Friday, May 01, 2009

Two New Books on Constitutional Interpretation


Today the American Constitution Society is releasing two new books on constitutional interpretation. The first is Keeping Faith With Constitution, by Pam Karlan, Goodwin Liu, and Christopher Schroeder. It's a nice synthesis of progressive constitutional thought about constitutional interpretation over the past couple of decades and it's written for a general audience. The second, It Is a Constitution We Are Expounding: Collected Writings on Interpreting Our Founding Document, is an edited collection of writings and speeches about constitutional interpretation edited by Pamela Harris and Karl Thompson. It includes essays by a host of legal thinkers (including yours truly).

These two books are part of a flowering of debate and discussion about the constitution and constitutional interpretation in the past five years that has arisen naturally as liberals have once again found their political voice. This should not be surprising. The rise of movement conservatism also led to a great deal of rethinking about constitutional interpretation. This is all to the good. The Constitution belongs to everyone; as each generation rethinks what the Constitution means in their time, they make it their own.

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