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Constitutional OriginalismA Debate$
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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

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Are We All Living Constitutionalists Now?

Are We All Living Constitutionalists Now?

(p.165) Are We All Living Constitutionalists Now?
Constitutional Originalism

Robert W. Bennett

Cornell University Press

This chapter comments on Lawrence Solum's version of original-meaning originalism. Previously, it has been argued that judicial review will make a continuing injection of contemporary values essentially inevitable in our judiciary-centered constitutional decision-making process. In particular, this argument claimed that no plausible version of what is called originalism can stem a substantial flow of evolving values into our constitutional law, and that we have no real choice about whether our Constitution will be a living one. The chapter discusses Solum's arguments for originalism as well as their differences about the reach of living constitutionalism, including the issue of constitutional ambiguity. It also considers whether the Constitution's words and phrases are to be taken in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical meaning. Finally, the chapter addresses the question of constitutional language.

Keywords:   originalism, Lawrence Solum, judicial review, constitutional law, Constitution, living constitutionalism, constitutional ambiguity, technical meaning, constitutional language

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