Two Kinds of Plain Meaning

Nourse, Victoria F.
March 2011
Brooklyn Law Review;Spring2011, Vol. 76 Issue 3, p997
Academic Journal
The article explores the plain-meaning rule advocated by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia when interpreting statutes. It explains that there are two different ideas of plain meaning--ordinary/popular meaning and expansive/legalist meaning. It points out how Scalia's textualism remains unclear as to what type of meanings it will apply. It points out the need for a theory that will determine when a court should apply legalist meaning and when it should apply ordinary meaning.


Related Articles

  • TEXTUALISM AND THE PRESUMPTION OF REASONABLE DRAFTING. Liu, Cory R. // Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy;2015, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p711 

    The article discusses the textualism legal interpretation doctrine in America in relation to the history of the U.S. Supreme Court and a presumption of reasonable drafting with regards to American statutes. A reasonable reader framework is mentioned, along with the claim that textualism promotes...

  • Why the court needs a liberal. Kaplan, David A. // Newsweek;4/18/1994, Vol. 123 Issue 16, p25 

    Asserts that the US Supreme Court has no ideological breadth and that President Bill Clinton should pick an unabashed liberal to fill Justice Harry Blackmun's vacancy because it would enhance the court's prestige for the long term. Loss of liberals Thurgood Marshall in 1991 and William Brennan...

  • Text or Consequences? Schacter, Jane S. // Brooklyn Law Review;Spring2011, Vol. 76 Issue 3, p1007 

    An essay on the gap between theoretical textualism and applied textualism in statutory interpretation is presented. It uses the interpretation of federal statutory law as a frame of reference and textualism as advocated by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. It cites several...

  • Naïve Textualism in Patent Law. Siegel, Jonathan R. // Brooklyn Law Review;Spring2011, Vol. 76 Issue 3, p1019 

    An essay on the U.S. Supreme Court's shift from a rich, contextual approach to a textual approach in interpreting patent laws is presented. It decribes how the shift is creating a trend known as naive textualism where interpreters simply look up the meaning of a statute's words in the...

  • Taking a Page From History. Savage, David G. // ABA Journal;Aug2001, Vol. 87 Issue 8, p32 

    Focuses on the decision of United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who rejected as unconstitutional the scanning of homes with a thermal imager. Background on the case Kyllo versus United States; Basis of Scalia's ruling; Issues raised over the Fourth Amendment.

  • ERRATUM.  // Creighton Law Review;Jun2015, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p392 

    A correction is provided for the article "The Weakness of the Case for Cameras in the United States Supreme Court" by Jonathan R. Bruno which appears in Volume 48 of the journal, and it mentions an error involving American Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's views about non-experts and the law.

  • Shift of power in the US.  // New Scientist;2/20/2016, Vol. 229 Issue 3061, p6 

    The article reports that the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia may impact the international ramifications of climate change and abortion rights following the changes on the balance of power in the Supreme Court.

  • A brief guide to Lawrence v. Texas. Varnell, Paul // Bay Windows;7/3/2003, Vol. 21 Issue 29, p6 

    Focuses on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that anti-sodomy law of Texas and other states is unconstitutional. Opinion of Justice Anthony Kennedy which supports equal protection for gay and lesbian; Comments on Justice Antonin Scalia's anti-gay opinion; Significance of the difference between...


    The article offers information related to filling up the position vacated after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Topics discussed include mortality of Supreme Court Justices as an element of wild randomness in the American political system, immediate and easily foreseeable...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics