San Diego Law Review


Stephen F. Ross

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



The principal theme of this essay is that statutory interpretation is a project that requires advocates and judges to utilize the insights of three discrete disciplines apart from law: communications and linguistics to understand the way that legislative drafters use words to communicate to others, either in text or in extratextual legislative material; political science to describe the way that legislators behave in enacting statutes; and political theory to provide a normative guide for courts interpreting statutes in a constitutional democracy. Judges, lawyers, and academics would find the process of interpretation more coherent if they transparently acknowledged when and how they drew upon these other disciplines in crafting their work. I apply this theme to make three specific points about this work and a related one by Professors McCubbins and Rodriguez.

Included in

Law Commons