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

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.

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 Book

I: The Practice of Dynamic Statutory Interpretation

1. The Insufficiency of Statutory Archaeology

2. The Dynamics of Statutory Interpretation

3. A Case Study: Labor Injunction Decisions, 1877-1938

II: Jurisprudential Theories for Reading Statutes Dynamically

4. Liberal Theories

5. Legal Process Theories

6. Normativist Theories

III: Doctrinal Implications of Dynamic Statutory Jurisprudence

7. Legislative History Values

8. Vertical versus Horizontal Coherence

9. Canons of Statutory Construction as Interpretive Regimes

Appendix 1 The Primary Legislative Inaction Precedents, 1962-1992

Appendix 2 Supreme Court Decisions Overruling Statutory Precedents, 1962-1992

Appendix 3 The Rehnquist Court's Canons of Statutory Construction

Notes

Index

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