May 26, 2008
Should Markets Care When the Supreme Court Interprets Statutes?
Posted by David Zaring

You might think not. After all, according to the Spaeth database of Supreme Court decisions, the Court spends much of its statutory interpretation capital dealing with statutes with tangential relationships to the economy, like habeas corpus (68 decisions), section 1983 (59 decisions), and the Immigration and Nationality Act (62 decisions – and a growth stock). But the most interpreted statutes do matter to markets:

                       
 

IRC

 
 

199

 
 

NLRA

 
 

123

 
 

CIVP

 
 

87

 
 

CRA7

 
 

76

 
 

BANK

 
 

71

 
 

SHER

 
 

69

 

Note some incongruities. Two of the most interpreted statutes are enormous and frequently amended (the Internal Revenue Code and the Bankruptcy Code). One is short and frequently amended (Title VII). And two are short and rarely amended, one of which is almost common law (the NLRA and the Sherman Act).

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