Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2256679
 


 



Textualisms


Stephen Durden


affiliation not provided to SSRN

April 25, 2013

British Journal of American Legal Studies 2013

Abstract:     
This article concerns “Textualism,” or rather, “Textualisms,” and interpretation of the United States Constitution. Uncountable numbers of scholars and commentators use the term “textualism” as a singular noun, implicitly or explicitly, suggesting that one “textualism” exists. Sometimes commentators support “textualism” as the one true interpretational methodology. Those who support “textualism” argue that interpretation of the United States Constitution should rely on “textualism” because of that interpretational methodology's virtue of limiting the discretion of the interpreter. “Textualism,” so supporters argue, keeps judges and justices from each creating his or her own version of the Constitution. This article seeks to demonstrate the existence of a multitude of different “textualisms.” The article notes the dozens of different types of “textualism,” each version of which can be chosen by any judge or justice as a methodology for interpreting the Constitution. If different types of “textualism” do indeed exist, then (any particular version of) “textualism” becomes nothing more than a personal choice for a constitutional interpreter. “Textualism,” so the article urges, becomes “texutalisms,” and loses all power to constrain the personal choice of justices as to the meaning of the Constitution.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: textualism, constitutional law, constitutional interpretation, constitutional theory

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: April 30, 2013 ; Last revised: May 1, 2013

Suggested Citation

Durden, Stephen, Textualisms (April 25, 2013). British Journal of American Legal Studies 2013 . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2256679

Contact Information

Stephen Durden (Contact Author)
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 136
Downloads: 49

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.485 seconds