New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers

Document Type



The George Washington Law Review, forthcoming 2010


This is a Reply for a symposium by the George Washington Law Review regarding The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Influences the Supreme Court and Shapes the Meaning of the Constitution. It takes up the question of constitutional change, clarifying what we know about the process and raising questions about what we don’t know. Constitutional change is a relentless process in which social movements play a large role, and much is motivated by the backlash to Supreme Court decisions. Change can be both ordinary and small, or take place in dramatic steps. Even improbable meanings of the constitutional text become law when accepted by large portions of the body politic.

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