Why Do (Some) Originalists Hate America?

42 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2020

Date Written: March 27, 2020

Abstract

Imagine a regime whose fundamental law is only to be found in ancient archives, whose mysterious contents take years to unearth, layer by layer. Each new discovery brings about a revolution, as large bodies of established law are unexpectedly discarded and others, previously rejected, spring back into life as the scholars revise earlier conclusions. The operations of government are in constant confusion and disarray. And this state of affairs is likely to persist indefinitely.

That doesn’t sound attractive, does it? But that is where some prominent strands of modern originalist constitutional theory would lead us. This essay explores the methodological steps, each of which in themselves had a certain plausibility, that brought us here.

Keywords: Originalism, Constitutional Law, William Baude, Stephen Sachs, Corpus linguistics

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Koppelman, Andrew M., Why Do (Some) Originalists Hate America? (March 27, 2020). Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 20-02, Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 20-04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3562356 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3562356

Andrew M. Koppelman (Contact Author)

Northwestern University School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-8431 (Phone)

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