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2001

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Supreme Court of the United States

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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Trademark Law, Functional Design Features, And The Trouble With Traffix, Harold R. Weinberg Jan 2001

Trademark Law, Functional Design Features, And The Trouble With Traffix, Harold R. Weinberg

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

This article concerns trademark law's functionality doctrine and the Supreme Court's troublesome opinion concerning it in TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc. The doctrine provides that if a producer's useful or aesthetic design feature is "functional," then competitors can lawfully copy it even if the feature otherwise would be protected against copying by trademark principles. In order to introduce the functionality doctrine and the trouble with TrafFix, it is helpful to describe the nature of design features, the simultaneous roles they may play as source-identifying trade symbols and as useful or aesthetic product elements, and trademark ...