When Did the Articles of Confederation Cease to Be Law?

48 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2003


This Essay is a reply to a recent essay by Professors Gary Lawson and Guy Seidman entitled "When Did the Constitution Become Law?" The Essay contends that there may well have been a gap in federal governmental authority - i.e., an interregnum - between the early summer of 1788 when the Constitution was adopted and the spring of 1789 when the First Congress convened. Of particular relevance is the originalist methodology employed to reach this constitutional conclusion, and the methodological debate (within originalism) between Professors Lawson and Seidman, on the one hand, and this author on the other. The Essay is best read in conjunction with a short reply by Professors Lawson and Seidman, entitled "The First 'Establishment' Clause: Article VII and the Post-Constitutional Confederation."

Suggested Citation

Kesavan, Vasan, When Did the Articles of Confederation Cease to Be Law?. Notre Dame Law Review, Vol. 78, No. 1, December 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=389940 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.389940

Vasan Kesavan (Contact Author)

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