Constitutional Interpretation: Textual Meaning, Original Intent, and Judicial Review

Citation:

Whittington,. Constitutional Interpretation: Textual Meaning, Original Intent, and Judicial Review. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1999. Web.
Constitutional Interpretation: Textual Meaning, Original Intent, and Judicial Review

Abstract:

This book reconsiders the implications of the fundamental legal commitment to faithfully interpret our written Constitution. Making use of arguments drawn from American history, political philosophy, and literary theory, the book examines what it means to interpret a written constitution and how the courts should go about that task. The book concludes that when interpreting the Constitution, the judiciary should adhere to the discoverable intentions of the Founders. In pursuing this argument, the book sympathetically examines the most sophisticated critiques of originalism based on postmodern, hermeneutic, and literary theory, as well as the most common legal arguments against originalists. The book demonstrates how originalist methods can be reconciled with an appropriate understanding of legal interpretation and why originalism has much to teach all constitutional theorists. The book also shows how originalism helps realize the democratic promise of the Constitution without relying on assumptions of judicial restraint. Carefully examining both the possibilities and the limitations of constitutional interpretation and judicial review, the book shows not only what the judiciary ought to do but also what the limits of appropriate judicial review are and how judicial review fits into a larger system of constitutional government.

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Praise: "One of the best and most sophisticated arguments for originalism ever presented." -- Gregory Bassham, Review of Politics
Last updated on 09/03/2013