(LAWM-4005) - 3 UNITS

An understanding of legislation and statutory interpretation is increasingly necessary as the influence of statutory law broadens to affect a wide range of legal issues. Solutions to many problems facing today's lawyer involve either knowledge of how legislation develops in Congress or an understanding of how laws will be interpreted by the judicial and executive branches. Focusing on the federal level, we will examine the contemporary legislative process, including the role of interest groups and the effect of lobbying; the use of legislative history in statutory interpretation; and the legal issues implicated by recent legislative reform proposals. We will also explore topics such as constitutional law and the political theory of representation, campaign finance reform, and direct democracy. We will discuss these issues from legal, economic, and political perspectives, and apply theoretical conclusions to practical examples of actual legislation.