One might easily paint a picture in which the central question debated in constitutional jurisprudence in recent years was whether originalism is the correct theory of constitutional interpretation. This portrait of a constitutional debate could be quite dramatic. Prominent among the figures on the originalist side stand former Judge Robert Bork, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, former Attorney General Edwin Meese, and scholar Raoul Berger. Their opponents, the nonoriginalists, include Senator Joseph Biden, Associate Justice William Brennan, and a host of constitutional scholars. The stakes of the debate seem high: will the legacy of the Warren Court be dismantled by the Rehnquist Court's efforts to interpret the Constitution in accord with the intentions of its framers? The debate reached millions of homes through extensive media coverage of the confirmation hearings of Judge Bork. Bork's defeat might be viewed by some as the climax of the debate, and as a victory for the nonoriginalists.
63 Tul. L. Rev. 1599-1629
Scholarly Commons Citation
Solum, Lawrence B., "Originalism as Transformative Politics" (1989). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. Paper 1746.