Legislative Intent

What is legislative intent and how is it used?

The subject of legislative intent is not a particularly well covered aspect of the typical law school curriculum. Heavy emphasis on the case method of studying law tends to restrict the discussion of legislative purpose to what the courts say on the subject. However, judicial opinions are only one facet of a thorough multi-faceted approach to properly construing a statute. The subject of statutory construction and the proper use of legislative history for both state and federal purposes is covered in the preeminent American law treatise in this area, Sutherland on Statutory Construction (hereafter Sutherland). Follow the link below to open a PDF file which summarizes California’s tradition in this area which typifies the discussion found in Sutherland.