July 13, 2019

MARK PULLIAM DEBATES GEORGE WILL. “As a conservative, I must say that I find Will circa 1982 far more persuasive than the 2019 iteration.”

However, I don’t agree with Pulliam that the Declaration of Independence has no relevance to constitutional interpretation. It did not merely, as Pulliam says, announce secession. It also explicitly set forth a theory of governmental legitimacy, one that we can feel quite certain was shared by those who drafted and ratified the Constitution. In addition, early expositors of the Constitution certainly thought that the Declaration — and the Preamble, which most modern scholars also reject — was of legal importance. I wrote on this topic here.

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