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Unpublished Paper
Scalian Originalism, Pangloss and the Best of All Possible Interpretations
  • Remington Gregg, New York Law School

D.C. v. Heller not only changed Second Amendment jurisprudence but it changed the way scholars view originalism. Heller was a chance for Antonin Scalia, an originalism advocate for a quarter century, to stifle his critics—to show that embracing textualism and paying deference to a legislature’s will best ensures an interpretive process free of subjectivity. Coupled with eschewing both legislative history and evolving standards of correctness, Heller could have proven conclusively that originalism is the best of all possible interpretations because it is the lesser evil when it comes to interpretive theories. But, Scalia’s Heller opinion did just the opposite, rejecting Scalian originalism’s core principles while embracing principles that he has decried. This article bases its analysis solely on Scalia’s previous writings and opinions. It does not set out to critique Heller as an opinion, but to hold Scalia to task for a turnaround that cannot be ignored.

Publication Date
Citation Information
Remington Gregg. "Scalian Originalism, Pangloss and the Best of All Possible Interpretations" (2009)
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