Dean William Treanor’s masterful article, The Case of the Dishonest Scrivener: Gouverneur Morris and the Creation of the Federalist Constitution, makes a major contribution to scholarship on the founding, one that will have a profound impact on how we read and understand the Constitution. Treanor’s keen analyses and his presentation of important-but-overlooked historical details support the article’s central and historically significant arguments. Treanor’s research is at the forefront of emerging scholarship seeking to recover “the Federalist Constitution,” a body of constitutional interpretations favored by those Framers who advocated a strong national government. These nationalist interpretations were subsequently emphasized by the Federalist Party in the early decades of politics and policy under the Constitution. But many of these interpretations have been washed away or buried, as the political triumph of Jeffersonian-Madisonian Republicanism after 1800 settled into constitutional orthodoxy. Treanor’s work is thus a crucial contribution to the excavation of ideas whose appreciation is essential to a thorough understanding of our Constitution.

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