U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has long been known as a champion of the legal philosophy of textualism, interpreting statutes by the writer’s words. The justice teams again with co-author Bryan A. Garner, editor-in-chief of Black’s Law Dictionary, in their second book, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts. In addition to explaining textualism and originalism–defining the words based on the Constitution Founders’ meaning–the writers list 70 canons to guide lawyers and judges.
In an interview with ABA Journal Assistant Managing Editor Richard Brust, Justice Scalia explains textualism, the effort with Garner to write the book, and how lawyers can use the concepts to help argue their cases.
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