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Series

2006

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Statutory interpretation

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

Constitutional Avoidance In The Executive Branch, Trevor W. Morrison Oct 2006

Constitutional Avoidance In The Executive Branch, Trevor W. Morrison

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

When executive actors interpret statutes, the prevailing assumption is that they can and should use the tools that courts use. Is that assumption sound? This Article takes up the question by considering a rule frequently invoked by the courts - the canon of constitutional avoidance.

Executive branch actors regularly use the avoidance canon. Indeed, some of the most hotly debated episodes of executive branch statutory interpretation in recent years - including the initial torture memorandum issued by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, the President's signing statement regarding the McCain Amendment's ban on the mistreatment of detainees, and ...


Constitutional Avoidance In The Executive Branch, Trevor W. Morrison Oct 2006

Constitutional Avoidance In The Executive Branch, Trevor W. Morrison

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

When executive branch actors interpret statutes, should they use the same methods as the courts? This Article takes up the question by considering a rule frequently invoked by the courts-the canon of constitutional avoidance. In addition to being a cardinal principle of judicial statutory interpretation, the avoidance canon also appears regularly and prominently in the work of the executive branch. It has played a central role, for example, in some of the most hotly debated episodes of executive branch statutory interpretation in the "war on terror." Typically, executive invocations of avoidance are supported by citation to one or more Supreme ...