Making Meaning: Towards a Narrative Theory of Statutory Interpretation and Judicial Justification

Randy Gordon
2017 Social Science Research Network  
The act of judging is complex involving finding facts, interpreting law, and then deciding a particular dispute. But these are not discreet functions: they bleed into one another and are thus interdependent. This article aims to reveal-at least in part-how judges approach this process. To do so, I look at three sets of civil RICO cases that align and diverge from civil antitrust precedents. I then posit that the judges in these cases base their decisions on assumptions about RICO's purpose.
more » ... e assumptions, though often tacit and therefore not subject to direct observation, are nonetheless sometimes revealed when a judge narrates legislative history. I conclude by remarking that a narrative theory of interpretation and justification may have universal relevance.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.3037211 fatcat:gzltetrisbdfzlecdprrziwnv4