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Statutory interpretation

2014

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Institution
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Articles 1 - 30 of 32

Full-Text Articles in Law

Are Housekeepers Like Judges?, Stephen P. Garvey Dec 2014

Are Housekeepers Like Judges?, Stephen P. Garvey

Stephen P. Garvey

Professor Greenawalt proposes that we look at interpretation "from the bottom up." By taking a close look at informal relationships between an authority and his or her agent, and how the agent "faithfully performs" instructions within such relationships, he hopes to gain insight into the problems surrounding the interpretation of legal directives. The analysis of "faithful performance" in informal contexts which Professor Greenawalt presents in From the Bottom Up is the first step in a larger project. His next step is to see what lessons the interpretation of instructions in informal contexts has for law. This Comment tries to contribute …


Statutory Interpretation And The Balance Of Power In The Administrative State, Cynthia Farina Dec 2014

Statutory Interpretation And The Balance Of Power In The Administrative State, Cynthia Farina

Cynthia R. Farina


What 30 Years Of Chevron Teach Us About The Rest Of Statutory Interpretation , Abbe R. Gluck Nov 2014

What 30 Years Of Chevron Teach Us About The Rest Of Statutory Interpretation , Abbe R. Gluck

Fordham Law Review

No abstract provided.


Improving Agencies’ Preemption Expertise With Chevmore Codification, Kent H. Barnett Nov 2014

Improving Agencies’ Preemption Expertise With Chevmore Codification, Kent H. Barnett

Scholarly Works

After nearly thirty years, the judicially crafted Chevron and Skidmore judicial-review doctrines have found new life as exotic, yet familiar, legislative tools. When Chevron deference applies, courts employ two steps: they consider whether the statutory provision at issue is ambiguous, and, if so, they defer to an administering agency’s reasonable interpretation. Skidmore deference, in contrast, is a less deferential regime in which courts assume interpretative primacy over statutory ambiguities but defer to agency action based on four factors — the agency’s thoroughness, reasoning, consistency, and overall persuasiveness. In the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Congress directed courts …


As 24.25.065, A Statute Devolved From Aristotle's Rhetoric, Peter J. Aschenbrenner Oct 2014

As 24.25.065, A Statute Devolved From Aristotle's Rhetoric, Peter J. Aschenbrenner

Peter J. Aschenbrenner

The legislative council shall annually examine, AS 24.20.065(a) provides in paraphrase, published opinions of state courts that rely on state statutes if the opinions indicate unclear or ambiguous statutes. Our Constitutional Logic examines the collaboration theory of lawmakers, on the codelaw and caselaw side of the ledger.


As 24.25.065, A Statute Devolved From Aristotle's Rhetoric, Peter J. Aschenbrenner Oct 2014

As 24.25.065, A Statute Devolved From Aristotle's Rhetoric, Peter J. Aschenbrenner

Peter J. Aschenbrenner

The legislative council shall annually examine, AS 24.20.065(a) provides in paraphrase, published opinions of state courts that rely on state statutes if the opinions indicate unclear or ambiguous statutes. Our Constitutional Logic examines the collaboration theory of lawmakers, on the codelaw and caselaw side of the ledger.


Protecting Whistleblower Protections In The Dodd-Frank Act, Samuel C. Leifer Oct 2014

Protecting Whistleblower Protections In The Dodd-Frank Act, Samuel C. Leifer

Michigan Law Review

In 2008, the United States fell into its worst economic recession in over seventy years. In response, Congress enacted the near-comprehensive Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Section 922 of Dodd–Frank, in particular, includes specific provisions designed to incentivize and protect corporate whistleblowers. These provisions demonstrated Congress’s belief that a comprehensive and robust whistleblower protection scheme was essential to preventing many of the abuses that caused the financial crisis. Unfortunately, this section’s inconsistent language has produced conflicting decisions within the federal judiciary. In accordance with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”)’s own reading of Section 922, several district …


Introduction To The Micro-­‐‑Symposium On Scalia & Garner's “Reading Law”:The Textualist Technician, Karen Petroski Oct 2014

Introduction To The Micro-­‐‑Symposium On Scalia & Garner's “Reading Law”:The Textualist Technician, Karen Petroski

All Faculty Scholarship

Recently, the Green Bag issued a call for short (1,000 words) essays on Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, by Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner. We sought “[a]ny theoretical, empirical, or practical commentary that will help readers better understand the book.” The result is this micro-symposium. Our call drew dozens of micro-essays, some thought-provoking, some chuckle-prompting, and some both. Blessed with an abundance of good work but cursed by a shortage of space, we were compelled to select a small set – representative and excellent – of those essays to publish in the Green Bag and its sibling publication, …


Interpreting Force Authorization, Scott Sullivan Sep 2014

Interpreting Force Authorization, Scott Sullivan

Scott Sullivan

This Article presents a theory of authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs) that reconcilesseparation of power failures in the current interpretive model. Existing doctrine applies the same text-driven models of statutory interpretation to AUMFs that are utilized with all other legal instruments. However, the conditions at birth, objectives and expected impacts underlying military force authorizations differ dramatically from typical legislation. AUMFs are focused but temporary corrective interventions intended to change the underlying facts that prompted their passage. This Article examines historical practice and utilizes institutionalist principles to develop a theory of AUMF decay that eschews text in favor …


Private Law In The Gaps, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski Jun 2014

Private Law In The Gaps, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski

Jeffrey A. Pojanowski

Private law subjects like tort, contract, and property are traditionally taken to be at the core of the common law tradition, yet statutes increasingly intersect with these bodies of doctrine. This Article draws on recent work in private law theory and statutory interpretation to consider afresh what courts should do with private law in statutory gaps. In particular, it focuses on statutes touching on tort law, a field at the leading edge of private law theory. This Article’s analysis unsettles some conventional wisdom about the intersection of private law and statutes. Many leading tort scholars and jurists embrace a regulatory …


Is The Supreme Court Disabling The Enabling Act, Or Is Shady Grove Just Another Bad Opera?, Robert J. Condlin Jun 2014

Is The Supreme Court Disabling The Enabling Act, Or Is Shady Grove Just Another Bad Opera?, Robert J. Condlin

Robert J. Condlin

After seventy years of trying, the Supreme Court has yet to agree on whether the Rules Enabling Act articulates a one or two part standard for determining the validity of a Federal Rule. Is it enough that a Federal Rule regulates “practice and procedure,” or must it also not “abridge substantive rights”? The Enabling Act seems to require both, but the Court is not so sure, and the costs of its uncertainty are real. Among other things, litigants must guess whether the decision to apply a Federal Rule in a given case will depend upon predictable ritual, judicial power grab, …


Presidential Inaction And The Separation Of Powers, Jeffrey A. Love, Arpit K. Garg May 2014

Presidential Inaction And The Separation Of Powers, Jeffrey A. Love, Arpit K. Garg

Michigan Law Review

Imagine two presidents. The first campaigned on an issue that requires him to expand the role of the federal government-—maybe it was civil rights legislation or stricter sentencing for federal criminals. In contrast, the second president pushes policies—-financial deregulation, perhaps, or drug decriminalization—-that mean less government involvement. Each is elected in a decisive fashion, and each claims a mandate to advance his agenda. The remaining question is what steps each must take to achieve his goals. The answer is clear, and it is surprising. To implement his preferred policies, the first president faces the full gauntlet of checks and balances-—from …


Calling On U.S. Courts To Adopt Canada's Unified Approach To Statutory Interpretation, Amir Pichhadze Apr 2014

Calling On U.S. Courts To Adopt Canada's Unified Approach To Statutory Interpretation, Amir Pichhadze

The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process

No abstract provided.


On Reading The Language Of Statutes (Book Review), Linda D. Jellum Mar 2014

On Reading The Language Of Statutes (Book Review), Linda D. Jellum

University of Massachusetts Law Review

Linda D. Jellum reviews Lawrence M. Solan, The Language of Statutes: Laws and Their Interpretation (The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2010), ISBN-13: 978-0-226-76796-3.


Benevolent Maleficence:How A Well-Intentioned Legislature And A Deferential Court Combined To Stunt The Development Of Massachusetts Product Liability Law, Philip E. Cleary Mar 2014

Benevolent Maleficence:How A Well-Intentioned Legislature And A Deferential Court Combined To Stunt The Development Of Massachusetts Product Liability Law, Philip E. Cleary

University of Massachusetts Law Review

Massachusetts product liability law is unusual. Unlike most states, Massachusetts does not recognize strict tort liability in the product area. Rather, "strict product liability" is limited to breaches of warranty under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. the Massachusetts Legislature amended Article 2 in several ways to provide a "strict liability" remedy that is, in the words of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, "congruent in nearly all respects with the principles" of strict tort liability. The court has construed the amendments to the UCC as precluding the adoption of strict tort liability in Massachusetts. In most ways, Massachusetts product …


Private Law In The Gaps, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski Mar 2014

Private Law In The Gaps, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski

Fordham Law Review

Private law subjects like tort, contract, and property are traditionally taken to be at the core of the common law tradition, yet statutes increasingly intersect with these bodies of doctrine. This Article draws on recent work in private law theory and statutory interpretation to consider afresh what courts should do with private law in statutory gaps. In particular, it focuses on statutes touching on tort law, a field at the leading edge of private law theory.

This Article’s analysis unsettles some conventional wisdom about the intersection of private law and statutes. Many leading tort scholars and jurists embrace a regulatory …


The Puzzling Presumption Of Reviewability, Nicholas Bagley Mar 2014

The Puzzling Presumption Of Reviewability, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

The presumption in favor of judicial review of agency action is a cornerstone of administrative law, accepted by courts and commentators alike as both legally appropriate and obviously desirable. Yet the presumption is puzzling. As with any canon of statutory construction that serves a substantive end, it should find a source in history, positive law, the Constitution, or sound policy considerations. None of these, however, offers a plausible justification for the presumption. As for history, the sort of judicial review that the presumption favors - appellate-style arbitrariness review - was not only unheard of prior to the twentieth century, but …


Enacted Legislative Findings And The Deference Problem, Daniel A. Crane Mar 2014

Enacted Legislative Findings And The Deference Problem, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

The constitutionality of federal legislation sometimes turns on the presence and sufficiency of congressional findings of predicate facts, such as the effects of conduct on interstate commerce, state discrimination justifying the abrogation of sovereign immunity, or market failures justifying intrusions on free speech. Sometimes a congressional committee makes these findings in legislative history. Other times, Congress recites its findings in a statutory preamble, thus enacting its findings as law. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court has not distinguished between enacted and unenacted findings in deciding how much deference to accord congressional findings. This is striking because the difference between enactedness and unenactedness …


House Swaps: A Strategic Bankruptcy Solution To The Foreclosure Crisis, Lynn M. Lopucki Mar 2014

House Swaps: A Strategic Bankruptcy Solution To The Foreclosure Crisis, Lynn M. Lopucki

Michigan Law Review

Since the price peak in 2006, home values have fallen more than 30 percent, leaving millions of Americans with negative equity in their homes. Until the Supreme Court’s 1993 decision in Nobelman v. American Savings Bank, the bankruptcy system would have provided many such homeowners with a remedy. They could have filed bankruptcy, discharged the negative equity, committed to pay the mortgage holders the full values of their homes, and retained those homes. In Nobelman, however, the Court misinterpreted reasonably clear statutory language and invented legislative history to resolve a three-to-one split of circuits in favor of the minority view …


The Search For Legislative Intent, Larry Alexander Jan 2014

The Search For Legislative Intent, Larry Alexander

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Designing A Flexible World For The Many: "Essential Functions" And Title I Of The Americans With Disabilities Act, Michael J. Powers Jan 2014

Designing A Flexible World For The Many: "Essential Functions" And Title I Of The Americans With Disabilities Act, Michael J. Powers

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note explores how courts interpret the meaning of “essential functions” under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To be protected under the ADA, a plaintiff must be able to perform the “essential functions” of her job with or without a reasonable accommodation. In general, courts follow one of two approaches when interpreting this phrase. The first approach narrowly focuses on the employer’s judgment regarding which functions are essential. The second approach considers the employer’s judgment, but looks beyond to consider the broader employment relationship. This Note argues that these different approaches have led to varying levels of …


A Process Failure Theory Of Statutory Interpretation, Mark Seidenfeld Jan 2014

A Process Failure Theory Of Statutory Interpretation, Mark Seidenfeld

Scholarly Publications

Despite all that has been written about the choice between purposivist, intentionalist, and textualist approaches to statutory interpretation, to date the literature has not provided a justification for the common judicial practice of relying on intent-based inquiries in some cases and disavowing those approaches for textualism in others. This Article fills that void and, in doing so, lays out a new “legislative process failure” theory of statutory interpretation that has the potential to move the debate beyond a simple choice between textual and intent-based interpretation. This Article argues that Congress and the courts comprise different linguistic communities when they interpret …


Formalism And Employer Liability Under Title Vii, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2014

Formalism And Employer Liability Under Title Vii, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

Most lawyers, law professors, and judges are familiar with two standard critiques of formalism in legal reasoning. One is the unacknowledged-policymaking critique. This critique argues that formalist reasoning purports to be above judicial policymaking but instead simply hides the policy decisions offstage. The other is the false-determinacy critique. This critique observes that formalist reasoning purports to reduce decision costs in the run of cases by sorting cases into defined categories, but argues that instead of going away the difficult questions of application migrate to the choice of the category in which to place a particular case.


The Tempting Of Antitrust: Robert Bork And The Goals Of Antitrust Policy, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2014

The Tempting Of Antitrust: Robert Bork And The Goals Of Antitrust Policy, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Of all Robert Bork’s many important contributions to antitrust law, none was more significant than his identification of economic efficiency, disguised as consumer welfare, as the sole normative objective of U.S. antitrust law. The Supreme Court relied primarily on Bork’s argument that Congress intended the Sherman Act to advance consumer welfare in making its landmark statement in Reiter v. Sonotone that “Congress designed the Sherman Act as a ‘consumer welfare prescription.’” This singular normative vision proved foundational to the reorientation of antitrust law away from an interventionist, populist, Brandeisian, and vaguely Jeffersonian conception of antitrust law as a constraint on …


Missing The Forest For The Trees: Why Supplemental Needs Trusts Should Be Exempt From Medicaid Determinations, Jeffrey R. Grimyser Jan 2014

Missing The Forest For The Trees: Why Supplemental Needs Trusts Should Be Exempt From Medicaid Determinations, Jeffrey R. Grimyser

Chicago-Kent Law Review

Supplemental needs trusts are trusts designed to assist individuals with disabilities by paying for services and items that Medicaid will not pay for. Federal law, however, is unclear as to whether using one of these trusts automatically disqualifies someone from receiving Medicaid, thereby causing the circuit courts to split on their interpretation. Some circuits have held that the Medicaid statute allows states to enact laws prohibiting the use of these trusts while receiving Medicaid benefits based on the federal law’s statutory language. While other circuits have ruled that individuals can simultaneously receive Medicaid benefits and use supplemental needs trusts given …


Elementary Statutory Interpretation: Rethinking Legislative Intent And History, Victoria Nourse Jan 2014

Elementary Statutory Interpretation: Rethinking Legislative Intent And History, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article argues that theorists and practitioners of statutory interpretation should rethink two very basic concepts—legislative intent and legislative history. Textualists urge that to look to legislative history is to seek an intent that does not exist. This article argues we should put this objection to bed because, even if groups do not have minds, they have the functional equivalent of intent: they plan by using internal sequential procedures allowing them to project their collective actions forward in time. What we should mean by legislative “intent” is legislative “context.” For a group, context includes how groups act—their procedures. Once one …


Overrides: The Super-Study, Victoria Nourse Jan 2014

Overrides: The Super-Study, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Overrides should be of interest to a far larger group of scholars than statutory interpretation enthusiasts. We have, in overrides, open inter branch encounters between Congress and the Courts far more typically found in the shadows of everyday Washington politics. Interestingly, Christiansen and Eskridge posit the court-congress relationship as more triadic than dyadic given the role played by agencies. One of their more interesting conclusions is that agencie are the big winners in the override game: agencies were present in seventy percent of the override cases and the agency view prevailed with Congress and against the Supreme Court in three-quarters …


Bond V. United States: Concurring In The Judgment, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz Jan 2014

Bond V. United States: Concurring In The Judgment, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Bond v. United States presented the deep constitutional question of whether a treaty can increase the legislative power of Congress. Unfortunately, a majority of the Court managed to sidestep the constitutional issue by dodgy statutory interpretation. But the other three Justices—Scalia, Thomas, and Alito—all wrote important concurrences in the judgment, grappling with the constitutional issues presented. In particular, Justice Scalia’s opinion (joined by Justice Thomas), is a masterpiece, eloquently demonstrating that Missouri v. Holland is wrong and should be overruled: a treaty cannot increase the legislative power of Congress.


A Framework For Judicial Review And Remand In Immigration Law, Collin D. Schueler Jan 2014

A Framework For Judicial Review And Remand In Immigration Law, Collin D. Schueler

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

This Article breaks new ground at the intersection of administrative law and immigration law. One of the more important questions in both fields is whether a reviewing court should resolve a legal issue in the first instance or remand that issue to the agency. This Article advances the novel claim that courts should use the modem framework for judicial review of agency statutory interpretations to inform their resolution of this remand question. Then, using this framework, the Article identifies when remand is and is not appropriate in immigration cases. This critical analysis, which urges a departure from conventional academic wisdom, …


Fictions Of Omniscience, Karen Petroski Jan 2014

Fictions Of Omniscience, Karen Petroski

All Faculty Scholarship

Recent studies of the legislative process have questioned the rationales for many principles of statutory interpretation. One of those traditional rationales is the so-called fiction of legislative omniscience, understood to underpin many judicial approaches to statutory decisions. This Article presents the first comprehensive analysis of judicial assertions about legislative awareness and proposes a new way to understand them. The proposed perspective compares fictions of legislative omniscience with similar but more widely accepted imputations of knowledge in other areas of law; it also draws on recent findings from other disciplines regarding how we use and respond to statements about fictional states …