Originalism and the Legislature

23 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2012 Last revised: 1 Jun 2021

See all articles by J. Joel Alicea

J. Joel Alicea

Catholic University of America — Columbus School of Law

Date Written: March 19, 2012


While the extent to which Congress ought to be involved in interpreting the Constitution has been the subject of scholarly debate in recent years, the question of how Congress should interpret the document has been overlooked. This paper examines the justifications underlying several schools of originalist thought to tease out what these schools have to say about congressional constitutional interpretation. When the major originalist theories are scrutinized, the logical conclusion is that Congress ought to be originalist when engaging in constitutional interpretation. The paper thus breaks new ground in pointing out this radical implication of originalist thought, but its novel exploration of congressional interpretive methods makes it highly relevant to nonoriginalist scholars as well.

Keywords: originalism, Congress, judicial supremacy, Bork, Whittington

Suggested Citation

Alicea, J. Joel, Originalism and the Legislature (March 19, 2012). Loyola Law Review, Vol. 56, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2026208

J. Joel Alicea (Contact Author)

Catholic University of America — Columbus School of Law ( email )

3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, DC 20064
United States

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