Originalism's False Promise (Reviewing Lee Strang's "Originalism's Promise") Forthcoming Faulkner Law Review Symposium
Faulkner Law Review
34 Pages Posted:
Date Written: September 29, 2020
This Review Essay of Professor Lee Strang's Book "Originalism's Promise:A Natural Law Account of the American Constitution" suggests that although the book admirably tries to unify various strands of modern originalism, it fails to persuasively justify its religious-like devotion to originalism or its reverence for the Founding. Strang does not wrestle with slavery, sexism, or segregation nor does he explain how .the worlds of 1789 and 1868 can help today's judges who must apply imprecise text to modern problems.
Like most originalists, almost all of Strang's theoretical constructs lead to conservative results that cannot be justified by reliance on the Constitution's original meaning nor does Strang follow through consistently on his formulations for how judges should deal with non-originalist precedent, which makes up the great body of constitutional law. The book is a classic example of originalism as faith.
Keywords: Originalism, Consitutional Interpretation, The Supreme Court
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