Create Your Own Constitutional Theory

21 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2013 Last revised: 11 Feb 2013

Date Written: January 1, 1999


In his thoughtful and thought-provoking article, How to Choose a Constitutional Theory, Professor Fallon offers assistance to those bewildered by the large number and variety of constitutional theories. His insightful account sheds light on what is at stake in the constitutional theory debate, showing the premises shared by its participants. Nonetheless, I am dubious about Fallon's basic undertaking. The title suggests that the choice of a constitutional theory precedes the formulation of answers in particular cases: one chooses a constitutional theory and then applies it to constitutional cases. Yet in practice, matters typically proceed in the opposite direction.

Keywords: constitutional theory, rule of law, individual rights

Suggested Citation

Dorf, Michael C., Create Your Own Constitutional Theory (January 1, 1999). California Law Review, Vol. 87, p. 593, 1999, Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-19, Available at SSRN:

Michael C. Dorf (Contact Author)

Cornell Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States


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