Tennessee governor signs "natural and ordinary meaning" bill

The law "requires that 'undefined words be given their natural and ordinary meaning, without forced or subtle construction that would limit or extend the meaning of the language, except when a contrary intention is clearly manifest.'" Jurist

1155 reads

There are 2 Comments

Aaron Blumer's picture


Those pesky dispensationalists strike again.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Bert Perry's picture

....enforcing the rule.  More or less, the issue is the same as it has ever been; are those who remove judges willing to man up and say "your decisions are so out of a reasonable understanding of the law, we need to remove you from the bench."  We have been reluctant to do this as a society because it would automatically transform the judiciary into a political battleground even more than it is already.  In other words, the GOP would do it to a few very liberal judges, and in the next election, the Democrats would use it on far more conservative judges.

The law sounds appealing until you realize this, and we come back to the same point we should have been acting on in the first place; judges are generally appointed by politicians who are in turn elected by the people.  Win elections, win the judiciary.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.