Judges,  Oddities

It’s not just Bill Clinton . . .

. . . who says it all depends on what the meaning of “is” is. A Ninth Circuit opinion filed today begins: “This appeal presents the single, seemingly straightforward question whether the word ‘is’ really means ‘is,’ at least as that word is employed in 25 U.S.C. § 81.”

And it turns out the answer isn’t that easy:

Motivated largely by the plain meaning of Section 81—but after also taking into account related statutes, relevant legislative history and the language of the contract itself—we conclude that the word “is” means just that (in the most basic, present-tense sense of the word)[.]

As if to prove the answer isn’t simple, there’s a dissenting opinion.