- Political Theory
Areas of Study: Public Law, Political Theory
Dissertation Committee: Keith Whittington, Robert George, Stephen Macedo, Paul Frymer
Title of Dissertation: "Reasonable Constitutional Decisions"
Summary of Dissertation: This dissertation describes the way that “background norms of reasonableness” affect the content of U.S. Constitutional law, both descriptively and prescriptively. I show that views about the “feebleminded” and the “police power” in early 1900’s America made a case like Buck v. Bell (1927) more likely; I also show how Earl Warren's tenure as Chief Justice altered the way we think about judicial excellence. Lastly, in a normative chapter, I argue (against “Semantic Intentionalists”) that background norms of reasonableness should inform our interpretation of the Constitution because of the obligations legislators assume when they create law.
B.A., Philosophy, Brigham Young University