Counter-Intuitive Consequences of "Plain Meaning"
49 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 26, 1991
One of the most currently popular ideas in jurisprudence is that legal rules should be interpreted according to their plain or ordinary meaning. A boost has been given to this position by Justice Scalia in his decisions and addresses. The plain meaning approach fits hand-in-glove with legal formalism, defined by Frederick Schauer as characterizing a decision-maker who, “reaches the result indicated by some legal rule, independent of that decision-maker's own best judgment, and independent of the result that might be reached by direct application of the justifications lying behind the rule.”
Keywords: rules, statutes
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation