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This article needs a complete rewrite, and substantive new material. The issue is relevant in (at least) all countries with legal systems derived from England, and textualism or "black-letter law" has historically been more successful outside the US. JQ 11:34, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Lysander Spooner and textualism[edit]

If the following excerpt from the article on Spooner describes an attempt at textual interpretation, then I propose a link to this article from Spooner's should be made:"Spooner challenged the claim that the text of the Constitution supported slavery.[14] Although he recognized that the Founders had probably not intended to outlaw slavery when writing the Constitution, he argued that only the meaning of the text, not the private intentions of its writers, was enforceable. Spooner used a complex system of legal and natural law arguments in order to show that the clauses usually interpreted as supporting slavery did not, in fact, support it, and that several clauses of the Constitution prohibited the states from establishing slavery under the law.[14] Spooner's arguments were cited by other pro-Constitution abolitionists, such as Gerrit Smith and the Liberty Party, which adopted it as an official text in its 1848 platform. Frederick Douglass, originally a Garrisonian disunionist, later came to accept the pro-Constitution position, and cited Spooner's arguments to explain his change of mind"

-Rich Peterson24.7.28.186 (talk) 18:23, 20 October 2011 (UTC)