Legal Inconsistencies

28 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2019

See all articles by Raff Donelson

Raff Donelson

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

Date Written: April 3, 2019


It is a familiar thought from the rule of law literature and from everyday life that legal norms within a given jurisdiction ought to be consistent. However, little work has been done to explain this demand. This Article develops a theory of legal inconsistencies, both what they are and why legal systems ought to avoid them. In addition to contributing to a theoretical discussion of legal inconsistency, the Article also articulates a remedy under American law for those harmed by inconsistencies. The Article contends that legal inconsistencies violate Due Process.

Keywords: legal inconsistency, due process, Lon Fuller, sexting, crack/powder cocaine disparity, consistency principle, action guidance, jurisprudence, rule of law, legal contradiction

Suggested Citation

Donelson, Raff, Legal Inconsistencies (April 3, 2019). Tulsa Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Raff Donelson (Contact Author)

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge ( email )

Baton Rouge, LA 70803
United States

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