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Vanderbilt University Law School

Constitutional Law

Statutory interpretation

Journal

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Statutory Interpretations And The Therapy Of The Obvious, Edward L. Rubin Jan 2015

Statutory Interpretations And The Therapy Of The Obvious, Edward L. Rubin

Vanderbilt Law Review

Arthur Koestler wrote that "the more original a discovery the more obvious it seems afterward."' The same may be said about theories of law, and specifically about Robert Katzmann's new book, Judging Statutes. Judge Katzmann's approach to statutory interpretation seems so plausible and balanced that it is hard to believe that anyone ever believed anything else. In this particular case, however, there is in fact an "anything else." It is, of course, Justice Antonin Scalia's campaign to displace intentionalist or purposivist approaches to interpretation with what has come to be called "textualism," and his related effort to rule out reliance …


Conducting The Constitution: Justice Scalia, Textualism, And The Eroica Symphony, Ian Gallacher Jan 2006

Conducting The Constitution: Justice Scalia, Textualism, And The Eroica Symphony, Ian Gallacher

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

The goal of this article is a very modest one: to use one piece of music, the first movement of Beethoven's Eroica symphony, to consider how legal scholars, using the doctrinal principles they have developed to interpret the Constitution, would interpret the piece as conductors. This article makes no pretense of offering a new genre of legal hermeneutics; there is no suggestion here that a "law and musicology" movement will provide a comprehensive analytical framework which we can use to solve problems of Constitutional interpretation. Rather, this article suggests that musical interpretative "doctrines"--if so loose a collection of practices merits …


The Costs Of Incoherence: A Comment On Plain Meaning, West Virginia University Hospitals, Inc. V. Casey, And Due Process Of Statutory Interpretation, T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Theodore M. Shaw Apr 1992

The Costs Of Incoherence: A Comment On Plain Meaning, West Virginia University Hospitals, Inc. V. Casey, And Due Process Of Statutory Interpretation, T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Theodore M. Shaw

Vanderbilt Law Review

Karl Llewellyn's classic article on the canons of statutory construction, which we rightly celebrate in this Symposium, is too clever by half. To the reader untutored in the scholarly literature on statutory interpretation, the "thrust but parry" pairing of the canons is a delightful demonstration of how legal argument is structured in a way guaranteed to maintain discretion in the judiciary and to keep lawyers in business. No case involving a statute is clear cut because the canons can lend support to either side. This means that no lawyer is without an argument, and a judge is free to do …


Book Reviews, Stephen L. Wasby, Herbert A. Johnson Apr 1978

Book Reviews, Stephen L. Wasby, Herbert A. Johnson

Vanderbilt Law Review

The Courts and Social Policy Author: Donald L. Horowitz

Reviewed by Stephen L. Wasby

Donald Horowitz's The Courts and Social Policy is a serious effort to deal with the question of judicial capacity. Horowitz talks first of the expansion of judicial responsibility, which he thinks is a departure from the traditional exercise of the judicial function, and then explores the sources of this growth, particularly expansive statutory interpretation. He believes that courts do not do well at interpreting the mixes of statutes, regulations, and local arrangements with which they are faced more and more frequently. "Griggs v. Duke Power Co.," …


Statutory Interpretation, Henry N. Williams Aug 1953

Statutory Interpretation, Henry N. Williams

Vanderbilt Law Review

The Supreme Court of Tennessee reconsidered several problems in the field of Statutory Interpretation during the Survey period, but its decisions largely followed principles already established in Tennessee and other jurisdictions.

Constitutional Requirements

Certain problems in the field of legislation arise in Tennessee by reason of state constitutional provisions. The Court is committed to the position of interpreting these provisions more or less irrespective of the construction of comparable provisions in other state constitutions.'

The Constitution of the State of Tennessee provides: "No bill shall become a law, which embraces more than one subject; that subject to be expressed in …