Matter of Interpretation

Antonin SCALIA   |   Gordon WOOD   |   Ronald DWORKIN   |   Mary Ann GLENDON   |   Laurence TRIBE

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SCALIA, Antonin. A Matter of Interpretation. Federal Courts and the Law… With Commentary by Amy Gutmann, Editor, Gordon S. Wood, Laurence H. Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, Ronald Dworkin. Princeton: Princeton University Press, (1997). Octavo, original gray cloth, original dust jacket.

First edition, second printing, of Supreme Court Justice Scalia's argument for "textualism," signed on the half title by him, featuring commentary by Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon and Ronald Dworkin.

A Matter of Interpretation centers on Justice Scalia's provocative Tanner Lectures, delivered at Princeton in 1995. Scalia "focuses on the reluctance of American judges to respect the laws written by democratic institutions. He blames this on a mindset derived from the study and practice of the common law, and urges in its stead the use of an interpretative method called 'textualism.' This, he believes, might yet 'induce judges, as we have induced presidents and generals, to stay within their proper governmental sphere.' The exchanges between Scalia and his commentators (to whom he also responds) are of unfailing interest. Gordon Wood, the historian, sympathizes with the notion that modern judges have 'run amok,' but sees this as a problem that goes deep in our history… legal scholar Mary Ann Glendon, in a particularly illuminating comment, describes the highly developed interpretative methods of civil-law experts in Europe… As for Laurence Tribe and Ronald Dworkin, both well-known judicial activists of the Left, each takes sharp issue with Scalia" (Commentary). Throughout Scalia, who died 2016, "projects a sanguine humor through a robust prose enlivened by sly sallies against what he sees as the gaps in logic of the opposing camp" (Wall Street Journal). First edition, second printing issued same year as the first.

A fine signed copy.

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