Legislative Inflation: The Weimar Solution

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in physical form

As the Supreme court considers the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) it is meet to consider this statute in another light: length.

The bill which famously had to be read to determine its contents is often referenced as being around 1500 pages – estimates vary.  How many pages of regulations and administrative law cases this will spawn is anybody’s guess, but the exponent will be very large.

Lengthy laws and codes are nothing new, as is s alack of consensus on the exact length The Code of Justinian was two to three times the length of the bible( I.m not sure which one) according to a cursory internet search.

The Anglo Saxon tradition seems to be a bit more pithy, and to have survived the Norman invasion as  as the Magna Carta fit on a single length of parchment, and the quite succinct United Sates  Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

Tend: Holding steady. See http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/ for more fun stuff.

But that was then.  Now there is  for example,  the monstrous United States Tax code, which metastasizes daily.  16,000 plus pages, by some counts.  That’s a lot of dead trees, but the pulp based holocaust is at least tempered by digital formatting..

If ignorance of the law is no excuse, then, at this point we are all guilty of something,

When the inflation on Germany’s Weimar republic reached a height where the denominations were simply beyond human comprehension, they did find a solution.

I would suggest the same for many of our statutes.

 

 

 

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