A Return to Classical Law?

If there is one thing that conservatives have almost unanimously agreed on, it is that the Constitution’s meaning does not change over time. Few things have unified the right like the long-term battle against a morphing Constitution that adapts to apply justice according to what, in the judgment of the interpreter, the times require.

But even as originalism has gradually become the most widely accepted interpretive approach, some on the right have begun to argue for its abandonment. Adrian Vermeule’s new book, Common Good Constitutionalism, marks the most ambitious attempt yet to convince conservatives to jettison originalism in favor of left-wing constitutional theories. Law & Liberty contributors assess the book’s merits in a variety of contexts, including originalist methods, federalism, the broader postliberal project, and the relationship between formalist institutions and the common good.

Originalism for the Common Good
John O. McGinnis

A Common Good Requires a Common People
Jesse Merriam

Uncommonly Bad Constitutionalism
James M. Patterson

Policing Common Good Constitutionalism
James R. Rogers

Classical Historicism?
Paul Seaton