Curriculum Guide · Courses
Constitutional Interpretation: Originalism in Theory and Practice
Professors Barnett, Solum, and Izquierdo
J.D. Course 1165 | 2 credit hours
This course will cover both the theory and practice of originalism as a method of constitutional interpretation. The course has an opening segment on originalism and its critics, and the proper role of judges in enforcing the original meaning of the Constitution. It then transitions to studying some originalist decisions and scholarship on particular issues, with an emphasis on how originalism is "best practiced" in a nonpartisan and nonideological way. On one afternoon, the students will visit the Supreme Court to discuss originalism with Justice Antonin Scalia, and on another afternoon will hear from litigators who seek to advance the judicial recognition of the original meaning of the Constitution. The course may also feature other guest speakers.
Class will meet for 5 consecutive days from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.: Tuesday, May 26, through Saturday, May 30, 2015. On Thursday, May 28, and Friday, May 29, there will be class from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the visit to the Supreme Court to meet with Justice Scalia and for the panel discussion with constitutional litigators. An eight-hour take-home exam will be required and will be available for students to self-schedule between June 5 and June 15.