Thursday, May 17, 2012

Statutory construction: what does “the” mean?

Steve_Friedland_forwebFor an example of a small but mighty word, take a look at “the” in the federal campaign finance law. Steven Friedland of Elon University explained its importance when he discussed John Edwards’ campaign finance trial on Diane Rehm’s radio show today.  Friedland said the trial’s outcome will turn on the meaning of “the” in the statutory definition of an “expenditure” as a donation “for the purpose of influencing any election for federal office.” Bunny Mellon's gift of $725,000 to help hide Edwards' mistress was arguably for personal purposes, but it may also have been intended to influence the election. The question is whether a donation given for both personal and political purposes falls within the meaning of “for THE purpose.” 


| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Statutory construction: what does “the” mean?:


I knew one day that IT would come to THIS.

Posted by: Mindy | May 17, 2012 8:36:27 PM

Post a comment