Cover: Misreading Law, Misreading Democracy, from Harvard University PressCover: Misreading Law, Misreading Democracy in HARDCOVER

Misreading Law, Misreading Democracy

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Product Details


$49.50 • £39.95 • €44.50

ISBN 9780674971417

Publication Date: 09/26/2016


272 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

1 line illustration


Professor Nourse has written a book of comprehensive, devastating criticism of how judges, including Supreme Court Justices, interpret (or pretend to interpret) congressional enactments. The canons of statutory construction, plain meaning, textualism, literalism, originalism—all these crutches fall, felled by her cannons.—Richard A. Posner, author of Divergent Paths: The Academy and the Judiciary

Misreading Law, Misreading Democracy is important reading for anyone seriously interested in understanding statutes, and especially so for judges. Their ignorance of/indifference to Congress’s processes is an affront both to the means by which most law is created today, and to the democratic values implicit in its emergence from the actions of an elected body.—Peter L. Strauss, Columbia Law School

Nourse convinces that America’s judges, law professors, and lawyers know perilously little about the most important branch of government—the United States Congress—and spells out the consequences this gap in our collective knowledge have for governance. Helping to fill that gap, this accessible book takes on those who practice ‘petty textualism’ while offering an approach to statutory interpretation that is both more professionally satisfying and consistent with our representative democracy. Brava!—William N. Eskridge, Jr., Yale Law School

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