Statutory Interpretation

A frequent complaint about law school teaching is that it is heavily weighted toward the study of judicial, usually appellate, decisions and case analysis. The bulk of our law, however, is statute based and a large majority of Supreme Court, and probably all other, cases turn on interpreting a statute. The study of statutory interpretation is, therefore, of real practical importance, and it turns out to be, perhaps more than one might expect, exceptionally intellectually challenging. As the introduction to the casebook for the course, Caleb Nelson, Statutory Interpretation (2011), puts it “Techniques of statutory interpretation are partly about how language works and partly about how government works. These topics are each extraordinarily complex in their own right, and their interaction has occupied thinkers since at least the time of Aristotle.” As the course involves reading some of the most peculiar, puzzle-like cases from all areas of law, it might even be thought to be fun.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 1:15 - 2:05 pm TNH 3.115
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room
Final 5/6/16 8:30 am 2.123

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Allowed

Textbooks

  • Cases and Materials on Statutory Interpretation - William N. Eskridge, Jr.
      West , edition: 2012
      ISBN: 9780314278180   (required)