Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword or section
Like this
4Activity

Table Of Contents

0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends

Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends

Ratings: (0)|Views: 734 |Likes:
Published by Doctor Conspiracy
Congressional Research Service report to Congress by Yule Kim.
Congressional Research Service report to Congress by Yule Kim.

More info:

Published by: Doctor Conspiracy on Feb 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

09/25/2012

pdf

text

original

 
Order Code 97-589
Statutory Interpretation:General Principles and Recent Trends
Updated August 31, 2008
Yule KimLegislative AttorneyAmerican Law Division
 
Statutory Interpretation:General Principles and Recent Trends
Summary
The Supreme Court has expressed an interest “that Congress be able to legislateagainst a background of clear interpretive rules, so that it may know the effect of thelanguage it adopts.” This report identifies and describes some of the more importantrules and conventions of interpretation that the Court applies. Although this reportfocuses primarily on the Court’s methodology in construing statutory text, theCourt’s approach to reliance on legislative history are also briefly described.In analyzing a statute’s text, the Court is guided by the basic principle that astatute should be read as a harmonious whole, with its separate parts beinginterpreted within their broader statutory context in a manner that furthers statutorypurpose. The various canons of interpretation and presumptions as to substantiveresults are usually subordinated to interpretations that further a clearly expressedcongressional purpose.The Court frequently relies on “canons” of construction to draw inferencesabout the meaning of statutory language. For example, in considering the meaningof particular words and phrases, the Court distinguishes between terms of art thatmay have specialized meanings and other words that are ordinarily given a dictionarydefinition. Other canons direct that all words of a statute be given effect if possible,that a term used more than once in a statute should ordinarily be given the samemeaning throughout, and that specific statutory language ordinarily trumpsconflicting general language. “Ordinarily” is a necessary caveat, since any of these“canons” gives way if context reveals an evident contrary meaning.Not infrequently the Court stacks the deck, and subordinates the general,linguistic canons of statutory construction, as well as other interpretive principles, tooverriding presumptions that favor particular substantive results. The Court usuallyrequires a “clear statement” of congressional intent to negate one of thesepresumptions. A commonly invoked presumption is that Congress does not intendto change judge-made law. Other presumptions disfavor preemption of state law andabrogation of state immunity from suit in federal court. Congress must also be veryclear if retroactive application of a statute or repeal of an existing law is intended.The Court tries to avoid an interpretation that would raise serious doubts about astatute’s constitutionality. Other presumptions that are overridden only by “clearstatement” of congressional intent are also identified and described.
 
Contents
Statutory Text.....................................................2In General Statutory Context and Purpose........................2Canons of Construction.............................................4In General....................................................4Ordinary and Specialized Meaning................................5Terms of art..............................................5Ordinary meaning and dictionary definitions.....................6And/or..................................................8Definite/indefinite article....................................8Shall/may................................................9Singular/plural............................................9General, Specific, and Associated Words..........................10Grammatical Rules, Punctuation.................................10Statutory Language Not to be Construed as “Mere Surplusage.........12Same Phrasing in Same or Related Statutes........................13Different Phrasings in Same Statute..............................14Congress Knows How to Say ...................................15Statutory Silence.............................................16De Minimis Principle..........................................17Overriding Presumptions...........................................17Departure from Common Law or Established Interpretation............18Displacing State Law, Impinging on State Operations................18Abrogation of States’ Eleventh Amendment Immunity................19Nationwide Application of Federal Law...........................19Waiver of Sovereign Immunity..................................20Non-retroactivity / Effective Date................................20Avoidance of Constitutional Issues...............................21Extraterritorial Application Disfavored............................21Judicial Review of Administrative Action..........................22Deference to Administrative Interpretation.........................23Repeals by Implication.........................................26Laws of the same session...................................27Appropriations laws.......................................28Rule of Lenity...............................................28Scienter....................................................28Remedial Statutes.............................................29Statutes Benefitting Indian Tribes................................30Miscellany......................................................31Titles of Acts or Sections.......................................31Preambles (Whereas Clauses).................................32Findings and Purposes Sections..................................32Sense of CongressProvisions..................................33Savings Clauses..............................................33Notwithstanding Any Other Provision of Law.....................35Implied Private Right of Action..................................36

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->