In this short Article, I shall express some grounds for respectful skepticism, both about whether Rosenkranz has proven his claims and about whether courts should decide cases on the basis of his arguments, even if judges thought him more likely right than not about the significance that well-informed Americans of the Founding generation would have attached to the “subjects” and “objects” of the Constitution. But, I also hope to train attention on the general methodological challenge—partly for other law professors working in the field and especially for judges and Justices—that work such as Rosenkranz’s poses: How should we appraise, and what significance should we attach to, ingenious, provocatively novel theses that would make constitutional outcomes depend wholly on seemingly plausible, but not clearly proven linguistic and historical claims?
Appraising The Significance of The Subjects and Objects of The Constitution: A Case Study in Textual and Historical Revisionism,
U. Pa. J. Const. L.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/jcl/vol16/iss2/6