In National Federation of Independent Business v Sebelius (“NFIB”), the Supreme Court maintained both its jurisdiction over the case and the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by threading the needle between the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) and Congress’s taxing power under the Constitution.
Interpretation requires an object: a text, an act, a concept, a something to be interpreted. An interpreter must pick out that object.
Many tenets of statutory interpretation take a peculiar form. They allow consideration of outside information—legislative history, practical consequences, the statute’s title, etc.—but only if the statute’s text is unclear or ambiguous.
A conference about “best practices” for legal inquiry supposes that there are practices. In the field of legal interpretation, that assumption is doubtful.