Originalism and Construction: Does Originalism Always Provide the Answer?
Recently, the so-called “new originalists” have embraced a concept called constitutional construction. Constructionist originalism responds to the claim that the original public meaning of some parts of the Constitution is vague or ambiguous. Constructionist originalists argue that interpreters are bound by the original meaning of the constitution only when it is clear. When it is unclear, interpreters must resort to non-originalist materials to determine the Constitution’s meaning. Other scholars have attacked construction as permitting resort to illegitimate methods of interpretation within originalism. This panel will explore the rationales for and problems of construction-the most important current development in originalist theory.
- Prof. Randy Barnett, Georgetown University Law Center
- Prof. Kermit Roosevelt, University of Pennsylvania Law School
- Prof. Caleb Nelson, University of Virginia School of Law
- Prof. Lino Graglia, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
- Judge A. Raymond Randolph, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
- Moderator: Judge Diane Sykes, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit