LAW 322

Legislation and Statutory Interpretation

Constitutional & Public Law, Public Interest Law

An understanding of legislation and statutory interpretation is increasingly necessary as the influence of statutory law broadens to affect a wide range of legal issues. Solutions to many problems facing today’s lawyer involve either knowledge of how legislation develops in Congress or an understanding of how laws will be interpreted by the judicial and executive branches. Focusing on the federal level, we will examine the contemporary legislative process, the use of legislative history in statutory interpretation, the debate over textualist statutory interpretation, deference to agency interpretation of statutes, and other legal issues connected with Congress such as lobbying, campaign finance, and legislative speech. We will discuss these issues from legal, economic, and political perspectives, and apply theoretical conclusions to practical examples of actual legislation.

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