Statutes original meaning as evidenced in its text

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statute’s original meaning as evidenced in its text should govern how judges interpret the statute, as opposed to alternative methods of statutory interpretation such as inquiring into historical sources in attempt to discover the intent of the legislative body that approved the statute. Legislative intent: what would a reasonable member of Congress have wanted the judges to interpret the law to say?
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Scalia and Breyer Why does Scalia reject legislative histories? Invites personal bias on the part of judges Legislative history creep Why does Breyer reject a textualist approach? Legislators can’t foresee all outcomes Legislation may no longer be relevant
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Speech There are many things the court has decided fall under “speech” that are still restricted Banning tobacco ads to kids Anti-discrimination laws prevent employers from saying certain things Campaign finance laws Are they equal to the kind of political, personal speech the 1st Amendment protects? Think about intent - does restricting campaign spending (though a kind of speech) makes more possible the kind of speech the Founders had in
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Speech – Ctd. The opposite is also possible–a super strict limit on campaign spending might unduly advantage incumbents and be bad for democracy Breyer emphasizes that the mere “appearance of undue influence” of money on politics can “erode public confidence in the electoral process”
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Citizens United What was the holding? Corporations, unions, and other associations and organizations have a first amendment right to use money from their treasuries for independent campaign expenditures
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DC v. Heller Prior to Heller, DC effectively banned privately owned handguns Heller struck this down Significance: Opened the door to challenges to other gun control laws by viewing 2nd amendment as an individual right rather than as protection for state militias
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The evolving power of judicial review Era When Level of activity Central questions I Founding to the Civil War Generally low National authority vs. states’ rights II Civil War to the 1930s High (particularly in 1920s-1930s) Can the government regulate the national economy? III 1940s – present (?) High Individual rights vs. government authority
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Era I: Nation vs. State Under John Marshall (chief justice 1801- 1835), the Court favored national authority when it conflicted with states’ rights. McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) Overturns state law challenging federal authority (specifically, the establishment of national bank) States’ rights regained ascendance in the era of Andrew Jackson and his appointed chief justice Roger Taney. Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) Overturns federal law challenging state authority The era was brought to a close with the Civil War, which establishes national supremacy.
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Era II: The National Economy As the Industrial Revolution roared, major battles erupted over the extent to which business could be regulated by government. Invoking the supremacy
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