Constitutional Avoidance

A canon of statutory construction dictating that ambiguous statutory language be construed to avoid serious constitutional doubts. Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. v. Florida Gulf Coast Bldg. and Const. Trades Council, 485 U.S. 568, 575 (1988). It also counsels against deciding a constitutional question when a case can be resolved on some other basis. Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Auth., 297 U.S. 288, 347 (1936) (Brandeis, J., concurring).

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