Reenactment Rule Law and Legal Definition

Reenactment rule is a principle of statutory construction that when reenacting a law, the legislature implicitly adopts well-settled judicial or administrative interpretations of the law.

The Supreme Court has confined the reenactment rule to the situation where the validity of administrative action standing by itself may be dubious or where ambiguities in a statute or rules are resolved by reference to administrative practice prior to reenactment of a statute; and where it does not appear that the rule or practice has been changed by the administrative agency through exercise of its continuing rule-making power. Where the administrative agency is possessed of a continuing rule-making power the court should not hamstring it by prohibiting future changes in rules, prospective in character, simply because the doctrine of administrative construction receives legislative approval by a statutory provision without material change. [Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Jones, 176 F.2d 737 (10th Cir. Okla. 1949)]