This essay does not undertake to say what the Holland rule should be today; instead, it advances a methodology to determine the Constitution's original meaning on the matter. Its approach, for want of a better phrase, I will call "historical textualism." In brief, historical textualism finds constitutional meaning in the specific words of the Constitution's text as they were situated and understood in the context in which they were written. Applying that approach, I find full support for Holland's conclusion in the Constitution's original meaning. That conclusion differs from other studies which have relied on "originalist" analysis to find subject matter limits on federal treatymaking. Drawing this contrast underscores the differences between the approach I advocate and other approaches for determining historical meaning. The essay proceeds as follows. Part II outlines historical textualism as an approach to determining the Constitution's original meaning. Part III undertakes the Holland inquiry regarding the scope of the treatymaking power using a historical textualist approach and concludes that the Constitution's original meaning imposes no generalized subject matter limitations on federal treatymaking akin to those Article I, Section 8 places on Congress' lawmaking power. Part IV examines leading studies that reach the opposite conclusion, and shows how these differences are driven principally by differences in interpretive methodology.

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