The Parts We Skip: A Taxonomy of Constitutional Irrelevancy

34 Constitutional Commentary 223 (2019)

39 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2019

Date Written: July 11, 2019


This Article organizes and evaluates the constitutional clauses most often skipped or ignored by scholars and lawyers. It identifies the clauses in the Constitution that are without legal force — and categorizes them into four types. Each category has its own mostly-untapped potential for constitutional interpretation and argumentation. This “taxonomy of irrelevancy” is useful for understanding these often-skipped clauses, their relationship to each other, and their relationship to the rest of the Constitution. Using tools and theories established to analyze the more frequently cited clauses of the Constitution, this Article begins the process of arguing from what have typically been uncited or uncitable clauses.

Keywords: constitutional law, constitutional interpretation

Suggested Citation

Beck, Peter, The Parts We Skip: A Taxonomy of Constitutional Irrelevancy (July 11, 2019). 34 Constitutional Commentary 223 (2019), Available at SSRN:

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