“A ‘view’ from the Courtroom: Committee of the Whole”

Mark Walsh @SCOTUSBlog:

On Monday at the Supreme Court, Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Antonin Scalia engaged in a  skirmish over one of their favorite topics: using committee reports and other legislative history to help interpret a statute (Breyer) versus relying strictly on the text of a law (Scalia).

Breyer, who was a Senate staff member in the late 1970s, has relied on that experience to inform his view that committee reports, which are written by congressional staffers, at least inform the legislative intent of Congress. Scalia began outlining his views on textualism in the 1980s.


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