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Abstract

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 one. 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.

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