Posts Tagged ‘Antonin Scalia’


Reading Law and Reading the Bible

   Posted by: Rob Bowman    in Biblical studies

Scalia, Antonin, and Bryan A. Garner. Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts. St. Paul, MN: Thomson/West, 2012.

Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States by Ronald Reagan in 1986, making him currently the longest-serving of the nine Justices. Theologically, Scalia is a devout Roman Catholic who prefers the ultra-traditionalist Tridentine Latin Mass to the mainstream post-Vatican II liturgy. Politically, he is conservative in his judicial philosophy and in his viewpoints on specific contentious issues in American law; for example, he considers Roe v. Wade unconstitutional. Opinions about Scalia are generally polarized, with American liberals often scathing in their criticisms of his views.

Scalia’s most recent book, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, is well worth reading simply within its own intended context of defending Scalia’s approach to interpreting legal texts, called textualism or originalism. He and his co-author Bryan Gardner, law professor at Southern Methodist University, explain textualism as follows: “We look for meaning in the governing text, ascribe to that text the meaning that it has borne from its inception, and reject judicial speculation about both the drafters’ extratextually derived purposes and the desirability of the fair reading’s anticipated consequences” (xxvii). The book is also worth reading for those who are interested in the interpretation of other texts, including the texts of the Bible. Read the rest of this entry »

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