Why Jack Balkin is Disgusting
Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 27, p. 177, 2010
12 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2009 Last revised: 10 May 2011
Date Written: November 12, 2009
Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin didn’t win friends when he announced that (1) he is now a constitutional originalist and (2) the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the right to abortion. His claim to membership in the originalist club brought forth a small army of eager bouncers, who were sure that originalism couldn’t possibly defend the paradigmatic departure from the Constitution’s original meaning.
Balkin has indeed posed a radical challenge to the vision of law that drives the originalists – more radical than he is willing to admit. His theory is in such deep tension with a commonly held vision of the rule of law that his argument is, to put the point precisely, disgusting. But that doesn’t mean that he is wrong.
Keywords: Balkin, Jack, Disgusting, constitutional, originalist, Fourteenth Amendment
JEL Classification: K10, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation