"THE INTELLECTUAL CORNERSTONE OF THE COURT'S MODERN CONSERVATIVE WING": FIRST EDITION OF READING LAW, SIGNED BY SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA & CO-AUTHOR BRIAN GARNER
SCALIA, Antonin & GARNER, Bryan A. Reading Law. The Interpretation of Legal Texts. St. Paul, MN: Thomson/West, 2012. Thick octavo, original black paper boards, original dust jacket. $2000.
First edition of Justice Scalia's detailed and "compulsively readable" work, presenting Justice Scalia's influential approach to the Constitution and judicial interpretation, signed on the half title by both Justice Scalia and co-author Bryan A. Garner.
Justice Scalia, who died in 2016, was "the intellectual cornerstone of the court's modern conservative wing… the most prominent advocate of a manner of constitutional interpretation called 'originalism,' the idea that judges should look to the meaning of the words of the Constitution at the time they were written" (Washington Post). Reading Law offers a vigorous "overview and summation of the justice's approach to making sense of statutes and the Constitution… [where] it is the words of the text under consideration that must be at the center of legal inquiry." Legal scholar Stanley Fish, who disputed Justice Scalia's thesis, nevertheless praised Reading Law as "compulsively readable. Scalia and Garner have a talent for making complicated and sometimes arcane points of doctrine seem accessible and even plain… In short, this is a wonderful book" (New York Times). Co-author Bryan Garner, editor-in-chief of Black's Law Dictionary, also worked with Justice Scalia on Making Your Case (2008). He would recall that Reading Law went through 216 drafts, and praised Justice Scalia as an "intellectual pugilist." In their partnership, Justice Scalia would "work out positions by taking a strong stance and seeing what you have" (New Yorker). "First printing" on copyright page.
A fine copy.