Textualism, Dynamism, and the Meaning of "Sex"

2022 Cardozo L. Rev. de novo 41.

17 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2021 Last revised: 15 Feb 2022

Date Written: February 14, 2022


A recent Article by Professors William N. Eskridge, Brian G. Slocum, and Stefan Th. Gries critically examines textualism, both in general and as applied in Bostock v. Clayton County. This Essay makes three points in reply. First, the authors criticize strawman versions of textualism that no mainstream legal interpreter claims to hold. Second, the authors’ examples of “societal dynamism” do not put any pressure on textualism properly understood. And third, the authors’ corpus-linguistics analysis of the word “sex” is, from a textualist perspective, irrelevant to the issue in Bostock.

Keywords: textualism, dynamism, statutory interpretation, pragmatic enrichment, Bostock v. Clayton County

Suggested Citation

Watson, Bill, Textualism, Dynamism, and the Meaning of "Sex" (February 14, 2022). 2022 Cardozo L. Rev. de novo 41., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3904810 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3904810

Bill Watson (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://billwatson.net

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