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More Supreme Court Textualism [Updated]
Michael Ramsey

At Volokh Conspiracy, Josh Blackman: Textualism Monday.  Excerpts:

On Monday, the Supreme Court handed down five decisions, four of which focused on statutory interpretation.

First, Justice Sotomayor wrote the majority opinion in Johnson v. Arteaga-Martinez. She emphatically rejected the Third Circuit's interpretation of Section 1231(a)(6)... [Ed.: this was basically an 8-1 decision with Justice Breyer in dissent.]

... Second, Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion in Garland v. Aleman GonzalezThis opinion also interpreted Section 1231(a)(6), and emphatically rejected the Ninth Circuit's interpretation. Here, Alito relied on "ordinary meaning." ... [Ed.: 6-3, Justices Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor in dissent.]

... Third, Justice Thomas wrote the majority opinion in Kemp v. United States. He distinguished between "ordinary meaning" and "legal meaning" in FRCP 60(c). ... [Ed.: 8-1, with Justice Gorsuch dissenting on a distinct point.]

... Fourth, Justice Barrett wrote the majority [Ed: unanimous] opinion in ZF Automotive U. S., Inc. v. Luxshare, Ltd. This case turned on the meaning of the phrase "foreign or international tribunal" in 28 U. S. C. §1782(a). It is a thoroughly textualist opinion.

Another big week for textualism (see here on last week).  A law review article could be written about this term's textualism.

I confess to some doubts on ZF Automotive.  The question was whether a private arbitration panel based outside the U.S. is a "foreign or international tribunal" for purposes of 28 U. S. C. §1782(a).  The Court said no: the phrase means only government-controlled adjudicative entities.  Perhaps, but as a general matter "foreign" doesn't have that implication.  A "foreign newspaper" is one published abroad, not necessarily a government-owned one.  A "foreign" airline is one not based in the U.S., whether government-owned or not.  I think maybe it should be the same for tribunals.  (But, as the Court points out, that would set up some tension with the Federal Arbitration Act, which I suspect is the real reason for the outcome).

RELATED: Also from Professor Blackman, Justice Gorsuch DIGS In Kemp and Digs Out in Denezpi.  From the introduction: 

On the current Court, Justice Gorsuch is the most unpredictable justice. The other members of the Court are more-or-less predictable, but Justice Gorsuch continually surprises me with how he disposes of cases--not in the outcomes he reaches, but how he gets there. Two opinions from Monday illustrate this dynamic....

UPDATE:  More opinions today, including some textualism.  Jonathan Adler comments on American Health Association v. Becerra (a unanimous textualist opinion) here