Constitutional Interpretation, Intelligent Fidelity, and (im)Perfection: on James E. Fleming’s Fidelity to our Imperfect Constitution

Imer B. Flores


In this Article, I assess James E. Fleming’s Fidelity to Our Imperfect Constitution. For Moral Readings and Against Originalisms. For that purpose: in Part II, I reexamine Ronald Dworkin’s “moral reading”; in Part III, I reevaluate Fleming’s argument both “for moral readings and against originalisms”, which can be characterized as “fidelity to our imperfect constitution”; in part IV, I explicit three very helpful dichotomies to distinguish between moral readings, originalisms and legal pragmatism aka living constitutionalism: (1) fidelity and anti-fidelity; (2) interpretation and non-interpretation aka (re)construction, (re)invention and (judicial) legislation; and (3) perfectionimperfection. Additionally, I reintroduce Lon L. Fuller’s distinction between “intelligent and unintelligent fidelity”, to point out the kind of fidelity that moral readers and everyone else must adopt: an intelligent fidelity; and, finally, I present my general conclusion.

Palabras clave

Constitutional interpretation; fidelity to the law; intelligent fidelity; interpretivism, moral reading; originalism; legal pragmatism; living constitutionalism; perfectionism; Ronald Dworkin; James E. Fleming; Lon L. Fuller

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