Sessions Information

  • January 9, 2010
    10:30 am - 12:15 pm
    Session Type: Section Call for Papers
    Session Capacity: N/A
    Hotel: N/A
    Room: Napoleon Ballroom
    Floor: Third Floor

    One or more presenters were selected from a call for papers.


    Recent work in constitutional theory has suggested a distinction between “constitutional interpretation” and “constitutional construction.”  The core idea is that interpretation is concerned with the linguistic meaning of the constitutional text, whereas construction implements and supplements that meaning.  This idea is related to other recent conversations in constitutional theory, including discussion of “the new doctrinalism,” constitutional implementation, and the distinction between constitutional rights and remedies.


    Constitutional theorists have discussed the interpretation-construction distinction in diverse ways.  Some scholars have proposed that originalist constitutional interpretation can be reconciled with a living-constitutionalist approach to constitutional construction.  Others have suggested that judicial review should be limited to the activity of constitutional interpretation, while the political branches should bear primary responsibility for construction.  Some originalists criticize the distinction on the ground that it opens the door to judicial construction that is unconstrained by original meaning.  In an earlier era, legal realists critiqued the distinction on the ground that interpretation of linguistic meaning and construction of legal doctrine cannot be separated in practice.


    This program will evaluate, explore, and challenge – from a variety of perspectives and angles – the interpretation-construction distinction, its justifications, and its implications.


    Business Meeting at Program Conclusion.

Session Speakers
Organization: Notre Dame Law School

Organization: Drake University Law School
Speaker from a Call for Papers

Organization: The University of Texas School of Law

Organization: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Organization: New York University School of Law

Organization: University of Illinois College of Law

Session Fees
  • 6230 Constitutional Law: $0.00