Our Boggling Constitution; or, Taking Text Really, Really Seriously

Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 26, p. 651, 2010

U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 1966628

28 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2011  

Paul Horwitz

University of Alabama School of Law

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

This light essay takes a jaunty two-step beyond textualism and beyond intra-textualism, and offers a new approach to constitutional interpretation: intra-intra-textualism. Just as textualism involves taking the whole text of the Constitution seriously, and intra-textualism involves taking the words of the Constitution seriously, so intra-intra-textualism proposes that we take the letters of the Constitution seriously. Inspired by Boggle, and by the various text-twist type games I can't seem to stop playing on my Iphone, intra-intra-textualism, or "Our Boggling Constitution," argues that if the words of the Constitution have authoritative interpretive meaning, then so must its letters -- especially when they are jumbled together and rearranged. Besides offering new sources of legitimacy, flexibility, and professional advancement, Boggling Constitutionalism, unlike most other theories of constitutional interpretation, is also fun for the whole family. This humor piece, which was initially published anonymously, is a nominee in the Green Bag Almanac & Reader's list of exemplary legal writing over the past year.

Keywords: Boggle, Constitution

Suggested Citation

Horwitz, Paul, Our Boggling Constitution; or, Taking Text Really, Really Seriously (2010). Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 26, p. 651, 2010; U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 1966628. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1966628

Paul Horwitz (Contact Author)

University of Alabama School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

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