This article will first explain how the theory of protestant constitutionalism requires an examination of the role that lawyers do and should play in constitutional interpretation. It then looks at three of Professor Levinson's articles that address this issue in particular contexts. Second, the article addresses the challenge of defining the lawyer's role, in light of the role of client representation. After presenting a sample case raising many of the difficult issues involved in addressing this question, the article proceeds to examine the lawyer's role by mining Professor Levinson's scholarship for the features of a well-executed lawyerly role. The article proposes that there are three models one can use to describe the lawyer's role: priest, knowing instrument, and minister, and argues for adopting the minister role as that most consistent with protestant constitutionalism and good professional responsibility theory. Finally, this article proposes a simple rubric to help guide lawyers in executing their dual responsibilities to client and Constitution.
Priest, Minister or Knowing Instrument: The Lawyer’s Role in Constructing Constitutional MeaningTulsa Law Review (2003)
Citation InformationElizabeth Reilly, Priest, Minister or Knowing Instrument: The Lawyer’s Role in Constructing Constitutional Meaning , 38 Tulsa Law Review 669 (2003).