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Publication Information

1992 U. Ill. L. Rev. 417 (1992)


Professor Bradley begins the final installment of the University of Illinois Law Review's year-long tribute to the Bill of Rights by proposing that the first ten Amendments, like the Constitution itself, be interpreted according to the original understanding of their ratifiers. Professor Bradley, though, narrows the scope of the exegetical inquiry to what he proposes is the only sound originalism - plain meaning, historically recovered. Professor Bradley argues that interpreting the Bill of Rights according to the text's plain meaning among persons politically active at the time of drafting avoids both the inflexibility and philosophical deficiencies of "snapshot" conservative originalism and the inebriating rhetoric of liberal recovery of highly abstract value judgments of the founders.


Reprinted with permission of the University of Illinois Law Review.



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