A Plan For All Seasons: A Constitutional Framework That Secures The Blessings of Liberty
This thesis will examine the constitutional interpretation philosophies of Ronald Dworkin and Antonin Scalia. The “moral reading” (Dworkin’s interpretive framework) and “originalism” (Scalia’s interpretative framework) will be described and contrasted. The philosophical underpinnings of each method will be scrutinized. This thesis will start with Dworkin and also include a “conservative” who embraces the “moral reading” for his own purposes. We will critique this approach to constitutional interpretation. Finally, Scalia’s method (textualism or originalism) will be described and deeply analyzed. Originalism has a principled foundation and motivation that eschews judicial moral direction of society apart from applying what is found in the Constitution and law. The main contention of this project will be that there is no means of applying constitutional principles that will yield perfect results in every situation. It is a human system. However, originalism is the least imperfect method which is what its adherents claim.