August 1, 2006
Just a hundred years ago, statutes were few, and those that did exist were broad. Courts did not confront statutes very often, and when they did, courts approached the application of statutes much like they did with the common law. And, the nature of statutes at that time -- they were generally short (e.g., the Sherman Act), lent themselves to that approach.
"The times, they are a'changing." Statutes have become central to the United States legal system. They have proliferated in number, size, and scope. Gone, for the most part, are the days of one sentence statutes. Today, statutes run often dozens or hundreds of pages. Both their increased length and specificity, as well as their overall proliferation, has led to an entire body of law devoted to statutory interpretation.
This blog is about that body of law. It will cover developments in the law of statutory interpretation, as well as key interpretations of important statutes, or similar developments.
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