The Value of Intuition in Judging: A Case Study

57 Court Review 34 (2021)

5 Pages Posted: 24 May 2021

Date Written: February 23, 2021


The article reports on a survey of readers about the reasoning in United States v. Hayes, 555 U.S. 415 (2009), a case involving muddled statutory drafting. The decision is fascinating for its deep dive into canons of construction.The majority cited four canons, the minority three. But in the end, readers judged the majority’s sense of the statute’s “manifest purpose”—a nontextual argument— to be the strongest argument of all. And they did so decisively: it received as many “points” in the voting as all the textual arguments put together.

Keywords: textualism, interpretation, reasoning, canons of constructions, judicial intuition, statutory purpose

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Kimble, Joseph, The Value of Intuition in Judging: A Case Study (February 23, 2021). 57 Court Review 34 (2021), Available at SSRN:

Joseph Kimble (Contact Author)

WMU–Cooley Law School ( email )

300 S. Capitol Avenue
Lansing, MI 48933
United States

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