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02/25/2014

USD Originalism Conference: Second Paper -- Stephen Sachs on Originalism and Legal Change
Michael Ramsey

This is my second post on the papers at last weekend's originalism works-in-progress conference (first post here).

The second paper of the conference was by Steve Sachs (Duke Law School), Originalism as a Theory of Legal Change, with comments from Richard Fallon (Harvard Law School). Unfortunately, as far as I know, the paper is not yet publicly available, so I'll make only a couple of general comments.

The bottom line is that this is going to be one of the most important articles -- quite possibly the most important -- in originalism theory in 2014.  (Its spot in the "originalism top ten for 2014" seems assured.)  It's a very ambitious attempt to justify originalism by reference to legal practices, not (as I'm inclined to do) by reference to normative claims.  Also -- and this is an odd thing to say about a draft article on legal theory that's 74 pages and 259 footnotes -- it's fun to read.