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2000

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Jurisprudence

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Evolutionary Statutory Interpretation: Mr. Justice Scalia Meets Darwin, Jeffrey G. Miller Jan 2000

Evolutionary Statutory Interpretation: Mr. Justice Scalia Meets Darwin, Jeffrey G. Miller

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This paper examines the seeming contrast between the legal doctrines that the interpretation of statutes can evolve over time and that the interpretation of statutes must be grounded only in their texts, which never change unless amended by Congress. That examination is illuminated by complexity and meme theories. The examination is concluded by applying both doctrines and theories to the question of whether the term “navigable water” in a water pollution control statute includes underground water.