Common-Good Originalism: Josh Hammer's Flawed Theory

One pundit’s unique constitutional theory just does not work.


ewsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer has been on a campaign to market what he calls “common-good originalism” as a substitute method of constitutional interpretation. The target audience is conservatives dissatisfied with mainstream originalism for delivering too few conservative outcomes. I have explained previously why his op-eds elaborating on this theory were unpersuasive as a justification for tearing down four decades of careful scholarly, legal, and political groundwork to start the world of conservative jurisprudence anew. I have also offered a response to the similar proposal by Harvard law professor Adrian Vermeule for “common-good constitutionalism.”

Hammer has since presented his theory in …

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