Originalism Versus Living Constitutionalism: The Conceptual Structure of the Great Debate

Lawrence B. Solum | April 1, 2019

The great debate between originalism and living constitutionalism ought to focus on the merits, including normative arguments for and against various forms of each theory. Frequently, however, discussion turns to disputes about definitions and concepts. This Essay investigates the conceptual structure of the great debate. It lays out a variety of issues that arise when theorists attempt to define “originalism” and “living constitutionalism” and proposes criteria for settling definitional disputes.