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Most Cited Originalist Scholars, 2013-2017 [Updated and Corrected]
Michael Ramsey

Gregory Sisk and his team at the University of St. Thomas have released their latest study of law faculty citations, covering 2012-2017 (the USD faculty is honored to place in the top 20% of U.S. law faculties by frequency of citation [at #36], by the Sisk scoring).  At Brian Leiter's Law School Reports, Professor Leiter is using this methodology, which he initially developed, to rank individual scholars by citation count in particular sub-fields (here is his ranking for Constitutional Law).  

Using the Sisk/Leiter methodology, below is my ranking of the most-cited originalist-oriented scholars.  Disclaimers:  (1) these are numbers I calculated using Professor Sisk's system, not his numbers, so they may differ slightly; (2) some scholars listed below may not self-identify as originalist-oriented scholars; the category is a bit subjective; (3) I excluded scholars who write partly but not primarily on originalist-oriented topics, but again this is a bit subjective; and (4) I may have forgotten someone (apologies in advance and please let me know!).

Per the Sisk/Leiter methodology, the number represents the number of articles in the Westlaw "law review and journals" database, from 2013 to 2017 inclusive, that cited the person listed.

Here is the list:

1.  Jack Balkin (Yale), 1740 [see update #1 below]

2.  Akhil Amar (Yale), 1607

3.  Michael McConnell (Stanford), 1153

4.  Randy Barnett (Georgetown), 1064

5.  Lawrence Solum (Georgetown), 851

6.  Steven Calabresi (Northwestern), 820

7.  John McGinnis (Northwestern), 691

8.  Gary Lawson (Boston U.), 686

9.  Saikrishna Prakash (Virginia), 612

10.  Michael Paulsen (St. Thomas), 578

11.  Caleb Nelson (Virginia), 554

12.  Philip Hamburger (Columbia), 399

13.  Michael Rappaport (San Diego), 397

14.  Michael Ramsey (San Diego), 354

15.  William Baude (Chicago), 342

16.  Josh Blackman (South Texas), 284

17.  Bradford Clark (George Washington), 272

18.  John Harrison (Virginia), 262 [see update #2 below]

19.  Julian Ku (Hofstra), 252

20.  Kurt Lash (Richmond), 221

21.  Nicholas Rosenkranz (Georgetown), 202


Highly cited scholars who write partly on originalist topics:

Eugene Volokh (UCLA), 1280

John Yoo (Berkeley), 958

Larry Alexander (San Diego), 680

Ilya Somin (George Mason), 595

Steven D. Smith (San Diego), 329


UPDATE #1:  In this post at Balkinization, Jack Balkin notes that his count was low because prior to 2001 he wrote under the name "J.M. Balkin."  Adding articles citing J.M. Balkin or Jack Balkin results in 1740 articles rather than 1585.  The list has been corrected above.

Professor Balkin also notes:

[A]mong the top five most cited originalist scholars in the American legal academy, (me, Akhil Amar, Michael McConnell, Randy Barnett, and Lawrence Solum) three are liberals and one is a libertarian. Only one is a political conservative.

What this means for originalism I leave to the reader to figure out.

UPDATE #2:  I forgot John Harrison!  He is now included.  (The count is adjusted, per Professor Sisk's methodology, to account for references to different John Harrisons).  Apologies to one of my favorite originalist scholars.