between interpretation and amendment: construction
|Relies on legal norms||Considers fundamental political principles|
|Assumes ratification by judicial recognition of results||Structures future political practice|
|Develops in evolutionary fashion||Occurs at moments of unsettled understanding|
|Searches for discoverable meaning||Develops in interstices of discoverable textual meaning|
|Specifies rules for government action||Provides standards for political conduct|
|Allows ‘dialogue' between judiciary and other branches||.|
Recognzing instances of constitutional construction: They "address constitutional subject matter" and "resolve textual indeterminacies" (9) with respect to
Big table (p. 12) of important constructions, some of which nobody has thought of in terms of constitutional change -- example: Spanish-American War.
"the Constitution is a substantive document and not merely the formal background against which policymaking is conducted. . . . The meaning of the Constitution is . . . a very real prize of political struggle" (18)
Whittington's is a positive (more than a normative) analysis: this is the way a constitution HAS to work, and in many instances it has worked well for the US Const.
(Great puzzles remain -- just as we asked how mutually agreed upon interpretation is possible: how does construction acquire legitimacy, agreement, lasting power? What are the boundaries on construction?)