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New Series of CRS Reports on Constitutional Analysis

  • LSB10675| The Modes of Constitutional Analysis: An Introduction (Part 1) Brandon J. Murrill Dec 29, 2021: “This Legal Sidebar Post is the first in a nine-part series that discusses certain “methods” or “modes” of analysis that the Supreme Court has employed to determine the meaning of a provision within the Constitution. (For additional background on this topic and citations to relevant sources, please see CRS Report R45129, Modes of Constitutional Interpretation.)
  • LSB10676| The Modes of Constitutional Analysis: Textualism (Part 2) Brandon J. Murrill Dec 29, 2021. “Textualism is a mode of legal interpretation that focuses on the plain meaning of a legal document’s text…”
  • LSB10677| The Modes of Constitutional Analysis: Original Meaning (Part 3) Brandon J. Murrill Dec 29, 2021. “Whereas textualist approaches to constitutional interpretation focus solely on adocument’s text, originalist approaches consider the Constitution’s meaning as understood by at least some segment of the populace at the time of the Founding. Though this method has generally been called “originalism,” constitutional scholars have not reached a consensus on what it means for a judge to adopt this methodology for construing the Constitution’s text…”
  • LSB10678| The Modes of Constitutional Analysis: Judicial Precedent (Part 4) Brandon J. Murrill Dec 29, 2021. “The Supreme Court’s prior decisions on questions of constitutional law are the most commonly cited source of the Constitution’s meaning. For most Justices, if not all, judicial precedent provides possible principles, rules, or standards to govern judicial decisions in future cases with arguably similar facts. Although the Court routinely purports to rely upon precedent, it is unclear how often precedent has actually constrained the Court’s decisions because the Justices have latitude in how broadly or narrowly they choose to construe their prior decisions…”
  • LSB10679| The Modes of Constitutional Analysis: Pragmatism (Part 5) LSB10679, Brandon J. Murrill, December 30, 2021.”…That is, pragmatist approaches often involve the Court weighing or balancing the probable practical consequences of one interpretation of the Constitution against other interpretations…”

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