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Statutory interpretation

2017

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Institution
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Articles 1 - 26 of 26

Full-Text Articles in Law

Statutory Constraints And Constitutional Decisionmaking, Anthony O'Rourke Nov 2017

Statutory Constraints And Constitutional Decisionmaking, Anthony O'Rourke

Anthony O'Rourke

Although constitutional scholars frequently analyze the relationships between courts and legislatures, they rarely examine the relationship between courts and statutes. This Article is the first to systematically examine how the presence or absence of a statute can influence constitutional doctrine. It analyzes pairs of cases that raise similar constitutional questions, but differ with respect to whether the court is reviewing the constitutionality of legislation. These case pairs suggest that statutes place significant constraints on constitutional decisionmaking. Specifically, in cases that involve a challenge to a statute, courts are less inclined to use doctrine to regulate the behavior of nonjudicial officials. …


The Implementation Gap In Environmental Law, Daniel A. Farber Nov 2017

The Implementation Gap In Environmental Law, Daniel A. Farber

Daniel A Farber

The gap between legislative expectations and actual outcomes is of central importance to the legal regime. Much of the work of environmental lawyers involves compliance or enforcement efforts, not rulemaking. Even in terms of the issuance of environmental rules, there can be substantial deviations between what the lawmaker expected and what actually takes place. This Article discusses two types of gaps between the statutory design and actual implementation. In some situations, something that is legally mandated simply fails to happen. Deadlines are missed, standards are ignored or fudged, or enforcement efforts misfire. The result is incomplete implementation, falling short of …


Trump's "Big-League" Tax Reform: Assessing The Impact Of Corporate Tax Changes, Ryan J. Clements Nov 2017

Trump's "Big-League" Tax Reform: Assessing The Impact Of Corporate Tax Changes, Ryan J. Clements

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

This Article reviews and assesses corporate tax reforms advocated by President Donald Trump during his presidential campaign and signed into law since taking office (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017), in light of economic theory and the Modigliani-Miller Irrelevance Theorem. The Ar-ticle argues that companies will adapt polcies in light of new taxation mea-sures, thereby impacting the effectiveness of reform. In support of this conclusion, the Article surveys two empirical studies—one in relation to the repatriation efforts of President Bush’s Homeland Investment Act and an-other in relation to unexpected changes to the taxation of Canadian income trusts—to highlight …


Corpus Linguistics: Misfire Or More Ammo For The Ordinary - Meaning Canon?, John D. Ramer Nov 2017

Corpus Linguistics: Misfire Or More Ammo For The Ordinary - Meaning Canon?, John D. Ramer

Michigan Law Review

Scholars and judges have heralded corpus linguistics—the study of language through collections of spoken or written texts—as a novel tool for statutory interpretation that will help provide an answer in the occasionally ambiguous search for “ordinary meaning” using dictionaries. In the spring of 2016, the Michigan Supreme Court became the first to use corpus linguistics in a majority opinion. The dissent also used it, however, and the two opinions reached different conclusions. In the first true test for corpus linguistics, the answer seemed to be just as ambiguous as before.

This result calls into question the utility of corpus linguistics. …


Chevron In The Circuit Courts, Kent Barnett, Christopher J. Walker Oct 2017

Chevron In The Circuit Courts, Kent Barnett, Christopher J. Walker

Michigan Law Review

This Article presents findings from the most comprehensive empirical study to date on how the federal courts of appeals have applied Chevrondeference— the doctrine under which courts defer to a federal agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute that it administers. Based on 1,558 agency interpretations the circuit courts reviewed from 2003 through 2013 (where they cited Chevron), we found that the circuit courts overall upheld 71% of interpretations and applied Chevrondeference 77% of the time. But there was nearly a twenty-five-percentage-point difference in agency-win rates when the circuit courts applied Chevrondeference than when they did …


Law, Zoology, And Statutory Interpretaton: Is A Six Pound Wallaby Dangerous In Georgia?, Brett Bannor Jul 2017

Law, Zoology, And Statutory Interpretaton: Is A Six Pound Wallaby Dangerous In Georgia?, Brett Bannor

Georgia Journal of Science

American courts of law have ruled in cases which required interpretation of statutory laws concerning animals. Confronted with ambiguous wording, the presiding judge or judges may need to analyze such statutes to determine whether a particular type of animal is encompassed or excluded by the law. While such a function may sit uncomfortably with courts lacking zoological knowledge, a thoughtful analysis using readily available literature may be helpful to define both the legal and scientific scope of animal related statutes. This article considers a Georgia law listing species of wild animals considered "dangerous as a matter of law" as a …


Statutory Interpretation Lessons Courtesy Of Pilgrim’S Pride, Philip G. Cohen May 2017

Statutory Interpretation Lessons Courtesy Of Pilgrim’S Pride, Philip G. Cohen

University of Miami Business Law Review

In Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. v. Commissioner, the Fifth Circuit reversed the Tax Court and held that the taxpayer was entitled to an ordinary loss deduction from its abandonment of securities. While the conclusion reached by the Fifth Circuit has been overshadowed by the promulgation of Treasury Regulation section 1.165-5(i) that effectively treats an abandoned security as worthless and thus characterizes the loss as capital, the case remains noteworthy because it provides an opportunity to examine the statutory interpretation of two distinct Internal Revenue Code sections, section 165(g)(1) and section 1234A. The article focuses on what methods of statutory construction …


The Administrative State: Problems Associated With Congressional Intent, Statutory Interpretation, And The Powers Granted To Administrative Agencies, Serje Havandjian Apr 2017

The Administrative State: Problems Associated With Congressional Intent, Statutory Interpretation, And The Powers Granted To Administrative Agencies, Serje Havandjian

Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary

While reading this article, two questions should be kept in mind: (1) why the Court held that the TSA promulgated whistleblowing regulation was not considered to have the force and effect of law, and how that effects other regulations, and (2) how should the Supreme Court respond if a conflict of congressional intent and statutory interpretation arises within another regulatory or administrative agency's internal scheme for regulating such issues? With a careful analysis of statutory interpretation and determining congressional intent, and some luck, this article will try to answer these questions. Ultimately, what we will find is that although Congress …


Before Interpretation, Anya Bernstein Apr 2017

Before Interpretation, Anya Bernstein

Journal Articles

What a statutory interpretation opinion interprets may seem given. It is not: this article shows how judges select what text to interpret. That text may seem to carry with it one of a limited range of contexts. It does not: this article shows how judges draw on a variety of factors to situate the texts they interpret in unique, case-specific contexts. Selecting and situating form the infrastructure of interpretation. Their creativity and choice provide the basis on which assertions of determinate meaning are made. That process reveals how contestation and indeterminacy permeate legal interpretation even as judicial opinions seek to …


Minor Courts, Major Questions, Michael Coenen, Seth Davis Apr 2017

Minor Courts, Major Questions, Michael Coenen, Seth Davis

Vanderbilt Law Review

In Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., the Supreme Court deferred to an agency's controversial interpretation of a key provision of a regulatory statute. Lower courts now apply "Chevron deference" as a matter of course, upholding agencies' reasonable interpretations of ambiguous provisions within the statutes they administer. Recently, however, the Court refused in King v. Burwell to defer to an agency's answer to a statutory question, citing the "deep economic and political significance" of the question itself. The Court in King offered barebones guidance regarding the scope of and rationales for embracing this so-called "major questions exception" …


Reading Remedially: What Does "King V. Burwell" Teach Us About Modern Statutory Interpretation, And Can It Help Solve The Problems Of Cercla § 113(H)?, Benjamin Raker Apr 2017

Reading Remedially: What Does "King V. Burwell" Teach Us About Modern Statutory Interpretation, And Can It Help Solve The Problems Of Cercla § 113(H)?, Benjamin Raker

Vanderbilt Law Review

In the latter half of the twentieth century, Congress drafted a law to solve a problem. As decades passed, that problem became increasingly complex. In the new millennium, Congress became increasingly polarized, and increasingly unproductive. In the face of that inaction, the executive branch decided to rely on a provision of that earlier law to address a modern facet of that earlier problem. Or litigants decided to ask a court to rely on a provision of that earlier law to address a modern facet of that earlier problem. The Congress that drafted the law might not have understood this modern …


Ditching Your Duty: When Must Private Entities Comply With Federal Antidiscrimination Law?, Tara Knapp Mar 2017

Ditching Your Duty: When Must Private Entities Comply With Federal Antidiscrimination Law?, Tara Knapp

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

This Commentary considers how the Fifth Circuit characterizes “services, programs, and activities” of public agencies in Ivy v. Williams, in the context of determining whether a private entity is subject to federal antidiscrimination law. “Services, programs, and activities” of public agencies must comply with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, whether directly distributed by a public or a private entity. This Commentary argues private driving schools in Texas that distribute a driving course necessary to obtaining a drivers’ license are subject to Title II because the providing the course functionally constitutes a program of the Texas Education …


Simmons V. Briones, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 9, Annie Avery Mar 2017

Simmons V. Briones, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 9, Annie Avery

Nevada Supreme Court Summaries

A judgment for penalty attorney fees and costs against a driver in an action that arises out of a motor vehicle accident is not a “judgment . . . upon a cause of action” arising out of the use of a motor vehicle such that its nonpayment may result in the suspension of driving privileges under NRS § 485.302.


A Means To An Element: The Supreme Court's Modified Categorical Approach After Mathis V. United States, Michael Mcgivney Jan 2017

A Means To An Element: The Supreme Court's Modified Categorical Approach After Mathis V. United States, Michael Mcgivney

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

No abstract provided.


Toward A Federal Jurisprudence Of Trade Secret Law, Sharon Sandeen, Christopher B. Seaman Jan 2017

Toward A Federal Jurisprudence Of Trade Secret Law, Sharon Sandeen, Christopher B. Seaman

Faculty Scholarship

The May 2016 enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), which created a new federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation, raises a host of issues that federal courts will have to consider under their original subject matter jurisdiction, rather than applying state law through the courts’ diversity jurisdiction. This means that for the first time, an extensive body of federal jurisprudence will be developed to govern the civil protection and enforcement of trade secrets in the United States. In addition, due to the DTSA’s changes to the existing federal criminal law governing trade secrets, …


Criminal Law: The System Is Rigged: Criminal Restitution Is Blind To The Victim's Fault—State V. Riggs, Ryan Anderson Jan 2017

Criminal Law: The System Is Rigged: Criminal Restitution Is Blind To The Victim's Fault—State V. Riggs, Ryan Anderson

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


Property: A Missed Opportunity: Minnesota Supreme Court Shies Away From Clarifying The Discovery Rule To Toll The Statute Of Limitations In Construction-Defect Litigation—328 Barry Avenue, Llc V. Nolan Property Group, Llc, Sonali Garg Jan 2017

Property: A Missed Opportunity: Minnesota Supreme Court Shies Away From Clarifying The Discovery Rule To Toll The Statute Of Limitations In Construction-Defect Litigation—328 Barry Avenue, Llc V. Nolan Property Group, Llc, Sonali Garg

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


Justice Scalia, Implied Rights Of Action, And Historical Practice, Anthony J. Bellia Jan 2017

Justice Scalia, Implied Rights Of Action, And Historical Practice, Anthony J. Bellia

Journal Articles

In the realm of Federal Courts, the question of “implied rights of action” asks when, if ever, may a plaintiff bring a federal right of action for the violation of a federal statute that does not expressly create one. Justice Scalia argued that a court should not entertain an action for damages for the violation of a federal statute unless the text of the statute demonstrates that Congress meant to create a right of action. The Supreme Court adopted this approach in 2001 in Alexander v. Sandoval, with Justice Scalia writing for the majority. Certain judges and scholars have argued …


Judges’ Varied Views On Textualism: The Roberts-Alito Schism And The Similar District Judge Divergence That Undercuts The Widely Assumed Textualism-Ideology Correlation, Scott A. Moss Jan 2017

Judges’ Varied Views On Textualism: The Roberts-Alito Schism And The Similar District Judge Divergence That Undercuts The Widely Assumed Textualism-Ideology Correlation, Scott A. Moss

Publications

No abstract provided.


Short-Circuiting The New Major Questions Doctrine, Kent H. Barnett, Christopher J. Walker Jan 2017

Short-Circuiting The New Major Questions Doctrine, Kent H. Barnett, Christopher J. Walker

Scholarly Works

In Minor Courts, Major Questions, Michael Coenen and Seth Davis advance perhaps the most provocative proposal to date to address the new major questions doctrine articulated in King v. Burwell. They argue that the Supreme Court alone should identify “major questions” that deprive agencies of interpretive primacy, prohibiting the doctrine’s use in the lower courts. Although we agree that the Court provided little guidance about the doctrine’s scope in King v. Burwell, we are unpersuaded that the solution to this lack of guidance is to limit its doctrinal development to one court that hears fewer than eighty cases per year. …


Torts: No Statutory Interpretation Required—Guzick V. Kimball, Marcus Jardine Jan 2017

Torts: No Statutory Interpretation Required—Guzick V. Kimball, Marcus Jardine

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


Criminal Law—When Apples Tatse Like Oranges, You Cannot Judge A Book By Its Cover: How To Fight Emerging Synthetic "Designer" Drugs Of Abuse, Andrew Payne Norwood Jan 2017

Criminal Law—When Apples Tatse Like Oranges, You Cannot Judge A Book By Its Cover: How To Fight Emerging Synthetic "Designer" Drugs Of Abuse, Andrew Payne Norwood

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review

No abstract provided.


Chevron's Interstitial Steps, Cary Coglianese Jan 2017

Chevron's Interstitial Steps, Cary Coglianese

All Faculty Scholarship

The Chevron doctrine’s apparent simplicity has long captivated judges, lawyers, and scholars. According to the standard formulation, Chevron involves just two straightforward steps: (1) Is a statute clear? (2) If not, is the agency’s interpretation of the statute reasonable? Despite the influence of this two-step framework, Chevron has come under fire in recent years. Some critics bemoan what they perceive as the Supreme Court’s incoherent application of the Chevron framework over time. Others argue that Chevron’s second step, which calls for courts to defer to reasonable agency interpretations of ambiguous statutory provisions, amounts to an abdication of judicial responsibility. …


R. V. Safarzadeh-Markhali: Elements And Implications Of The Supreme Court's New Rigorous Approach To Construction Of Statutory Purpose, Marcus Moore Jan 2017

R. V. Safarzadeh-Markhali: Elements And Implications Of The Supreme Court's New Rigorous Approach To Construction Of Statutory Purpose, Marcus Moore

All Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Safarzadeh-Markhali holds great significance, beyond Criminal Law, in the area of Statutory Interpretation: in Markhali, the Court decisively endorses a new rigorous approach to construing legislative purpose. Previously, while legislation itself was long-interpreted utilizing rigorous approaches, legislative purpose was typically construed ad hoc while providing only summary justification. Markhali’s new framework is distinct from prior approaches in at least four ways: (1) It expressly acknowledges the critical importance of purpose construction in many cases; (2) It is conscious of how a less-than-rigorous approach risks being self-defeating of larger legal analyses in which the …


The Inference From Authority To Interpretive Method In Constitutional And Statutory Domains, Kevin M. Stack Jan 2017

The Inference From Authority To Interpretive Method In Constitutional And Statutory Domains, Kevin M. Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Should courts interpret the Constitution as they interpret statutes? This question has been answered in a wide variety of ways. On the one hand, many scholars and jurists understand constitutional and statutory interpretation as largely overlapping, continuous, or converging. For some, this overlap follows directly from the Constitution's status as a form of legislated law. In this way of thinking, because the Constitution, like a statute, was bargained over and formally adopted, it should be interpreted in accordance with general principles applicable to legislated law. Proponents of this view argue that if constitutional interpretation appears distinctive in practice, that is …


Chevron Is A Rorschach Test Ink Blot, Jack M. Beermann Jan 2017

Chevron Is A Rorschach Test Ink Blot, Jack M. Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

I agree with Alan Morrison that, in some circumstances, courts should defer to legal determinations made by administrative agencies. I disagree, however, with Alan’s view that Chevron provides a suitable framework for such deference. It really boils down to my disagreement with the first sentence of Alan’s article: “In Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., the Supreme Court unanimously adopted an approach to interpreting federal statutes under which the courts are required to give substantial deference to the interpretations by the administrative agencies that enforce them.”1 In fact, the Supreme Court adopted nothing in Chevron related to …