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Desperately Seeking CertaintyThe Misguided Quest for Constitutional Foundations$
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Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226238081

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226238104.001.0001

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Akhil Amar and the People's Court

Akhil Amar and the People's Court

(p.75) Chapter 5 Akhil Amar and the People's Court
Desperately Seeking Certainty
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes an interpretive strategy, and looks at the substantive agenda of Akhil Amar from Yale Law School who can be described as one of the first liberal foundationalists. He interprets the Constitution to allow freewheeling majority rule, including a right to amend the Constitution without following the rules laid down in Article V. Amar, who is one of the leading constitutional scholars of his generation, calls the interpretive approach that leads to these striking results “intratextualism” or “documentarianism.” He is the only constitutional scholar who has ever tried to defend the Court's reasoning on textual grounds. Therefore, his focus on popular sovereignty and his peculiar reading of the text puts juries at the center of protecting rights, and judges at the periphery.

Keywords:   Akhil Amar, Foundationalists, Constitution, intratextualism, documentarianism

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