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"Originalism: A Quarter-Century of Debate"

In the mail: Northwestern lawprof (and old friend) Steven Calabresi has edited this volume to mark the 25th anniversary of the Federalist Society. From the flap copy:

What did the Constitution mean at the time it was adopted? How should we interpret today the words used by the Founding Fathers? In ORIGINALISM: A QUARTER-CENTURY OF DEBATE, these questions are explained and dissected by the very people who continue to shape the legal structure of our country. Inside you'll find:

*A foreword by Justice Antonin Scalia and speeches by former attorney general Edwin Meese III, Justice William Brennan, Judge Robert H. Bork, and President Ronald Reagan

*Transcripts from panel discussions and debates engaging some of the brightest legal minds of our time in frank, open discussions about the original meaning of the Constitution of the United States and its impact on the rule of law in our country

*A debate on the original meaning of the Commerce, Spending, and Necessary and Proper Clauses

*Concluding thoughts by Theodore Olson, forty-second solicitor general of the United States and a fellow at both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

ORIGINALISM: A QUARTER-CENTURY OF DEBATE is a lively and fascinating discussion of an issue that has occupied the greatest legal minds in America, and one that continues to elicit strong reactions from both those who support and those who oppose the rule of law.

The book is by no means a mere compendium of like-minded thought, but includes extensive commentary from such noteworthy critics of conservative originalism as Cass Sunstein, Akhil Amar, Larry Kramer, and Jeff Rosen. It can be purchased (update) from the Federalist Society here. Incidentally, Prof. Calabresi has weighed in a couple of times in recent days in popular debates on the Constitution, including this op-ed in the WSJ and this letter to the editor correcting the ever-correctable New York Times.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.