Foundations; Interpretation, Law and Politics

    You will pose a question involving at least two of our readings from Part I and/or Part II, and then you will do your best to answer it in a tightly argued 3-4 pp.The question should be an exploratory query that interests you. If you like, you may address your question through a Supreme Court case one we have discussed or one we have not (yet) discussed. Some possible questions that come to mind: How persuasive are Scalias arguments for originalism? Is there really a distinction between the framers intent theory of interpretation and the original understanding view? Is textualism (Scalia) or pragmatism (Breyer) the better method for interpreting statutes? How well does Dworkins philosophical theory of interpretation work in clarifying the meaning of a particular constitutional provision, like the Eighth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendments Equal Protection Clause? Is stare decisis in tension with originalism? How politicized is the Supreme Court, really? Is the Supreme Court a court (cf. Segall)? (These are just examples.) You may also choose to look more deeply into one of the constitutional provisions you examined using the Interactive Constitution app.

    Be sure your question is (1) interesting and (2) challenging but (3) narrowly tailored enough that you will be able to do it justice in a short paper. If you arent sure your question fits that bill, send it to me in an email and Ill let you know.

    These are the two sources you will be using:

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