Geoffrey Stone Debates Nature of Constitutional Interpretation

Death to the Living Constitution
Damon W. Root
Reason magazine
July 21, 2011

How should progressives approach the U.S. Constitution? Is it a living document, designed to evolve with the changing times? Or does it have a fixed meaning, one that may sometimes support progressive political outcomes?

Those were the central questions debated earlier this week at the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C., which hosted a debate on “Progressive Visions of Jurisprudence.”

As the event description helpfully put it, while conservatives have largely coalesced around the school of thought known as originalism, which says that the Constitution should be read according to its original public meaning, “progressives have floundered both in developing any sort of consensus as to what they want from the courts and in describing their expectations to the public at large.”