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A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law - New Edition

A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law - New Edition
 

In this essay, Judge Antonin Scalia argues that the common-law mindset, although approriate in its place, is not suitable for statutory and constitutional interpretation. He urges judges to resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history.

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Quick Reference

ISBN 9781400882953
Published 30 January 2018
Available in EPUB format
Software Adobe Ebook Compatible Devices
Language en
Author(s) By Scalia, Antonin
Edited by Gutmann, Amy
Series The University Center for Human Values Series
Availability Wheelers ePlatform

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781400882953
ISBN-10
Stock Available
Status Wheelers ePlatform
Publisher unlisted
Imprint Princeton University Press
Publication Date 30 January 2018
Publication Country
Format EPUB ebook
Author(s) By Scalia, Antonin
Edited by Gutmann, Amy
Series The University Center for Human Values Series
Category Law
Jurisprudence & General Issues
Jurisprudence & Philosophy Of Law
Law & Society
Courts & Procedure
Civil Law (General Works)
Number of Pages 200
Dimensions Not specified
Weight Not specified - defaults to 0g
Interest Age 19+ years
Reading Age 19+ years
Dewey Code 347.732
Catalogue Code Not specified

Description of this Electronic Book

We are all familiar with the image of the immensely clever judge who discerns the best rule of common law for the case at hand. According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a judge like this can maneuver through earlier cases to achieve the desired aim-"distinguishing one prior case on his left, straight-arming another one on his right, high-stepping away from another precedent about to tackle him from the rear, until (bravo!) he reaches the goal-good law." But is this common-law mindset, which is appropriate in its place, suitable also in statutory and constitutional interpretation? In a witty and trenchant essay, Justice Scalia answers this question with a resounding negative.In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Scalia urges that judges resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history. In his view, it is incompatible with democratic government to allow the meaning of a statute to be determined by what the judges think the lawgivers meant rather than by what the legislature actually promulgated. Eschewing the judicial lawmaking that is the essence of common law, judges should interpret statutes and regulations by focusing on the text itself. Scalia then extends this principle to constitutional law. He proposes that we abandon the notion of an everchanging Constitution and pay attention to the Constitution's original meaning. Although not subscribing to the "strict constructionism" that would prevent applying the Constitution to modern circumstances, Scalia emphatically rejects the idea that judges can properly "smuggle" in new rights or deny old rights by using the Due Process Clause, for instance. In fact, such judicial discretion might lead to the destruction of the Bill of Rights if a majority of the judges ever wished to reach that most undesirable of goals.This essay is followed by four commentaries by Professors Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, and Ronald Dworkin, who engage Justice Scalia's ideas about judicial interpretation from varying standpoints. In the spirit of debate, Justice Scalia responds to these critics.Featuring a new foreword that discusses Scalia's impact, jurisprudence, and legacy, this witty and trenchant exchange illuminates the brilliance of one of the most influential legal minds of our time.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review "A Matter of Interpretation demonstrates both the attraction of Scalia's 'textualist' theory and his qualities as a judicial statesman. . . [His] elegant essay, the most concise and accessible presentation of his views, argues eloquently that judicial authority can only be based on the statutory or constitutional text."---Michael Greve, Reason

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Author's Bio

Antonin Scalia (1936-2016) was an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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