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Why Justice Scalia Should be a Constitutional Comparativist ... Sometimes
Faculty Scholarship
  • David C. Gray, University of Maryland School of Law
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Jurisprudence,
  • Constitutional Theory,
  • Originalism,
  • Justice Antonin Scalia
The burgeoning literature on transjudicialism and constitutional comparativism generally reaffirms the familiar lines of contest between textualists and those more inclined to read the Constitution as a living document. As a consequence, it tends to be politicized, if not polemic. This article begins to shift the debate toward a more rigorous focus on first principles. In particular, it argues that full faith to the basic commitments of originalism, as advanced in Justice Scalia's writings, opinions, and speeches, requires domestic courts to consult contemporary foreign sources when interpreting universalist language found in the Constitution. While the article does not propose a full-blooded theory of constitutional comparativism, it sketches the outlines and sets the stage for further conversation.
Citation Information
59 Stanford Law Review 1249 (2007).