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Statutory Interpretation and Legislative Intent

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Think about this interesting debate (and nicely written blog post) while you’re reading the new book on Interpreting Oregon Law:

Judges Calabresi and Easterbrook Face Off on How to Interpret Statutes

When interpreting statutes, does the Constitution require federal judges to act as agents of the incarnation of Congress that enacted the legislation or the present day Congress? That was the question before Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and Judge Frank Easterbrook of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit at the Federalist Society’s annual debate luncheon this afternoon.

Easterbrook argued in favor of the notion that judges should interpret statutes as the enacting Congress intended, while Calabresi, who noted that he agreed with the enacting Congress approach, argued that statutory interpretation also needed to factor in evolving language and the context that the legislation was created under….” (read full post at Legal Times blog, 11/14/09)

(Thanks to Rob at Law in the News for the lead.)