textualism

If the Constitution is Dead, where does that leave Takings?

Justice Scalia is getting a lot of attention for his comment that the Constitution is “dead, dead, dead”, but obviously he didn’t mean that the Constitution is no longer in effect.  (See?  Intent theory sometimes is helpful, Nino.).  Rather, he meant that the Constitution does not have a meaning that changes over time.  It has …

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Posner versus Scalia Smackdown!

Environmental law revolves around statutes, so the topic of statutory interpretation is crucial for lawyers in the field. For the past thirty years, Justice Scalia has promoted an approach called textualism, which purports to provide an objective method of interpreting laws.  This approach often, though not always, leads to narrower reader of statutes than broader …

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Does Any Pollutant Mean ANY Pollutant?

It got less attention than it should because it was upstaged by the Supreme Court’s healthcare decision, but last week’s D.C. Circuit ruling on climate change was almost as important in its own way.  By upholding EPA’s regulations, the court validated the federal government’s main effort to control greenhouse gases.  To the extent that the …

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If Textualism Isn’t Dead, It’s Badly Wounded

This one is too good not to blog.  Strictly speaking, it’s an immigration case, but it has interesting implications for all statutes and especially environmental ones. Jawid Habibi is a lawful resident alien, but not someone you’d want to hang around with.  He was convicted of domestic misdemeanor battery in California, and then received a 365-day …

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