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Originalism in American Law and Politics

Paperback
, 296 pages
ISBN:
9780801887604
June 2005
$38.00

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Originalism in American Law and Politics

A Constitutional History

This book explains how the debate over originalism emerged from the interaction of constitutional theory, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and American political development. Refuting the contention that originalism is a recent concoction of political conservatives like Robert Bork, Johnathan O'Neill asserts that recent appeals to the origin of the Constitution in Supreme Court decisions and commentary, especially by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, continue an established pattern in American history.

Originalism in American Law and Politics is distinguished by its historical approach to the topic. Drawing on constitutional commentary and treatises, Supreme Court and lower federal court opinions, congressional hearings, and scholarly monographs, O'Neill's work will be valuable to historians, academic lawyers, and political scientists.

Johnathan O'Neill is an assistant professor of history at Georgia Southern University.

"Everything a work of this kind should be. It is comprehensive in its coverage, scrupulously fair to all contending parties, and engagingly argumentative."

"This book will undoubtedly be the essential reference on the history of originalism, and it will be an important building block toward the history of the conservative legal movement and the conservative intellectual movement."

"O'Neill has provided a rich and compelling account."

"Will surely become the standard reference for scholars and students interested in the development of originalism as a theory of constitutional interpretation."

"Offers a thoughtful historical treatment of originalism within the United States."

"The work is comprehensive in its coverage, fair to all the contending parties, and argumentative in the best sense of the word."

"Excellent book... It would be nice to see the return of constitutional history to History proper. And O'Neill has provided a ready vehicle for just such a return."

"Interesting."

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