake of the Supreme Court's 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. It argues that, although Heller is in many ways a triumph for proponents of originalism, it might also represent a high water mark for the doctrine and for the political movement that supports it. There is little reason to believe that the cases of relative first impression that originalism feeds on will be readily available in the near future, and the politics of the Court and of the country do not augur the appointment of additional originalist judges. These observations recommend that progressive advocates focus on availing themselves of the nation's ethical shift to themes of change and mutual responsibility, so as to emphasize the Constitution's dynamic future rather than its static past.

Suggested Citation

Greene, Jamal, Heller High Water? The Future of Originalism (June 3, 2009). Harvard Law & Policy Review, Vol, 3, 2009, Columbia Public Law Research 09-208, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1413801

Jamal Greene (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

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