Scalia, Great Justices, and legislative history
tzywicki at GMU.EDU
Thu Mar 8 17:37:53 PST 2001
There is yet another key influence of Scalia. When Congress writes
legislation now, members are acutely aware that there is some
possibility that legislative history may be ignored when the statute is
interpreted. This causes them to be much more precise in the express
language of the statute. So from a legal process perspective, Scalia
has clearly had a profound influence on Congress. I have been involved
in a number of legislative drfting activities in recent years where
Congressmen have specifically stated their concern that they did not
trust to elaborate on statutory language through the legislative history
because of the high likelihood that it would be ignored by the court,
and as a result have worked much harder to try to clarify the language
of the legislation.
Philip Frickey wrote:
> As for the question about Scalia's influence on the Court's approach to
> statutory interpretation, the majority of the Court continues to maintain that
> legislative history may be consulted, see, e.g., Wisconin Public Intervenor v.
> Mortier, 501 U.S. 597, 610 n.4 (1991).
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