The Idea of the Constitution as Hard Law

Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 37, p. 174, 1987

William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-143

11 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2011 Last revised: 30 Dec 2014

William W. Van Alstyne

Duke University School of Law; William & Mary Law School

Date Written: 1987

Abstract

This article explores the idea of the Constitution as actual law rather than a simple statement of ideals. Although the Framers completed their original goal of correcting the Articles of Confederation by laying out a simple structure of government, the overly functional nature of the checks and balances included in the Constitution signals that it serves the greater purpose of a functional guide and by extension, acts as law itself.

Keywords: constitutional interpretation, Framers, Articles of Confederation

Suggested Citation

Van Alstyne, William W., The Idea of the Constitution as Hard Law (1987). Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 37, p. 174, 1987; William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-143. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1931075

William W. Van Alstyne (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

William & Mary Law School ( email )

South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

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