Chapter

The Presuppositions of Constitutional Interpretation

Sotirios A. Barber and James E. Fleming

in Constitutional Interpretation

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780195328578
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199855339 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328578.003.0001
 The Presuppositions of Constitutional Interpretation

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Many books on and courses in constitutional law are about what the United States Supreme Court has said about the Constitution, not about what the Constitution itself means. But the enterprise of constitutional interpretation presupposes that the Constitution in and of itself can mean something, and that conscientious, responsible interpreters are seeking the true meaning or best interpretation of the Constitution. This chapter explores the questions raised by these presuppositions. It also raises the basic questions of constitutional interpretation: What is the Constitution?, Who may authoritatively interpret it?, and How should it be interpreted?

Keywords: basic questions of constitutional interpretation; interpretive questions; substantive questions; moral objectivity; presuppositions of constitutional interpretation

Chapter.  3952 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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