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Constitutional Law

2007

Constitutional interpretation

Boston University School of Law

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The Balkanization Of Originalism, James E. Fleming Jan 2007

The Balkanization Of Originalism, James E. Fleming

Faculty Scholarship

Are we all originalists now? If anything would prompt that question, it would be Ronald Dworkin and Jack Balkin dressing up their theories in the garb of originalism (or, at any rate, being interpreted as originalists). For they are exemplars of two bete noires of originalism as conventionally understood: namely, the moral reading of the Constitution, and pragmatic, living constitutionalism, respectively.' Yet in recent years Dworkin has been interpreted as an abstract originalist2 and Balkin has now embraced the method of text and principle, which he presents as a form of abstract originalism.'