Ian Bartrum's New Article

... wanted to give a shout out to Ian Bartrum's new article:


Ian was a very helpful reviewer of my book. In the article, he picks up one of the book's main theses: that originalism must be understood not as a philosophy of constitutional interpretation, but as a political ideology. It must, in short, not be taken seriously by serious thinkers. This shift in thought is very important. For a long time, there was a tendency among legal theorists to assume that using history to fill in the Constitution's "gaps" was something legitimate. Bobbitt had suggested it was one of the 6 methods by which American lawyers had performed the constitutional craft. And of course, political scientists commonly painted a world where the Constitution was grounded ultimately in "values" -- meaning, if conservatives wanted constitutional historicism, they were allowed as much as the next guy who wanted a living document. It was all just "their values versus ours," as if any approach to reading the Constitution was therefore defensible.

Ian Bartrum has fired the first cannon fire in the struggle to take back constitutional intellectualism. Originalists are wrong because their approach is intellectually indefensible. No person who adheres to originalism can be a serious constitutional thinker. Any person who adheres to it adopts a flawed intellectual perspective. My book never says these things; it shows them. And Ian Bartrum has just picked up this very idea and is helping to build upon it, in his own way, with his own approach. 

I hope you will give Ian's paper a read. The time is coming when originalism is going to once again assume the intellectual status that it did prior to the deceptive mistakes committed by its "new generation" scholarship. That process has begun today.