Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

George Thomas

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© 2013 Shane Kunselman


After falling out of favor during the twentieth century, originalism has returned as a compelling and popular interpretive theory. Modern originalism is typically associated with political conservatives. In Reexamining Originalism, I argue that a progressive form of originalism is both more faithful to the Constitution and more similar to early originalism than conservative originalism. The key difference is that progressive originalism respects the Constitution's status as secondary law, whereas conservative originalism is overly concerned with preserving primary applications of law.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.