textualism

play
noun tex·tu·al·ism \ ˈteks-chə-wə-ˌli-zəm , -chə-ˌli-zəm \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of textualism

:strict or rigid adherence to a text (such as the text of the Scriptures); specificallyUS law :a legal philosophy that laws and legal documents (such as the U.S. Constitution) should be interpreted by considering only the words used in the law or document as they are commonly understood
  • Justice Scalia of the United States Supreme Court has championed an approach called textualism. Scalia and others argue that legislative history should rarely be relevant, in essence advocating sentence meaning over speaker's meaning. To be more exact, textualism claims that it does try to discover the intent of the legislature, but limits this inquiry to the text of the statute itself.
  • —Peter M. Tiersma
— compare originalism

textualist

play \ˈteks-chə-wə-list, -chə-list\ adjective
    • a textualist interpretation

textualist

noun, plural textualists
    • Textualists focus on the meaning of words and eschew more abstract inquiries about the law's purposes.
    • —Marc O. DeGirolami

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Origin and Etymology of textualism


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