(Fifteenth in series: The interpretation of statutes and the denial of judges' powers.)
To sum up this investigation — what's the solution to the interpretive enigma: judges agree on interpretations, despite disagreeing on what a legal interpreter should do? The solution consists of two constraints: the logically inevitable common law of statutory interpretation and the politically necessitated convergence of judicial interpretations.
The common law of interpretation — the reigning theory articulating a legal culture's interpretive practices — includes such loose and defeasible constraints like the maxims of construction. Other examples from the common law of statutory interpretation are some jurisdictions' rules governing when "shall" is construed as "must" versus "may." The common law of statutory interpretation is underarticulated.
Why has the important role of the common law in statutory interpretation suffered neglect, this obvious concept sometimes rejected on jurisprudential principle? Scholars underestimate the interpretive common laws' constraint because it works in tandem with a second constraint, one not necessarily within jurists' awareness. Scholars ignore that constitutions can cause themselves to be construed a certain way without the construction being implied by its provisions. The historical tendency for interpretations to converge in line with the constitution's structural designations is proposed an example of how a constitution influences its long-term construction.