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Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Law

High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler Mar 2017

High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


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 ...


Reincarnating The 'Major Questions' Exception To Chevron Deference As A Doctrine Of Non-Interference (Or Why Massachusetts V. Epa Got It Wrong), Abigail Moncrieff Jan 2008

Reincarnating The 'Major Questions' Exception To Chevron Deference As A Doctrine Of Non-Interference (Or Why Massachusetts V. Epa Got It Wrong), Abigail Moncrieff

Faculty Scholarship

In a pair of cases declaring a major questions exception to Chevron deference, the Supreme Court held that executive agencies may not implement major policy changes without explicit authorization from Congress. But in Massachusetts v. EPA, the Court unceremoniously killed its major questions rule, requiring the EPA to implement one such major policy change. Because the scholarly literature to date has failed to discern a worthy justification for the major questions rule, the academy might be tempted to celebrate the rule's death. This Article, how-ever, argues that the rule ought to be mourned and, indeed, reincarnated. It offers a ...


Interpreting Indian Country In State Of Alaska V. Native Village Of Venetie, Kristen A. Carpenter Jan 1999

Interpreting Indian Country In State Of Alaska V. Native Village Of Venetie, Kristen A. Carpenter

Articles

According to federal Indian law's canons of construction, statutes enacted for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives must be liberally interpreted in their favor. But a doctrine of statutory interpretation presently challenges certain applications of the Indian canons. Announced by the Supreme Court in Chevron, U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., the doctrine requires that courts defer to administrative agency interpretations of ambiguous language in statutes they are authorized to administer. In instances where agencies construe statutes against Indian interests, Chevron deference and the Indian canons dictate opposite results for a reviewing court. This ...