Constitutional Interpretation   [93-94]

I.   First Question: WHAT do you interpret? What takes precedence in a “constitution? [What is actually viewed as “fundamental” and of primary importance?]
Is it one of these or a combination?
A.   Is it the language itself? [e.g., What “Commerce” means]? [legalistic]
B.   Is it structure first? [Congress was given Article I, Section 8 – Federalism]
C.   Is it “thematic” or philosophic goals?   [Liberty, Equality, Expression, Due process]

II.   Second Question: Are these “fundamentals” above to be viewed as “Static” or “evolutionary”?

III. Third Question: What Interpretative Method and/or Over-Arching constitutional “rule”, if any, should be used?   [which then usually dictates what source(s) of authority should be used when utilizing such an interpretive method].
      A.   Literalism/ Textualism
                      1. Emphasis on…[Static view of the constitution]
              a. Static Nature of Fundamental Law [the constitution], authority.
              1)   I.e, Strict interpretation
              2)   Highly suspicious of Judicial Authority
2.   Source of Consitutional Authority
              a. History of how the language would have been understood.
              1) Not with what the framers thought/intended solely.
              b. Emphasizes the notion that applicable facts change, but not the scope of
                the underlying constitutional rule
3.   De-emphasizes
      a.   Balancing of Interests
      b.   Current political needs or developments.
          4.   Allied with Contemporary Conservatism
              a. Suspicion of Judicial Authority
              1) Actively promotes judicial restraint.
5.   Problems?
      a.   How do you gauge collective “meaning”?
      b.   Informal changes in the current polity are not accounted for.
      B. Intent of the Framers / Original Intent
                      1. Emphasis on… [Static view of the constitution]...