Justice on Wooden Piece Arranged by Businessman

Guardians of the New Class

Those of us who believe in the rule of law and limited government are understandably flummoxed by the conclusion of the Supreme Court’s 2014-15 term: in rapid succession, and generally by narrow margins, the Court “fixed” an internal defect in the ObamaCare statute (King v. Burwell); recognized so-called “disparate impact” claims under the Federal Housing…

Originalism and Liberty: Ilya Somin Replies

I would like to start by thanking Law and Liberty for hosting this symposium, and Hadley Arkes, Peter Lawler, and…

Uniting the Court’s Adherents of the Rule of Law

The story of this term has been a united block of the left on the Court, where Justices on the…

From the Blog

Mike Rappaport
University of San Diego School of Law

It’s the Kennedy Court

There have been a number of recent reports on how and why the Supreme Court…

My Reactions to King v. Burwell

I am a strong opponent of Obamacare.  But once I realized that a decision in…

Departmentalism versus Judicial Supremacy – Part IV: The Argument Based on the Constitution Being a New System

In my last post, I noted that the advocates of departmentalism do not rely on…

John O. McGinnis
Northwestern University School of Law

Uniting the Court’s Adherents of the Rule of Law

The story of this term has been a united block of the left on the…

The Incautious Justice Kennedy

While many have celebrated the result in Obergefell v. Hodges, fewer have praised the craftsmanship…

The Sharing Economy versus the Centralized State

Taxi drivers in France rioted yesterday to prevent Uber from competing with them.  They attacked…

Mark Pulliam
Attorney

Guardians of the New Class

Those of us who believe in the rule of law and limited government are understandably…

Overdue for Strict Scrutiny: Race Preferences and Cronyism at the University of Texas

Ironies abound in the long-running affirmative action case of Fisher v. University of Texas at…

Liberty Law Forum

USA Constitution Parchment

How Constitutional Originalism Promotes Liberty

What approach to constitutional interpretation best protects liberty? My task in this essay is to answer that modest question. Ultimately, there is no definitive answer that applies to all times and all places. But under the circumstances of the United States for the foreseeable future, originalism is likely to be the best bet. Both the…

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Responses

What “Liberties” Does the Constitution Protect?

In his famous, breakthrough speech at the Cooper Union in New York, Lincoln remarked on those black slaves who had not thrown in with John Brown. Even though, as he said, they were “ignorant”—even though they had no formal education—they had the wit to see that the schemes of this crazy white man would not…

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The Use and Abuse of Originalism

Ilya Somin’s thesis in his Liberty Forum essay is modest and hedged. Confining himself to “the circumstances of the United States for the foreseeable future,” he argues only that, among the “plausible competitors,” originalism is “likely to be” the theory of constitutional interpretation that best protects the components of  “ ‘negative’ liberty defended by most…

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Originalism and Legislative Deliberation

The point of Ilya Somin's able and humane Liberty Forum essay is to show libertarians how to deploy originalism as a doctrine to maximize “negative liberty” in America. He doesn’t claim to establish that negative liberty is good, or that its maximization accords with living in the truth or with dignity. It’s enough to say…

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Originalism and Liberty: Ilya Somin Replies

I would like to start by thanking Law and Liberty for hosting this symposium, and Hadley Arkes, Peter Lawler, and Ed Whelan for their thoughtful comments on my initial essay. I had planned to complete this reply much earlier. But just as constitutional originalism sometimes has difficulty taking account of new developments, so my original…

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