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February 18, 2008

Cracker Barrel v. Humphries

Section 1981 Case to be Argued Tuesday, February 20.  There's an interesting piece here about a case to be argued tomorrow, about whether Section 1981 claims include claims for firing for reprisal.  A neat summary of the case, each side's positions, and the cert question are here. 

It's an interesting case that raises some plain text issues, but also some about the scope of the statutory cause of action and implied rights.  We tackle a closely related issue in our casebook on statutory interpretation, and I find the issue that this case may ultimately turn on fascinating: what if a statute is adopted at a time when statutory rights are more broadly found to be implicit than today. Should that statute be interpreted in accordance with that approach, or the (admittedly) narrower approach now used by the courts in defining the boundaries of statutory rights?  Quite a neat case.  The SCOTUS wiki for it is here.

My own view is that if the goal is to give text plain meaning, the approach used by the courts at the time the statute was adopted ought to control. Any other approach, I submit, ignores the text as well as Congressional intent.

But what do I know?

February 18, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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