On July 10, 2019, the Sixth Circuit considered vexing questions of statutory interpretation in an ERISA case.  A dispute over whether a transaction bonus plan was an ERISA employee pension benefit plan hinged on the meaning of two terms common in federal statutes: “results in” and “extending to.”  While the meaning of the statute was plain to the entire panel, Judges Stranch and Thapar quarreled over the evidence that a court might rightly consider when interpreting a statute—in this case, ERISA.  Judge Thapar argues that “[c]ourts should consider adding [corpus linguistics] to their tool belts.”

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