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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

The Politics Of Statutory Interpretation, Margaret H. Lemos Jan 2013

The Politics Of Statutory Interpretation, Margaret H. Lemos

Faculty Scholarship

In a new book, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner describe and defend the textualist methodology for which Justice Scalia is famous. For Scalia and Garner, the normative appeal of textualism lies in its objectivity: by focusing on text, context, and canons of construction, textualism offers protection against ideological judging—a way to separate law from politics. Yet, as Scalia and Garner well know, textualism is widely regarded as a politically conservative methodology. The charge of conservative bias is more common than it is concrete, but it reflects the notion that textualism narrows ...