Levine on The Constitution as Poetry @TouroLawCenter

Samuel J. Levine, Touro College Law Center, has published The Constitution as Poetry 49 Seton Hall L. Rev. 737 (2019). Here is the abstract. Building upon a body of scholarship that compares constitutional interpretation to biblical and literary interpretation, and relying on an insight from a prominent nineteenth century rabbinic scholar, this Article briefly explores similarities in the interpretation of the Torah — the text of the Five Books of Moses — and the United States Constitution. Specifically, this Article draws upon Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehudah Berlin’s (“Netziv”) intriguing suggestion that the interpretation of the text of the Torah parallels the interpretation of poetry. According to Netziv, this parallel accounts for the practice of interpreting the Torah expansively in ways that derive substantive legal rules and principles far beyond those found in the relatively narrow wording of the text. Moreover, Netziv explains that deriving…

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