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Judging Statutes

Robert Katzmann


Over the last twenty-five years, there has been a spirited debate in the courts, Congress, and in the academy about how to interpret federal statutes, the laws of Congress. Federal judges spend a considerable amount of time trying to understand Congress's meaning. Just as Congress produces laws, so courts are called on to interpret them. When the language of the statute is unambiguous, the job of the judge is generally straightforward. But when—as often happens—the statute is ambiguous, the interpretative task is not obvious. How a judge interprets statutes is of fundamental importance. For th ... More

Keywords: federal statute, Congress, statute, constitution, law, purposivism, textualism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199362134
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199362134.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert Katzmann, author
Chief Justice of the Second Circuit of U.S. Court of Appeals