Originalism, common good and conservative constitutionalism

Earlier this month, I noted Federalist Society Judge Bill Pryor’s recent lecture, “Against Living Common Goodism,” criticizing Harvard law professor Adrian Vermeule Common good constitutionalism. Professor Vermeule and Conor Casey from the University of Liverpool’s School of Law and Social Justice have now responded in an essay to be published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy By Curiam. Here is the summary from the SSRN:

This short essay responds to several lectures and talks given by Chief Justice William Pryor Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit criticizing common good constitutionalism. We demonstrate that Chief Justice Pryor’s arguments for originalism fail badly, allow the very things Justice Pryor wants to exclude, and raise critical questions about the classical tradition. In the end, they boil down to little more than one argument per tagline.

Meanwhile, the Liberty Fund’s Law & Liberty site published “A Return to Classical Law?”, a symposium on Vermeule’s book, with contributions from several renowned scholars. These contributions are as follows:

Originalism for the common good
John O. McGinnis

A common good requires a common people
Jesse Merriam

Exceptionally Bad Constitutionalism
James M. Patterson

Police of the common good constitutionalism
James R. Rogers

Classic historicism?
Paul Seaton

And so the discussion and debate continues.

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