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Differentiating Deference

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There is now some consensus that the context of a statutory term plays a crucial part in its meaning. The argument continues, however, over what “kinds of context . . . matter.” Building on scholarship that addresses the wide range of contexts that contribute to legal meaning, this Article illuminates two factors crucial to interpreting legal language: the social nature of meaning-making and the practical nature of interpretive competence. I locate my inquiry in the judicial review of agency statutory interpretation, a particularly fruitful arena for analyzing statutory interpretation more generally.

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