Interpretive choice in statutory interpretation

Ekins, Richard (2014) Interpretive choice in statutory interpretation. American Journal of Jurisprudence, 59 1: 1-24. doi:10.1093/ajj/auu008

Author Ekins, Richard
Title Interpretive choice in statutory interpretation
Journal name American Journal of Jurisprudence   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0065-8995
Publication date 2014-06
Year available 2014
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1093/ajj/auu008
Open Access Status
Volume 59
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 24
Total pages 24
Place of publication Notre Dame, IN, United States
Publisher University of Notre Dame
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract This article considers theories of “interpretive choice,” which deny that any particular method of interpreting a statute is uniquely reasonable and instead take statutory interpretation to be very largely underdetermined by reason. Cass Sunstein argues from the nature of interpretation that the choice of interpretive method should turn directly on consequences. Adrian Vermeule argues that whatever one takes to be the object of interpretation, it is the study of the capacities of interpreters rather than philosophical argument that should decide the choice of interpretive method. Scott Shapiro argues that the nature of law entails that interpretive discretion should track the distribution of trust, which is system-specific and varies from (type of) interpreter to interpreter. These arguments fail to perceive the nature of language use and interpretation in general, or lawmaking and statutory interpretation in particular. Any well-formed practice of statutory interpretation will center on inference about the intentions of the enacting legislature, which focus on legislative intent is nonetheless consistent with much variation in the context of enactment.
Keyword Interpretation
Legislative intent
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
TC Beirne School of Law Publications
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Created: Wed, 16 Jul 2014, 16:00:35 EST by Carmen Buttery on behalf of T.C. Beirne School of Law