Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Constitutional OriginalismA Debate$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robert.W Bennett and Lawrence B. Solum

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801447938

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801447938.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 22 September 2021

Living with Originalism

Living with Originalism

(p.143) Living with Originalism
Constitutional Originalism

Lawrence B. Solum

Cornell University Press

This chapter comments on Robert Bennett's critique of originalism, especially the latter's claim that the original meaning of the Constitution cannot constrain constitutional decision making. Bennett argues that the constitutional text imposes some constraints on constitutional interpretation, but notes that this constraint is modest at best. He advances various arguments in support of his claim that constitutional practice cannot be constrained by original meaning. The chapter first considers Frederic Waismann's theory that language is open-textured before discussing Bennett's arguments against the constraining force of originalism in more detail. It also examines the conventional semantic meanings of the words and phrases that make up the Constitution, objections to original-intentions originalism, and the role of values in constitutional construction. The chapter concludes by addressing the relationship between originalism and politics.

Keywords:   originalism, Robert Bennett, Constitution, constitutional decision making, constitutional interpretation, Frederic Waismann, semantic meanings, original-intentions originalism, constitutional construction, politics

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.