Dynamic Statutory Interpretation

Dynamic Statutory Interpretation

by William N. Eskridge Jr.
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674218787

ISBN-13: 9780674218789

Pub. Date: 12/28/1994

Publisher: Harvard

Contrary to traditional theories of statutory interpretation, which ground statutes in the original legislative text or intent, legal scholar William Eskridge argues that statutory interpretation changes in response to new political alignments, new interpreters, and new ideologies. It does so, first of all, because it involves richer authoritative texts than does

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Overview

Contrary to traditional theories of statutory interpretation, which ground statutes in the original legislative text or intent, legal scholar William Eskridge argues that statutory interpretation changes in response to new political alignments, new interpreters, and new ideologies. It does so, first of all, because it involves richer authoritative texts than does either common law or constitutional interpretation: statutes are often complex and have a detailed legislative history. Second, Congress can, and often does, rewrite statutes when it disagrees with their interpretations; and agencies and courts attend to current as well as historical congressional preferences when they interpret statutes. Third, since statutory interpretation is as much agency-centered as judgecentered and since agency executives see their creativity as more legitimate than judges see theirs, statutory interpretation in the modern regulatory state is particularly dynamic.

Eskridge also considers how different normative theories of jurisprudence--liberal, legal process, and antiliberal--inform debates about statutory interpretation. He explores what theory of statutory interpretation--if any--is required by the rule of law or by democratic theory. Finally, he provides an analytical and jurisprudential history of important debates on statutory interpretation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674218789
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
12/28/1994
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
424
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Why Statutory Interpretation Is Worth a Book1
IThe Practice of Dynamic Statutory Interpretation9
1The Insufficiency of Statutory Archaeology13
2The Dynamics of Statutory Interpretation48
3A Case Study: Labor Injunction Decisions, 1877-193881
IIJurisprudential Theories for Reading Statutes Dynamically107
4Liberal Theories111
5Legal Process Theories141
6Normativist Theories174
IIIDoctrinal Implications of Dynamic Statutory Jurisprudence205
7Legislative History Values207
8Vertical versus Horizontal Coherence239
9Canons of Statutory Construction as Interpretive Regimes275
Appendix 1 The Primary Legislative Inaction Precedents, 1962-1992309
Appendix 2 Supreme Court Decisions Overruling Statutory Precedents, 1962-1992316
Appendix 3 The Rehnquist Court's Canons of Statutory Construction323
Notes335
Index429

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