Inside Originalism: A Quarter-Century of Debate

 What did the Constitution mean at the time it was adopted? How should we interpret today the words used by the Founding Fathers? In Originalism: A Quarter-Century of Debate, these questions are explained and dissected by the very people who continue to shape the legal structure of our country.

Originalism: A Quarter-Century of Debate is a lively and fascinating discussion of an issue that has occupied the greatest legal minds in America, and one that continues to elicit strong reactions from both those who support and those who oppose the rule of law. Steven G. Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society and professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law, has compiled an impressive collection of speeches, panel discussions, and debates from some of the greatest and most prominent legal experts of the last twenty-five years.

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An introduction by Professor Steven G. Calabresi, Foreword by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and Epilogue by former Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson

Famous Speeches by former Attorney General Edwin Meese, III, U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., Judge Robert H. Bork, and President Ronald Reagan

Also Featuring: 

Panel on Originalism and Unenumerated Constitutional Rights

  • Professor Suzanna Sherry
  • Professor Walter Dellinger
  • Professor John Harrison
  • Professor Lino Graglia
  • Judge Michael W. McConnell
  • Diane P. Wood

Panel on Originalism and Pragmatism

  • Professor Larry Kramer
  • Judge Frank Easterbrook
  • Professors John O. McGinnis & Michael Rappaport
  • Professor Jeffrey Rosen
  • Douglas H. Ginsburg

Panel on Originalism and Precedent

  • Professor Steven G. Calabresi
  • Professor Akhil Reed Amar
  • Professor David Strauss
  • Professor Thomas W. Merrill
  • Justice Stephen J. Markman
  • Steven G. Calabresi

Debate on the Original Meaning of the Commerce, Spending, and Necessary and Proper Clauses

  • Professor Michael Stokes Paulsen
  • Professor Randy E. Barnett
  • Barrington D. Parker, Jr.

Debate on Radicals in Robes

  • Professor Cass Sunstein
  • Mr. Charles J. Cooper
  • Steven G. Calabresi


 Clip from our 20th Anniversary video about the debate
between Edwin Meese and William Brennan


Video of a panel on Originalism from the June 2007 conference
honoring Judge Robert H. Bork 

  Audio of a panel on the Development of Originalism from the January 2007 conference honoring Attorney General Edwin Meese III