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Vanderbilt University Law School

Statutory interpretation

Supreme Court of the United States

Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Enacted Purposes Canon, Kevin M. Stack Jan 2019

The Enacted Purposes Canon, Kevin M. Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article argues that the principle relied upon in King v. Burwell that courts "cannot interpret statutes to negate their stated purposes"-the enacted purposes canon-is and should be viewed as a bedrock element of statutory interpretation. The Supreme Court has relied upon this principle for decades, but it has done so in ways that do not call attention to this interpretive choice. As a result, the scope and patterns of the Court's reliance are easy to miss. After reconstructing the Court's practice, this Article defends this principle of interpretation on analytic, normative, and pragmatic grounds. Building on jurisprudence showing that …


Minor Courts, Major Questions, Michael Coenen, Seth Davis Apr 2017

Minor Courts, Major Questions, Michael Coenen, Seth Davis

Vanderbilt Law Review

In Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., the Supreme Court deferred to an agency's controversial interpretation of a key provision of a regulatory statute. Lower courts now apply "Chevron deference" as a matter of course, upholding agencies' reasonable interpretations of ambiguous provisions within the statutes they administer. Recently, however, the Court refused in King v. Burwell to defer to an agency's answer to a statutory question, citing the "deep economic and political significance" of the question itself. The Court in King offered barebones guidance regarding the scope of and rationales for embracing this so-called "major questions exception" …


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 …


A Reevaluation Of The Canons Of Statutory Interpretation, Joseph H. Bates Apr 1992

A Reevaluation Of The Canons Of Statutory Interpretation, Joseph H. Bates

Vanderbilt Law Review

This Symposium has its genesis in the Vanderbilt Law Review's inaugural symposium, A Symposium on Statutory Construction, published in 1950.' Although the 1950 Symposium included a Foreword by Justice Felix Frankfurter and contributions by several preeminent scholars in the field, Karl Llewellyn's clumsily titled but succinctly written Remarks on the Theory of Appellate Decision and the Rules or Canons About How Statutes are to be Construed has eclipsed the Symposium which brought it to light and has persevered as a highly influential, if not definitive, critique of the canons of statutory construction.

Llewelyn's article, in general, attacks legal formalism and …