Skip to main content

Justice Scalia

Rhetoric and the Rule of Law

Justice Antonin Scalia (1936–2016) was the single most important figure in the emergence of the “new originalist” interpretation of the US Constitution, which sought to anchor the court’s interpretation of the Constitution to the ordinary meaning of the words at the time of drafting. For Scalia, the meaning of constitutional provisions and statutes was rigidly fixed by their original meanings with little concern for extratextual considerations. While some lauded his uncompromising principles, others argued that such a rigid view of the Constitution both denies and attempts to limit the discretion of judges in ways that damage and distort our system of law.

In this edited collection, leading scholars from law, political science, philosophy, rhetoric, and linguistics look at the ways Scalia framed and stated his arguments. Focusing on rhetorical strategies rather than the logic or validity of Scalia’s legal arguments, the contributors collectively reveal that Scalia enacted his rigidly conservative vision of the law through his rhetorical framing.

288 pages | 4 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2019

Law and Legal Studies: The Constitution and the Courts

Political Science: Judicial Politics

Table of Contents

Francis J. Mootz III and Brian G. Slocum

Part 1. The Rhetoric of Constitutional Adjudication
1 Scalia as Procrustes for the Majority, Scalia as Cassandra in Dissent
Mary Anne Case
2 Justice Scalia’s Philosophy of Interpretation: From Textualism to Deferentialism
Scott Soames
3 Power
Victoria Nourse
Part 2. The Rhetoric of Statutory Textualism
4 No Vehicles on Mars
Brian G. Slocum
5 The Two Justice Scalias
Lawrence M. Solan
6 Textualism without Formalism: Justice Scalia’s Statutory Interpretation Legacy
Abbe R. Gluck
7 Party Like It’s 1989: Justice Scalia’s Rhetoric of Certainty
Francis J. Mootz III
Part 3. Applied Rhetorical Theory
8 God’s Justice, Scalia’s Rhetoric, and Interpretive Politics
Steven Mailloux
9 Rhetoric, Jurisprudence, and the Case of Justice Scalia; Or, Why Did Justice Scalia, of All Judges, Write Like That?
Darien Shanske
10 No Reasonable Person
George H. Taylor, Matthew L. Jockers, and Fernando Nascimento
11 Justice Scalia and Family Law
Brian H. Bix
Part 4. Rhetorical Criticism of Heller
12 Guns and Preludes
Eugene Garver
13 Of Guns and Grammar: Justice Scalia’s Rhetoric
Peter Brooks
Part 5. The Rhetoric of the Past
14 A Separate, Abridged Edition of the First Amendment
Colin Starger
15 Rhetorical Constructions of Precedent: Justice Scalia’s Free-Exercise Opinion
Linda L. Berger
16 Justice Scalia’s Rhetoric of Overruling: Throwing Out the (Institutional) Baby with the Bathwater
Clarke Rountree
List of Contributors
Name Index
Subject Index

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press