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Carrying on a cherished ACS tradition, we’ll be hosting our first reading group meeting on November 17 at 12:45 in Cooley Courtyard. This quarter, we’ll be examining Jack Balkin’s “Living Originalism.” There will be lunch for attendees.
About the readings: Yale law professor Jack Balkin argues “the Constitution creates a basic framework or plan for politics that is not complete at the outset but must be filled out by later generations.” Rather than suggest you read the entire book, we have selected a set of material on his concept and originalist interpretation more broadly; the readings will inform our discussion and hopefully your own practice as a lawyer.The readings include:
- a Balkin law review article outlining framework/living originalism (first 22 pages)
- this J. Scalia video interview about traditional originalism (first 3 minutes)
- a Balkin article explaining why originalism is so uniquely popular in the U.S. (first 10 pages)
- this critique of living originalism by Cornell professor Michael C. Dorf (first 10 pages)
- optional this 2008 blog Balkin wrote analyzing Heller v. District of Columbia (famous 2nd amendment ruling), basically tearing Scalia’s interpretation apart
- optional this 2014 op-ed in WashPo, “How Liberals Can Reclaim the Constitution?”(ask yourself: is this answer still true?)
We will grab some food, mingle, and then gather around to go over a few questions based on the readings. We’re especially interested in discussing how best to use originalism for progressive causes. You don’t need to read all the readings, but we recommend at least skimming them.