Against Originalism: Getting over the U. S. constitution

Critical Review 16 (4):431-453 (2004)
Abstract In Restoring the Lost Constitution, Randy Barnett defends the idea that judges should interpret the U.S. Constitution according to its original public meaning, for in his view the Constitution, rightly understood, satisfies the appropriate normative criterion for determining when a constitution is legitimate and should be followed. As it turns out, however, even if the Constitution did mean what Barnett says it does, it would not meet his criterion of legitimacy, and therefore should not be followed. Moreover, Barnett is just as guilty of reading certain clauses out of the Constitution as are his critics. Given the lack of a persuasive reason to follow the original Constitution consistently, judges must turn to sources of authority other than the Constitution in deciding constitutional cases.
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DOI 10.1080/08913810408443618
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