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The Hollow Core of Constitutional Theory
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Book description

The Hollow Core of Constitutional Theory is the first major defense of the central role of the Framers' intentions in constitutional interpretation to appear in years. This book starts with a reminder that, for virtually all of Western legal history, when judges interpreted legal texts, their goal was to identify the lawmaker's will. However, for the past fifty years, constitutional theory has increasingly shifted its focus away from the Framers. Contemporary constitutional theorists, who often disagree with each other about virtually everything else, have come to share the view that the Framers' understandings are unknowable and irrelevant. This book shows why constitutional interpretation needs to return to its historical core inquiry, which is a search for the Framers' intentions. Doing so is practically feasible, theoretically defensible, and equally important not only for discovering the original meaning, but also for deciding how to apply the Constitution today.


'Drakeman’s treatment and criticisms of constitutional theory - whether of originalism or non-originalism - are unfailingly fair and insightful. His arguments for incorporating the framers’ intent into constitutional interpretation today are historically rich and conceptually cogent. A penetrating book sure to be of great interest to the specialist and general reader alike.'

Marc O. DeGirolami - Cary Fields Professor of Law, St. John’s University School of Law

‘Drakeman writes with clarity, wit, and power …’

Stephen B. Presser Source: The Federalist Society Review

‘Drakeman finds his way … to the central truth of the matter.’

Hadley Arkes Source: Claremont Review of Books

‘A powerful brief written to academics on behalf of the public who want to know the Constitution’s meaning.’

Adam J. Macleod - Law & Liberty

‘Cuts against the grain of both liberal and modern originalist jurisprudence.’

Stone Washington Source: City Journal

‘The book is compelling. Greg Weiner’

Source: The Constitutionalist

‘Drakeman speaks the unpleasant truth that rarely speaks its name: in-stead of taking their lead from the Constitution, many judges simply begin with their own sense of what the right outcome should be.’

Hadley Arkes Source: Claremont Review of Books

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