Statutory Interpretation and the Legislative ProcessMore and more American law has come to be embodied not in constitutional nor common law but in statutes enacted by elected legislators. This course will introduce the legislative process and overview the structure and operation of legislative bodies. A major focus of the course will be the study of statutory interpretation. We will consider different theories of statutory interpretation, such as textualism and dynamic statutory interpretation, the problems that arise in applying statutes to unanticipated situations, and some of the many principles and 'canons' of construction courts employ when construing ambiguous statutes. We will read cases, statutes, and theoretical work. Additional course topics may include contemporary debates regarding statutory interpretation and the legislative process, such as corruption and campaign finance reform. The course will include a legislative drafting exercise and a final take-home examination.
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