Originalism & Its Critics

Class Unique: 29187
This two-credit seminar will examine originalism as a theory (or group of theories) of constitutional interpretation. Questions to be explored include: What does originalism maintain? Is there a central thesis that all or virtually all varieties of originalism endorse? What arguments do originalists provide for the theses that they endorse? Are these arguments persuasive? What is the interpretation/construction distinction that many “new originalists” invoke? What are the alternatives to originalist theories of constitutional interpretation, and what difficulties or challenges do they confront? How, if at all, do theories of constitutional interpretation depend upon or relate to jurisprudential theories of the determinants of the content of law? The seminar should be of value to all students interested in contemporary scholarly debates over constitutional interpretation.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Tuesday 3:45 - 5:35 pm JON 5.206
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type


Berman, Mitchell N. Berman, Mitchell N.