Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Statutory interpretation

2022

Discipline
Institution
Publication
Publication Type

Articles 1 - 25 of 25

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Antiregulatory Arsenal, Antidemocratic Can(N)Ons, And The Waters Wars, William W. Buzbee Dec 2022

The Antiregulatory Arsenal, Antidemocratic Can(N)Ons, And The Waters Wars, William W. Buzbee

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Clean Water Act has become a centerpiece in an enduring multifront battle against both environmental regulation and federal regulatory power in all of its settings. This Article focuses on the emergence, elements, and linked uses of an antiregulatory arsenal now central to battles over what are federally protected “waters of the United States.” This is the key jurisdictional hook for CWA jurisdiction, and hence, logically, has become the heart of CWA contestation. The multi-decade battle over Waters protections has both drawn on emergent antiregulatory moves and generated new weapons in this increasingly prevalent and powerful antiregulatory arsenal. This array …


Revisiting The Fried Chicken Recipe, Zachary B. Pohlman Dec 2022

Revisiting The Fried Chicken Recipe, Zachary B. Pohlman

Notre Dame Law Review Reflection

Twenty-five years ago, Gary Lawson introduced us to legal theory’s tastiest analogy. He told us about a late-eighteenth-century recipe for making fried chicken and how we ought to interpret it. Lawson’s pithy essay has much to be praised. Yet, even twenty-five years later, there remains more to be said about legal theory’s most famous recipe. In particular, there remains much more to be said about the recipe’s author, a person (or, perhaps, group of people) whom Lawson does not discuss. Lawson’s analysis of the recipe leads him to an “obvious” conclusion: the recipe’s meaning is its original public meaning. If …


Statutory Interpretation And Agency Disgorgement Power, Caprice L. Roberts Nov 2022

Statutory Interpretation And Agency Disgorgement Power, Caprice L. Roberts

Journal Articles

What happens when obstacles foreclose claims and threaten to leave parties without adequate relief? Or, when the cause of action escapes conventional classification? Or, when Supreme Court decisions frustrate private litigation causing pressure for public enforcement by agencies? Or, when individuals engage in novel forms of wrongdoing that the law may fail to reach? It becomes hard to resist the siren call of equity and its powerful remedies. This trend includes sweeping national injunctions, constructive trusts, and more. Disgorgement is also one such remedy, and its popularity is rising in terms of private and public applications and challenges. It is …


Improving (And Avoiding) Interstate Interpretive Encounters, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Nov 2022

Improving (And Avoiding) Interstate Interpretive Encounters, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Faculty Publications

State courts often encounter the statutes of other states. Any encounter with another state’s statutes raises an interesting but inconspicuous question about choice of law. In particular, the interstate encounter presents a choice of interpretive law. Despite some universal practices in statutory interpretation, there are methodological differences across jurisdictions—both at the level of overall approach and in the details of particular interpretive canons. When a state court encounters the statute of a sister state, may the forum state use its own interpretive methods or must it instead use the methods of the enacting state?

The existing doctrine on this choice-of-law …


Interpreting State Statutes In Federal Court, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Nov 2022

Interpreting State Statutes In Federal Court, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Notre Dame Law Review

This Article addresses a problem that potentially arises whenever a federal court encounters a state statute. When interpreting the state statute, should the federal court use the state’s methods of statutory interpretation—the state’s canons of construction, its rules about the use of legislative history, and the like—or should the court instead use federal methods of statutory interpretation? The question is interesting as a matter of theory, and it is practically significant because different jurisdictions have somewhat different interpretive approaches. In addressing itself to this problem, the Article makes two contributions. First, it shows, as a normative matter, that federal courts …


Interpreting State Statutes In Federal Court, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Nov 2022

Interpreting State Statutes In Federal Court, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Faculty Publications

This Article addresses a problem that potentially arises whenever a federal court encounters a state statute. When interpreting the state statute, should the federal court use the state’s methods of statutory interpretation—the state’s canons of construction, its rules about the use of legislative history, and the like—or should the court instead use federal methods of statutory interpretation? The question is interesting as a matter of theory, and it is practically significant because different jurisdictions have somewhat different interpretive approaches. In addressing itself to this problem, the Article makes two contributions. First, it shows, as a normative matter, that federal courts …


Nonpatentability Of Business Methods: Legal And Economic Analysis, Peter Menell, Michael J. Meurer Oct 2022

Nonpatentability Of Business Methods: Legal And Economic Analysis, Peter Menell, Michael J. Meurer

Faculty Scholarship

In this brief filed in Bilski vs. Kappos, pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, we argue that the "useful Arts" limitation of the the Intellectual Property Clause of the U.S.Constitution restricts the scope of Congress's patent power to technological advances. Beyond this constitutional limitation, Congress has not extended patent protection to business methods. The subject matter provision of the 1952 Patent Act merely codified existing subject matter categories and limitations, including the exclusion of business methods. The First Inventor Defense Act of 1999 did not alter this limitation on patentable subject matter. It did not amend the subject matter provision. …


Unheralded And Transformative: The Test For Major Questions After West Virginia, Natasha Brunstein, Donald L. R. Goodson Oct 2022

Unheralded And Transformative: The Test For Major Questions After West Virginia, Natasha Brunstein, Donald L. R. Goodson

William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review

Before the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in West Virginia v. EPA, the “major questions doctrine” was little more than a handful of cases that shared a few overlapping similarities. Although the Court explained in West Virginia that these “extraordinary” cases were all ones in which an agency had asserted “highly consequential power beyond what Congress could reasonably be understood to have granted,” the Court did not apply a consistent analysis across these earlier precedents. In other words, the doctrine lacked a framework to guide lower courts and litigants.

To our knowledge, no article written since West Virginia has explored …


Solving The Congressional Review Act’S Conundrum, Cary Coglianese Sep 2022

Solving The Congressional Review Act’S Conundrum, Cary Coglianese

All Faculty Scholarship

Congress routinely enacts statutes that require federal agencies to adopt specific regulations. When Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, for example, it mandated that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopt an anti-corruption regulation requiring energy companies to disclose payments they make to foreign governments. Although the Dodd-Frank Act specifically required the SEC to adopt this disclosure requirement, the agency’s eventual regulation was also, like other administrative rules, subject to disapproval by Congress under a process outlined in a separate statute known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

After the SEC issued its …


Congressional Rules Of Interpretation, Jarrod Shobe May 2022

Congressional Rules Of Interpretation, Jarrod Shobe

William & Mary Law Review

Many scholars argue that Congress should adopt federal rules of statutory interpretation to guide judicial interpretation. This Article uses a novel dataset to show that Congress has long used enacted rules of interpretation and has increasingly done so in recent decades. However, it has chosen to do so on a statute-by-statute basis in a way that has gone mostly unnoticed by scholars and judges. We developed a dataset by using computer code to search the U.S. Code dating back to 1946 for specific phrases indicating a rule of interpretation, then manually checked and classified each rule. These rules not only …


Standing On Its Own Shoulders: The Supreme Court's Statutory Interpretation Of The Federal Arbitration Act, Kristen M. Blankley Apr 2022

Standing On Its Own Shoulders: The Supreme Court's Statutory Interpretation Of The Federal Arbitration Act, Kristen M. Blankley

Akron Law Review

Empirical evidence on the Supreme Court’s use of tools of statutory interpretation is an emerging field of legal study. This Article is the first to use these methodologies to analyze the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), enacted in 1925. I analyzed 114 separate Supreme Court arbitration opinions, coding for fourteen different tools of statutory interpretation. This article presents the results of that analysis. The most striking finding from this study is the extraordinarily insular nature of the FAA jurisprudence compared to other scholars’ studies in their respective areas of the law. This nature can be determined statistically from the Supreme Court’s …


Allocation Of Property Appreciation: A Statutory Approach To The Judicial Dialectic, Lawrence Ponoroff Apr 2022

Allocation Of Property Appreciation: A Statutory Approach To The Judicial Dialectic, Lawrence Ponoroff

William & Mary Business Law Review

Many, perhaps the majority, of Chapter 13 cases end up being converted to Chapter 7. The converted Chapter 7 case is not a new case, it is a continuation of the case that was commenced with the filing of the original Chapter 13 petition. However, there are important structural differences between the two chapters, including over what constitutes property of the estate. This creates some thorny issues surrounding whether property of the estate as generally defined in section 541(a) of the Bankruptcy Code or property of the estate as specifically defined in Chapter 13 controls in determining the scope of …


Medical Necessity Of Residential Treatment For Anorexia: Can Parity Be Achieved?, Abbey Derechin Apr 2022

Medical Necessity Of Residential Treatment For Anorexia: Can Parity Be Achieved?, Abbey Derechin

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

This Note examines the statutory landscape of mental health parity in the United States. The lens of this Note is through the mental illness of anorexia. Parity laws mandate analogous limitations between mental and physical illness. Therefore, because anorexia has many physical manifestations, it serves as a nice juxtaposition to physical illnesses. This Note will argue for broad interpretation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) through comparative analysis of counterpart statute, the California Mental Health Parity Act (CMHPA). It will explore how courts have interpreted the CMHPA broadly to suggest that the MHPAEA should be interpreted …


Whither The Lofty Goals Of The Environmental Laws?: Can Statutory Directives Restore Purposivism When We Are All Textualists Now?, Stephen M. Johnson Mar 2022

Whither The Lofty Goals Of The Environmental Laws?: Can Statutory Directives Restore Purposivism When We Are All Textualists Now?, Stephen M. Johnson

Pepperdine Law Review

Congress set ambitious goals to protect public health and the environment when it enacted the federal environmental laws through bipartisan efforts in the 1970s. For many years, the federal courts interpreted the environmental laws to carry out those enacted purposes. Over time, however, courts greatly reduced their focus on the environmental and public health purposes of the environmental laws when interpreting those statutes due to the rise in textualism, the declining influence of the Chevron doctrine, and the increasing willingness of courts to defer to agency underenforcement of statutory responsibilities across all regulatory statutes. In 2020, the Environmental Protection Network, …


Is A Locomotive In Use And Therefore Subject To Locomotive Inspection Act Liability When It Makes A Temporary Stop?, Anne Marie Lofaso Mar 2022

Is A Locomotive In Use And Therefore Subject To Locomotive Inspection Act Liability When It Makes A Temporary Stop?, Anne Marie Lofaso

Law Faculty Scholarship

Case at a Glance: LeDure v. Union Pacific Railroad Company. Bradley LeDure, a long-time locomotive engineer for Union Pacific, slipped on the slick surface of a locomotive while it was idle but powered on, seriously injuring himself. If Union Pacific violated safety regulations under the Locomotive Inspection Act, then it would be negligent per se. But that theory of liability is only available if the locomotive was in use at the time of the accident. The case presents a question of statutory interpretation of the term use.


The New Major Questions Doctrine, Daniel Deacon, Leah Litman Jan 2022

The New Major Questions Doctrine, Daniel Deacon, Leah Litman

Law & Economics Working Papers

This article critically analyzes significant recent developments in the major questions doctrine. It highlights important shifts in what role the majorness of an agency policy plays in statutory interpretation, as well as changes in how the Court determines whether an agency policy is major. After the Supreme Court’s October 2021 term, the “new” major questions doctrine operates as a clear statement rule that directs courts not to discern the plain meaning of a statute using the normal tools of statutory interpretation, but to require explicit and specific congressional authorization for certain agency policies. Even broadly worded, otherwise unambiguous statutes do …


Limiting Access To Remedies: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court's 2021-22 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Justin Hill Jan 2022

Limiting Access To Remedies: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court's 2021-22 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Justin Hill

Articles

Although the most memorable cases from the Supreme Court’s 2021-22 Term were on the civil side of its docket, the Court addressed significant cases on the criminal side involving the Confrontation Clause, capital punishment, double jeopardy, criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country, and important statutory interpretation principles, such as the mens rea presumption and the scope of the rule of lenity. Looking back, the Court’s decisions limiting individuals’ access to remedies for violations of their constitutional criminal procedure rights stand out. Shinn v. Ramirez and Shoop v. Twyford drastically limit the ability of persons incarcerated in state facilities to challenge the …


When A Statute Comes With A User Manual: Reconciling Textualism And Uniform Acts, Gregory A. Elinson, Robert H. Sitkoff Jan 2022

When A Statute Comes With A User Manual: Reconciling Textualism And Uniform Acts, Gregory A. Elinson, Robert H. Sitkoff

College of Law Faculty Publications

This Article develops an interpretive theory for statutes that originate as Uniform Acts promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission. Although overlooked in the literature on statutory interpretation, state-enacted Uniform Acts are ubiquitous. They shape our life cycles—governing marriage, parentage, divorce, and death—and structure trillions of dollars in daily commercial transactions.

Largely focusing on textualism, today’s dominant form of statutory interpretation, we analyze the interpretive consequences of two unusual features of state-enacted Uniform Acts. First, the text of every Uniform Act directs courts to interpret it to “promote uniformity.” Second, each provision is accompanied by an official explanatory comment, analogous to …


How The First Paragraph Of Violence And The Word Killed The Law As Literature Movement, Brett G. Scharffs Jan 2022

How The First Paragraph Of Violence And The Word Killed The Law As Literature Movement, Brett G. Scharffs

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Interpretation, Remedy, And The Rule Of Law: Why Courts Should Have The Courage Of Their Convictions, Jack M. Beermann, Ronald A. Cass Jan 2022

Interpretation, Remedy, And The Rule Of Law: Why Courts Should Have The Courage Of Their Convictions, Jack M. Beermann, Ronald A. Cass

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Arthrex opens a window on a set of issues debated in different contexts for decades. These issues—how to interpret statutes and constitutional provisions, what sources to look to, whether so far as possible to adopt interpretations that avoid declaring actions of coordinate branches unconstitutional, and where such actions are deemed to have been unconstitutional whether to provide remedies that cabin the most significant implications of such a declaration—go to the heart of the judicial role and the division of responsibilities among the branches of government.

Our principal focus, however, is on the …


On Foxes And Hedgehogs, Roger P. Alford Jan 2022

On Foxes And Hedgehogs, Roger P. Alford

Journal Articles

This Article is about John Nagle’s many means to one great end. It will outline the many themes of his scholarship: (i) environmental law, (ii) statutory interpretation, (iii) constitutional law, (iv) nuisance and pollution, (v) election law and campaign finance, (vi) Christianity and the environment, and (vii) national parks. It will offer conclusions on how he used his scholarly interests as a means to pursue his overarching worldview.


Interest-Based Incorporation: Statutory Realism Exploring Federalism, Delegation, And Democratic Design, Sheldon Evans Jan 2022

Interest-Based Incorporation: Statutory Realism Exploring Federalism, Delegation, And Democratic Design, Sheldon Evans

Faculty Publications

Statutory interpretation is a unique legal field that appreciates fiction as much as fact. For years, judges and scholars have acknowledged that canons of interpretation are often based on erudite assumptions of how Congress drafts federal statutes. But a recent surge in legal realism has shown just how erroneous many of these assumptions are. Scholars have created a robust study of congressional practices that challenge many formalist canons of interpretation that are divorced from how Congress thinks about, drafts, and enacts federal statutes. This conversation, however, has yet to confront statutory incorporation, which describes when Congress incorporates state law into …


Statutory Interpretation From The Outside, Kevin Tobia, Brian G. Slocum, Victoria Frances Nourse Jan 2022

Statutory Interpretation From The Outside, Kevin Tobia, Brian G. Slocum, Victoria Frances Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

How should judges decide which linguistic canons to apply in inter­preting statutes? One important answer looks to the inside of the legisla­tive process: Follow the canons that lawmakers contemplate. A different answer, based on the “ordinary meaning” doctrine, looks to the outside: Follow the canons that guide an ordinary person’s understanding of the legal text. We offer a novel framework for empirically testing linguistic canons “from the outside,” recruiting 4,500 people from the United States and a sample of law students to evaluate hypothetical scenarios that correspond to each canon’s triggering conditions. The empirical findings provide evidence about which traditional …


The Racial Politics Of Fair Use Fetishism, Anjali Vats Jan 2022

The Racial Politics Of Fair Use Fetishism, Anjali Vats

Articles

This short essay argues that the sometimes fetishistic desire on the part of progressive intellectual property scholars to defend fair use is at odds with racial justice. Through a rereading of landmark fair use cases using tools drawing from Critical Race Intellectual Property (“CRTIP”), it contends that scholars, lawyers, judges, practitioners, and activists would be well served by focusing on how fair use remains grounded in whiteness as (intellectual) property. It argues for doing so by rethinking the purpose of the Copyright Act of 1976 to be inclusive of Black, Brown, and Indigenous authors.


Democracy And Disenchantment, Ashraf Ahmed Jan 2022

Democracy And Disenchantment, Ashraf Ahmed

Faculty Scholarship

During the latter half of the Trump presidency, as it became increasingly clear that the Supreme Court would remain solidly conservative for the foreseeable future, Samuel Moyn and Ryan Doerfler declared war. In popular and scholarly venues, they have steadily built a case for curtailing the power of the nation’s highest court. Their arguments have been both pragmatic and principled. They have underlined, for instance, the risks the Roberts Court poses to progressive goals such as addressing climate change1 and granting student debt relief. More broadly, they object to a “supra-democratic court exercising its current, expansive legislative veto.” For Doerfler …