How Living Constitutionalism Works

How Living Constitutionalism Works

How Living Constitutionalism Works

Slate's blog on legal issues.
March 27 2008 6:48 AM

How Living Constitutionalism Works

Last week Dahlia Litwick and Eric Posner asked an important question about my posts on living constitutionalism : If constitutional interpretation by judges responds to political and social mobilizations over time, why have judicial review at all? Why not just eliminate the middleman and just have purely majoritarian democracy? The short answer is that living constitutionalism 1) preserves the general benefits of constitutionalism and 2) is consistent with fidelity to original meaning while 3) allowing gradual adaptations in interpreting the Constitution's vague and abstract clauses that are responsive to democratic politics in our own day. The longer answer is here .

Jack M. Balkin is Knight professor of constitutional law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School.