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An Evaluation of the Rules of Statutory Interpretation
Yale Law School
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Johnstone, Quintin, "An Evaluation of the Rules of Statutory Interpretation" (1954). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 1908. http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/1908
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Kansas Law Review
AN EVALUATION OF THE RULES OF STATUTORY INTERPRETATION
The rules of statutory interpretation are under attack as being worthless and even harmful. The purpose of this article is to consider the value of these rules and possible changes in them and in their use. The importance of the subject is considerable because the primary function of modern appellate courts is the interpretation of statutes, and it is conventional for courts to make use of the rules in the course of interpretation.
I. What Are the Rules of Statutory Interpretation
Our law has gradually developed a vast body of authority pertaining to statutory interpretation. 1 Some of the rules in this law are very ancient, others rather recent. Most of this authority is applicable to statutes in any field; some of it only to one field, such as criminal law or constitutional law. Nearly all of it is entirely judge made, although a few rules of interpretation appear in the general statutes of most states.2 The words "rules of statutory interpretation" are used loosely in this article to include any of the...