A New Constitutionalism for Liberals?

Abstract

It has been apparent for at least a decade that liberal constitutional theory is in deep trouble. Of course there are many versions of liberal constitutional theory, but they have essentially no connection to existing practices of constitutional law, considering as practices of constitutional law all the activities of our institutions of government that implicate - interpret, advance, deal with, whatever - fundamental principle. Instead, liberal constitutional theory's vision of the future is nostalgia for the past. For liberal constitutional theorists the Warren Court, or Justice Brennan, basically got everything right, at least in their approach to identifying constitutional law. True, they may have faltered sometimes in implementing constitutional principles, but all that needs to be done today is to appoint justices in the mold of Warren, Brennan, or Thurgood Marshall. And here I really do mean all that needs to be done: No rethinking of what constitutional law is all about seems needed to liberal constitutional theorists.

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