Jack Balkin Is an American

February 2013
Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, Vol. 25, Issue 1

Jack Balkin's Living Originalism is a major contribution to American constitutional theory. But it may be a contribution to American constitutional theory only because it is, well, so distinctively American. By exploring why Balkin's theory is so American, I hope to show what we might learn from comparative constitutional law in thinking about constitutions, including the American. In particular, I will explore why Balkin's approach to theory would be a non-starter in the constitutional culture that has become the most influential in the world, the one anchored by the post-World War II German constitution.