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Constitutional Interpretation The Basic Questions

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ISBN-10: 0195328582

ISBN-13: 9780195328585

Edition: N/A

Authors: Sotirios A. Barber, James E. Fleming

List price: $41.95
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Ronald Dworkin famously argued that fidelity in interpreting the Constitution as written calls for a fusion of constitutional law and moral philosophy. Barber and Fleming take up that call, arguing for a philosophic approach to constitutional interpretation. In doing so, they systematically critique the competing approaches - textualism, consensualism, originalism, structuralism, doctrinalism, minimalism, and pragmatism - that aim and claim to avoid a philosophic approach. Constitutional Interpretation: The Basic Questions illustrates that these approaches cannot avoid philosophic reflection and choice in interpreting the Constitution. Barber and Fleming contend that fidelity in constitutional interpretation requires a fusion of philosophic and other approaches, properly understood. Within such a fusion, interpreters would begin to think of text, consensus, intentions, structures, and doctrines not as alternatives to, but as sites of philosophic reflection about the best understanding of our constitutional commitments. Constitutional Interpretation: The Basic Questions, examines the fundamental inquires that arise in interpreting constitutional law. In doing so, the authors' survey the controversial and intriguing questions that have stirred constitutional debate in the United States for over two centuries, such as: how and for what ends should governmental institutions and powers be arranged; what does the Constitution mean under general circumstances and how should it be interpreted during concrete controversies; and finally how do we decide what our constitution means and who ultimately decides it's meaning.
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Book details

List price: $41.95
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 7/5/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

Sotirios A. Barber is Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of "On What the Constitution Means" and "The Constitution of Judicial Power", and coeditor of "Constitutional Politics" (Princeton).

The Presuppositions of Constitutional Interpretation
The Principal Questions of Constitutional Interpretation
The Principal Features of the American Constitutional Order: The Positive Constitutionalism of The Federalist
Approaches to Constitutional Interpretation
Textualism and Consensualism
Narrow Originalism/Intentionalism
Broad Originalism
Doctrinalism and Minimalism
The Philosophic Approach
Epilogue: A Fusion of Approaches to Constitutional Interpretation