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Antitrust law

University of Michigan Law School

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Antitrust Antitextualism, Daniel A. Crane Mar 2021

Antitrust Antitextualism, Daniel A. Crane

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Judges and scholars frequently describe antitrust as a common-law system predicated on open-textured statutes, but that description fails to capture a historically persistent phenomenon:judicial disregard of the plain meaning of the statutory texts and manifest purposes of Congress. This pattern of judicial nullification is not evenly distributed: when the courts have deviated from the plain meaning or congressional purpose, they have uniformly done so to limit the reach of antitrust liability or curtail the labor exemption to the benefit of industrial interests. This phenomenon cannot be explained solely or even primarily as a tug-of-war between a progressive Congress and ...