John Jacobs, an appellate defense attorney based in Detroit, said Murphy's footnote took strict, literal interpretation to its logical conclusion: If judges could not apply common sense, legislators' poorly worded laws could have bizarre ramifications.But wouldn't it be nice if they tried just a little to get every comma right? And unrelated to the interpretation question, but related to the primary subject - the possible criminality (possible? wait, no, it IS criminal in Michigan) of adultery - can we get into a discussion about how we'll allow adultery but not view it as a threat to marriage? At least not as much of a threat to marriage as, say, marriage apparently is a threat to marriage?
"If you give that much power to legislators, they had better be right," Jacobs said. "Every comma had better be right."
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Commas Really Are That Important, Though
Life for adultery? Is that as criminal as what we continue to do to representative government and the proper role of statutory interpretation?