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Antonin Scalia's Jurisprudence: Text and Tradition Hardcover – February 6, 2006
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"An insightful examination that captures the intellectual flair that Justice Scalia brings to his interpretive quest."--Kenneth W. Starr, author of First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life
"Far and away the best description of Scalia's jurisprudence."--R. Shep Melnick, author of Between the Lines: Interpreting Welfare Rights
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the two most interesting chapters is Chapter 2: "Text and Tradition." It summarizes Justice Scalia's textualist approach to statutory and constitutional interpretation. In short, when deciding a given case, the plain meaning of the words contained in statutes or constitution provisions matters. Where the plain text is unclear, a jurist should consult the tradition behind the text to understand what the words mean to those who adopted it. The original understanding of the text rather than any original or even secret intent should be controlling. Justice Scalia's approach is tied to an emphasis upon the democratic decision-making process as the basis for legitimate exercise of governmental authority. Not judicial adventurism and second-guessing of democratic decision-making evidenced by statutes and constitutional provisions.
This book is not lengthy. Nor is it written at a highly technical level. So although Rossum indicates on pg. 37 that Justice Scalia "simply has not developed a well-thought-out understanding of the principles of democracy," Rossum does not elaborate much on the point. One will just have to consult law review articles and the like for more in that regard.
The other chapter making for the most interesting reading is Chapter 3: "Constitutional Structure and Separation of Powers.Read more ›
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