An important question is when judges should consider contextual evidence about the meaning of a statute. Judges usually will read a statute's text in light of judicial precedent prevailing at the time of its enactment to understand the contemporary meaning of various words or phrases in the statute.' A more difficult issue is whether courts should consider contemporary judicial context if a statute's text is silent about an issue. The use of contemporary context to imply statutory meaning has been especially controversial where the issue is whether courts should imply a private right of action.
Mank, Bradford, "Legal Context: Reading Statutes in Light of Prevailing Legal Precedent" (2002). Faculty Articles and Other Publications. 120.