Justice Kagan figures out how to prevent Nino from breaking off when the majority cites legislative history

June 18th, 2012

5 The legislative history, for those who think it useful, further showsthat the QTA addresses quiet title actions, as ordinarily conceived. The Senate Report states that the QTA aimed to alleviate the “[g]raveinequity” to private parties “excluded, without benefit of a recourse tothe courts, from lands they have reason to believe are rightfully theirs.”
S. Rep. No. 92–575, at 1. Similarly, the House Report notes that the history of quiet title actions “goes back to the Courts of England,” andprovided as examples “a plaintiff whose title to land was continually being subjected to litigation in the law courts,” and “one who feared that an outstanding deed or other interest might cause a claim to bepresented in the future.” H. R. Rep. No. 92–1559, p. 6 (1972). From topto bottom, these reports show that Congress thought itself to be authorizing bread-and-butter quiet title actions, in which a plaintiff asserts aright, title, or interest of his own in disputed land.

I’ve seen the “for those who think it is useful” in dissents to make fun of Scalia, but I’ve never seen it in a majority opinion, that cites legislative history, and Scalia joins.

Kudo to EK in Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak for citing legislative history in a way that Scalia doesn’t abscond.