As explained in In re Amy Unknown, 701 F.3d 749, 762 (5th Cir. 2012):
The rule of the last antecedent, recently applied by the Supreme Court in Barnhart v. Thomas, 540 U.S. 20, 26, 124 S.Ct. 376, 157 L.Ed.2d 333 (2003), instructs that "a limiting clause or phrase," such as the "proximate result" phrase in [18 U.S.C.] § 2259(b)(3)(F), "should ordinarily be read as modifying only the noun or phrase that it immediately follows." "[T]his rule is not an absolute and can assuredly be overcome by other indicia of meaning," but "construing a statute in accord with the rule is 'quite sensible as a matter of grammar.'" Id.(quoting Nobelman v. Am. Sav. Bank, 508 U.S. 324, 330, 113 S.Ct. 2106, 124 L.Ed.2d 228 (1993)) ....
Although often followed, the rule has exceptions. Thus, Stepnowski v. CIR, 456 F.3d 320 (3d Cir. 2006), notes that, when there is a comma before a modifying phrase, that phrase modifies all of the items in a series and not just the immediately preceding item. As another court observed:
Under the last-antecedent rule of construction, therefore, the series "A or B with respect to C" contains two items: (1) "A" and (2) "B with respect to C." On the other hand, under the rule of grammar the series "A or B, with respect to C" contains these two items: (1) "A with respect to C" and (2) "B with respect to C."
Kahn Lucas Lancaster, Inc. v. Lark Int'l Ltd., 186 F.3d 210, 216 n.1 (2d Cir. 1999), abrogated on other grounds by Sarhank Group v. Oracle Corp., 404 F.3d 657 (2d Cir. 2005). Another explanation appears in American Int'l Group, Inc. v. Bank of America Corp., 712 F.3d 775, 782 (2d Cir. 2013).
"This basketball team has a seven-foot center, a huge power forward, and two large guards, who do spectacular dunks," differs from the statement, "This basketball team has a seven-foot center, a huge power forward, and two large guards who do spectacular dunks." The first statement conveys that all four players do spectacular dunks. The latter statement conveys that only the guards do so.
An underlying question is whether the authors of the material being interpreted were precise in applying the rules of grammar. The fundamental rule is common sense. E.g., isabled in Action v. SEPTA, 539 F.3d 199, 210 (3d Cir. 2008); Demko v. United States, 216 F.3d 1049, 1053 (Fed. Cir. 2000); Longview Fibre Co. v. Rasmussen, 980 F.2d 1307, 1313 (9th Cir. 1992).