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Full-Text Articles in Law

Purposivism In The Executive Branch: How Agencies Interpret Statutes, Kevin M. Stack Jan 2015

Purposivism In The Executive Branch: How Agencies Interpret Statutes, Kevin M. Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

After decades of debate, the lines of distinction between textualism and purposivism have been carefully drawn with respect to the judicial task of statutory interpretation. Far less attention has been devoted to the question of how executive branch officials approach statutory interpretation. While scholars have contrasted agencies interpretive practices from those of courts, they have not yet developed a theory of agency statutory interpretation. This Article develops a purposivist theory of agency statutory interpretation on the ground that regulatory statutes oblige agencies to implement the statutes they administer in that manner. Regulatory statutes not only grant powers but also impose …


The Origins Of Legislation, Ganesh Sitaraman Jan 2015

The Origins Of Legislation, Ganesh Sitaraman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Although legislation is at the center of legal debates on statutory interpretation, administrative law, and delegation, little is known about how legislation is actually drafted. If scholars pay any attention to Congress at all, they tend to focus on what happens after legislation is introduced, ignoring how the draft came to exist in the first place. In other words, they focus on the legislative process, not the drafting process. The result is that our account of Congress, the legislative process, and the administrative state is impoverished, and debates in statutory interpretation and administrative law are incomplete. This Article seeks to …


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 …