Jeffrey Pojanowski, ‘Reading Statutes in the Common Law Tradition’

There is wide agreement in American law and scholarship about the role the common law tradition plays in statutory interpretation. Jurists and scholars of various stripes concur that the common law points away from formalist interpretive approaches like textualism and toward a more creative, independent role for courts. They simply differ over whether the common law tradition is worth preserving. Dynamic and strongly purposive interpreters often claim the Anglo-American common law heritage supports their approach to statutory interpretation, and that formalism is an unjustified break from that tradition. Many formalists reply that the common law mindset and methods are obsolete and inimical to a modern legal system of separated powers. They argue that because the legal center of gravity has shifted from courts to complex statutory regimes, judicial interpreters, especially at the federal level, should no longer understand themselves as bearers of the common law tradition … (more)

Jeffrey A Pojanowski, ‘Reading Statutes in the Common Law Tradition’. 101 Virginia Law Review 1357 (2015).

First posted 2015-09-16 05:57:40

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