The Supreme Court’s Misconstruction of a Procedural Statute–A Critique of the Court’s Decision in Badaracco

Before addressing the lessons to be derived from Badaracco, it is necessary to make good on the author’s claim that it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of a reasonably skeptical reader that the Court’s decision was patently wrong and resulted from a poor technique of statutory construction. This is a heavy burden, especially since the decision was reached by an overwhelming majority of the Court and since two courts of appeals and at least one student law review note reached the same result. The reader must judge whether the author succeeds in satisfying it. This Article will first set forth the Court’s reasoning and then will consider how the issue should have been resolved.