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Articles 1 - 8 of 8

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Canon At The Water's Edge, Thomas B. Bennett Apr 2012

The Canon At The Water's Edge, Thomas B. Bennett

Faculty Publications

What motivates substantive presumptions about how to interpret statutes? Are they like statistical heuristics that aim to predict Congress's most likely behavior, or are they meant to protect certain underenforced values against inadvertent legislative encroachment? These two rationales, fact-based and value-based, are the extremes of a continuum. This Note uses the presumption against extraterritoriality to demonstrate this continuum and how a presumption can shift along it. The presumption operates to diminish the likelihood that a federal statute will be read to extend beyond the borders of the United States. The presumption has been remarkably stable for decades despite watershed ...


Interpretive Divergence All The Way Down: A Response To Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl And Ethan J. Leib, Elected Judges And Statutory Interpretation, 79 U Chi L Rev 1215 (2012), Anita S. Krishnakumar Jan 2012

Interpretive Divergence All The Way Down: A Response To Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl And Ethan J. Leib, Elected Judges And Statutory Interpretation, 79 U Chi L Rev 1215 (2012), Anita S. Krishnakumar

Faculty Publications

This article is a response to the law review article cited in its title. It focuses on a corollary question raised by the article's analysis: if one takes seriously the proposition that it may make sense for elected judges to interpret statutes differently than do appointed judges, should judicial opinions written by elected judges look substantially different from those written by appointed judges? Part I examines the relative roles of judicial opinions written by elected versus appointed judges in a world in which divergence is practiced. Part II explores specific ways in which we might want or expect an ...


The Anti-Messiness Principle In Statutory Interpretation, Anita S. Krishnakumar Jan 2012

The Anti-Messiness Principle In Statutory Interpretation, Anita S. Krishnakumar

Faculty Publications

Many of the Supreme Court's statutory interpretation opinions reflect a juisprudential aversion to interpreting statutes in a manner that will prove "messy" for implementing courts to administer. Yet the practice of construing statutes to avoid "messiness" has gone largely unnoticed in the statutory interpretation literature. This Article seeks to illuminate the Court's use of "anti-messiness" arguments to interpret statutes and to bring theoretical attention to the principle of "messiness" avoidance. The Article begins by defining the concept of anti-messiness and providing a typology of common anti-messiness arguments used by the Supreme Court. It then considers some dangers inherent ...


Contemporary Meaning And Expectations In Statutory Interpretation, Hillel Y. Levin Jan 2012

Contemporary Meaning And Expectations In Statutory Interpretation, Hillel Y. Levin

Scholarly Works

This Article introduces and explores an approach to, or theme within, statutory interpretation, one grounded in contemporary meaning and expectations. This approach posits that judges interpreting ambiguous statutes are and should be constrained by the understanding and expectations of the contemporary public as to the law’s meaning and application. These are developed in response to, and mediated by, the actions and statements of government officials and the broader community. The Article argues that this apparently radical approach is necessary in order for law to maintain its moral force, and further that the principles underlying it are embedded in several ...


Undermining Congressional Overrides: The Hydra Problem In Statutory Interpretation, Deborah Widiss Jan 2012

Undermining Congressional Overrides: The Hydra Problem In Statutory Interpretation, Deborah Widiss

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Statutory overrides — that is, amendments to supersede a judicial interpretation of a statute — are the primary mechanism by which Congress signals disagreement with court interpretations; they are essential to protect the separation of powers and the promise of legislative supremacy. But in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, the Supreme Court held that Congress’s override of a judicial interpretation of Title VII did not control the interpretation of identical language in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and further that Congress’s “neglecting” to amend the ADEA when it amended Title VII was a clear signal that Congress intended the ...


Distrust And Clarify: Appreciating Congressional Overrides, James J. Brudney Jan 2012

Distrust And Clarify: Appreciating Congressional Overrides, James J. Brudney

Faculty Scholarship

Deborah Widiss continues to make important contributions in an area of statutory interpretation that has been largely neglected: the consequences of congressional overrides. Professor Widiss previously demonstrated how the Supreme Court and lower courts often confine the reach of statutes that purposefully override prior court decisions, thereby reviving aspects of the overridden judicial interpretations as ―shadow precedents.‖ In Undermining Congressional Overrides: The Hydra Problem in Statutory Interpretation, Professor Widiss addresses the Supreme Court‘s further expansion of judicial power in the aftermath of congressional disapproval. Faced with the override of its textual interpretation in one employment discrimination statute, the Court ...


A Decision Theory Of Statutory Interpretation: Legislative History By The Rules, Victoria Nourse Jan 2012

A Decision Theory Of Statutory Interpretation: Legislative History By The Rules, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

We have a law of civil procedure, criminal procedure, and administrative procedure, but we have no law of legislative procedure. This failure has serious consequences in the field of statutory interpretation. Using simple rules garnered from Congress itself, this Article argues that those rules are capable of transforming the field of statutory interpretation. Addressing canonical cases in the field, from Holy Trinity to Bock Laundry, from Weber to Public Citizen, this article shows how cases studied by vast numbers of law students are made substantially more manageable, and in some cases quite simple, through knowledge of congressional procedure. No longer ...


Legal Process In A Box, Or What Class Action Waivers Teach Us About Law-Making, Rhonda Wasserman Jan 2012

Legal Process In A Box, Or What Class Action Waivers Teach Us About Law-Making, Rhonda Wasserman

Articles

The Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion advanced an agenda found in neither the text nor the legislative history of the Federal Arbitration Act. Concepcion provoked a maelstrom of reactions not only from the press and the academy, but also from Congress, federal agencies and lower courts, as they struggled to interpret, apply, reverse, or cabin the Court’s blockbuster decision. These reactions raise a host of provocative questions about the relationships among the branches of government and between the Supreme Court and the lower courts. Among other questions, Concepcion and its aftermath force us to ...