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Author Scalia, Antonin.

Title A matter of interpretation : federal courts and the law : an essay / by Antonin Scalia ; with commentary by Amy Gutmann, editor ... [and others]
Published Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [1997]


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
Description xiii, 159 pages ; 25 cm
Series The University Center for Human Values series
University Center for Human Values series.
Contents Machine derived contents note: Table of contents for A matter of interpretation : federal courts and the law : an essay / by Antonin Scalia ; with commentary by Amy Gutmann, editor [et al.]. -- Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog -- Information from electronic data provided by the publisher. May be incomplete or contain other coding. -- Preface vii -- Common-Law Courts in a Civil-Law System: The Role of United States Federal Courts in Interpreting the Constitution and Laws Antonin Scalia 3 -- Comment Gordon S. Wood 49 -- Comment Laurence H. Tribe 65 -- Comment Mary Ann Glendon 95 -- Comment Ronald Dworkin 115 -- Response Antonin Scalia 129 -- Contributors 151 -- Index 153 -- Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Constitutional law United States, Judge-made law United States, Law United States Interpretation and construction
Summary In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Antonin 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 law-making 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 ever changing 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 Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, and Ronald Dworkin, who engage Justice Scalia's ideas about judicial interpretation, and the volume concludes with a response by Scalia. Dealing with one of the most fundamental issues in American law, A Matter of Interpretation reveals what is at the heart of this important debate
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes English
Subject Constitutional law -- United States.
Law -- Political aspects.
Judicial discretion -- United States.
Judge-made law -- United States.
Law -- United States -- Interpretation and construction.
Author Gutmann, Amy.
Princeton University. University Center for Human Values.
LC no. 96040969
ISBN 0691026300 cloth alkaline paper