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ACS Presents: Progressive Theories of Interpretation: Responses to Textualism and Beyond

March 10, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Progressive experts in statutory interpretation will gather with ACS to debate ways in which laws should be interpreted. Professors with backgrounds in Linguistics, Philosophy, Administrative Law and Positive Political Theory will evaluate current popular modes of interpretation and provide critiques and alternatives to ways in which the meaning of laws can be determined.

Please register in advance at:

Panelists include:

Victoria Nourse is one of the nation’s leading scholars on statutory interpretation, Congress, and the separation of powers. Her latest book, Misreading Law, Misreading Democracy, was published in 2016. She has also published Reclaiming the Constitutional Text from Originalism: The Case of Executive Power, 106 Calif. L. Rev. 1 (2018). She is a coauthor with Yale’s William Eskridge and Abbe Gluck of the most up to date casebook on legislation: Statutes, Regulation, and Interpretation: Legislation and Administration in the Republic of Statutes (2014 & 2018 Supp.)

Lawrence Solan is a professor of law and Director of Graduate Education at Brooklyn Law School. He holds both a law degree and a Ph.D. in linguistics. His scholarly works are largely devoted to exploring interdisciplinary issues related to law, language and psychology, especially in the areas of statutory and contractual interpretation, the attribution of liability and blame, and linguistic evidence. He is director of the Brooklyn Law School’s Center for the Study of Law, Language and Cognition, and his acclaimed book, The Language of Judges, is widely recognized as a seminal work on linguistic theory and legal argumentation.

Anita Krishnakumar is a professor of law at St. John’s University School of Law. Her scholarship focuses on statutory interpretation and the legislative process. Her most recent work explores interpretive trends in the Supreme Court’s statutory jurisprudence. Her articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Stanford Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the New York University Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, the Duke Law Journal, and the Harvard Journal on Legislation, among others.

Matthew Stephenson is a professor of law at Harvard Law School. His research focuses on the application of positive political theory to public law, particularly in the areas of administrative procedure, anti-corruption, judicial institutions, and separation of powers.

Ryan Doerfler is a law professor at the University of Chicago. His research focuses on questions of statutory and constitutional interpretation, drawing on contemporary work in epistemology and philosophy of language. He is also interested in various doctrinal puzzles in administrative law and federal courts.


March 10, 2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:




American Constitution Society