"Any court will look beyond the plain language to determine intent, if, and only if, the provision at issue is ambiguous.
#109 | Posted by et_al"
That is incorrect, counselor. See, e.g., State v. Gaines (Oregon).
"The Oregon Supreme Court issued an opinion last week that refines the judiciary's approach to interpreting statutes. Oregon courts may now consider a statute's legislative history, even where its text and context are unambiguous.
In State v. Gaines, the Court concluded that, in light of the 2001 amendments to ORS 174.020, the appropriate methodology for interpreting a statute continues to place the most significance on a statute's text and context. However, application of the State v. Gaines methodology will no longer require an ambiguity in the text of a statute as a necessary predicate to consideration of pertinent legislative history. Instead, a party is free to proffer legislative history to the court, and the court will consult it after examining text and context, even if the court does not perceive an ambiguity in the statute's text. The extent of the court's consideration of that history, and the evaluative weight that the court gives it, is for the court to determine. Finally, if the legislature's intent remains unclear after examining text, context, and legislative history, the court may resort to general maxims of statutory construction to aid in resolving the remaining uncertainty.
This opinion moves the courts away from the methodology adopted in 1993 in PGE v. BOLI, which barred consideration of legislative history absent an ambiguity in the statutory text and context."