August 28, 2018 Articles

Statutory Interpretation: Fall Reading List

Statutory interpretation is a battlefield; the two books reviewed here will prepare you for the fight.

By Mark Pinkert – August 28, 2018

Book Reviews

Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts
By Antonin Scalia & Bryan A. Garner
(West 2012)

Interpreting Law: A Primer on How to Read Statutes and the Constitution
By William N. Eskridge Jr.
(Foundation Press 2016)

In the United States, statutes and regulations now comprise most of the law that governs businesses, individuals, and government officials, displacing the judge-made common law. There are several reasons for this trend. To name a few, legislatures tend to enact, rather than repeal, statutes; the Supreme Court interprets Congress’s Article I powers liberally; and state and federal lawmakers create agencies with power to promulgate regulations. The takeaway for litigators is that statutes and regulations will increasingly determine the outcome of legal disputes. Particularly at the appellate level, practitioners will be required to craft and brief arguments about statutory language.

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