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Methods of InterpretationHow the Supreme Court Reads the Constitution$
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Lackland H. Bloom Jr

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377118

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377118.001.0001

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Textualism and Its Canons

Textualism and Its Canons

(p.1) one Textualism and Its Canons
Methods of Interpretation

Lackland H. Bloom

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a detailed discussion of several of the primary interpretive canons that the Court has employed throughout its history in discerning constitutional meaning from the text. In particular it discusses canons disapproving of strict construction, favoring plain meaning, appreciating legal terms of art, construing ambiguous language and multiple meanings, avoiding surplus and redundancy, drawing a negative inference from affirmative text, defining a power by its exceptions, and focusing on the precise words of the document.

Keywords:   canon, strict construction, plain meaning, term of art, ambiguous language, multiple meanings, surplus, redundancy, negative inference, exception defines power

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