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Frank H. Easterbrook : Courses and Seminars

Legal Interpretation
LAWS 51602
(WP, BID, SEM)Many challenges in law come from the difficulty of interpreting words—always incomplete, often old. This seminar explores different methods of resolving interpretive problems: "plain meaning," its cousin textualism; a search for intent ("original," presumed, or imputed); functional analysis; and so on. The seminar asks how the competing approaches to decoding texts stand up on different criteria, such as consistency with principles of democratic governance (including the contributions of public choice theory) and the philosophy of language. Constitutional and statutory interpretation receive approximately equal emphasis.Enrollment is limited to 20 students. The student's grade is based on a series of short research papers. Successful completion of this seminar qualifies for the fulfillment of the WP graduation requirement.
Winter 2017
Frank H. Easterbrook