Chapter 10. Legislative History and Other Extrinsic Tools of Interpretation 405 46 results (showing 5 best matches)
- One way in which other statutes may influence an interpretive problem is the “borrowed” or “modeled” statute rule. When a legislature adopts language from another statute, the presumption is that the legislature intends the new statute to receive the same construction that the copied statute has received. Statutory copying can occur not only when Congress or a state legislature adopts language from its own prior handiwork, but also when a legislature adopts a measure from another jurisdiction, as frequently occurs when state legislatures borrow ideas from other states or Congress. (Indeed, some commentators use the “borrowed statute” label to refer only to cross-jurisdiction borrowing, and the “modeled statute” label to refer to copying some components of an earlier statute within the same jurisdiction.)
- Much as common law understandings or principles may shed light on an interpretive problem in a statute or regulation, so too may the purposes, policies, or principles enshrined in other statutes or regulations occasionally provide interpretive assistance. Likewise, a definition included in one statute may prove helpful when the same term is used without definition in another similar statute. Often the key interpretive issue is whether the referenced text is sufficiently related to the text in need of interpretation.
- is considered an intrinsic canon, applicable either as an (obvious) explanation for why two parallel provisions of a single statute should be construed holistically under the Whole Act Rule (described in Chapter 9), or as a similar (if not quite as obvious) explanation for why two analogous or comparable provisions in different statutes should be construed in light of each other, now as an instantiation of the Whole Code Rule (also described in Chapter 9). But in other lexicons, is treated as an extrinsic interpretive tool for reasoning from one statute to another. These lexicons classify it as an extrinsic tool because the focus is on how a settled meaning in some other statute can help resolve an interpretive problem in an ambiguous statute. It is fair to note, however, that on this basis the Whole Code Rule, typically deemed a corollary of the Whole Act Rule, could in its entirety instead be classified as an extrinsic tool of interpretation.
- By contrast, as an example of an irreconcilable conflict, two Nevada statutes imposed penalties for selling certain controlled substances. The earlier statute classified violations as felonies; the later statute classified the same violations as misdemeanors. , the state supreme court concluded that the later statute had implicitly repealed the earlier one. Arguably, , discussed in the preceding subsection, also presents a case of an implied partial repeal, as the decision invalidated the statute that would have terminated the parental rights of the biological parent in the context of an adoption by the partner of the biological parent.
- Other statutes also can be used to enhance the overall coherence of the law, sometimes in fairly dramatic ways. In its more straightforward deployment, this also is arguably an application of the Whole Code Rule, as for instance when the Supreme Court in phrase “reasonable attorney’s fee” through reference to congressional usage of the same term in a number of other statutes. Similarly, in (also discussed in Chapter 12), in which at issue was the FDA’s asserted authority to regulate tobacco products, the Court relied on a half-dozen other federal statutes to reject the FDA’s asserted authority. The other statutes required disclosure of information about the health effects of tobacco products but did not ban them, an approach the Court saw as incompatible with the FDA’s claim of jurisdiction over tobacco products.
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Chapter 12. Judicial Review of Agency Interpretations 481 40 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Another substantive interpretive canon discussed in Chapter 9 is the presumption against construing ambiguous federal statutes to preempt state law. Of course, many statutes unambiguously preempt state law, and such statutes will naturally give rise to implementing regulations that also preempt state law. But what about federal regulations that preempt state law as the result of an agency interpretation of a statute that is ambiguous about whether Congress meant to preempt state law?
- answer to this question will have, it is particularly important because it concerns the relationship among all three of the coordinate branches of American representative democracy. The legislative branch passes a law, but leaves to executive branch departments and agencies (whether deliberately or inadvertently) many elements of the statute’s administration and enforcement, including ascertaining the statute’s meaning in particular cases. Some of those administrative interpretations eventually come before the judicial branch for review. Reviewing courts then must decide how much to defer to the agency’s determination, whether because of the agency’s general expertise, its specific familiarity with the statute in question, its political accountability, or the legislature’s explicit or implicit delegation of authority to it.
- era came to rely on something of a sliding scale, in which the extent to which a reviewing court would defer to an agency’s interpretation of a statute it was charged with administering would depend on the cumulative impact of a range of factors. These factors included not only those outlined in other factors as precisely how much rulemaking or adjudicatory power Congress had given the agency; whether the agency’s position was contemporaneous with the statute’s enactment; how technical and complex the interpretive issue was; whether Congress had acquiesced in an agency’s previous construction of a statute; and the extent to which following the agency interpretation would promote uniformity in the law. Furthermore, a multi-factor approach also came to characterize the courts’ approach to the questions of whether it was reasonable to assume that Congress had intended to give an agency formal lawmaking powers, or that Congress likely would have expected the courts to defer to the agency.
- perhaps because) this question looks very much like the same one that courts have long addressed when interpreting statutes generally: Has the legislature made the statute’s textual meaning clear? The familiar battle over Textualist versus Purposivist interpretation thus also continues to rage in the
- As discussed in Chapter 9, in recent years the Supreme Court has developed several substantive canons of interpretation that protect federalism values by refusing to construe a statute to intrude upon traditional elements of state sovereignty unless Congress has provided a “clear statement” that the statute should be read to do so. See subsection B.3 of Chapter 9. To what extent should a reviewing court
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Chapter 9. Canons of Construction and Other Intrinsic Tools of Interpretation 363 44 results (showing 5 best matches)
- “The expression of one thing implies the exclusion of other things (not expressed).” This maxim is typically deployed when a statute contains a list of items or terms, identifying with some specificity when or to what the statute should apply, and the omission from that list of some other possible item or term suggests that the statute does not apply to it.
- A final substantive canon, which can often run directly counter to the Derogation Canon, is the Remedial Canon: a remedial statute should be construed broadly to effectuate its public-regarding purposes. For its proper application, this canon obviously depends on classifying a particular statute as “remedial,” a task fraught with subjectivity. This canon also does not by its own terms identify what amounts to a broad construction. But in determining what makes for a remedial statute, it may be worth recalling the discussion in Chapter 2 of the difference between statutes that are the result of narrow interest group bargaining in a legislature, on the one hand, and statutes that reflect a more thorough republican deliberation about what will best promote the public interest.
- Whether one is a Textualist, a Purposivist, or almost any other kind of interpreter, the process of statutory and regulatory interpretation at least begins with a close reading of the words of the measure. As Justice Felix Frankfurter, while a professor at Harvard Law School, famously urged his students, the three critical interpretive steps are: “(1) Read the statute; (2) read the statute; (3) read the statute.”
- The defendant brought both statutory and constitutional challenges against her conditional guilty plea. Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito thought it “utterly clear” that the statute’s terms covered her conduct, but would have found the statute unconstitutional as beyond Congress’s treaty power. But a majority of the Court concluded that the statute did not make sufficiently clear that the defendant’s tawdry and mundane criminal act amounted to the kind of use of chemical weapons that the act prohibited. This conclusion was driven in significant part by a concern that if what the defendant had done was covered by the act, it would “fundamentally upset the Constitution’s balance between national and local power.” ...intended to upset this relationship, the Court majority refused to extend the statute to cover a kind of criminal conduct that traditionally was the province of state law, observing that “the global need to prevent chemical warfare does not require the Federal...
- Sutherland Statutes and Statutory Construction
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Appendix: Representative Canons of Statutory Interpretation 29 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Borrowed statute rule:
- Interpret statute holistically, reading each provision in light of the rest of the statute.
- A statute’s title, subtitles, and preamble may be considered in interpreting a statute.
- Construe a provision to be consistent with the structure of the statute as a whole and the policies reflected by other provisions of the statute.
- Construe same or like terms within a statute consistently throughout a statute; presume that variations in terms are meaningful and purposive.
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Chapter 5. Inside the Legislature, or How a Bill Becomes a Law 181 13 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Statutes are not the same as codes. The term “code” is used to refer to a subset of a particular jurisdiction’s enacted law that is organized by subject matter for ease of reference. For instance, all of the Ohio legislature’s permanent enactments most relevant to motor vehicle use, regardless of their date of enactment, are gathered into the Motor Vehicle of the Ohio Revised Code, and then organized by subtopic within that title. But not every enacted statute becomes a part of a code, and even those statutes that are codified may be divided into different parts for purposes of codification, so that some sections of the statute appear in one title of a code, and other sections appear in other titles of the code. Typically, laws that are expected to be of permanent or continuing effect will be codified, while temporary laws—including most short-term appropriations measures, for instance—will not.
- Familiarity with the structure of a typical statute can help in reading it. Across all states and Congress, there are some similar components to statutes. The most common elements of a basic statute are: its title (and often a separate short title as well); some combination of preamble, statement of purpose, or background legislative findings; a separate section of definitions pertinent to the substance of the act; the substantive body of the act (sometimes dividing those substantive law provisions that are of a permanent nature from those substantive law provisions that are temporary); a separate section, as appropriate, containing penalties and other enforcement mechanisms connected with violations of the act; and matters of housekeeping and of conforming the act to existing law.
- Structure and Organization of Typical Statutes
- OF TYPICAL STATUTES
- In the federal system, once the President signs a measure, it is immediately effective, unless the measure by its own terms provides for a subsequent effective date. The Office of the Federal Register then publishes each new law as a “slip law,” which can also be accessed electronically through the website of the Government Printing Office. The new law also will eventually be included in the United States Statutes at Large, a volume of “session laws,” comprising all of the measures enacted into law during that same session of Congress.
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Index 12 results (showing 5 best matches)
Chapter 8. Theories of Statutory Interpretation 303 61 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Centuries earlier, in the initial years of the British parliamentary system, judges (who themselves were often also members of Parliament) conducted the interpretive task quite differently, functioning essentially as collaborators or partners with legislators. Parliament was not an independent branch of government and the idea of legislative supremacy had not yet taken root. In this era, statutes were hardly more constraining of judges than the common law. Indeed, courts could deploy their equitable powers to correct what they often saw as defects in the work-product of Parliament. (For a rich treatment of the history of both British and American courts in interpreting statutes, see
- Purposivism, like Intentionalism, also looks beyond the literal meaning of the words of a law in an effort to understand the underlying legislative will. As distinguished from Intentionalism, however, Purposivism asks not, “What did the enacting legislature expect that the statute’s words would mean as applied to this specific interpretive problem?,” but instead, “What purpose did the enacting legislature expect that the statute would serve, and how might the statute’s language be construed to serve that purpose in this instance?” Focusing on this question may not lead as directly to an answer as might Intentionalism in those cases in which the interpreter can find evidence of specific intent, but in cases in which there is little or no evidence of the legislature’s specific intent, Purposivism may be a preferable way of furthering the legislative will.
- case, discussed above as an example of a purpose-based interpretation of Title VII, might alternatively be understood as an example of both a pragmatic and a dynamic reading of the statute. At least two significant changes that had occurred since the statute’s enactment in 1964 might have prompted this dynamic reading: First, as a matter of social conditions, the problem of race-based discrimination in employment had turned out to be almost intractable, proving much harder to eliminate than the enacting Congress presumably had anticipated (or hoped). Second, as a matter of law, the Court had previously construed the statute to prohibit discrimination against either black the place of the statute in American law by 1979. Justice Blackmun’s concurring opinion in the case is a particularly good example of this type of dynamic reasoning, in light of its explicit recognition of the unforeseen difficulties that the statute was now confronting.
- , the Pennsylvania Supreme Court confronted a statute that called for jurors to be selected from the list of the state’s “qualified electors,” or voters. At the time of the statute’s adoption, women were not allowed to vote in Pennsylvania. The court held that the Nineteenth Amendment’s extension of the franchise to women some years after adoption of the juror selection statute required that women also now be part of the potential jury pool. By contrast, at about the same time, high courts in Illinois and Massachusetts reached the opposite result, accepting the counter-argument that the legislatures responsible for enacting these jury selection statutes, in providing that jurors were to be drawn from the ranks of qualified electors, had thereby intended to limit the class of jurors to men; as a result, the subsequent inclusion of women in the class of qualified voters would not be transferred to the juror statutes. ...of those who framed and enacted” the juror selection statute...
- In reaching this result, the Court arguably was acting as what as noted in Chapter 7 is sometimes described as a “faithful agent” of the legislature, working to further the congressional purpose. Notably, by the time the Court decided the case, Congress had already amended the statute to exclude ministers from its coverage in future cases. To some, this congressional amendment confirmed that the Court was properly construing the statute. But to others, the congressional revision merely demonstrated that Congress, not the courts, always has both the responsibility and the opportunity to refine its work-product, and that the Court therefore had meddled where it did not belong. Of course, even had Congress not already amended the act, the Court likely could have anticipated that its overstepped its role in departing from the plain language of the statute).
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Chapter 7. The Challenge of Textual Interpretation 265 27 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In another classic example, legal philosopher Lon Fuller invited consideration of whether a hypothetical criminal statute that required the imposition of the death penalty against anyone found guilty of willfully taking another person’s life applied to a fictitious group of cave explorers trapped for weeks by a cave-in. When it becomes clear to the group that none of them will survive otherwise, they agree to draw lots to determine which among them the others will kill to provide a source of sustenance until their rescue. In , Fuller explores several possible interpretive rationales through which jurists (or others) might seek to answer the question of whether the surviving explorers are guilty of violating the hypothetical state’s murder statute. Fuller’s two primary protagonists, Judge Foster and Judge Keen, clash over whether the statute must be construed in light of its purpose, or instead must be applied faithfully according to its terms. Significantly, both approaches (which...
- Furthermore, interpretive ambiguities are not confined to matters of judge-made or common law. Comparable challenges also routinely arise in determining textual meaning in statutes enacted by legislatures, as well as in regulations promulgated by agencies. Indeed, as the examples later in this chapter and throughout Part II reflect, statutes and regulations are replete with examples of interpretive ambiguities. In part, these ambiguities result because it is simply unrealistic to expect lawmakers always to craft language that covers all existing circumstances. Ambiguities also can arise when circumstances change or unanticipated
- Statutes and regulations offer a trove of interpretive challenges. This section begins with a few representative examples, before offering a set of categories of causes or types of interpretive difficulty.
- The largest category of interpretive problems in statutes and regulations arises when the meaning of some textual term, such as “or other immoral purpose,” is imperfectly specified or understood. The examples earlier in this chapter of legal rules involving the use of the term “vehicle” without providing any further definition of its meaning also fit this category. The interpreter is left to assign a meaning to this term for purposes of the statute or regulation in which it is used, relying on any number of the possible interpretive tools such as those discussed in Chapters 9 through 12. Notwithstanding these tools, however, some of those interpretive problems may be quite difficult to resolve.
- Many other instances of this particular kind of interpretive problem involve a statute or regulation that includes a definition of a key term, yet still leaves ambiguity about how to apply that term in some specific case. For instance, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of a disability, which the act defines as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities . . . .” In , the Supreme Court concluded that although a vision impairment, if it were uncorrected, might substantially limit a major life activity and therefore amount to a disability under the act, it nevertheless was not a disability under the act if the impairment was correctable with eyewear, even though the statute said nothing about correctable disabilities.
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Chapter 11. Agency Interpretation of Legal Text 461 22 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The legislature may deliberately employ this expertise in at least three very different ways. One is by charging a particular agency to fill in the gaps of an enacted statute, on the premise that the agency is better suited than the legislature to specify the detailed rules that will best accomplish the legislative aim. A second is to allow the agency to adjudicate the application of the statute and its regulations to specific controversies, on the premise that the agency is better suited than the judicial branch to understand how the rules apply to the relevant facts within the agency’s subject matter, especially in a complex or technical field.
- Agencies’ Subsequent Revisions of Interpretations of Statutes They Administer (or Their Own Regulations)
- A completely different reason that agency interpretation of statutes can be quite unlike judicial interpretation is that many agencies are to some degree politically accountable (though obviously less so than legislatures), in a way that federal courts are not. Executive agencies led by a cabinet secretary appointed by the President or Governor serve at the pleasure of that executive branch leader, and therefore must be politically responsive. To whatever degree these agencies have discretionary authority to fill in policy gaps when implementing and interpreting legislative statutes, they are likely to be
- Administrative agencies’ twin institutional competencies of expertise and accountability can be important in both the rulemaking and adjudicatory contexts, as well as in various other ways in which agencies offer guidance about the statutes they are charged with administering.
- As a normative matter, some recent scholarship has argued that within those limits, agencies are the superior governmental institution to exercise primary responsibility for the interpretation of statutes, largely because of their substantive expertise and democratic legitimacy.
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- ...law now takes place against a backdrop of increasingly complex interactions between the institutions of all three branches of government, namely, legislatures, executive and administrative agencies, and courts. At both the state and federal levels, legislatures enact sweeping measures that touch almost every aspect of citizens’ lives in myriad ways, from health insurance, to motor vehicle operation, to the mechanics of voting, to stimulating the economy, to the criminalization of internet piracy, to the distribution of tax burdens, to name only a few specific areas of government regulation. Administrative agencies and executive branch officials in turn must enforce many of these legislative measures through the creation of their own subsidiary regulations, as well as through their own adjudication of particular controversies. Meanwhile, citizens often turn to courts for clarification of the scope and meaning of complicated statutes or dense administrative regulations, as well as...
- Part II then develops in detail the dominant theories, doctrines, and practices of statutory and regulatory interpretation. Statutory and regulatory language can be fraught with ambiguity, despite the drafters’ best efforts. The results lead to questions like these: How is an implementing agency or court to deal with statutory ambiguity? What latitude is appropriate? What interpretive tools or aids can or should guide this process? How might the responses to these questions be different for agencies than for courts? How do, or ought, courts differ in how they approach the interpretation of regulatory text rather than statutory text? And what are the most salient differences between the federal and state systems regarding the interpretation of statutes and regulatory language?
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- As described in section A above, the state and federal constitutions are the supreme law within their respective spheres at the state or federal level. Other sources of law—statutes, regulations, judicial orders, executive orders, local ordinances—all derive their authority from these constitutions. These constitutions, in turn, impose important structural features and substantive limits upon the subordinate powers of federal and state lawmaking.
- In the United States, the foundational legal document of both the state and federal levels of government is a written constitution that defines the scope of governmental powers and duties. But the constitutions themselves derive their ultimate authority from the citizenry, who either through their designated representatives, or through processes of direct democracy, have the authority to ratify, amend, or replace altogether these foundational documents. Each of these state and federal constitutions in turn then establishes a legislative body as the primary lawmaking institution of their respective systems of government; many state constitutions also establish mechanisms of direct democracy that allow the citizens themselves to enact state statutes in supplement of their state legislature.
- . This “bicameralism” requirement usually requires that the two respective chambers negotiate and compromise, a process that sometimes can give rise to subsequent interpretive problems when statutes are being construed and implemented. Occasionally, however, the bicameral bargaining process can provide understanding and insight about the meaning of ambiguities in the resulting text. These topics are discussed in Chapters 5 and 10.
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Outline 11 results (showing 5 best matches)
Chapter 6. Inside the Administrative State: The Authority and Operation of Government Agencies 17 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Federal Agencies Are Creatures of Statute
- State Agencies Also Are Largely Creatures of Statute
- CREATURES OF STATUTE
- STATE AGENCIES ALSO ARE LARGELY CREATURES OF STATUTE
- ) explains that agency adjudications of issues that are “required by statute to be determined on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing,” like formal rulemaking issues, must follow the detailed hearing procedures of §§ 556 & 557) also gave federal agencies the green light to develop and employ informal adjudicatory processes whenever a governing statute called only for adjudication “after hearing,” rather than specifically calling for a hearing “on the record.” The Court’s subsequent decisions in §§ 553 and 554, and any specific constraints Congress may have imposed through the agency’s organic statute.
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- In contrast, when the Ohio Supreme Court repeatedly struck down Ohio’s school funding statute, first in 1997, and again in 2000, the court not only invited but also expected the state legislature to enact a different school funding statute.
- For instance, for years the Food and Drug Administration assumed that it lacked authority to regulate tobacco products, despite text in its authorizing statute that could easily be read to place nicotine within the scope of the FDA’s jurisdiction over “drugs.” Meanwhile, a strong tobacco lobby prevented Congress from amending the statute. But in 1996, with the support of President Clinton and sensing that the tobacco lobby, despite its power, would be unable to persuade Congress to override the action, the FDA decided to regulate cigarettes. In the ensuing legal battle, the Supreme Court invalidated the FDA’s regulation, perhaps also sensing that Congress would be unable to muster the votes necessary to override the Court’s decision by passing a new law to re-empower the FDA.
- First, this chapter will describe several different ways of viewing the roles of our elected representatives, as well as of how we expect our representative institutions to function. Chapters 3 and 4 will then explore features of the electoral processes, campaign finance practices, lobbying mechanisms, and bribery prohibitions through which we select and influence the representatives who populate our legislative institutions. Chapter 5 then will review the formal processes of creating statutes, while Chapter 6 will discuss the administrative entities and regulatory processes that these legislative bodies have created to assist in lawmaking and law implementation.
- Different subsets of this view, such as Critical Race Studies and Critical Gender Studies, have focused on particular aspects of the perceived power imbalance. One aspiration of CLS scholarship is to bring to light previously unnoticed or ignored power dynamics in order to prompt scrutiny and correction in the open forum of public discourse, scrutiny that in theory could provoke counter-hegemonic ways of understanding and interpreting the meanings of legal text such as the statutes and regulations discussed in more detail in Part II.
- compared to legislators, have less democratic accountability for their duties. Additionally, a somewhat cumbersome rulemaking process arguably permits and even encourages greater consideration of the connection between proposed rules and authorizing statutes. If rulemaking processes were more streamlined, the argument runs, agencies might more readily undertake activities beyond their proper scope.
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- (as well as under the Hobbs Act and the Honest Services Fraud statute, which formed the basis of the prosecution but were stipulated to use the term “official act” identically with the bribery statute). A
- , Congress quickly amended the statute to reconfigure the Commission along constitutional lines (providing for their appointment by the President, with the Senate’s advice and consent).
- No settled understanding exists about the meaning of “corruptly” as used in this statute with
- At the congressional level, concerns about corruption, often in response to political scandals, have given rise to a steadily evolving set of statutes and ethics rules that affect how Members of Congress behave. These measures have included the Ethics in
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- one-vote requirement discussed above, almost no other federal law constrains the way in which political districts are drawn. The one additional federal requirement is the statute that requires congressional districts to be single-member districts.
- The issue of the extent to which race can be a factor in drawing political districts must be understood not only in light of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection and the Fifteenth Amendment’s guarantee that voting rights will not be denied or abridged on account of race, but also in light of related provisions of sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Even in summary form, the history of the VRA offers an important example of the interplay between Congress and the Supreme Court, specifically with respect to the many redistricting measures to come before the Court under this statute.
- All members of the U.S. House of Representatives are elected to two-year terms, while U.S. Senators are elected to six-year terms, with one third of the Senators standing for election every two years. General elections for all members of Congress and most state legislatures are universally conducted on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of even calendar years. Federal statute specifies this day as Election Day for members of Congress.
- overwhelmingly those states with popular initiative processes that permit citizens to propose and adopt constitutional amendments or statutes directly (rather than through the legislature), as discussed more in Chapter 5. Perhaps ironically, the popularity of these measures was overwhelmingly driven by a desire to impact Congress, rather than state legislatures, yet the
- Although twenty-one states adopted term limits for their state legislatures, six of these states eventually repealed or invalidated their measures. Five of these six states had adopted legislative term limits by statute, and in two of these five states—Idaho and Utah—the state legislatures subsequently repealed the provisions. In the other three states with statutory term limits—Massachusetts, Washington, and Wyoming—the state high courts invalidated their provisions as an unconstitutional imposition of additional legislator qualifications beyond those specified in their state constitutions (mirroring the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in
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- Publication Date: April 5th, 2017
- ISBN: 9781628102109
- Subject: Legislation & Regulation
- Series: Nutshells
- Type: Overviews
While traditional American legal education has focused primarily on the judicial branch of government, legislatures and regulatory agencies are responsible for the vast majority of today's law creation and law implementation, in fields from health insurance regulation, to motor vehicle operation, to environmental protection, to the mechanics of voting, to stimulating the economy, to the criminalization of internet piracy, to the distribution of tax burdens, to name only some.
Because well-equipped attorneys need a comprehensive grounding in legislative and regulatory processes and the relationships among all three branches of government, many law schools now teach some version of a course in Legislation and Regulation in the first year. This Nutshell addresses all the major topics of these courses, including the central question of how courts and agencies should interpret ambiguous statutes.
Part I describes the functioning of modern-day legislatures and administrative agencies, including not only their essential mechanics but also theories of democratic representation. Part II then builds on this foundation to develop the principal theories and doctrines of statutory and regulatory interpretation. It includes detailed discussions of the various "intrinsic" and "extrinsic" interpretive tools, as well as the competing interpretive approaches of Textualism and Purposivism. It also includes a chapter devoted to the Chevron doctrine and the question of how courts should review agency interpretations of statutes.