Document Type


Publication Date



Recent scholarship draws an analogy between contract and statutory interpretation. In this Article, Professor Movsesian explores and rejects that analogy. There are key differences between contracts and statutes, he argues; the intentionalism of contemporary contract law is inappropriate in the context of statutory interpretation. After critically examining the literature on the topic and demonstrating the operative distinctions between contracts and statutes, Professor Movsesian provides a useful illustration in the form of the famous case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States. Professor Movsesian shows how a comparison of contract and statutory interpretation sheds light on a number of interesting questions, including the character of third party beneficiary contracts, the nature of political representation, the role of bicameralism and presentment in the legislative process, and the ongoing debate about the use of legislative history in determining the meaning of statutory language.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.