Footnotes (27)



The Immorality of Textualism

Andrei Marmor

Cornell University - Law School

Loyola Law Review, 2005

In this short essay I argue that textualism, as a doctrine of statutory interpretation, is inherently deceptive and therefore immoral. Textualism is typically presented by its adherents as an interpretive practice that is motivated by respect for democracy and respect for the authority of the legislature. But in fact, textualism's preoccupation with ordinary meaning and literal application of statutes is motivated by constraining the legislature's ability to pursue broad regulatory policies. Authorities do not want to be understood literally. Authorities purport to govern, and governance requires cooperation in the spirit of its goals, not strict adherence to the letter of its directives.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: March 25, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Marmor, Andrei, The Immorality of Textualism. Loyola Law Review, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=690346

Contact Information

Andrei Marmor (Contact Author)
Cornell University - Law School ( email )
Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/faculty/bio_andrei_marmor.cfm

Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 3,244
Downloads: 616
Download Rank: 32,519
Footnotes:  27