Wednesday, April 17, 2013

People v. Pellecher (Cal. Ct. App. - April 17, 2013)

Courts and commentators occasionally say that resort to legislative history is a crock.  (You listening, Justice Scalia?)  For those doubters, I'd suggest reading this opinion.

It's a classic case where legislative history matters.  Could you reach the same result by relying exclusively upon the statutory language?  Sure.  You could.  And a portion of Justice Mallano's opinion does precisely that.

But relying entirely upon the text would leave a lot of doubt.  Resort to legislative history puts most, if not all, of that doubt to rest.  Even for someone -- like me -- who was a little dubious about the opinion's holding when he first started reading it.

A nice, tight opinion.