Thursday, September 15, 2005

Constitution in Exile... WTF?

I was watching (God help me) O'Reilly's show tonight. Chuck Schumer referred to "The Constitution-in-Exile movement." I remember vaguely reading about this phrase a few months ago. Be prepared for this to become a major meme for the NEXT SCOTUS nominee.

I did a little searching. Basically I found the same things David Bernstein discovered and expressed in the article he wrote back in April.
First, I take issue with the whole idea that there is a "Constitution in Exile movement," as such. [UPDATE: co-blogger Orin makes similar points here.] "Constitution in Exile" is a phrase used by Judge Douglas Ginsburg in an obscure article in Regulation magazine in 1995. From then until 2001, I, as someone who knows probably just about every libertarian and most Federalist Society law professors in the United States (there aren't that many of us), and who teaches on the most libertarian law faculty in the nation, never heard the phrase.
The only references I found to the phrase in the past week are leftists CLAIMING that conservatives belong to a movement of this name. A few examples:

Left in the West
Daily Pundit
Judging the Future
The J Continuum
And most notably, he who I think kicked off this nonsensical phrase, Jeffrey Rosen in the NY Times.