5 thoughts on “Ignorance Of The Law”

  1. Yup.

    Ignorance of the law was perhaps no excuse when the law was easily and generally known; it prevented people claiming utterly implausible ignorance of something they could and should have known, to escape just punishment.

    Today? Between the way the laws and regulations-with-force-of-law are published and split up (the US Code isn’t even the actual law, just a digest of it!), the convoluted way it’s often written*, and the sheer size of the law, it’s difficult to obey it entirely even if you want to, simply because it’s easy to miss a requirement or prohibition in the mess of Law towering over us.

    (* I understand that clarity of legal interpretation should trump normal English readability, but the way Congress drafts laws often doesn’t have that excuse. They’re just bad at it.)

  2. You’re a criminal. What right do you have to question law? We’ll let you know when you’ve broken one, unless you’re a friend of those in power in which case we will just wave the law.

    What’s the difference between that and pure tyranny?

    How dare you ask the question!!!

  3. Of course ignorance of the law is no excuse. Before you do anything at any time, you’re supposed to consult at least one lawyer. This does the greatest good for society by keeping lawyers fully employed. /s

  4. I miss listening to Bill Handel on KFI. When advertising a service that helps you find a lawyer, Handel (a lawyer himself) said it “will help you find a lawyer…the only person for whom ignorance of the law IS and excuse!”

  5. “It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow.” ― James Madison, The Federalist No. 62, February 27, 1788.

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