Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Citation

66 Chicago-Kent Law Review 301 (1990)


In the past decade the study of statutory interpretation has gone from benign neglect to intense scrutiny, but the emphasis has remained on interpretation by courts. This symposium takes a different approach. The major theme is that interpretation depends on the interpreter and that we can gain insight into statutory interpretation, even by courts, from analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of nonjudicial interpreters. Part I of this Foreword places the symposium in the broader setting of recent literature on statutory interpretation, briefly reviewing the major schools of thought and explaining the contributors' perspectives. Part II sets forth my own views about judicial reliance on a particularly controversial
type of nonjudicial interpretation-statements about specific legislative
intent found in legislative history. It supports the dominant theme of the symposium, which is that the interpreter's institutional competence
should determine the weight accorded to the interpreter's conclusions.