October 9, 2018

12:00 pm - 12:50 pm, Eastern Time

Originalism as Faith: The Living Constitution of Scalia and Thomas

Temple University Beasley School of Law, Room K1D, Philadelphia, PA

Featuring guest speaker Eric J. Segall (College of Law, Georgia State University) discussing his new book on the history of the originalism debates. It shows how the doctrine is rarely used by the Supreme Court, but is employed by academics, pundits and judges to maintain the mistaken faith that the Court decides cases under the law instead of the Justices' personal values. Tracing the development of the doctrine from the founding to present day, Professor Segall shows how originalism is used by judges as a pretext for reaching politically desirable results. The book also presents an accurate description and evaluation of the late Justice Scalia's jurisprudence and shows how he failed to practice the originalism method that he preached. This illuminating work will be of interest to lawyers, law students, undergraduates studying the Court, law professors and anyone else interested in an honest discussion and evaluation of originalism as a theory of constitutional interpretation, a political weapon, and an article of faith.