Professor Gamwell's book presents an ambitious and sophisticated argument, and I have to say at the outset that it is a daunting assignment for me to comment on the book. My difficulty is eased somewhat, though, by the fact that this conference has a separate panel with the expertise, and the assignment, to address the philosophical questions raised by the book. The job I've been given is a little easier—it is to talk about the significance of the book for constitutional jurisprudence—and so I can leave the very tough philosophical problems to those better equipped to deal with them. Of course, my job would be easier still if I'd been asked to comment on the book from the perspective of gardening, say, or perhaps tennis; then I could report that this is an admirable book but it isn't about gardening or tennis, and leave it at that. Well, as it turns out, I want to respond to my actual assignment by making a similar sort of claim: Professor Gamwell has written an admirable book, but it isn't about constitutional jurisprudence. Gamwell is not really concerned, in other words, with the same problems that provoke debates among judges, lawyers, and litigants.
Journal of Law and Religion