When General Statutes and Specific Statutes Conflict

5 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2010

See all articles by Steve R. Johnson

Steve R. Johnson

Florida State University - College of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 12, 2010


State and federal legislatures are enacting more laws than they did a generation ago; and often do so in haste and without sufficient care. One result is that new statutes sometimes conflict with previously-enacted ones.

How should courts decide cases when two or more statutes apply dictate conflicting results? One traditional canon of statutory construction is that, when they conflict, a specific statute controls a general statute regardless of which came first. This Interpretation Matters installment examines courts' application of that canon to state and local tax controversies.

Keywords: legislation, statutory construction, state and local taxes

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Steve R., When General Statutes and Specific Statutes Conflict (July 12, 2010). State Tax Notes, Vol. 57, p. 113, 2010; UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1669505

Steve R. Johnson (Contact Author)

Florida State University - College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Room R210
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States
850-644-1777 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.fsu.edu/faculty/sjohnson.html

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