May 03, 2022

In an effort to continue the academic debate surrounding Constitutional Originalism, on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, Catholic Law Professor J. Joel Alicea published a response to Harvard law professor Adrian Vermeule, in National Review. Vermeule has responded to a law review article of Alicea’s, and this reply, "Why Originalism is Consistent with Natural Law: A Reply to Critics," addresses critiques of originalism on natural-law grounds.

National Review
Date: May 3, 2022
By: J. Joel Alicea
Why Originalism Is Consistent with Natural Law: A Reply to Critics

Constitutional theorists on the right are engaged in a debate about the moral foundations of originalism, the theory that government officials, including judges, are bound by the original meaning of the Constitution. I recently offered a defense of originalism’s moral authority grounded in the natural-law tradition. Harvard law professor Adrian Vermeule and his sometime co-author, University of Liverpool law professor Conor Casey, recently responded to my draft article, as did another supporter of Vermeule’s theory, lawyer and blogger Pat Smith. In the interest of furthering this important discussion about the moral foundations of originalism, I respectfully offer this reply.

To read Alicea’s full response, click here.