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What role should the realities of the legislative drafting process play in the theories and doctrines of statutory interpretation and administrative law? The ongoing debates frequently turn on empirical assumptions about how Congress drafts and what interpretive rules Congress knows, but, until now, there has been almost no testing of those assumptions. This is the first of two Articles reporting the results of the most extensive empirical study to date—a survey of 137 congressional staffers drawn from both parties, both chambers of Congress, and spanning multiple committees—on topics ranging from their knowledge and use of the canons of interpretation, to legislative history, the administrative law deference doctrines, the legislative process, and the courts-Congress relationship.

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