Any discipline has a canon, a set of themes that organize the way in which people think about the discipline. Or, perhaps, any discipline has a number of competing canons. Is there a canon of constitutional law? A group of casebook authors met in December 1999 to discuss the choices they had made - what they had decided to include, what to exclude, what they regretted excluding (or including), what principles they used in developing their casebooks. Most of the authors were affiliated with law schools, but some had developed coursebooks for use in undergraduate political science and constitutional history courses. Each participant was asked to write a short paper describing the canon of constitutional law, either as reflected in his or her choices, or in the range of materials available in the field. What do coursebook authors' reflections on their choices show about the canon(s) of constitutional law? In my view, three themes pervaded our discussions, and many of the papers that follow. A crude classification is that one theme involves the focus of the constitutional law canon, another involves the canon's substance, and the third involves the audience for constitutional law studies.
17 Const. Comment. 187-196 (2000)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Tushnet, Mark V., "The Canon(s) of Constitutional Law: An Introduction" (2000). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. Paper 237.