Originalism to Common Good Constitutionalism: Post-liberalism’s Emergence in American Legal Theory

Abstract

The American legal right is fracturing. This thesis explores how America’s legal history and philosophy impact Supreme Court jurisprudence by attempting to link contemporary liberalism to the constitutional interpretation of originalism. The discussion then turns to the current post-liberal debates in American conservative politics and popular post-liberal theorists' answers to these conservations. At its core, this debate represents conflicting visions of justice and liberty in the United States - a debate that has existed since the Founding and has emerged again in a new era as a method to combat contemporary progressive ideologies. An analysis of the ways that recent Supreme Court rulings have tended toward common good perspectives is offered at the conclusion of this thesis. Understanding the relationships between conservative values and constitutional interpretation provides a way for Americans to reevaluate Supreme Court jurisprudence in light of today’s debates regarding individual liberty.

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Keywords

Post-liberalism., Originalism., Common good constitutionalism., Classical legal theory., American political right., Adrian Vermeule., American political philosophy., Republican Party.

Citation