Originalism and the Good Constitution

The Chicago Lawyers Chapter
Start : Wednesday, October 30, 2013 11:00 AM
End : Wednesday, October 30, 2013 01:00 PM

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Petterino’s Banquet Facility (Lower Level)
150 N Dearborn St.
Corner of Dearborn & Randolph: Banquets entrance on Randolph
Chicago, IL 60601

Featured Speakers:
John O. McGinnis



  • Prof. John O. McGinnis, George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law, Northwestern Univ Law School
  • Special Guest Moderator/Commentator: Justice Ann Jorgensen, Illinois Second District Appellate Court

Originalism holds that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted according to its meaning at the time it was enacted. In their innovative defense of originalism, John McGinnis and Michael Rappaport maintain that the text of the Constitution should be adhered to by the Supreme Court because it was enacted by supermajorities—both its original enactment under Article VII and subsequent Amendments under Article V. A text approved by supermajorities has special value in a democracy because it has unusually wide support and thus tends to maximize the welfare of the greatest number. The authors recognize and respond to many possible objections. Does originalism perpetuate the dead hand of the past? How can following the original meaning be justified, given that African Americans and women were excluded from the enactment of the Constitution in 1787 and many of its subsequent Amendments? What is originalism’s place in interpretation of the Constitution, when after two hundred years there is so much non-originalist precedent? Come join us for a fascinating discussion.

Registration details:

Cost: $30 early-bird ($25 for students), $40 at the door (Membership has its privileges: $35 at the door
with current Federalist Society membership card or Student I.D. in hand)

To Register at Early Bird Discount, RSVP before 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013:

Space is limited; we reserve the right to refuse admission to anyone not pre-registered.