The Documentary Constitution

in Regulatory Rights

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780226944715
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226944739 | DOI:
The Documentary Constitution

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This chapter explains that conventional thinking about the Constitution is crippled by the irrepressible misconception that the Constitution is one and the same with the storied document. It examines the visceral insistence that the document specifies constitutional meaning by its literal text, either alone or in company with the intentions of its “framers.” The Supreme Court does make up constitutional law. The social compact explanation for the written Constitution's appeal is equally flawed. Supreme Court justices obviously cannot do whatever they want without regard for the political repercussions. The text of the written Constitution resists techniques devised for statutory construction. Constitutional meaning lies in contemporary judgment, exercised by the men and women who sit on the constantly changing committee—the Supreme Court.

Keywords: Constitution; constitutional meaning; Supreme Court justices; contemporary judgment; constitutional law

Chapter.  16946 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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