The Volokh Conspiracy

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My Published Inaugural Edwin Meese III Originalism Lecture

"Originalism and Stare Decisis in the Lower Courts"


On March 24, 2022, I delivered the inaugural Edwin Meese III Originalism Lecture at the Heritage Foundation. The primary topic of my remarks was "Originalism and Stare Decisis in the Lower Courts."

The Heritage Foundation has now published my remarks. Here is a summary:

Lower-court judges can expand their use of constitutional originalism, and judges who adopt this framework will influence the bench and the bar to become more familiar with originalism. Law firms that want to persuade originalist judges will rationally incorporate originalist arguments into their briefs—whether voluntarily or in response to a court order. Public defenders in particular would be well-served to think in terms of originalism: Conservative jurists may be personally opposed to the plight of the accused but still favor the rights of the accused as originally understood. As the bench and bar are acculturated to originalism, it will become far more normal for the Supreme Court to base its decisions on originalism.

I am honored to have been selected for this distinguished award.