Monday, June 8, 2020

Bilder on Newmyer and the Constitution's "Heroic Age"

Mary Sarah Bilder, Boston College Law School, has written The Emerging Genre of The Constitution: Kent Newmyer and the Heroic Age, which is forthcoming in the Connecticut Law Review.  Professor Bilder delivered it last November art the symposium, Celebrating Kent Newmyer.
In written celebration of Kent Newmyer’s intellectual and collegial influence, this essay argues that the written constitution was an emerging genre in 1787-1789. Discussions of the Constitution and constitutional interpretation often rest on a set of assumptions about the Constitution that arose in the years and decades after the constitutional Convention. The most significant one involves the belief that a fixed written document was drafted in 1787 intended in our modern sense as A Constitution. This fundamental assumption is historically inaccurate. The following reflections of a constitutionalist first lay out the argument for considering the Constitution as an emerging genre and then turn to Kent Newmyer’s important influence.
--Dan Ernst