Penumbral Reasoning on the Right

16 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2007


The use of penumbral reasoning in cases like Griswold v. Connecticut has received considerable criticism from so-called conservative constitutional commentators, most notably Robert Bork. This essay demonstrates that penumbral reasoning is also widely used by courts in service of results generally regarded as conservative, with much less controversy. Penumbral reasoning, it suggests, is an essential implement in the judicial toolbox, and worthy of more respect, and use, from courts that care about fidelity to constitutional text and structure.

Keywords: penumbral, constitutional law, Robert Bork, Griswold

Suggested Citation

Reynolds, Glenn Harlan, Penumbral Reasoning on the Right. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 140, p. 1333, April 1992, Available at SSRN:

Glenn Harlan Reynolds (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996-1810
United States
865-974-6744 (Phone)

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