Legislative History and its Use in Interpreting Statutes

Legislative History and its Use in Interpreting Statutes

Learn about the use of legislative history in interpreting statutes and sources of legislative history.

Transcript

I. Introduction

One of the primary differences between textualism and the other philosophical schools of statutory interpretation concerns the use of legislative history in determining a statute’s meaning. Most of the schools encourage the examination of legislative history. Countless judicial decisions, including Supreme Court decisions, have cited statutes’ legislative histories in various ways.

But textualism doesn’t rely on legislative history. Former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a...