Akhil Reed Amar (Yale University) has posted The Original Manuscript: A Reading on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In prior work, I have established three guiding principles for gleaning the one true meaning of the Constitution of the United States. The first principle is intratextualism--taking the text seriously requires that we closely compare and contrast the use of words and phrases in one part of the constitution with the uses of the same words or phrases in other parts. The second principle, related to the first, is holism. The meaning of the Constitution cannot be derived by determining the meaning of each individual clause and that combining that meaning by a mechanical procedure of addition: instead, the meaning of the Constitution is the meaning of the whole text from beginning to end. The third principle, which illuminates the first two, is arhictexturalism, the key insight that architectural images shape America's basic constitutional vocabulary.
This article adds a fourth principle and then applies that principle to the text. Prior to my writing this article, constitutional scholars have (almost without exception) failed to read the actual Constitution of the United States--the original manuscript of the Constitution of 1789 and the corresponding manuscripts of each of the Amendments. Just as the manuscript score of a symphony contains important information (e.g., markings that indicate subtle variations in tempo or emphasis), so too, the original manuscript of the United States Constitution contains a variety of important indicators about the true original meaning of the text. This insight leads to the fourth principle of constitutional interpretation, which I call "graphological sensitivity."
"The Original Manuscript: A Reading" then applies all four principles to the original manuscript in order to produce a reading that is simultaneously intratextualist, holistic, architextural, and graphologically sensitive. Because this reading is holistic, it cannot easily be summarized. Indeed, the principle of holism requires that both the Constitution and this Article be read from beginning to end in order to glean their true meaning. But for purposes of illustration, one application of the principle of graphological sensitivity is provided in this abstract. The original manuscript of the Constitution of 1789 consistently uses conventions of capitalization, pen-stroke width, and punctuation to convey meanings that are obscured by versions of the Constitution that are routinely reproduced, e.g., by the version that is contained in the United States Code. For example, the word "People" and the phrase "We the People" are consistently both capitalized and emphasized by strokes that are, on average fully 42% wider than the average pen stroke in the original manuscript. By using the technique of intratextual comparison and by decoding the architextural metaphors conveyed by the original graphology, "The Original Manuscript: A Reading" reveals several new messages concealed in the original manuscript. This new information, when combined holistically, with the intratextual meaning of the words and phrases, leads to the conclusion that much of the conventional wisdom about the meaning of the Constitution is simply false.
The final section of "The Original Manuscript: A Reading" sketches the implications of the true meaning of the Constitution for contemporary constitutional practice. These implications are wide ranging and sometimes startling. For example, a graphologically sensitive reading of the provisions relating to the Electoral College suggests that electors are constitutionally bound to the will of the people as expressed in the national popular vote count. The Article ends by urging that the mangled and misleading "copies" of the Constitution used by judges, officials, students, and citizens be replaced by graphologically accurate reproductions of the original manuscript.