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Modalities The five modalities of constitutional interpretation that we have discussed in class are natural law doctrinalprecedent textualismplain meaning prudentialismcommon sense and historicaloriginal intent Of these five the three I have chosen to evaluate are textualism historicalism a proxy term used in order to unify the modalities or isms used in this paper or original intent and prudentialism I intend to prove that prudentialism will serve as the best single approach for most cases of constitutional interpretation through evaluation and objective observation although it is not the only solution Textualisms definition is the most obvious of the chosen three to go by exactly what the text law says More simply textualists follow the constitution down to the letter of the law and allow for no more than minute interpretation in order to associate the law in evaluation with the case at hand One of the strengths of textualism is that the question of whether a law can or cannot be applied to a case is simply answered Either the law states that the type of case being heard is able to come under scrutiny of that law or it does not and textualists will not spend any considerable amount of time deciding this Textualism consists of mostly black and white there is very rarely any gray area to deal with which greatly reduces the amount of argument available to the other modalities For example our readings included the fictional case of the Speluncean Explorers in which Justice Keen based his arguments on the facts presented in the case and how they related to NCSA NS 12-A Whoever shall willfully take the life of another shall be punished by death Using textualism as a defense or offense has very strong possibilities such as disallowing the other modalities the ability to refute or misinterpret what is strictly stated in the written law An example of this ability would be the case of the State of California
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