Beyond Historical Blushing: A Plea for Constitutional Intelligence

Cardozo Law Review de novo, p. 244, 2009

8 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2009 Last revised: 25 Oct 2009

Date Written: October 6, 2009


In this Essay, Professor Blomquist responds to the remarks of Seth Tillman, which critiqued an article by Professor Geoffrey Stone on whether or not the Founders contemplated a "Christian Nation."

We Americans - We the People - relish our national Constitution and delight in the game of constitutional interpretation. The game of American constitutional interpretation recalls the complexity and nuance of other great games like the Glass Bead Game and Chess. In never-ending iterations about the meaning of our Constitution we pontificate and debate about intellectual antecedents, historical background, provisions of the Constitution, ratification, contemporary exigencies, and much more.

Seth Barrett Tillman has provided constitutional law "gamers" with two hard-hitting legal think pieces - one, a full-blown article in Penn State Law Review, the other, an abridged version of that article in Cardozo Law Review De Novo - evaluating and critiquing Professor Geoffrey R. Stone’s Melville B. Nimmer Memorial Lecture and Essay published in the UCLA Law Review. In this modest and concise Essay, I seek to praise Tillman's intellectual virtues (while empathizing, in part, with Professor Stone). My pivoting gambit and larger purpose, however, is to urge legal scholars, jurists and lawyers to strive for what I call contextual constitutional intelligence in playing the vital game of interpreting our American Constitution.

Keywords: Constitution, constitutional intelligence, constitutional law 'gamers'

JEL Classification: K10, K39

Suggested Citation

Blomquist, Robert F., Beyond Historical Blushing: A Plea for Constitutional Intelligence (October 6, 2009). Cardozo Law Review de novo, p. 244, 2009, Available at SSRN:

Robert F. Blomquist (Contact Author)

Valparaiso University Law School ( email )

656 S. Greenwich St.
Valparaiso, IN 46383-6493
United States
219-465-7857 (Phone)
219-465-7872 (Fax)

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