The Length of American Laws

by Vince

Ever wonder why they sometimes get so long?

They … aggregate the survey responses to measure the average ideology of various federal agencies.  And here’s where it gets really interesting.  When agencies are ideologically far from the average member of Congress, the longer and more detailed are the laws that Congress passes to govern that agency.  In other words, when an agency is ideologically distant from Congress, Congress appears to afford that agency less discretion, as manifest in its insistence on these detailed legal rules.

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