San Diego Law Review

Article Title

Against Interpretation

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type

Symposium Article


This essay argues that Intentionalism's definition of interpretation entails nothing about the legitimate scope of the judicial rule and commits a judge to no particular method of textual construction. The Author's argument follows in three parts. First, she will set the stage by explaining Intentionalism in greater detail and exploring how Intentionalism challengers lawyers' views of interpretation. Second, she will discuss the role interpretation plays in legal decision making. She will argue that deciding a case under law necessarily includes noninterpretive tasks. Even when it appears that a legal decision entirely depends on a question of statutory meaning, interpretation alone cannot resolve or decide cases. Third, she will argue that judges do not act illegitimately when they do something that isn't strictly "interpretation."

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