Gerard N. Magliocca (Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law) has posted A Faction of One: Revisiting Madison's Notes on the Constitutional Convention (Law and Social Inquiry, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This Essay on Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention, Mary Bilder’s revisionist account (2016) of James Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention argues that her central thesis, which is that Madison substantially revised the Notes long after the Convention adjourned, is groundbreaking but will have no effect on constitutional law. Madison’s Hand is groundbreaking because the book yields many powerful insights into the deliberations of the Convention and into the evolution of Madison’s thought. Nevertheless, constitutional practice in the Supreme Court and among elite lawyers is so divorced from the Notes that even a dramatic shift in their interpretation will not disturb the evolution of judicial doctrine applying the text written in 1787.
And from the paper:
A deeper explanation for the hollow influence of the Notes rests with the way that lawyers are trained and the nature of their typical work. Students learn constitutional law almost exclusively by reading Supreme Court cases and in many—maybe most—other courses where the emphasis is on case law. (Even advanced constitutional law classes tend to focus on cases, though there is the occasional exception.17) When attorneys are confronted with constitutional questions, they almost always do so in the context of applying judicial precedent before lower court judges who must apply that precedent. Only in exceptional circumstances would a lawyer argue a case where there are no pertinent judicial authorities or argue before the United States Supreme Court, where the Justices have the latitude to give greater weight to sources such as Madison’s Notes or The Federalist. Consequently, the lifelong habits of the profession are inconsistent with giving the Notes the kind of practical power that Bilder’s analysis could undermine.