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Constitutional Law

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Constitution

2009

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Of Inkblots And Omnisignificance: Conceptualizing Secondary And Symbolic Functions Of The Ninth Amendment, In A Comparative Hermeneutic Framework, Samuel J. Levine Jan 2009

Of Inkblots And Omnisignificance: Conceptualizing Secondary And Symbolic Functions Of The Ninth Amendment, In A Comparative Hermeneutic Framework, Samuel J. Levine

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In this Essay, Levine focuses on a particular hermeneutic approach common to the interpretation of the Torah and the United States Constitution: a presumption against superfluity. This presumption accords to the text a considerable degree of omnisignificance, requiring that interpreters pay careful attention to every textual phrase and nuance in an effort to find its legal meaning and implications. In light of this presumption, it might be expected that normative interpretation of both the Torah and the Constitution would preclude a methodology that allows sections of the text to remain bereft of concrete legal application. In fact, however, both the ...