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Construct or Construe

Stephen Sedley: Living Originalism

30 August 2012
Living Originalism 
by Jack Balkin.
Harvard, 474 pp., £25.95, January 2012, 978 0 674 06178 1
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... spirituality or tabloid ethics or some other well-meant oxymoron? To a degree, the despondency is justified. How can you breathe life into a text if its meaning remains what it was in 1787 or 1868? JackBalkin, who holds one of America’s premier chairs of constitutional law, argues that you can. He is not seeking to recruit diehard originalists to the cause of creative interpretation of the US ...

Get over it!

Corey Robin: Antonin Scalia

10 June 2010
American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia 
by Joan Biskupic.
Farrar, Straus, 434 pp., $28, November 2009, 978 0 374 20289 7
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... to interpret the constitution, today’s looks to history, to the moment when a word or passage became part of the text and acquired its meaning. Not only on the right. Bruce Ackerman, Akhil Amar and JackBalkin are just three of the most prominent liberal originalists writing today. Liberals on the court have undergone a similar shift. In his Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission dissent ...

Capitalism in One Family

Jan-Werner Müller: The Populist Moment

1 December 2016
... and right-leaning ‘independents’ that voting for Trump was OK. According to exit polls, only 37 per cent of voters considered Trump qualified to be president, so as the constitutional lawyer JackBalkin put it, somebody had to tell Republicans that ‘although Trump is an unqualified son of a bitch, at least he is their unqualified son of a bitch. He may be a sinner, but he is not the ...

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