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Statutory interpretation

2015

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Institution
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Articles 1 - 30 of 48

Full-Text Articles in Law

In Re P.S., 131 Nev. Adv. Op. 95 (Dec. 24, 2015), Rob Schmidt Dec 2015

In Re P.S., 131 Nev. Adv. Op. 95 (Dec. 24, 2015), Rob Schmidt

Nevada Supreme Court Summaries

The Supreme Court of Nevada held that under NRS § 62B.030 the district court has discretion over whether to conduct a hearing de novo after reviewing the recommendations of a master of the juvenile court when timely requested.


Book Review Of "Judging Statutes" By Robert Katzmann, Peter Strauss Nov 2015

Book Review Of "Judging Statutes" By Robert Katzmann, Peter Strauss

Journal of Legal Education

No abstract provided.


Holding On To Clarity: Reconciling The Federal Kidnapping Statute With The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, Benjamin Reese Oct 2015

Holding On To Clarity: Reconciling The Federal Kidnapping Statute With The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, Benjamin Reese

Michigan Law Review

In recent decades, the international community has come to recognize human trafficking as a problem of epidemic proportions. Congress responded to this global crisis in 2000 by passing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and has since supplemented that comprehensive enactment. But, in light of the widespread use of psychological rather than physical coercion in trafficking cases, a long-standing split among federal courts regarding the scope of the federal kidnapping statute raises significant concerns about the United States’ efforts to combat traffickers. In particular, the broad interpretation adopted by several circuits threatens effective enforcement of statutes designed to prosecute traffickers, …


Interpreting Force Authorization, Scott Sullivan Oct 2015

Interpreting Force Authorization, Scott Sullivan

Journal Articles

This Article presents a theory of authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs) that reconciles separation 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 …


Is The Chief Justice A Tax Lawyer?, Stephanie Hoffer, Christopher J. Walker Oct 2015

Is The Chief Justice A Tax Lawyer?, Stephanie Hoffer, Christopher J. Walker

Christopher J. Walker

King v. Burwell is a crucial victory for the Obama Administration and for the future of the Affordable Care Act. It also has important implications for tax law and administration, as explored in the other terrific contributions to this Pepperdine Law Review Symposium. In this Essay, we turn to another tax-related feature of the Chief Justice’s opinion for the Court: It is hard to ignore the fingerprints of a tax lawyer throughout the opinion. This Essay focuses on two instances of a tax lawyer at work.

First, in the Chief’s approach to statutory interpretation one sees a tax lawyer as …


Interpreting Force Authorization, Scott M. Sullivan Oct 2015

Interpreting Force Authorization, Scott M. Sullivan

Florida State University Law Review

This Article presents a theory of authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs) that reconciles separation 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 …


Three Words And The Future Of The Affordable Care Act, Nicholas Bagley Oct 2015

Three Words And The Future Of The Affordable Care Act, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

As an essential part of its effort to achieve near universal coverage, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extends sizable tax credits to most people who buy insurance on the newly established health care exchanges. Yet several lawsuits have been filed challenging the availability of those tax credits in the thirty-four states that refused to set up their own exchanges. The lawsuits are premised on a strained interpretation of the ACA that, if accepted, would make a hash of other provisions of the statute and undermine its effort to extend coverage to the uninsured. The courts should reject this latest effort …


Predicting The Fallout From King V. Burwell - Exchanges And The Aca, Nicholas Bagley, David K. Jones, Timothy Stoltzfus Jost Sep 2015

Predicting The Fallout From King V. Burwell - Exchanges And The Aca, Nicholas Bagley, David K. Jones, Timothy Stoltzfus Jost

Timothy S. Jost

The U.S. Supreme Court's surprise announcement on November 7 that it would hear King v. Burwell struck fear in the hearts of supporters of the Affordable Cara Act (ACA). At stake is the legality of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rule extending tax credits to the 4.5 million people who bought their health plans in the 34 states that declined to establish their own health insurance exchanges under the ACA. The case hinges on enigmatic statutory language that seems to link the amount of tax credits to a health plan purchased "through an Exchange established by the State." According to …


Jurisdictional Standards (And Rules), Adam I. Muchmore Aug 2015

Jurisdictional Standards (And Rules), Adam I. Muchmore

Adam I. Muchmore

This Article uses the jurisprudential dichotomy between two opposing types of legal requirements — “rules” and “standards” — to examine extraterritorial regulation by the United States. It argues that there is natural push toward standards in extraterritorial regulation because numerous institutional actors either see standards as the best option in extraterritorial regulation or accept standards as a second-best option when their first choice (a rule favorable to their interests or their worldview) is not feasible. The Article explores several reasons for this push toward standards, including: statutory text, statutory interpretation theories, the nonbinary nature of the domestic/foreign characterization, the tendency …


Take It To The Limit: The Illegal Regulation Prohibiting The Take Of Any Threatened Species Under The Endangered Species Act, Jonathan Wood Aug 2015

Take It To The Limit: The Illegal Regulation Prohibiting The Take Of Any Threatened Species Under The Endangered Species Act, Jonathan Wood

Jonathan Wood

The Endangered Species Act forbids the “take” – any activity that adversely affects – any member of an endangered species, but only endangered species. The statute also provides for the listing of threatened species, i.e. species that may become endangered, but protects them only by requiring agencies to consider the impacts of their projects on them. Shortly after the statute was adopted, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service reversed Congress’ policy choice by adopting a regulation that forbids the take of any threatened species. The regulation is not authorized by the Endangered Species Act, but …


Statutory Misinterpretations: Small V. United States Darkens The Already Murky Waters Of Statutory Interpretation, Michelle Schuld Jul 2015

Statutory Misinterpretations: Small V. United States Darkens The Already Murky Waters Of Statutory Interpretation, Michelle Schuld

Akron Law Review

Part II of this Note will examine the background of this issue by exploring the history and purpose of the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the circuit split arising over the interpretation of the words “any court” under § 922(g)(1). Part III will focus on Small v. United States in detail, including the underlying facts, procedural history, and majority and dissenting opinions. Part IV will analyze this decision and argue that the majority misused canons of statutory interpretation to reach an interpretation that is contrary to the plain meaning of the statute. The section will also discuss the majority’s …


Practical Tips For Interpreting Statutory Overrides, Deborah A. Widiss Jul 2015

Practical Tips For Interpreting Statutory Overrides, Deborah A. Widiss

Articles by Maurer Faculty

No abstract provided.


The Nlrb, The Courts, The Administrative Procedures Act, And Chevron: Now And Then, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jul 2015

The Nlrb, The Courts, The Administrative Procedures Act, And Chevron: Now And Then, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Decisions of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), like those of other administrative agencies, are subject to review by the federal judiciary. Standards of review have evolved over time. The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 provides that administrative decisions must be in accord with law and required procedure, not arbitrary or capricious, not contrary to constitutional rights, within an agency's statutory jurisdiction, and supported by substantial evidence. In practice, more attention is paid to two Supreme Court decisions, Skidmore (1944) and Chevron (1984). For many years Chevron seemed the definitive test. A court must follow a clear intent of Congress, …


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

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

Northwestern University Law Review

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 …


Rethinking Special Education's "Least Restrictive Environment" Requirement, Cari Carson Jun 2015

Rethinking Special Education's "Least Restrictive Environment" Requirement, Cari Carson

Michigan Law Review

The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act promotes the education of students with disabilities together with their nondisabled peers, requiring education in the “least restrictive environment” (“LRE”). This requirement has long been subject to competing interpretations. This Note contends that the dominant interpretation—requiring education in the least restrictive environment available—is deficient and allows students to be placed in unnecessarily restrictive settings. Drawing from child mental health law, this Note proposes an alternative LRE approach that requires education in the least restrictive environment needed and argues that this alternative approach is a better reading of the law.


Fun With Administrative Law: A Game For Lawyers And Judges, Adam Babich May 2015

Fun With Administrative Law: A Game For Lawyers And Judges, Adam Babich

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

The practice of law is not a game. Administrative law in particular can implicate important issues that impact people’s health, safety, and welfare and change business’ profitability or even viability. Nonetheless, it can seem like a game. This is because courts rarely explain administrative law rulings in terms of the public purposes and policies at issue in lawsuits. Instead, the courts’ administrative law opinions tend to turn on arcane interpretive doctrines with silly names, such as the “Chevron two-step” or “Chevron step zero.” To advance doctrinal arguments, advocates and courts engage in linguistic debates that resemble a smokescreen—tending to obscure …


Inside Agency Statutory Interpretation, Christopher J. Walker May 2015

Inside Agency Statutory Interpretation, Christopher J. Walker

Christopher J. Walker

The Constitution vests all legislative powers in Congress, yet Congress grants expansive lawmaking authority to federal agencies. As positive political theorists have long explored, Congress intends for federal agencies to faithfully exercise their delegated authority, but ensuring fidelity to congressional wishes is difficult due to asymmetries in information, expertise, and preferences that complicate congressional control and oversight. Indeed, this principal-agent problem has a democratic and constitutional dimension, as the legitimacy of administrative governance may well depend on whether the unelected bureaucracy is a faithful agent of Congress. Despite the predominance of lawmaking by regulation and the decades-long application of principal-agent …


The Demise Of Habeas Corpus And The Rise Of Qualified Immunity: The Court's Ever Increasing Limitations On The Development And Enforcement Of Constitutional Rights And Some Particularly Unfortunate Consequences, Stephen R. Reinhardt May 2015

The Demise Of Habeas Corpus And The Rise Of Qualified Immunity: The Court's Ever Increasing Limitations On The Development And Enforcement Of Constitutional Rights And Some Particularly Unfortunate Consequences, Stephen R. Reinhardt

Michigan Law Review

The collapse of habeas corpus as a remedy for even the most glaring of constitutional violations ranks among the greater wrongs of our legal era. Once hailed as the Great Writ, and still feted with all the standard rhetorical flourishes, habeas corpus has been transformed over the past two decades from a vital guarantor of liberty into an instrument for ratifying the power of state courts to disregard the protections of the Constitution. Along with so many other judicial tools meant to safeguard the powerless, enforce constitutional rights, and hold the government accountable, habeas has been slowly eroded by a …


Can An Oil Pit Take A Bird?: Why The Migratory Bird Treaty Act Should Apply To Inadvertent Takings And Killings By Oil Pits, Monica B. Carusello Apr 2015

Can An Oil Pit Take A Bird?: Why The Migratory Bird Treaty Act Should Apply To Inadvertent Takings And Killings By Oil Pits, Monica B. Carusello

Monica B Carusello

No abstract provided.


Making The Peg Fit The Hole: A Superior Solution To The Inherant Problems Of Incorporated Definitions, Lindsey P. Gustafson Apr 2015

Making The Peg Fit The Hole: A Superior Solution To The Inherant Problems Of Incorporated Definitions, Lindsey P. Gustafson

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review

No abstract provided.


Silent Similarity, Jessica D. Litman Apr 2015

Silent Similarity, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

From 1909 to 1930, U.S. courts grappled with claims by authors of prose works claiming that works in a new art form—silent movies—had infringed their copyrights. These cases laid the groundwork for much of modern copyright law, from their broad expansion of the reproduction right, to their puzzled grappling with the question how to compare works in dissimilar media, to their confusion over what sort of evidence should be relevant to show copyrightability, copying and infringement. Some of those cases—in particular, Nichols v. Universal Pictures—are canonical today. They are not, however, well-understood. In particular, the problem at the heart of …


Judge Posner's Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman Apr 2015

Judge Posner's Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman

Michigan Law Review

The world is complex, Richard Posner observes in his most recent book, Reflections on Judging. It follows that, for judges to achieve “sensible” resolutions of real-world disputes—by which Judge Posner means “in a way that can be explained in ordinary language and justified as consistent with the expectations of normal people” (p. 354)—they must be able to navigate the world’s complexity successfully. To apply legal rules correctly and (where judicial lawmaking is called for) to formulate legal rules prudently, judges must understand the causal mechanisms and processes that undergird complex systems, and they must be able to draw sound factual …


Reading Statutes In The Common Law Tradition, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski Mar 2015

Reading Statutes In The Common Law Tradition, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski

Jeffrey A. Pojanowski

There is wide agreement in American law and scholarship about the role the common law tradition plays in statutory interpretation. Jurists and scholars of various stripes concur that the common law points away from formalist interpretive approaches like textualism and toward a more creative, independent role for courts. They simply differ over whether the common law tradition is worth preserving. Dynamic and strongly purposive interpreters claim the Anglo-American common law heritage in support of their approach to statutory interpretation, while arguing that formalism is an unjustified break from that tradition. Formalists reply that the common law mindset and methods are …


Aaron's Law: Reactionary Legislation In The Guise Of Justice, Matthew Aaron Viana Mar 2015

Aaron's Law: Reactionary Legislation In The Guise Of Justice, Matthew Aaron Viana

University of Massachusetts Law Review

This Note argues that the proposed amendment to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act dubbed “Aaron’s Law,” created in the wake of the prosecution and subsequent suicide of hacktivist Aaron Swartz, should not be enacted as it is overly reactionary legislation which would have unfortunate and unjust repercussions in the realm of civil litigation. This Note first describes the circumstances under which Mr. Swartz found himself prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, namely his intrusion into, and downloading massive amounts of data from, large internet databases like PACER and JSTOR. This Note also explores the disputed interpretation of …


It's Time For The Supreme Court To Review The Economic Substance Doctrine, Andy Grewal Mar 2015

It's Time For The Supreme Court To Review The Economic Substance Doctrine, Andy Grewal

Andy Grewal

In United States v. Woods, this writer submitted an amicus brief arguing that the Supreme Court should reserve its judgment about the economic substance doctrine, which the district court had applied below. The Supreme Court agreed with that argument, expressly leaving its opinion about the proper application of the economic substance doctrine to a future case.That future case has arrived. This amicus brief, supporting the taxpayer’s petition in WFC Holdings v. United States, explains why this case presents the perfect opportunity for the Court to explain what weight, if any, legislative enactments enjoy in deciding economic substance cases. Although this …


Will The Economic Substance Doctrine Get Lost In The Woods? (Amicus Brief), Andy Grewal Mar 2015

Will The Economic Substance Doctrine Get Lost In The Woods? (Amicus Brief), Andy Grewal

Andy Grewal

This fall, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in U.S. v. Woods, a tax case involving complex jurisdictional and penalty issues that no emotionally healthy person should take an interest in. But behind those issues lie important questions about the economic substance doctrine, which involves the allocation of lawmaking authority between the legislature and the judiciary.This amicus brief, submitted in support of neither party, informs the Court about the issues hiding in this case. It urges the Court to take a cautious approach in deciding Woods -- the phrase "economic substance doctrine" has never appeared in a Court opinion, …


Longstanding Agency Interpretations, Anita S. Krishnakumar Mar 2015

Longstanding Agency Interpretations, Anita S. Krishnakumar

Fordham Law Review

How much deference—or what kind—should courts give to longstanding agency interpretations of statutes? Surprisingly, courts and scholars lack a coherent answer to this question. Legal scholars long have assumed that longstanding agency statutory interpretations are treated with heightened deference on judicial review, and federal courts sometimes have made statements suggesting that this is the case. But in practice, federal court review of longstanding agency interpretations—at both the U.S. Supreme Court and courts of appeals—turns out to be surprisingly erratic. Reviewing courts sometimes note the longevity of an agency’s statutory interpretation as a plus factor in their deference analysis but at …


Opting Out Of Shareholder Primacy: Is The Public Benefit Corporation Trivial?, David Yosifon Feb 2015

Opting Out Of Shareholder Primacy: Is The Public Benefit Corporation Trivial?, David Yosifon

Faculty Publications

The central command of corporate governance law is that directors must serve the shareholder interest. Directors may not sacrifice shareholder value in favor of other corporate stakeholders or other interests. In this Article, I examine whether this rule of shareholder primacy is mandatory, or merely a default rule which can be altered through private ordering. I argue that Delaware’s corporate law, the most important corporate law in the United States, should be understood to have long-permitted privately-ordered deviation from shareholder primacy. This assessment, however, is at least complicated by the recent legislative creation of the Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). The …


Everything Is Presumed In Texas, Benjamin Walther Jan 2015

Everything Is Presumed In Texas, Benjamin Walther

Benjamin Walther

As this Article will reveal, the Fifth Circuit has traditionally been loath to apply the presumption against preemption in most cases. Texas courts, on the other hand, have consistently employed a particularly strong application of the presumption to all types of preemption cases. This inconsistency between these two jurisdictions creates an incentive for forum shopping. Generally, the courts rely on a defendant’s ability to remove a case to the federal courts to counteract the plaintiff’s exclusive power to decide the forum. This ability, however, is not available to a defendant within the context of preemption cases. As such, there is …


What A History Of Tax Withholding Tells Us About The Relationship Between Statutes And Constitutional Law, Anuj C. Desai Jan 2015

What A History Of Tax Withholding Tells Us About The Relationship Between Statutes And Constitutional Law, Anuj C. Desai

Northwestern University Law Review

No abstract provided.