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Jurisprudence

Daniel Hornal

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Why The Demands Of Formalism Will Prevent New Originalism From Furthering Conservative Political Goals, Daniel Hornal Jan 2011

Why The Demands Of Formalism Will Prevent New Originalism From Furthering Conservative Political Goals, Daniel Hornal

Daniel Hornal

Proponents of New Originalism propose that their modifications solve the indeterminacy and predictability problems inherent in early conceptions of originalism. This paper argues that excluding extrinsic evidence and relying only on the formal implications of the text merely switches one indeterminacy and predictability problem for another. Rules inherently carry implications unknown to rule writers. In the case of open-textured rules such as those in the Constitution, a broad reading can occupy whole fields of law, whereas a narrow reading can have almost no real-world effects. Because they must ignore extrinsic evidence, new originalists are almost unbound in their choice of ...