This chapter focuses on the means by which rhetorical modes of argument and analysis facilitate the articulation of the constitution of electoral speech law. Assuming that arguments do, in fact, matter, whether they convey sincere sentiments or strategic sentiments (or more likely some combination of the two), it is essential to examine as well how this domain is constituted. Attention to rhetorical data is critical to this study because such materials can “serve as a gateway” to a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of Supreme Court decision making and the composition of Court rulings. In surveying these predominant modes the chapter examines appeals to historical materials; inclinations toward empirical data; and in a manner particular to this body of law, democratic dispositions of both an aspirational and precautionary nature, revealing important impressions of and inclinations toward the possibilities of political life.
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