The Law is a Fractal: The Attempt to Anticipate Everything
Andrew Stumpff Morrison
University of Michigan Law School; University of Alabama Law School
March 1, 2013
44 Loyola University Chicago L.J. 649 (2013)
U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper, No. 292
Define an inappropriate rule as a rule that, if followed literally, would in at least some cases produce results that can be concluded with reasonable certainty to have been unintended by and unacceptable to even the rule’s author. Even under this definition, it is impossible for a rule writer to write an appropriate and objective rule to cover every situation in advance. Rule-writers nonetheless act today as though they were unaware of this long-acknowledged impossibility of perfect advance enumeration, and their persistent attempts to achieve it have imposed enormous, under-recognized costs on regulated populations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: jurisprudence, fractal, vehicles in the park, open texture, determinacy, penumbra, vagueness, specificity, complexity, rule style, tax law, employee benefits, pensions, legal realism, positivism, formalism, textualism, legal philosophy
JEL Classification: K40, K20, H20, I18, K34, J26Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 6, 2012 ; Last revised: January 2, 2014
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