05 February 2010

Ignorance of the Law

I mean in the literal sense of just not knowing.

It is a commonplace saying that “ignorance of the law is no excuse”..


I mean, really, why?

If the law is so complex a thing that one must employ highly paid, highly trained scholars for its execution, isn't it time to admit that it's beyond reasonable control?

Shouldn't there be a sticker saying “No User Serviceable Parts Inside”? (That may be my next tattoo.)

Is this actionable (nice legal term)? Grounds for an antitrust lawsuit?

Back in the days of paper I worked as a librarian for various law firms. I would take old pages out of looseleaf binders and replace them with new ones. There were always more going in than coming out. The CCH Federal Standard Tax Reporter at the time (early 80s) ran to 27 volumes. Updated 3 times a week. With an average of about 300 pages.

That's a full novel's worth of paper.

OK, I admit that not everyone needs to know the whole tax code. But you're required to, for fear of imprisonment or worse. (Did you see the news that the IRS just put out a purchase order for another 60 12 gauge shotguns? They're armed and dangerous!)

No comments: