Archive for March 8th, 2018

March 8, 2018

Krishnakumar’s Book Review to be Published in the Texas Law Review

Professor Anita S. Krishnakumar’s book review, The Canon Wars, co-authored with  Victoria F. Nourse, of Georgetown Law School, has been accepted for publication in the Texas Law ReviewKrishnakumarThe review discusses Yale Law School Professor William N. Eskridge’s recent book, Interpreting Law: A Primer on How to Read Statutes and the Constitution (Foundation 2016).

Here is the abstract:

Canons are taking their turn down the academic runway in ways that no one would have foretold just a decade ago. Affection for canons of construction has taken center stage in recent Supreme Court cases and in constitutional theory. Harvard Dean John Manning, and originalists Will Baude and Stephen Sachs, have all suggested that principles of “ordinary interpretation” ⎯including canons ⎯should inform constitutional interpretation. Given this new-found enthusiasm for canons, and their convergence in both constitutional and statutory law, it is not surprising that we now have two competing book-length treatments of the canons, one by Justice Scalia and Bryan Garner, Reading Law: The Interpretation of legal Text, and the other by Yale Law Professor William N. Eskridge, Interpreting Law:  A Primer on How to Read Statutes and the Constitution. Both volumes purport to provide ways to use canons to read statutes and the Constitution. In this Review of Interpreting Law, we argue that this contemporary convergence on canons raises some significant interpretive questions about judicial power and the very idea of a canon.

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