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Articles 1 - 8 of 8

Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Overrides: The Super-Study, Victoria Nourse Jan 2014

Overrides: The Super-Study, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Overrides should be of interest to a far larger group of scholars than statutory interpretation enthusiasts. We have, in overrides, open inter branch encounters between Congress and the Courts far more typically found in the shadows of everyday Washington politics. Interestingly, Christiansen and Eskridge posit the court-congress relationship as more triadic than dyadic given the role played by agencies. One of their more interesting conclusions is that agencie are the big winners in the override game: agencies were present in seventy percent of the override cases and the agency view prevailed with Congress and against the Supreme Court in three-quarters ...


The Constitution And Legislative History, Victoria Nourse Jan 2014

The Constitution And Legislative History, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this article, the author provides an extended analysis of the constitutional claims against legislative history, arguing that, under textualists’ own preference for constitutional text, the use of legislative history should be constitutional to the extent it is supported by Congress’s rulemaking power, a constitutionally enumerated power.

This article has five parts. In part I, the author explains the importance of this question, considering the vast range of cases to which this claim of unconstitutionality could possibly apply—after all, statutory interpretation cases are the vast bulk of the work of the federal courts. She also explains why these ...


Decision Theory And Babbitt V. Sweet Home: Skepticism About Norms, Discretion, And The Virtues Of Purposivism, Victoria Nourse May 2013

Decision Theory And Babbitt V. Sweet Home: Skepticism About Norms, Discretion, And The Virtues Of Purposivism, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this writing, the author applies a “decision theory” of statutory interpretation, elaborated recently in the Yale Law Journal, to Professor William Eskridge’s illustrative case, Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Great Oregon. In the course of this application, she takes issue with the conventional wisdom that purposivism, as a method of statutory interpretation, is inevitably a more virtuous model of statutory interpretation. First, the author questions whether we have a clear enough jurisprudential picture both of judicial discretion and legal as opposed to political normativity. Second, she argues that, under decision theory, Sweet Home is ...


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 ...


Assessing The Impeachment Of President Bill Clinton From A Post 9/11 Perspective, Susan Low Bloch Jan 2012

Assessing The Impeachment Of President Bill Clinton From A Post 9/11 Perspective, Susan Low Bloch

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The impeachment of President Clinton was more a circus than a serious effort to remove the President of the United States. The reason is simple: Few people--in the Congress or the country--wanted to remove him or believed the impeachment effort would actually result in his removal. Instead, it was a partisan political effort to embarrass Clinton and "send a message" of disapproval. Congress was attaching a "scarlet letter." But this was an indulgence that posed considerable danger that few in Congress considered. In particular, few tried to assess the potential impact this use of the process would have on the ...


Misunderstanding Congress: Statutory Interpretation, The Supermajoritarian Difficulty, And The Separation Of Powers, Victoria Nourse Jan 2011

Misunderstanding Congress: Statutory Interpretation, The Supermajoritarian Difficulty, And The Separation Of Powers, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Every lawyer's theory of statutory interpretation carries with it an idea of Congress, and every idea of Congress, in turn, carries with it an idea of the separation of powers. In this article, the author critiques three dominant academic theories of statutory interpretation--textualism, purposivism, and game theory--for their assumptions about Congress and the separation of powers. She argues that each academic theory fails to account for Congress's dominant institutional features: "the electoral connection," the "supermajoritarian difficulty," and the "principle of structure-induced ambiguity." This critique yields surprising conclusions, rejecting both standard liberal and conservative views on statutory interpretation.

"Plain ...


Necessary And Proper, Randy E. Barnett Jan 1997

Necessary And Proper, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this article, the author maintains that, if the courts are to hold Congress to the exercise of its enumerated powers, then they must come to grips with the congressional power: "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof." While the Necessary and Proper Clause has long been used to greatly expand congressional power, he argues that, to the contrary, it provides a two-part standard against which all national ...


Toward A "Due Foundation" For The Separation Of Powers: The Federalist Papers As Political Narrative, Victoria Nourse Feb 1996

Toward A "Due Foundation" For The Separation Of Powers: The Federalist Papers As Political Narrative, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

During the past quarter century, lawyers have become strangely comfortable with descriptions of our government's structure that would, to an untutored ear, speak contradiction. We are quite satisfied to say that governmental powers are separate and shared, departments distinct and overlapping, functions autonomous and interdependent. We have settled into these contradictions as we would a roomy chair: talking this way is no longer controversial but taken for granted, uttered with a knowing wink, perceived as the starting point of sophisticated analysis. A not "entirely separate," but "entirely free," set of departments is the only way we can think about ...