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The Failed Promise Of Originalism

The Failed Promise Of Originalism
Author: Frank Cross
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804784698
Size: 65.77 MB
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Originalism is an enormously popular—and equally criticized—theory of constitutional interpretation. As Elena Kagan stated at her confirmation hearing, "We are all originalists." Scores of articles have been written on whether the Court should use originalism, and some have examined how the Court employed originalism in particular cases, but no one has studied the overall practice of originalism. The primary point of this book is an examination of the degree to which originalism influences the Court's decisions. Frank B. Cross tests this by examining whether originalism appears to constrain the ideological preferences of the justices, which are a demonstrable predictor of their decisions. Ultimately, he finds that however theoretically appealing originalism may seem, the changed circumstances over time and lack of reliable evidence means that its use is indeterminate and meaningless. Originalism can be selectively deployed or manipulated to support and legitimize any decision desired by a justice.
The Failed Promise of Originalism
Language: un
Pages: 240
Authors: Frank Cross
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2013-01-09 - Publisher: Stanford University Press
Originalism is an enormously popular—and equally criticized—theory of constitutional interpretation. As Elena Kagan stated at her confirmation hearing, "We are all originalists." Scores of articles have been written on whether the Court should use originalism, and some have examined how the Court employed originalism in particular cases, but no one has studied the overall practice of originalism. The primary point of this book is an examination of the degree to which originalism influences the Court's decisions. Frank B. Cross tests this by examining whether originalism appears to constrain the ideological preferences of the justices, which are a demonstrable predictor of their decisions. Ultimately, he finds that however theoretically appealing originalism may seem, the changed circumstances over time and lack of reliable evidence means that its use is indeterminate and meaningless. Originalism can be selectively deployed or manipulated to support and legitimize any decision desired by a justice.
The Theory and Practice of Statutory Interpretation
Language: en
Pages: 248
Authors: Frank B. Cross
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2008-11-19 - Publisher: Stanford University Press
Today, statutes make up the bulk of the relevant law heard in federal courts and arguably represent the most important source of American law. The proper means of judicial interpretation of those statutes have been the subject of great attention and dispute over the years. This book provides new insights into the theory and practice of statutory interpretation by courts. Cross offers the first comprehensive analysis of statutory interpretation and includes extensive empirical evidence of Supreme Court practice. He offers a thorough review of the active disputes over the appropriate approaches to statutory interpretations, namely whether courts should rely exclusively on the text or also examine the legislative history. The book then considers the use of these approaches by the justices of the recent Rehnquist Court and the degree to which they were applied by the justices, either sincerely or in pursuit of an ideological agenda.
Originalism's Promise
Language: en
Pages: 225
Authors: Lee J. Strang
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-08-08 - Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Provides the first natural law justification for an originalist interpretation of the American Constitution.
Originalism and the Good Constitution
Language: en
Pages: 308
Authors: John O. McGinnis, Michael B. Rappaport
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2013-11-01 - Publisher: Harvard University Press
Originalism holds that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted according to its meaning at the time it was enacted. In their innovative defense of originalism, John McGinnis and Michael Rappaport maintain that the text of the Constitution should be adhered to by the Supreme Court because it was enacted by supermajorities--both its original enactment under Article VII and subsequent Amendments under Article V. A text approved by supermajorities has special value in a democracy because it has unusually wide support and thus tends to maximize the welfare of the greatest number. The authors recognize and respond to many possible objections. Does originalism perpetuate the dead hand of the past? How can originalism be justified, given the exclusion of African Americans and women from the Constitution and many of its subsequent Amendments? What is originalism's place in interpretation, after two hundred years of non-originalist precedent? A fascinating counterfactual they pose is this: had the Supreme Court not interpreted the Constitution so freely, perhaps the nation would have resorted to the Article V amendment process more often and with greater effect. Their book will be an important contribution to the literature on originalism, now the most prominent theory of constitutional interpretation.
Originalism as Faith
Language: en
Pages: 250
Authors: Eric J. Segall
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2018-10-18 - Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Tracing the development of originalism, Eric J. Segall shows how judges often use the theory to reach politically desirable results.
Decision Making in the U.S. Courts of Appeals
Language: en
Pages: 253
Authors: Frank B. Cross
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2007 - Publisher: Stanford University Press
This book studies the decisions of the United States circuit courts and their grounding in law and judicial ideology.
Fidelity to Our Imperfect Constitution
Language: en
Pages: 256
Authors: James E. Fleming
Categories: Constitutional law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2015-08-14 - Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
In recent years, some have asked "Are we all originalists now?" and many have assumed that originalists have a monopoly on concern for fidelity in constitutional interpretation. In Fidelity to Our Imperfect Constitution, James Fleming rejects originalisms-whether old or new, concrete or abstract, living or dead. Instead, he defends what Ronald Dworkin called a "moral reading" of the United States Constitution, or a "philosophic approach" to constitutional interpretation. He refers to conceptions of the Constitution as embodying abstract moral and political principles-not codifying concrete historical rules or practices-and of interpretation of those principles as requiring normative judgments about how they are best understood-not merely historical research to discover relatively specific original meanings. Through examining the spectacular concessions that originalists have made to their critics, he shows the extent to which even they acknowledge the need to make normative judgments in constitutional interpretation. Fleming argues that fidelity in interpreting the Constitution as written requires a moral reading or philosophic approach. Fidelity commits us to honoring our aspirational principles, not following the relatively specific original meanings (or original expected applications) of the founders. Originalists would enshrine an imperfect Constitution that does not deserve our fidelity. Only a moral reading or philosophic approach,
Cosmic Constitutional Theory
Language: en
Pages: 161
Authors: J. Harvie Wilkinson
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2012-03-12 - Publisher: OUP USA
What underlies this development? In this concise and highly engaging work, Federal Appeals Court Judge and noted author (From Brown to Bakke) J. Harvie Wilkinson argues that America's most brilliant legal minds have launched a set of cosmic constitutional theories that, for all their value, are undermining self-governance.
Settled Versus Right
Language: en
Pages: 192
Authors: Randy J. Kozel
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-06-06 - Publisher: Cambridge University Press
In this timely book, Randy J. Kozel develops a theory of precedent designed to enhance the stability and impersonality of constitutional law. Kozel contends that the prevailing approach to precedent in American law is undermined by principled disagreements among judges over the proper means and ends of constitutional interpretation. The structure and composition of the doctrine all but guarantee that conclusions about the durability of precedent will track individual views about whether decisions are right or wrong, and whether mistakes are harmful or benign. This is a serious challenge, but it also reveals a path toward maintaining legal continuity even as judges come and go. Kozel's account of precedent should be read by anyone interested in the nature of the judicial role and the trajectory of constitutional law.
The Fugitive's Properties
Language: en
Pages: 376
Authors: Stephen M. Best
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2010-05-15 - Publisher: University of Chicago Press
In this study of literature and law before and since the Civil War, Stephen M. Best shows how American conceptions of slavery, property, and the idea of the fugitive were profoundly interconnected. The Fugitive's Properties uncovers a poetics of intangible, personified property emerging out of antebellum laws, circulating through key nineteenth-century works of literature, and informing cultural forms such as blackface minstrelsy and early race films. Best also argues that legal principles dealing with fugitives and indebted persons provided a sophisticated precursor to intellectual property law as it dealt with rights in appearance, expression, and other abstract aspects of personhood. In this conception of property as fleeting, indeed fugitive, American law preserved for much of the rest of the century slavery's most pressing legal imperative: the production of personhood as a market commodity. By revealing the paradoxes of this relationship between fugitive slave law and intellectual property law, Best helps us to understand how race achieved much of its force in the American cultural imagination. A work of ambitious scope and compelling cross-connections, The Fugitive's Properties sets new agendas for scholars of American literature and legal culture.