Clause 1 of the powers.
SLevinson at MAIL.LAW.UTEXAS.EDU
Wed Sep 13 16:46:40 PDT 2000
Brad Clanton writes:
There's also one other point that should be made regarding
>Justice Scalia's view of legislative history and statutory interpretation.
>If you look at his opinions, you'll see that the main problem with committee
>reports (and, having written them, I know), floor statements, and so forth,
>is that as evidence of the meaning of the law they are unreliable. Once
>legislators figured out that courts were looking at these things, they began
>to pepper the record with all sorts of contradictory assertions. The same
>is not true with respect to most of the historical evidence regarding the
>meaning of the text of the Constitution.
I'm not sure about this. Nothing is more unreliable, for example, than the
Federalist, which was written as propaganda designed to elicit the votes of
wavering anti-Federalists. Though maybe I'm not clear as to what Brad
means by "reliability" in this context. I assume we're talking, though,
about giving a certain "spin" to language that could legitimately be
interpreted in a variety of alternative (and conflicting) ways.
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