Legal Inconsistencies

30 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2019 Last revised: 8 Nov 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). 55 TULSA L. REV. 15 (2019). Available at SSRN:

Raff Donelson (Contact Author)

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge ( email )

Baton Rouge, LA 70803
United States

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