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Freedom and TimeA Theory of Constitutional Self-Government$
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Jed Rubenfeld

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300080483

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300080483.001.0001

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Reading the Constitution as Written: Paradigm Case Interpretation

Reading the Constitution as Written: Paradigm Case Interpretation

(p.178) Ten Reading the Constitution as Written: Paradigm Case Interpretation
Freedom and Time

Jed Rubenfeld

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on reading the Constitution as written text, more specifically, as a project in temporally extended, commitmentarian self-government. By reading the Constitution this way, a distinctive interpretive method known as paradigm case interpretation comes into view. Contemporary constitutional law has no account of how to interpret the Constitution. Constitutional thought has struggled to catch up with Brown v. Board of Education from the time a decision was made. One school of thought argues that Brown was an originalist decision, an argument that was patently false with respect to the facts and to originalism. Robert Bork belongs to this school of thought. The chapter also examines the paradigm case method as it applies to the Fourteenth Amendment. It also discusses constitutionalism as democracy and explores the importance of constitution-writing in self-government on the model of writing.

Keywords:   self-government, Constitution, constitutional law, Brown v. Board of Education, originalism, Robert Bork, paradigm case method, Fourteenth Amendment, constitutionalism, democracy

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