Fall 2015
    Law No.: LAW9245
    Sched. No.: 115821258

Originalism and Its Critics*
Section 1
Barzun, Charles L.
Schwartzman, Micah J.

Administrative Information:
During SIS enrollment, check on SIS for real-time enrollment numbers
Days, Times (Room):W, 1540-1740 (WB116)
Capacity:10 **This information is current as of 06/13/2016 06:14:01 AM**
Current Enrollment:10 **This information is current as of 06/13/2016 06:14:01 AM**
Syllabus: View Syllabus (requires LawWeb account)

Course Description:


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Over the last few decades, “originalism” has become a leading theory of constitutional law and interpretation, among both courts and legal scholars. Although initially advanced by those on the political right, originalist constitutional theories recently have been embraced by those on both sides of the political spectrum. But what exactly an originalist interpretation of the constitution entails, and whether courts should base their constitutional decisions on such readings, remain deeply controversial questions. In this seminar, we will take up such questions. We will do so by reading one article each week that either defends or criticizes some version of originalism. Students will write one 10-page paper criticizing one of those articles, and they will prepare an oral defense of another article in response to a student critique of it. Students will be graded on the basis of their written critique, their oral defense, and their classroom participation throughout the semester. Readings will include articles by Justice Scalia, John Manning, Lawrence Solum, Jack Balkin, Paul Brest, Michael Klarman, and others.

ATTENDANCE NOTE: Students are required to attend the first class sessions. Students absent from the first session will be dropped from the course.

NOTE: Laptops are not permitted during class sessions.

Course Requirement:In addition to class participation, students will be evaluated on a ten-page paper and an in-class presentation. The paper will be due prior to the conclusion of the course by a deadline to be announced by the Professors.