Robert Katzmann's 'Judging Statutes'

The Journal of Legal Education, Forthcoming

Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-483

13 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2015 Last revised: 7 Oct 2015

Date Written: September 3, 2015


Chief Judge Robert Katzmann has written a compelling short book about statutory interpretation, stressing the importance to sensible interpretation of knowing Congress as an institution (as few judges do). Both as a resource for teaching, and as a useful compendium of the current literature, it is a very welcome addition to the genre. Though he is careful and fair to both, readers will not be surprised to find his views on the purposive rather than the textualist side of the current disputes.. The book could set the framework for a two or three hour legislation class supplemented by cases and other readings of the instructor’s choosing. Or it might more simply be used as an independent reading assignment as law school begins, to apprise twenty-first century law students just how important the interpretation of statutes will prove to be in the profession they are entering, and how unsettled are the judiciary’s means of dealing with them. It should be required reading for all who teach in the field.

Keywords: statutes, statutory interpretation, Congress, judiciary, legal education, legislation, purposivism, textualism

Suggested Citation

Strauss, Peter L., Robert Katzmann's 'Judging Statutes' (September 3, 2015). The Journal of Legal Education, Forthcoming; Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-483. Available at SSRN:

Peter L. Strauss (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
212-854-2370 (Phone)
212-854-7946 (Fax)


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