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LAW 73840 Originalism Seminar (Prof. Garnett & Judge Thapar): Assigned Readings

Assigned Readings

Introduction to Originalism?

Keith Whittington, The New Originalism, 2 Geo. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y (2004).

Antonin Scalia, Originalism, The Lesser Evil, 57 U. Cinn. L. Rev. 849 (1988-1989).

William H. Rehnquist, Notion of a Living Constitution, 54 TEX. L. REV. 693 (1976).

Nicole Stelle Garnett, Clarence Thomas’s Constitutional Excavation, National Review, Oct. 28, 2021.

William Baude, Constitutional Liquidation, 71 Stan. L. REV. 1, 3-8, 13-21  (2019).

Lawrence Solum, The Fixation Thesis: The Role of Historical Fact in Original Meaning, 91 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1 (2015) (Introduction, Part I).

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S.Ct. 2111 (2022) (Barrett, J., concurring).


Interpretation v. Construction

Randy Barnett, Interpretation and Construction, 34 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol'y (2011).

Amul R. Thapar & Joe Masterman, Fidelity and Construction, 129 Yale L.J. 775 (2020).

Jack M. Balkin, The Construction of Original Public Meaning, 31 Const. COMMENT. 71, 89-98 (2016).

Richard Fallon, Jr., The Chimerical Concept of Original Public Meaning, 107 Va. Law Rev. 1421 (2021) (introduction only).

Joel Alicea & John D. Ohlendorf, Against Tiers of Constitutional Scrutiny, National Affairs, Summer 2021.

Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, 141 S.Ct. 2373 (2021) (syllabus, majority op. (Roberts, C.J., Parts II & II), Thomas, J., concurring in judgment, Sotamayor, J., dissenting (Part II)).


Originalism & Stare Decisis

Amy Coney Barrett, Originalism and Stare Decisis, 92 Notre Dame Law Review 1921 (2017).

Gregory E. Maggs, Justice Thomas and Stare Decisis, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy Per Curiam (Fall 2021).

Ramos v. Louisiana, 140 S.Ct. 1390 (2020) (majority/plurality op (Gorsuch, J.), Kavenaugh, J., concurring in part; Alito, J., dissenting (Introduction & Part III)).

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 142 S.Ct. 2228 (2022) (excerpt available on Canvas).


Originalism v. "Common Good Constitutionalism"

Adrian Vermeule, Common Good Constitutionalism 26-51, 91-116 (2022) (excerpt available on Canvas).

Joel Alicea, The Moral Authority of Original Meaning, forthcoming Notre Dame L. Rev., pp. 16-32, 42-59.

William H. Pryor, Against Living Common Goodism, 23 Federalist Society Rev. 25 (2022)


The First Amendment - Free Speech

Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Assoc., 564 U.S. 786 (2011) (majority op. (Scalia, J.), and Thomas, J. dissenting).

McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, 514 U.S. 334 (1995) (majority op. (Stevens, J.), and Thomas, J., concurring in the judgment and Scalia, J., dissenting).

Virginia v. Black, 538 U.S. 343 (2003) (majority op. (O’Connor, J.),  and Scalia, J., concurring in part, concurring in the judgment in part, and dissenting in part and Thomas, J., dissenting).


The First Amendment - Free Exercise

Fulton v. Philadelphia, 141 S.Ct. 1868 (2021) (syllabus, Majority op. (Roberts, CJ, Part II), Barrett, J., concurring, Alito, J., concurring in the judgment (Introduction, Parts I & III).

Petitioner’s Brief (pp. 37-52); Respondent’s Brief (pp. 47-52); States’ Brief in Support of Petitioner (pp. 3-20); First Amendment Scholars’ Brief in Support of Respondent (pp. 6-11)


The First Amendment - Establishment Clause

Espinoza v. Montana, 140 S.Ct. 2246 (2020) (syllabus, majority op. (Roberts, C.J., Part II), Thomas, J. concurring, Alito, J., concurring, Breyer, J., dissenting).

Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, 142 S.Ct. 2407 (U.S. 2022) (syllabus, majority op. (Gorsuch, J, Part IV); Sotomayor, dissenting (Part II)).

Brief of USCCB in Support of Petitioners (pp. 3-20); Brief of the ACLU in Support of Respondents (12-21)


Second Amendment

McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010) (syllabus, majority op. (Alito, J., Parts II & III); Scalia, J., concurring (first paragraph only), and Thomas, J., concurring in part and concurring in the judgment).

New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn’ v. Bruen,142 S.Ct. 2111 (U.S. 2022) (edited excerpt available on Canvas, but also skim the historical discussion in Part IV of the majority opinion, which is omitted from the excerpt).

Petitioner’s Brief (pp. 25-49); Respondent’s Brief (pp. 19-36).


Criminal Procedure

Espinoza v. Montana, 140 S.Ct. 2246 (2020).

Carpenter v. United States, 138 S.Ct. 2206 (2018) (syllabus, majority op. (Roberts, C.J.): Parts II & III; Alito, J., dissenting ( Part I); Gorsuch, J. dissenting).

Gamble v. United States, 139 S. Ct. 1960 (2019) (majority op. (Alito), Thomas, J. concurring, and Gorsuch, J. dissenting).

Petitioner’s Brief (pp. 9-27); Respondent’s Brief (pp. 31-42)


The Commerce Power and the Necessary and Proper Clause

Lopez v. United States, 514 U.S. 549 (1995) (majority op., (Rehnquist, C.J.), and Thomas, J., concurring).

Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005) (majority op. (Stevens, J.),  and Scalia, J., concurring in the judgment and Thomas, J., dissenting).

Petitioner’s Brief (pp. 12-39); Respondent’s Brief (pp. 20-35); Brief of Constitutional Law Scholars in support of Petitioner (pp. 4-22) (briefs available on Canvas).


Separation of Powers - Administrative Law

Gundy v. United States, 113 S.Ct. 2116 (2019) (syllabus, Alito, J., concurring, Thomas, J., dissenting).

West Virginia v. EPA, 142 S.Ct. 2587 (US 2022) (syllabus, Gorsuch, J., concurring (Parts I & III), Kagan, J., dissenting (Part II)).

Petitioner WV’s Brief (pp. 44-49); Respondent State/Local Gov’ts’ Brief (pp. 38-49)


Separation of Powers - Appointment and Removal

Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988) (majority op. (Rehnquist, C.J.), and Scalia, J., dissenting).

NLRB v. Noel Canning, 134 S.Ct. 2550 (2012) (majority op. (Breyer, J.): Parts II-V; Scalia, J., dissenting).

Selia Law v. CFPB, 140 S.Ct. 2183 (2020) (majority op. (Roberts, C.J), and Thomas, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part).

Petitioner’s Brief (pp. 14-35); Brief of Court-Appointed Amicus Supporting Judgment Below (pp. 21-50)


October Term 2021 Cases

National Pork Producers Council v. Ross21-468

Students for Fair Admissions Policy v. Harvard, 20-1199

Students for Fair Admissions Policy v. University of North Carolina, 21-707


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