Uses of Legislative History: Scalia v. Alito

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3 Responses

  1. Simon says:

    I tend to think that the difference is a gulf, regardless of the result. An invalid process is invalid even if it reaches the right result. I have to admit that, as much as I scoffed at those who, when Alito’s first action on the court was to grant a stay (“get with it!,” I laughed – “this is a lifetime appointment and you want to write it off after a day”), today, I have at very least a touch of buyer’s remorse, even if I’m not quite ready to start worrying that the sky is falling. Still, that Scalia went out of his way to write that much, in that manner, suggests that he thinks Alito can be brought back on-side, and I trust his judgement.

  2. I echo Simon’s comments…as usual, Justice Scalia correctly identifies that process is still important. I’m just surprised that Justice Thomas didn’t sign on.

  3. Todd says:

    The use of legislative history violates due process. I’m not sure why I haven’t seen Scalia put it this way, but it is, in fact true. Legislative history is always irrelevant because either it will not change the plain meaning of a statute; or it will affect the meaning of an ambiguous statute, in which case the citizen is bound by more than the words of the statute. Thus, to whatver extend the use of legislative history changes the interpretion of a statute, such change violates due process.