Legally thinking

Professor Solum is getting some play in the legal blogs over the last day or so.  Professor Solum explains the interpretation-construction distinction, in 8 February 2009, Legal Theory Lexicon: Interpretation and Construction, post.

We can roughly define these two activities as follows:

Interpretation: The activity of determining the linguistic meaning (or semantic content) of a legal text.

Construction: The activity of translating the semantic content of a legal text into legal rules.

We interpret the meaning of a text, and then we construct legal rules to help us apply the text to concrete fact situations.

Prof. Solum's "dictionary" is Legal Theory Lexicon.

Randy Barnett talks of Prof. Solum on usually entertaining Volokh Conspiracy blog, 8 February 2009.