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Today, statutes make up the bulk of the relevant law heard in federal courts and arguably represent the most important source of American law. The proper means of judicial interpretation of those statutes have been the subject of great attention and dispute over the years. This book provides new insights into the theory and practice of statutory interpretation by courts.
Cross offers the first comprehensive analysis of statutory interpretation and includes extensive empirical evidence of Supreme Court practice. He offers a thorough review of the active disputes over the appropriate approaches to statutory interpretations, namely whether courts should rely exclusively on the text or also examine the legislative history.
The book then considers the use of these approaches by the justices of the recent Rehnquist Court and the degree to which they were applied by the justices, either sincerely or in pursuit of an ideological agenda.