Read the Statute,  Read the Statute,  Read the Statute!”
Justice Felix Frankfurter said that   The language of the text of the statute should serve as the starting point for any inquiry into its meaning.    To properly understand and interpret a statute, [first] you must read the text closely, keeping in mind that your initial understanding of the text may not be the only plausible interpretation of the statute or even the correct one.
Learn More⇒ A Guide to reading, interpreting and applying statutes by   American Society of Healthcare Risk Management    and * Wikipedia
The way I heard it, either in my one year of correspondence law school or two years of beginners Talmud was:
Read the law three times, then when you think you understand it, read it again.

The starting point in statutory construction is the language of the statute itself. The Supreme Court often recites the “plain meaning rule,” that, if the language of the statute is clear, there is no need to look outside the statute to its legislative history in order to ascertain the statute’s meaning.

Felix Frankfurther - Wikipedia
Felix Frankfurther – Wikipedia
King v Burwell - Subsidies Upheld - ScotusCare
King v Burwell – Subsidies Upheld – ScotusCare

 Tools to Read a Statute




A cardinal rule of construction is that a statute should be read as a harmonious whole, with its various parts being interpreted within their broader statutory context in a manner that furthers statutory purposes.  A provision that may seem ambiguous in isolation is often clarified by the remainder of the statutory scheme — because the same terminology is used elsewhere in a context that makes its meaning clear, or because only one of the permissible meanings produces a substantive effect that is compatible with the rest of the law.”

In Edgar v. MITE Corp., 457 U.S. 624 (1982), the Supreme Court ruled: “A state statute is void to the extent that it actually conflicts with a valid Federal statute.” In effect, this means that a State law will be found to violate the supremacy clause when either of the following two conditions (or both) exist:[3]

  1. Compliance with both the Federal and State laws is impossible, or
  2. “…state law stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress…”

Supreme Court – FINAL Ruling – Subsidies Upheld in Federal Exchange
47 Pages, view our highlights, annotations & bookmarks


Resources & Links

Wikipedia  PDF Congressional Research Service on plain meaning rule

California Civil Code 1635 et seq – Interpretation of Contracts


Thomas v Quintero

Georgetown University 21 pages on how to read, interpret and apply statutes

Parol Evidence Rule Wikipedia – Contract stands by itself – can’t bring up discussions or agreements that were prior to actually signing the written Contract

Related Web Pages

Jiggery – Pokery – Subsidies and Interpretation – Obamacare




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