November 16, 2006
Third Circuit on Intent
The section of CAFA that allows an appellate court to accept an appeal from a district court order granting or denying a motion to rmand a class action so long as application is made "not less than" a week after the order (and, so when read literally means you have to wait a week to appeal, but then have forever to do so), resulted in some interesting observations about legislative intent and text from the Third Circuit in Morgan v. Gay, 466 F.3d 276 (3rd Cir. 2006). The court, while emphasizing that ordinarily legislative history should not be relied upon for ambiguous statutes, and even less reliance should be given to it for unambiguous text, nonetheless stated that "in that rare instance where it is uncontested that legislative intent is at odds with the literal terms of the statute, then a court's primary role is to effectuate the intent of Congress even if a word in the statute instructs otherwise." In that case, the court noted that the legislative history showed the appeal had to be filed "within" seven days, and so the language in the statute, it reasoned, was a typographical error.
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