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dc.contributor.authorKidd, Colin Craig
dc.identifier.citationKidd , C C 2016 , ' The Grail of original meaning: uses of the past in American constitutional theory ' Transactions of the Royal Historical Society , vol. Sixth series 26 , pp. 175-196 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 244116016
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: fc55f505-8229-4d09-9821-d82243dd7167
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84997501203
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0001-5111-4540/work/45012960
dc.description.abstractOriginalist jurisprudence, which enjoins a faithful adherence to the values enshrined in the late eighteenth-century Constitution, has become a prominent feature of contemporary American conservatism. Recovering the original meaning of the Constitution is far from straightforward, and raises major issues of historical interpretation. How far do the assumed historical underpinnings of originalist interpretation mesh with the findings of academic historians? To what extent has the conservative invocation of the Founding Fathers obscured a lost American Enlightenment? Nor is ‘tradition’ in American constitutional law an unproblematic matter. How far does a desire to restore the original meaning of the Constitution ignore the role of ‘stare decisis’ [precedent] in America’s common law heritage? It transpires, moreover, that the various schemes of historical interpretation in American constitutional jurisprudence do not map easily onto a simple liberal-conservative divide.en
dc.relation.ispartofTransactions of the Royal Historical Societyen
dc.rights© Royal Historical Society 2016. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at
dc.subjectE11 America (General)en
dc.subjectKF United States Federal Lawen
dc.titleThe Grail of original meaning: uses of the past in American constitutional theoryen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Historyen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Institute of Legal and Constitutional Researchen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Global Constitutionalismen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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