Cornell Law Review Volume 102 Issue 6

Debate in Reponse to “Is the Constitution Special?” Cornell Law Review, Volume 101

In Volume 101, we published an article by Professors Christopher Serkin and Nelson Tebbe entitled Is the Constitution Special?  That article argued that, contrary to common belief, it is difficult to justify lawyers’ distinct interpretive approach to the Constitution, as opposed to statutory or common law.  This was a novel and controversial claim that begged to be subjected to heightened scrutiny.  After an extensive selection process, the senior editorial board invited Professors Richard Primus and Kevin Stack to act as critics of the Serkin and Tebbe piece, and they graciously accepted.

Over the course of the past year, these four scholars have engaged in a written exchange debating Serkin and Tebbe’s argument.  It begins with Primus and Stack’s critiques of the article and then carries on for a total of six critiques and responses (two from each critic and two from the authors).  While the result of this experiment will be determined by its readership, we believe that it has been a success.  As will be seen, the initial theory has been clarified and elevated while the facets of disagreement have been cleaved for both future scholars and practitioners.

To read the complete debate, click “VIEW PDF” below.


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