Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. -

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Preface

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pp. ix - x

This book examines the originalist conception of constitutional authority and explains why it became a signifi cant component of American political life after World War II. The core originalist idea—that “the intent of the law giver is the law”...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-11

Originalist jurisprudence, or “originalism,” was one of the most vigorously debated topics in American constitutionalism in the last quarter of the twentieth century. What role the original meaning of the U.S. Constitution should have, if any, became a pressing question during the 1960s and 1970s ...

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1 From Textual Originalism to Modern Judicial Power

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pp. 12-42

Before the triumph of modern judicial power in the twentieth century, constitutional interpretation was understood as the ascertainment and application of the fixed, unchanging meaning of the written Constitution. Traditional...

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2 Modern Judicial Power and the Process-Restraint Tradition

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pp. 43-66

The displacement of textual originalism and the formalism of classical legal thought by the rise of modern judicial power did not succeed in wholly effacing the originalist idea, even though it did recede...

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3 The Return of Originalist Analysis in the Warren Court Era

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pp. 67-93

In the 1960s the Warren Court rapidly repudiated several established constitutional doctrines and plunged into social reform primarily on the basis of the Reconstruction-era Amendments. It did so in ways that invited attention to history, often by inquiring into original intent or by ...

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4 At the Crossroads: The Originalist Idea in Post–Warren Court Politics and Jurisprudence

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pp. 94-110

Constitutional thought was at a crossroads by the late 1960s. The Warren Court had attracted widespread attention to the role of original intent in constitutional interpretation, but midcentury inheritors of the legal process–judicial ...

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5 Raoul Berger and the Restoration of Originalism

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pp. 111-132

Over the course of his career Raoul Berger produced a massive body of writing on a variety of topics in law and legal history...

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6 Originalism in the Era of Ronald Reagan

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pp. 133-160

Ronald Reagan was reelected as president of the United States in 1984, and his landslide victory confirmed that the conservative political ascendancy that began at the crossroads of the 1960s had displaced the ...

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7 Robert Bork and the Trial of Originalism

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pp. 161-189

President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Robert H. Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court in June 1987 produced a political battle that gripped the nation for most of the summer. The nomination was a crucial public test ...

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8 Originalism in the 1990s: The Transformation of Academic Theory and the Limitations of Practice

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pp. 190-216

Much of academic constitutional theory in the 1990s was devoted to elaborating, refining, coopting, or attacking originalism. In the process, originalism became a more subtle, complex, and fragmented doctrine. While...

Notes

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pp. 217-276

Index

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pp. 277- 281