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Textualism in Georgia: The Truth Lies in Judge McFadden's Dissent

The Daily Report

  • October 27, 2017

Atlanta attorneys John Amabile and Todd Sprinkle co-authored a guest article in the Daily Report analyzing a strongly worded dissent about the Georgia Supreme Court's use of textualism. Referencing their previous Daily Report article about the state Supreme Court adopting a textualist approach, they write that a new decision further establishes the court's strict focus on the original language of a statute.

"In the recent Georgia Supreme Court decision – Patton v. Vanterpool – this issue again appears with a bang," they write. "In a remarkable dissent, Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Christopher McFadden, sitting by designation, took head-on the concept of textualism as a legal doctrine. His conclusion? The court’s reliance on the literal words of the statute at issue 'violate[d] the principles of textualism to advance the cause of textualism.' While the public debate is fascinating to read, the fact that his opinion is written as a solitary dissent serves to highlight our previous conclusion: Textualism is now the guiding principle of statutory interpretation within Georgia courts."

John and Todd offer takeaways for those doing business and litigating in the state of Georgia. Subscribers can read their full article here. Daily Report is the premier source for legal news in metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia.