A Matter of Interpretation

Author: Antonin Scalia
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400822173
Release Date: 1998-07-27
Genre: Law

We are all familiar with the image of the immensely clever judge who discerns the best rule of common law for the case at hand. According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a judge like this can maneuver through earlier cases to achieve the desired aim--"distinguishing one prior case on his left, straight-arming another one on his right, high-stepping away from another precedent about to tackle him from the rear, until (bravo!) he reaches the goal--good law." But is this common-law mindset, which is appropriate in its place, suitable also in statutory and constitutional interpretation? In a witty and trenchant essay, Justice Scalia answers this question with a resounding negative. In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Scalia urges that judges resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history. In his view, it is incompatible with democratic government to allow the meaning of a statute to be determined by what the judges think the lawgivers meant rather than by what the legislature actually promulgated. Eschewing the judicial lawmaking that is the essence of common law, judges should interpret statutes and regulations by focusing on the text itself. Scalia then extends this principle to constitutional law. He proposes that we abandon the notion of an everchanging Constitution and pay attention to the Constitution's original meaning. Although not subscribing to the "strict constructionism" that would prevent applying the Constitution to modern circumstances, Scalia emphatically rejects the idea that judges can properly "smuggle" in new rights or deny old rights by using the Due Process Clause, for instance. In fact, such judicial discretion might lead to the destruction of the Bill of Rights if a majority of the judges ever wished to reach that most undesirable of goals. This essay is followed by four commentaries by Professors Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, and Ronald Dworkin, who engage Justice Scalia's ideas about judicial interpretation from varying standpoints. In the spirit of debate, Justice Scalia responds to these critics.

Foragers Farmers and Fossil Fuels

Author: Ian Morris
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400865512
Release Date: 2015-03-22
Genre: History

Most people in the world today think democracy and gender equality are good, and that violence and wealth inequality are bad. But most people who lived during the 10,000 years before the nineteenth century thought just the opposite. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, biology, and history, Ian Morris explains why. Fundamental long-term changes in values, Morris argues, are driven by the most basic force of all: energy. Humans have found three main ways to get the energy they need—from foraging, farming, and fossil fuels. Each energy source sets strict limits on what kinds of societies can succeed, and each kind of society rewards specific values. But if our fossil-fuel world favors democratic, open societies, the ongoing revolution in energy capture means that our most cherished values are very likely to turn out not to be useful any more. Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels offers a compelling new argument about the evolution of human values, one that has far-reaching implications for how we understand the past—and for what might happen next. Originating as the Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University, the book includes challenging responses by classicist Richard Seaford, historian of China Jonathan Spence, philosopher Christine Korsgaard, and novelist Margaret Atwood.

A Different Kind of Animal How Culture Transformed Our Species

Author: Robert Boyd
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400888528
Release Date: 2017-11-14
Genre: Science

How our ability to learn from each other has been the essential ingredient to our remarkable success as a species Human beings are a very different kind of animal. We have evolved to become the most dominant species on Earth. We have a larger geographical range and process more energy than any other creature alive. This astonishing transformation is usually explained in terms of cognitive ability—people are just smarter than all the rest. But in this compelling book, Robert Boyd argues that culture—our ability to learn from each other—has been the essential ingredient of our remarkable success. A Different Kind of Animal demonstrates that while people are smart, we are not nearly smart enough to have solved the vast array of problems that confronted our species as it spread across the globe. Over the past two million years, culture has evolved to enable human populations to accumulate superb local adaptations that no individual could ever have invented on their own. It has also made possible the evolution of social norms that allow humans to make common cause with large groups of unrelated individuals, a kind of society not seen anywhere else in nature. This unique combination of cultural adaptation and large-scale cooperation has transformed our species and assured our survival—making us the different kind of animal we are today. Based on the Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University, A Different Kind of Animal features challenging responses by biologist H. Allen Orr, philosopher Kim Sterelny, economist Paul Seabright, and evolutionary anthropologist Ruth Mace, as well as an introduction by Stephen Macedo.

Today When You Hear His Voice

Author: Gregory W. Lee
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 9780802873279
Release Date: 2016
Genre: Religion

Presents a doctrine of Scripture based on Hebrews in dialogue with Augustine and Calvin What vision of biblical authority arises from Scripture's own use of Scripture? This question has received surprisingly little attention from theologians seeking to develop a comprehensive doctrine of Scripture. Today When You Hear His Voice by Gregory W. Lee fills this gap by listening carefully to the Epistle to the Hebrews. Lee illuminates the unique way that Hebrews appropriates Old Testament texts as he considers the theological relationship between salvation history and scriptural interpretation. He illustrates these dynamics through extended treatments of Augustine and Calvin, whose contrasting perspectives on the covenants, Israel, and the literal and figural senses provide theological categories for appreciating how Hebrews innovatively presents Scripture as God's direct address in the contemporary moment.

Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry

Author: Michael Ignatieff
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400842841
Release Date: 2011-12-28
Genre: Philosophy

Michael Ignatieff draws on his extensive experience as a writer and commentator on world affairs to present a penetrating account of the successes, failures, and prospects of the human rights revolution. Since the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, this revolution has brought the world moral progress and broken the nation-state's monopoly on the conduct of international affairs. But it has also faced challenges. Ignatieff argues that human rights activists have rightly drawn criticism from Asia, the Islamic world, and within the West itself for being overambitious and unwilling to accept limits. It is now time, he writes, for activists to embrace a more modest agenda and to reestablish the balance between the rights of states and the rights of citizens. Ignatieff begins by examining the politics of human rights, assessing when it is appropriate to use the fact of human rights abuse to justify intervention in other countries. He then explores the ideas that underpin human rights, warning that human rights must not become an idolatry. In the spirit of Isaiah Berlin, he argues that human rights can command universal assent only if they are designed to protect and enhance the capacity of individuals to lead the lives they wish. By embracing this approach and recognizing that state sovereignty is the best guarantee against chaos, Ignatieff concludes, Western nations will have a better chance of extending the real progress of the past fifty years. Throughout, Ignatieff balances idealism with a sure sense of practical reality earned from his years of travel in zones of war and political turmoil around the globe. Based on the Tanner Lectures that Ignatieff delivered at Princeton University's Center for Human Values in 2000, the book includes two chapters by Ignatieff, an introduction by Amy Gutmann, comments by four leading scholars--K. Anthony Appiah, David A. Hollinger, Thomas W. Laqueur, and Diane F. Orentlicher--and a response by Ignatieff.

The Change Manifesto

Author: John W. Whitehead
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
ISBN: 9781402250606
Release Date: 2008-09-01
Genre: Political Science

"The Change Manifesto is a street-by-street, town-by-town guide to making an America that works. Our nation has the potential to be an example of freedom and justice to the world and each of us has the ability to have tremendous impact. In this stirring call to arms, John Whitehead tells the stories of the local heroes who stood up to a cynical government, and who are creating thriving communities of change. We are on the cusp of a new era of progress, but we can't sit back and hope our elected officials will carry us there. We can join the people taking action at the local level, like the residents of a town in Oregon who protested unfair bills by paying in pennies, chickens and the shirts off their back. And we can follow the examples of the national heroes who are fighting for change and demanding accountability from our elected officials at the highest levels. If we refuse to listen to the cynics, we can join these everyday Americans, young and old, and harness our greatest resource: ourselves."

Getting Away with Murder

Author: Vanessa A. Holloway
Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 9780761864332
Release Date: 2014-12-15
Genre: Social Science

Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the US Congress engaged in bitter debates on whether to enact a federal law that would prosecute private citizens who lynched black Americans. In Getting Away with Murder, the fundamental question under scrutiny is whether Southern Democrats’ racist attitudes toward black Americans pardoned the atrocities of lynching. The book investigates underlying motives of opposition to Senate filibustering and invites an intellectual discussion on why Southern Democrats thought states’ rights were the remedy to lynching, when, in fact, the phenomenon was a baffling national crisis. A rebuttal to this query may include notions that congressional investigations into state-protected rights were deemed unconstitutional. In a unifying theme, the appeal ties into questions of the federalism-civil rights debate by noting intervals that warrant research and advancing new perspectives intended to accentuate the matrices of race-based politics. To examine the federalism-civil rights debate, this book asks three practical questions: (1) Would Southern Democrats suspend their friendships with private citizens and enact a federal law that would prosecute them for lynching? (2) Was the national government limited in its constitutional power to protect black Americans from private citizens who organized themselves as lynch mobs? (3) Were concerns for states’ rights the core reasons for Senate filibustering, or did Southern Democrats’ argument for states’ rights support the lie of racism?

Constitutional Dilemmas

Author: Lorenzo Zucca
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199204977
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Political Science

Dealings with an important issue in philosophy of law and constitutional thought, this book addresses the problems of clashes between fundamental rights by developing a framework to adjudicate over clashes & then deal with the outcomes.

Justice Antonin Scalia and the Conservative Revival

Author: Richard A. Brisbin
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801860946
Release Date: 1998-09-01
Genre: Law

As the leading legal voice of the American conservative movement, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has challenged the assumptions and legal methodology of American liberals. In this thorough and exacting study of the development of Justice Scalia's legal principles, Richard Brisbin explores the foundation and elaboration of the justice's conservative political vision. After reviewing Scalia's legal experiences before joining the Supreme Court and describing the influences on his political and legal thought, Brisbin undertakes a detailed analysis of Scalia's Supreme Court voting record and opinions. The conservative philosophy emerging from Scalia's legal decisions, Brisbin argues, assumes the legitimacy and propriety of political regimes functioning under the rule of law. It disciplines—sometimes harshly—inappropriate uses of liberty and accepts the proposition that the law can serve as an effective means to structure, interpret, and control political conflicts. The most comprehensive study of Justice Scalia's politics and jurisprudence yet published, Justice Antonin Scalia and the Conservative Revival joins a vital discussion on contemporary American conservatism and the use of the law to restrain or undermine the New Deal state.

Originalism

Author: Steven G. Calabresi
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
ISBN: 1596980605
Release Date: 2007-08-21
Genre: Political Science

What did the Constitution mean at the time it was adopted? How should we interpret today the words used by the Founding Fathers? In ORIGINALISM: A QUARTER-CENTURY OF DEBATE, these questions are explained and dissected by the very people who continue to shape the legal structure of our country. Inside you'll find: *A foreword by Justice Antonin Scalia and speeches by former attorney general Edwin Meese III, Justice William Brennan, Judge Robert H. Bork, and President Ronald Reagan *Transcripts from panel discussions and debates engaging some of the brightest legal minds of our time in frank, open discussions about the original meaning of the Constitution of the United States and its impact on the rule of law in our country *A debate on the original meaning of the Commerce, Spending, and Necessary and Proper Clauses *Concluding thoughts by Theodore Olson, forty-second solicitor general of the United States and a fellow at both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. ORIGINALISM: A QUARTER-CENTURY OF DEBATE is a lively and fascinating discussion of an issue that has occupied the greatest legal minds in America, and one that continues to elicit strong reactions from both those who support and those who oppose the rule of law. Steven G. Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society and professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law, has compiled an impressive collection of speeches, panel discussions, and debates from some of the greatest and most prominent legal experts of the last twenty-five years.

Side Effects and Complications

Author: Casey B. Mulligan
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226285740
Release Date: 2015-10-20
Genre: Business & Economics

The Affordable Care Act will have a dangerous effect on the American economy. That may sound like a political stance, but it’s a conclusion directly borne out by economic forecasts. In Side Effects and Complications, preeminent labor economist Casey B. Mulligan brings to light the dire economic realities that have been lost in the ideological debate over the ACA, and he offers an eye-opening, accessible look at the price American citizens will pay because of it. Looking specifically at the labor market, Mulligan reveals how the costs of health care under the ACA actually create implicit taxes on individuals, and how increased costs to employers will be passed on to their employees. Mulligan shows how, as a result, millions of workers will find themselves in a situation in which full-time work, adjusted for the expense of health care, will actually pay less than part-time work or even not working at all. Analyzing the incentives—or lack thereof—for people to earn more by working more, Mulligan offers projections on how many hours people will work and how productively they will work, as well as how much they will spend in general. Using the powerful tools of economics, he then illustrates the detrimental consequences on overall employment in the near future. Drawing on extensive knowledge of the labor market and the economic theories at its foundation, Side Effects and Complications offers a crucial wake-up call about the risks the ACA poses for the economy. Plainly laying out the true costs of the ACA, Mulligan’s grounded and thorough predictions are something that workers and policy makers cannot afford to ignore.

Judging Statutes

Author: Robert A. Katzmann
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199362158
Release Date: 2014-08-14
Genre: Law

In an ideal world, the laws of Congress--known as federal statutes--would always be clearly worded and easily understood by the judges tasked with interpreting them. But many laws feature ambiguous or even contradictory wording. How, then, should judges divine their meaning? Should they stick only to the text? To what degree, if any, should they consult aids beyond the statutes themselves? Are the purposes of lawmakers in writing law relevant? Some judges, such as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, believe courts should look to the language of the statute and virtually nothing else. Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit respectfully disagrees. In Judging Statutes, Katzmann, who is a trained political scientist as well as a judge, argues that our constitutional system charges Congress with enacting laws; therefore, how Congress makes its purposes known through both the laws themselves and reliable accompanying materials should be respected. He looks at how the American government works, including how laws come to be and how various agencies construe legislation. He then explains the judicial process of interpreting and applying these laws through the demonstration of two interpretative approaches, purposivism (focusing on the purpose of a law) and textualism (focusing solely on the text of the written law). Katzmann draws from his experience to show how this process plays out in the real world, and concludes with some suggestions to promote understanding between the courts and Congress. When courts interpret the laws of Congress, they should be mindful of how Congress actually functions, how lawmakers signal the meaning of statutes, and what those legislators expect of courts construing their laws. The legislative record behind a law is in truth part of its foundation, and therefore merits consideration.

Scalia s Court

Author: Antonin Scalia
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
ISBN: 9781621575337
Release Date: 2016-04-04
Genre: Political Science

The sudden passing of Justice Antonin Scalia shook America. After almost thirty years on the Supreme Court, Scalia had become as integral to the institution as the hallowed room in which he sat. His wisecracking interruptions during oral arguments, his unmatched legal wisdom, his unwavering dedication to the Constitution, and his blistering dissents defined his leadership role on the court and inspired new generations of policymakers and legal minds. Now, as Republicans and Democrats wage war over Scalia’s lamentably empty Supreme Court seat, Kevin Ring, former counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Constitution Subcommittee, has taken a close look at the cases that best illustrate Scalia’s character, philosophy, and legacy. In Scalia’s Court: A Legacy of Landmark Opinions and Dissents, Ring collects Scalia’s most memorable opinions on free speech, separation of powers, race, religious freedom, the rights of the accused, abortion, and more; and intersperses Scalia's own words with an analysis of his legal reasoning and his lasting impact on American jurisprudence. “I don’t worry about my legacy,” Scalia once told an audience at the National Archives. “Just do your job right, and who cares?” Now that "the lion of American law has left the stage,” as the U.S. Attorney General put it, it is for the rest of America to worry about his legacy—and to care.