Constitutional Interpretation Essay

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Constitutional Interpretation

In this essay I will try to explain and critique the two dominant methods of constitutional interpretation. Which are originalism and non-originalism. I will do this by taking help from “How to Read the Constitution” by Christopher Wolfe, and different source’s from Internet. I will start by giving what Wolfe says originalism is, and then I will give some background to other ways to interpret the constitution, and the founders and interpretation and I will finish up with my view on originalism and non-originalism and the critics to that.

Wolfe on Originalism

Wolfe says that originalism is a two-fold doctrine. First, it holds that the constitution is generally intelligible and with effort its
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Certain historical considerations are essential. The words are to be understood by those for whom they were written, and therefore we must know what those understandings where. Christopher Wolfe believes that the framers would tend to give preferences in such cases to the fair reading of the document itself.

To summarize, the approach to constitutional interpretation employed in the early years of American government: an interpreter is to begin with the words of the document in their ordinary popular usage and understand the in light of their context. That context includes the words of the provision of which it is a part, but also extends to the much broader context of the document as a whole. The deeper assumption underlying these early rules of interpretation was a fairly traditional realist epistemology: that the constitution has a fixed, determinate meaning intelligible to those who give it a fair reading. Under modern assumption, a constitution is unavoidably made up or created by interpreters, to a greater of lesser extent, as they go along. The framers of the constitution, on the contrary, looked at the constitution as an intelligible fixed standard that made possible a republican rule of law, rather than of men.

Literalism - Historical

Historical literalists believe that the
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