Book Review of Leo Katz Why the Law Is So Perverse
63 Journal of Legal Education 131-60 (2013)
30 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2013 Last revised: 2 Nov 2013
Date Written: March 26, 2013
This review of Leo Katz's book, Why the Law is So Perverse, addresses three questions. First, does Katz draw the appropriate normative conclusions about legal perversities based on their connections to social choice theory? In other words, what are the legal ethics and professionalism implications of his book? Second, how does each of the legal perversities in the book follow from a particular social choice theory result? In other words, what is the precise theoretical connection between each of the legal perversities discussed and an impossibility theorem in social choice theory? Third, can we reinterpret our understanding of the seemingly dismal and negative impossibility theorems from social choice in a constructive and positive way to suggest how society can make the best of legal perversities? In other words, what are benign interpretations and positive versions of the social choice impossibility theorems and their implications for how society can deal with what Katz calls legal perversities?
Keywords: Social choice, multi-criteria decision-making, Arrow's impossibility theorem, loopholes, agenda manipulation, legal ethics and professionalism, voting cycles
JEL Classification: D70, D71, D72, D79, K0, K10, K11, K12, K13, K14, K19, K22, K29, K35, K37, K39, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation