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Articles

Constitution

1999

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Constitutions And Spontaneous Orders: A Response To Professor Mcginnis, Adam C. Pritchard, Todd J. Zywicki Jan 1999

Constitutions And Spontaneous Orders: A Response To Professor Mcginnis, Adam C. Pritchard, Todd J. Zywicki

Articles

Professor John McGinnis has written a perceptive and provocative comment on our economic analysis of the role of tradition in constitutional interpretation.1 A brief summary of our areas of agreement and disagreement may help set the stage for this response. It appears that Professor McGinnis substantially agrees with the two central propositions of our article. First, he appears to agree with our definition of efficient traditions as those evolving over long periods of time from decentralized processes.2 Second, he explicitly agrees that Justices Scalia and Souter have adopted sub-optimal models of tradition because they rely on sources that lack the …


Finding The Constitution: An Economic Analysis Of Tradition's Role In Constitutional Interpretation, Adam C. Pritchard, Todd J. Zywicki Jan 1999

Finding The Constitution: An Economic Analysis Of Tradition's Role In Constitutional Interpretation, Adam C. Pritchard, Todd J. Zywicki

Articles

In this Article, Professor Pritchard and Professor Zywicki examine the role of tradition in constitutional interpretation, a topic that has received significant attention in recent years. After outlining the current debate over the use of tradition, the authors discuss the efficiency purposes of constitutionalism--precommitment and the reduction of agency costs--and demonstrate how the use of tradition in constitutional interpretation can serve these purposes. Rejecting both Justice Scalia's majoritarian model, which focuses on legislative sources of tradition, and Justice Souter's common-law model, which focuses on Supreme Court precedent as a source of tradition, the authors propose an alternative model--the "finding model"-- …