Have you ever seen the written language to amend a law?
It’s full of verbiage!
I just read a municipal law that orders the city council to adopt An Ordinance Entitled An Ordinance to Amend An Ordinance Entitled Streets, Sidewalks, and Other Public Places, at which point the meat of the amendment is stated and consolidated with the existing words.
Can’t municipal legislators (who are much worse than their state and federal equivalents) apply the KISS principle to esoteric terms rooted in archaic traditions?
Why can’t the above amendment mimic existing legalese and read like, An Ordinance to Amend Streets…? Simple!
I suppose Newburyport’s legal code could be worse, such as the following ordinance approved by the mayor of Urbana, Illinois back in 1900:
ORDINANCE 11 OF FY 1900 (9900-11), ENTITLED “ORDINANCE TO AMEND AN ORDINANCE ENTITLED ‘AN ORDINANCE CONTINUING AND EXTENDING AN ORDINANCE ENTITLED ‘AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND AN ORDINANCE ENTITLED ‘AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR A SUPPLY OF WATER TO THE CITY AND CONTRACTING WITH THE UNION WATER SUPPLY CO. FOR A SUPPLY OF WATER FOR PUBLIC USE”'”
My hunch is Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals would take issue with the nonsensical terminology in the above example. With good reason, too.
Can you think of any reason, other than in the name of tradition, to continue using complicated language in contemporary laws?