This Comment discusses how and when federal civil laws are applied retroactively, the proper mode of interpretation as set out by the Supreme Court, and how the Civil Rights Act of 1991 should be interpreted with regard to the issue of retroactivity.

I. Introduction

II. Determining the Retroactivity of Legislation ... A. Retroactivity and Bradley ... B. The Proper Determination of Retroactivity ... 1. Intent of the Legislation ... 2. Determining Retroactivity without Intent ... a. The Fallacy of Bradley ... b. Timing of an Act's Passage ... c. Substantive v. Procedural ... d. The Death of Bradley

III. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 … A. Purposes of the Act ... B. Legislative Intent ... 1. Senator Kennedy–Representative Edwards ... 2. Senator Danforth–Senator Dole Memorandum ... C. Plain Language of the Act

IV. Conclusion—The Act and Its Nonretroactive Effect