Originalism is a major school of constitutional interpretation and an important field of study. Legal discussions and public debates regularly feature originalist arguments or criticisms of originalism. To engage these arguments, lawyers and citizens need to weigh the merits of a diverse set of originalist theories. This course is designed to acquaint you with originalist and nonoriginalist arguments; enable you to assess their strengths; and give you an opportunity to sharpen your own views.
The course will be taught as a two-hour weekly seminar, focused on class discussion of the readings. Each student will choose weeks in which to submit short response papers, circulated to all participants via Sakai. Alternatively, students may pursue an independent research project related to originalism, submitting first and final drafts (~30 pp.) in compliance with the upper-level writing requirement. Students choosing this option must obtain the permission of the instructor prior to the close of the Drop/Add period.
(A) One prior course on American constitutional law, and (B) one prior upper-level course on constitutional law, legislation and statutory interpretation, federal courts, administrative law, or jurisprudence. This prerequisite may be satisfied by equivalent coursework or waived with permission of the instructor.
|Course Areas of Practice|
Research paper, 25+ pages
Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law