Date of Award

5-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Communication and Information

Major Professor

Lori Amber Roessner

Committee Members

Michael T. Martinez, Catherine Luther

Abstract

Justice Antonin Scalia proudly proclaimed that he was an Originalist, which is the theory that the Constitution should be interpreted in the same manner as those who ratified and drafted the document would have interpreted it. Scalian-Originalism faced several liberal legal critiques that challenged the legitimacy of the method and theory. This manuscript seeks to further the debate regarding Scalian-Originalism’s interpretation of the First Amendment by applying a Critical Legal perspective. The analysis is done in the form of an immanent critique, and examines the legitimacy of Scalian-Originalism’s First Amendment interpretation by the theory’s ability to further equality and democratic participation in American society.

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