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What About Brown v. Board of Education? [No. 86]

So, Brown v. Board of Education is often held up as the great modern example of a decision that is both, has to be right but also contradicts originalist premises, and that is certainly the way the opinion reads, the court expressly declines to quote, “set the clock back,” to the time of the adoption […]

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Interpreting the Constitution
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Interpreting the Constitution

How should progressives interpret the Constitution? Well, I think no one, or at least no one we we take seriously uses only a single method to interpret the Constitution Isaiah Berlin was famous for saying, “The Hedgehog knows one big thing, and the Fox knows many things.” And I think, liberals, and I think everybody […]

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The Declaration & Constitution: Original Public Meaning [No. 86]
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The Declaration & Constitution: Original Public Meaning [No. 86]

So my view of the relationship between the Declaration and the Constitution is that the Declaration of Independence is one source of the Constitution’s text’s original meaning, and the way an originalist approaches interpreting the Constitution is really a multi-step process and, and here I’m thinking of what’s called “public meaning originalism,” which is the […]

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Interpreting the Constitution: A Living Document?
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Interpreting the Constitution: A Living Document?

♪♪Music♪♪ During this lecture I want to talk about the living constitution. In our previous lecture we talked about originalism. This is the main alternative to originalism. The notion that the constitution is a dynamic document that has the potential to change over time and that is something they think is, is true just because […]

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Interpreting the Constitution Pragmatically
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Interpreting the Constitution Pragmatically

You have to interpret the Constitution in a way that makes pragmatic sense The Constitution is not a suicide pact, even Justice Scalia, in his ostensibly textualist and originalist opinion in Heller the D.C. guns case, said “Well of course you can’t take a gun into a court room or into a courthouse.” Why not?! […]

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