January 16, 2009
Interesting federal-state split
As you know, many states pattern their statutes after federal law. So, when there's a federal interpretation often, but not always, the states follow suit. There's an interesting example of this discussed in Woomert v. Iowa Civil Rights Commission, (Iowa App. 2008), available here. There's so much underlying this issue that I don't think has been explored: is it proper, for example, for this court to simply say that because the Iowa statute is "modeled after" a federal statute, that Iowa courts should "consistently employ federal analysis" when interpreting it? That seems to suggest that by adopting a federal statute, a legislature is presumed to adopt federal "law" regarding interpretation of a statute... which doesn't necessarily mirror state law.
Anyhow, this particular case notes that state courts split on whether the "Ricks/Chardon" rule applies to state analogs, which suggests that some states don't blindly follow federal interpretations. I think there's a law review article here, or at least some additions to the second edition of our book, which we're working on!
January 16, 2009 | Permalink
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