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Communis Opinio And The Methods Of Statutory Interpretation: Interpreting Law Or Changing Law, Michael P. Healy Dec 2001

Communis Opinio And The Methods Of Statutory Interpretation: Interpreting Law Or Changing Law, Michael P. Healy

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Interpretive methodology lies at the core of the Supreme Court's persistent modern debate about statutory interpretation. Supreme Court Justices have applied two fundamentally different methods of interpretation. One is the formalist method, which seeks to promote rule-of-law values and purports to constrain the discretion of judges by limiting them to the autonomous legal text. The second is the nonformalist or antiformalist method, which may consider the legislature's intent or purpose or other evidence as context for understanding the statutory text. The debate within the current Court is commonly framed and advanced by Justices Stevens and Scalia. Justice Scalia ...


Textualism’S Limits On The Administrative State: Of Isolated Waters, Barking Dogs, And Chevron, Michael P. Healy Aug 2001

Textualism’S Limits On The Administrative State: Of Isolated Waters, Barking Dogs, And Chevron, Michael P. Healy

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

In Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) does not have authority under the Clean Water Act (the Act or the CWA) to regulate the filling of “other waters.” This decision demonstrates a major shift in the Court's approach to statutory interpretation, particularly in the context of reviewing an agency’s understanding of a statute. The significance of the case is best gauged by contrasting it with United States v. Riverside Bayview Homes, Inc ...


Tax Expenditures, Social Justice And Civil Rights: Expanding The Scope Of Civil Rights Laws To Apply To Tax-Exempt Charities, David A. Brennen Jan 2001

Tax Expenditures, Social Justice And Civil Rights: Expanding The Scope Of Civil Rights Laws To Apply To Tax-Exempt Charities, David A. Brennen

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

In recent years, courts have decided a number of cases in which private organizations discriminated against people based solely on their race, gender, sexual orientation, or other immutable traits. For example, in 2000, the Boy Scouts of America revoked a New Jersey man's membership in the Boy Scouts because he was gay. New Jersey's supreme court held that the Boy Scouts' action violated New Jersey's anti-discrimination law. Notwithstanding the state court's holding, the United States Supreme Court concluded that the First Amendment prevented any court from forcing the Boy Scouts to keep a gay man as ...