The Ideology of Legal Interpretation

Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 29, 2009

Vermont Law School Research Paper No. 15-13

21 Pages Posted: 16 May 2013

See all articles by Sara C. Benesh

Sara C. Benesh

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Jason J. Czarnezki

Pace University - School of Law

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Legal scholars and political scientists often disagree over the degree to which legal interpretive strategies might, at least in part, drive judicial decision-making. In other words, when a judge uses “originalism” to interpret the Constitution, does she do so because she truly adheres to that strategy and finds its result determinative, or does she do so as a means to an ideological end? Political scientists most often consider “the law,” as measured by case facts or precedent or invocations of the intent of the framers, mere “window dressing” that provides cover for judges to vote in accordance with their preferred policy outcome. Legal scholars, more often than political scientists, attribute decisions to legal analysis.

Keywords: Legal interpretation, ideology

Suggested Citation

Benesh, Sara C. and Czarnezki, Jason J., The Ideology of Legal Interpretation (2009). Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 29, 2009; Vermont Law School Research Paper No. 15-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2265559

Sara C. Benesh (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee ( email )

Bolton Hall 802
3210 N. Maryland Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
United States

Jason J. Czarnezki

Pace University - School of Law ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States

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