At the Federalist Society convention in November, the White House counsel said, reportedly to everyone’s delight, that “the Trump administration’s philosophy on judging can be summarized in two words: ‘originalism’ and ‘textualism.’” And no wonder everyone was delighted, because judges who are strict textualists reach politically conservative results—overwhelmingly. The evidence proves it.

Textualism, the theory of interpretation espoused by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and many other state and federal judges, focuses intensely on the words and syntax of a law to decide cases. Other considerations—legislative history, the law’s broader purpose, judicial intuition, sensible policy, a decision’s real-world consequences—matter much less and sometimes not at all.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]