In written celebration of Kent Newmyer’s intellectual and collegial influence, this Essay argues that the written constitution was an emerging genre in 1787-1789. Discussions of the Constitution and constitutional interpretation often rest on a set of assumptions about the Constitution that arose in the years and decades after the Constitutional Convention. The most significant one involves the belief that a fixed written document was drafted in 1787 intended in our modern sense as A Constitution. This fundamental assumption is historically inaccurate. The following reflections of a constitutionalist first lay out the argument for considering the Constitution as an emerging genre and then turn to Kent Newmyer’s important influence. The Essay argues that the constitution as a system or frame of government and the instrument were not quite one and the same. This distinction helps to make sense of ten puzzling aspects of the framing era.
Bilder, Mary Sarah, "The Emerging Genre of The Constitution: Kent Newmyer and the Heroic Age" (2021). Connecticut Law Review. 459.