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Full-Text Articles in Law

Symmetry's Mandate: Constraining The Politicization Of American Administrative Law, Daniel E. Walters Dec 2020

Symmetry's Mandate: Constraining The Politicization Of American Administrative Law, Daniel E. Walters

Michigan Law Review

Recent years have seen the rise of pointed and influential critiques of deference doctrines in administrative law. What many of these critiques have in common is a view that judges, not agencies, should resolve interpretive disputes over the meaning of statutes—disputes the critics take to be purely legal and almost always resolvable using lawyerly tools of statutory construction. In this Article, I take these critiques, and the relatively formalist assumptions behind them, seriously and show that the critics have not acknowledged or advocated the full reform vision implied by their theoretical premises. Specifically, critics have extended their critique of ...


Unplanned Obsolescence: Interpreting The Automatic Telephone Dialing System After The Smartphone Epoch, Walter Allison Oct 2020

Unplanned Obsolescence: Interpreting The Automatic Telephone Dialing System After The Smartphone Epoch, Walter Allison

Michigan Law Review

Technology regulations succeed or fail based upon their ability to regulate an idea. Constant innovation forces legislators to draft statutes aimed at prohibiting the idea of a device, rather than a specific device itself, because new devices with new capacities emerge every day. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal statute that imposes liability based on the idea of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS). But the statute’s definition of the device is ambiguous. The FCC struggles to coherently apply the definition to new technologies, and courts interpret the definition inconsistently. Federal circuit courts have split over ...


Resolving "Resolved": Covenants Not To Sue And The Availability Of Cercla Contribution Actions, Jacob Podell Oct 2020

Resolving "Resolved": Covenants Not To Sue And The Availability Of Cercla Contribution Actions, Jacob Podell

Michigan Law Review

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)—as part of its dual goals of cleaning up hazardous-waste sites and ensuring that the polluter pays for that cleanup—gives private parties two mutually exclusive causes of action: cost recovery and contribution. Contribution is available in limited circumstances, including if the party has “resolved” its liability with the government. But CERCLA does not define this operative term. Federal courts are split over how the structure of a settlement resolves liability. Several courts follow Bernstein v. Bankert, which held that any conditions precedent and nonadmissions of liability strongly suggest that a ...


Textualism’S Gaze, Matthew L.M. Fletcher Sep 2020

Textualism’S Gaze, Matthew L.M. Fletcher

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article attempts to address why textualism distorts the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence in Indian law. I start with describing textualism in federal public law. I focus on textualism as described by Justice Scalia, as well as Scalia’s justification for textualism and discussion about the role of the judiciary in interpreting texts. The Court is often subject to challenges to its legitimacy rooted in its role as legal interpreter that textualism is designed to combat.


Jail By Another Name: Ice Detention Of Immigrant Criminal Defendants On Pretrial Release, Kerry Martin Sep 2020

Jail By Another Name: Ice Detention Of Immigrant Criminal Defendants On Pretrial Release, Kerry Martin

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article assesses the legality of an alarming practice: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) routinely detains noncitizen criminal defendants soon after they have been released on bail, depriving them of their court-ordered freedom. Since the District of Oregon’s decision in United States v. Trujillo-Alvarez, 900 F. Supp. 2d 1167 (D. Or. 2012), a growing group of federal courts has held that when ICE detains federal criminal defendants released under the Bail Reform Act (BRA), it violates their BRA rights. These courts have ordered that the government either free the defendants from ICE custody or dismiss their criminal charges. This ...


Legitimacy And Agency Implementation Of Title Ix, Samuel R. Bagenstos Sep 2020

Legitimacy And Agency Implementation Of Title Ix, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination by programs receiving federal education funding. Primary responsibility for administering that statute lies in the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education (OCR). Because Title IX involves a subject that remains highly controversial in our polity (sex roles and interactions among the sexes more generally), and because it targets a highly sensitive area (education), OCR’s administration of the statute has long drawn criticism. The critics have not merely noted disagreements with the legal and policy decisions of the agency, however. Rather, they have attacked the agency ...


Fee-Shifting Statutes And Compensation For Risk, Maureen S. Carroll Jun 2020

Fee-Shifting Statutes And Compensation For Risk, Maureen S. Carroll

Articles

A law firm that enters into a contingency arrangement provides the client with more than just its attorneys' labor. It also provides a form of financing, because the firm will be paid (if at all) only after the litigation ends; and insurance, because if the litigation results in a low recovery (or no recovery at all), the firm will absorb the direct and indirect costs of the litigation. Courts and markets routinely pay for these types of risk-bearing services through a range of mechanisms, including state fee shifting statutes, contingent percentage fees, common-fund awards, alternative fee arrangements, and third-party litigation ...


Revisiting Immutability: Competing Frameworks For Adjudicating Asylum Claims Based On Membership In A Particular Social Group, Talia Shiff May 2020

Revisiting Immutability: Competing Frameworks For Adjudicating Asylum Claims Based On Membership In A Particular Social Group, Talia Shiff

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines a refugee as any person who has a “well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” An emerging issue in U.S. asylum law is how to define the category “membership of a particular social group.” This question has become ever-more pressing in light of the fact that the majority of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border are claiming persecution on account of their “membership in a particular social group.” The INA does not define the meaning of “particular ...


Snap Removal: Concept; Cause; Cacophony; And Cure, Jeffrey W. Stempel, Thomas O. Main, David Mcclure May 2020

Snap Removal: Concept; Cause; Cacophony; And Cure, Jeffrey W. Stempel, Thomas O. Main, David Mcclure

Scholarly Works

So-called “snap removal” – removal of a case from state to federal court prior to service on a forum state defendant – has divided federal trial courts for 20 years. Recently, panels of the Second, Third and Fifth Circuits have sided with those supporting the tactic even though it conflicts with the general prohibition on removal when the case includes a forum state defendant, a situation historically viewed as eliminating the need to protect the outsider defendant from possible state court hostility.

Consistent with the public policy underlying diversity jurisdiction – availability of a federal forum to protect against defending claims in an ...


Solving The Congressional Review Act’S Conundrum, Cary Coglianese Mar 2020

Solving The Congressional Review Act’S Conundrum, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Congress routinely enacts statutes mandating that federal agencies adopt specific regulations. For example, when Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, it required the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to adopt a regulation compelling energy companies to disclose payments they make to governmental entities. Although this disclosure regulation is specifically required by the Dodd-Frank Act, it is also a regulation subject to disapproval by Congress under a process outlined in a separate statute known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

In 2017, Congress passed a joint resolution disapproving the SEC’s disclosure rule under ...


Uncovering Wholesale Electricity Market Principles, Michael Panfil, Rama Zakaria Mar 2020

Uncovering Wholesale Electricity Market Principles, Michael Panfil, Rama Zakaria

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

This paper examines, enunciates, and makes explicit a set of market principles historically relied upon by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to regulate wholesale electricity markets as required under the Federal Power Act (FPA). These identified competitive market principles are supported by policy and legal foundations that run through a myriad of FERC orders and court decisions. This paper seeks to make that history and those implicit market principles explicit by distilling and organizing Commission Orders and court decisions. It concludes that five market principles, each with multiple subprinciples, can be identified as elemental to how FERC understands and ...


The Elastics Of Snap Removal: An Empirical Case Study Of Textualism, Thomas O. Main, Jeffrey W. Stempel, David Mcclure Jan 2020

The Elastics Of Snap Removal: An Empirical Case Study Of Textualism, Thomas O. Main, Jeffrey W. Stempel, David Mcclure

Scholarly Works

This article reports the findings of an empirical study of textualism as applied by federal judges interpreting the statute that permits removal of diversity cases from state to federal court. The “snap removal” provision in the statute is particularly interesting because its application forces judges into one of two interpretive camps—which are fairly extreme versions of textualism and purposivism, respectively. We studied characteristics of cases and judges to find predictors of textualist outcomes. In this article we offer a narrative discussion of key variables and we detail the results of our logistic regression analysis. The most salient predictive variable ...


The Statutory Interpretation Muddle, Richard H. Fallon, Jr. Oct 2019

The Statutory Interpretation Muddle, Richard H. Fallon, Jr.

Northwestern University Law Review

Debates about statutory interpretation typically proceed on the assumption that statutes have linguistic meanings that we can identify in the same way that we identify the meaning of utterances in ordinary conversation. But that premise is false. We identify the meaning of conversational utterances largely based on inferences about what the speaker intended to communicate. With legislatures, as now is widely recognized, there is no unitary speaker with the sort of communicative intentions that speakers in ordinary conversation possess. One might expect this recognition to trigger abandonment of the model of conversational interpretation as a framework for interpreting statutes. Instead ...


In The Shadow Of The Legislature: The Common Law In The Age Of The New Public Law, Daniel A. Farber, Philip P. Frickey Aug 2019

In The Shadow Of The Legislature: The Common Law In The Age Of The New Public Law, Daniel A. Farber, Philip P. Frickey

Daniel A Farber

In this essay, we explore how modem common law judges should view their role vis-a-vis the legislature. We suggest that the perspective of the "New Public Law," as we conceptualize it, is surprisingly helpful in considering this problem.

In Part I, we briefly summarize two important aspects of the New Public Law: republicanism and public choice. We then address an obvious objection to our project - that our topic relates to private law, and is therefore outside the purview of the New Public Law. Part II turns to important questions about the relationship between statutes and the common law: When should ...


Digital Realty, Legislative History, And Textualism After Scalia, Michael Francus Jun 2019

Digital Realty, Legislative History, And Textualism After Scalia, Michael Francus

Pepperdine Law Review

There is a shift afoot in textualism. The New Textualism of Justice Scalia is evolving in response to a new wave of criticism. That criticism presses on the tension between Justice Scalia’s commitment to faithful agency (effecting the legislature’s will) and his rejection of legislative history in the name of ordinary meaning (which ignores legislative will). And it has caused some textualists to shift away from faithful agency, even to the point of abandoning it as textualism’s grounding principle. But this shift has gone unnoticed. It has yet to be identified or described, let alone defended, even ...


What Is "New"?: Defining "New Judgement" After Magwood, Patrick Cothern Jun 2019

What Is "New"?: Defining "New Judgement" After Magwood, Patrick Cothern

Michigan Law Review

Habeas corpus petitioners must navigate the procedural barriers of the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) before courts consider their petitions on the merits. Among the barriers imposed is a general prohibition on “second or successive” habeas petitions, meaning a petitioner who previously filed a habeas petition may not bring another, with limited exceptions. One such exception, recognized by the Supreme Court in Magwood v. Patterson, allows for a second habeas petition after the petitioner obtains a “new judgment.” Magwood and AEDPA, however, left the term “new judgment” undefined. This Note summarizes the history of habeas corpus in the ...


Examining The Administrative Unworkability Of Final Agency Action Doctrine As Applied To The Native American Graves Protection And Repatriation Act, Adam Gerken May 2019

Examining The Administrative Unworkability Of Final Agency Action Doctrine As Applied To The Native American Graves Protection And Repatriation Act, Adam Gerken

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

The application of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (“NAGPRA”) creates unique practical and doctrinal results. When considering the application of the current law concerning judicial review of final agency action under the APA to NAGPRA, it is evident that the law is simultaneously arbitrary and unclear. In the Ninth Circuit’s holding in Navajo Nation v. U.S. Department of the Interior, the Court applied final agency action doctrine in a manner that was legally correct but administratively unworkable. The Court’s opinion contravenes both the reasoning behind the APA final ...


Neglecting Nationalism, Gil Seinfeld May 2019

Neglecting Nationalism, Gil Seinfeld

Articles

Federalism is a system of government that calls for the division of power between a central authority and member states. It is designed to secure benefits that flow from centralization and from devolution, as well as benefits that accrue from a simultaneous commitment to both. A student of modern American federalism, however, might have a very different impression, for significant swaths of the case law and scholarly commentary on the subject neglect the centralizing, nationalist side of the federal balance. This claim may come as a surprise, since it is obviously the case that our national government has become immensely ...


More Than Birds: Developing A New Environmental Jurisprudence Through The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Patrick G. Maroun Feb 2019

More Than Birds: Developing A New Environmental Jurisprudence Through The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Patrick G. Maroun

Michigan Law Review

This year marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of the oldest environmental regulatory statutes in the United States. It is illegal to “take” or “kill” any migratory bird covered by the Act. But many of the economic and industrial assumptions that undergirded the Act in 1918 have changed dramatically. Although it is undisputed that hunting protected birds is prohibited, circuit courts split on whether so-called “incidental takings” fall within the scope of the Act. The uncertainty inherent in this disagreement harms public and private interests alike—not to mention migratory birds. Many of the most important ...


Shots Fired: Digging The Uniformed Services Employment And Reemployment Rights Act Out Of The Trenches Of Arbitration, Lisa Limb Feb 2019

Shots Fired: Digging The Uniformed Services Employment And Reemployment Rights Act Out Of The Trenches Of Arbitration, Lisa Limb

Michigan Law Review

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) was enacted to protect servicemembers from discrimination by civilian employers and to provide servicemembers with reemployment rights. Recent circuit court decisions, however, have maimed these protections by ruling that mandatory arbitration is permissible under USERRA. This Note argues that such rulings conflict with USERRA’s plain language, statutory structure, and purpose. Ultimately, in light of strong public policy considerations, this Note contends that mandatory arbitration should not be permissible under USERRA and proposes that Congress amend the Act to explicitly prohibit arbitration.


Criminal Clear Statement Rules, Carissa Byrne Hessick, Joseph E. Kennedy Jan 2019

Criminal Clear Statement Rules, Carissa Byrne Hessick, Joseph E. Kennedy

Washington University Law Review

There is a broad consensus in the criminal justice community that our criminal statutes are a mess: They are imprecise, overly broad, and overly punitive. Legislatures write these laws because there are significant political incentives for them to be “tough on crime” and few incentives for them to write carefully crafted laws. The problems of over-criminalization thus seem to be both a predictable yet intractable consequence of the incentives that legislatures face. But this Article offers a novel solution: Judges should develop new clear statement rules to interpret criminal statutes. The Supreme Court has created clear statement rules to protect ...


Private Law Statutory Interpretation, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2019

Private Law Statutory Interpretation, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Essay is an attempt to describe the basis and consequences of the disconnect between private law and legislation, both for private law theorizing and legal thinking more generally. It does so by focusing on “private law statutes,” legislation that creates or modifies rights and obligations between parties in their private capacities. Private law statutes do more than merely create private causes of action. While they create private causes, they do so on the basis of principles that are specific to the horizontal interaction between parties, rather than entirely for public-regarding policy reasons. While statutes in the areas traditionally identified ...


Securities Law In The Sixties: The Supreme Court, The Second Circuit, And The Triumph Of Purpose Over Text, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson Nov 2018

Securities Law In The Sixties: The Supreme Court, The Second Circuit, And The Triumph Of Purpose Over Text, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson

Articles

This Article analyzes the Supreme Court’s leading securities cases from 1962 to 1972—SEC v. Capital Gains Research Bureau, Inc.; J.I. Case Co. v. Borak; Mills v. Electric Auto-Lite Co.; Superintendent of Insurance v. Bankers Life & Casualty Co.; and Affiliated Ute of Utah v. United States—relying not just on the published opinions, but also the Justices’ internal letters, memos, and conference notes. The Sixties Court did not simply apply the text as enacted by Congress, but instead invoked the securities laws’ purposes as a guide to interpretation. The Court became a partner of Congress in shaping the securities laws ...


Change, Creation, And Unpredictability In Statutory Interpretation: Interpretive Canon Use In The Roberts Court's First Decade, Nina A. Mendelson Oct 2018

Change, Creation, And Unpredictability In Statutory Interpretation: Interpretive Canon Use In The Roberts Court's First Decade, Nina A. Mendelson

Michigan Law Review

In resolving questions of statutory meaning, the lion’s share of Roberts Court opinions considers and applies at least one interpretive canon, whether the rule against surplusage or the presumption against state law preemption. This is part of a decades-long turn toward textualist statutory interpretation in the Supreme Court. Commentators have debated how to justify canons, since they are judicially created rules that reside outside the statutory text. Earlier studies have cast substantial doubt on whether these canons can be justified as capturing congressional practices or preferences; commentators have accordingly turned toward second-order justifications, arguing that canons usefully make interpretation ...


The Rhetorical Canons Of Construction: New Textualism's Rhetoric Problem, Charlie D. Stewart Jun 2018

The Rhetorical Canons Of Construction: New Textualism's Rhetoric Problem, Charlie D. Stewart

Michigan Law Review

New Textualism is ascendant. Elevated to prominence by the late Justice Antonin Scalia and championed by others like Justice Neil Gorsuch, the method of interpretation occupies an increasingly dominant place in American jurisprudence. Yet, this Comment argues the proponents of New Textualism acted unfairly to reach this lofty perch. To reach this conclusion, this Comment develops and applies a framework to evaluate the rhetoric behind New Textualism: the rhetorical canons of construction. Through the rhetorical canons, this Comment demonstrates that proponents of New Textualism advance specious arguments, declare other methods illegitimate hypocritically, refuse to engage with the merits of their ...


Why The Copyright Act Expressly Preempts State-Level Public Performance Rights In Pre-1972 Recordings, James Fahringer May 2018

Why The Copyright Act Expressly Preempts State-Level Public Performance Rights In Pre-1972 Recordings, James Fahringer

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Over the past several years, two former bandmates in the 1960s rock group, The Turtles, have initiated several lawsuits against the popular music streaming services, Pandora and Sirius XM, arguing that the band owns common law copyrights in the sound recordings of its songs, and that these state-level copyrights grant the band an exclusive public performance right in its sound recordings. If accepted, this argument has the potential to significantly distort federal copyright policy because states would not be constrained by any of the balancing features of the Copyright Act, including Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbors for Internet ...


Both Sides Of The Rock: Justice Gorsuch And The Seminole Rock Deference Doctrine, Kevin O. Leske May 2018

Both Sides Of The Rock: Justice Gorsuch And The Seminole Rock Deference Doctrine, Kevin O. Leske

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Despite being early in his tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch has already made his presence known. His October 16, 2017 statement respecting the denial of certiorari in Scenic America, Inc. v. Department of Transportation garnered significant attention within the legal community. Joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Gorsuch questioned whether the Court’s bedrock 2-part test from Chevron, U.S.A. v. NRDC—whereby courts must defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statutory term—should apply in the case.

Justice Gorsuch’s criticism of the Chevron ...


High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler Feb 2018

High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler

Michigan Law Review

Courts look at text differently in high-stakes cases. Statutory language that would otherwise be “unambiguous” suddenly becomes “less than clear.” This, in turn, frees up courts to sidestep constitutional conflicts, avoid dramatic policy changes, and, more generally, get around undesirable outcomes. The standard account of this behavior is that courts’ failure to recognize “clear” or “unambiguous” meanings in such cases is motivated or disingenuous, and, at best, justified on instrumentalist grounds.

This Article challenges that account. It argues instead that, as a purely epistemic matter, it is more difficult to “know” what a text means—and, hence, more difficult to ...


Submarine Statutes, Christian Turner Jan 2018

Submarine Statutes, Christian Turner

Scholarly Works

I define as “submarine statutes” a category of statutes that affect the meaning of later-passed statutes. A submarine statute calls for courts to apply future statutes differently than they would have otherwise. An example is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which requires, in some circumstances, exemptions for religious exercise from otherwise compulsory statutory requirements. A new statute can only be understood if its interaction with RFRA is also understood. While scholars have debated the constitutionality of some statutes like these, mainly analyzing the legitimacy of their entrenching quality, I argue that submarine statutes carry an overlooked cost. Namely, they add ...


Statutory Constraints And Constitutional Decisionmaking, Anthony O'Rourke Nov 2017

Statutory Constraints And Constitutional Decisionmaking, Anthony O'Rourke

Anthony O'Rourke

Although constitutional scholars frequently analyze the relationships between courts and legislatures, they rarely examine the relationship between courts and statutes. This Article is the first to systematically examine how the presence or absence of a statute can influence constitutional doctrine. It analyzes pairs of cases that raise similar constitutional questions, but differ with respect to whether the court is reviewing the constitutionality of legislation. These case pairs suggest that statutes place significant constraints on constitutional decisionmaking. Specifically, in cases that involve a challenge to a statute, courts are less inclined to use doctrine to regulate the behavior of nonjudicial officials ...