Judging Statutes by Robert A. Katzmann

By Robert A. Katzmann

In a great international, the legislation of Congress-known as federal statutes-would continually be essentially worded and simply understood via the judges tasked with examining them. yet many legislation characteristic ambiguous or perhaps contradictory wording. How, then, may still judges divine their which means? may still they stick simply to the textual content? To what measure, if any, may still they seek advice aids past the statutes themselves? Are the needs of lawmakers in writing legislation relevant?

Some judges, resembling superb court docket Justice Antonin Scalia, think courts should still glance to the language of the statute and nearly not anything else. leader pass judgement on Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. court docket of Appeals for the second one Circuit respectfully disagrees. In Judging Statutes, Katzmann, who's a educated political scientist in addition to a pass judgement on, argues that our constitutional approach fees Congress with enacting legislation; as a result, how Congress makes its reasons identified via either the legislation themselves and trustworthy accompanying fabrics may be revered. He appears at how the yankee govt works, together with how legislation turn out to be and the way a number of enterprises construe laws. He then explains the judicial strategy of studying and using those legislation in the course of the demonstration of 2 interpretative techniques, purposivism (focusing at the objective of a legislation) and textualism (focusing completely at the textual content of the written law). Katzmann attracts from his adventure to teach how this approach performs out within the actual global, and concludes with a few feedback to advertise realizing among the courts and Congress.

When courts interpret the legislation of Congress, they need to take note of ways Congress really capabilities, how lawmakers sign the which means of statutes, and what these legislators count on of courts construing their legislation. The legislative list at the back of a legislation is honestly a part of its origin, and consequently advantages attention.

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And Albert M. ”20 In contrast to the legal realists of the 1930s, who believed that judges make law, the proponents of the legal process approach viewed judges as agents of the legislature with the ability to discern Congress’s purposes and to interpret laws consistent with those purposes. 21 This approach allows for an examination of legislative history so as to better understand the legislation under review. There is much to be said for the view that appreciating the underlying purposes of the legislation allows judges to apply the laws in situations not necessarily anticipated by the enacting Congress.

Doing so promotes good government as courts applying such methods are more likely to reach results consistent with legislative meaning. Doing so also facilitates healthy interbranch relations as legislators view courts as seeking to hew to the statute’s meaning as passed by Congress. 1 At times, even when the statute is plain on its face, the judge may find legislative history helpful in reinforcing the court’s understanding of the words. If, for example, the result suggested by the plain language seems absurd, then a broader inquiry, including consideration of legislative history, may be in order.

3 The confirmation process provides senators with a venue to press nominees to commit to interpreting statutes in particular ways as a condition for affirmative votes. 4 The nominee who does not keep her promise once confirmed may incur such costs as appropriations cuts or legislative changes. Legislators also advance their views about what is expected of agency officials in the course of funding hearings (appropriations) and hearings about substantive bills (authorizations). Committee reports and conference committee reports accompanying legislation will often require that the agency undertake or refrain from particular actions.

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