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October 15, 2002

NJ Decision & Statutory Interpretation

Jeff Cooper has a very good explanation of why what the NJ Supreme Court did was not only normal, in the legal sense, but hallowed by the US Supreme Court in its own statutory interpretation. As he outlines, where a Court long ago made a statutory interpretation, as the NJ Supreme Court did fifty years ago in making deadlines flexible, then the fact that the legislature has never amended the law to correct the Court's interpretation is seen as accepting its view.

Now, as Cooper notes, the judicial tradition is questionable on principle but it exists. Its worth noting that since it is far harder to amend national legislation to correct judicial misinterpretation, because of the Senate filibuster, then New Jersey's failure to explicitly amend the elections law would probably call for even greater respect for the earlier precedent.

Posted by Nathan at October 15, 2002 11:42 AM

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