Codification and the Hidden Work of Congress

Abstract

Where does law go after Congress enacts it, but before courts interpret it and the public reads it? As this Article shows, this seemingly simple question is in fact very complicated, without a single, predictable answer. In short, the answer is “it depends on a lot of things.” This Article provides the first in-depth scholarly examination of the process by which enacted laws are organized and presented for public consumption, known as codification, a process that has mostly escaped the notice of judges and scholars of legislation, and even fails to make it into textbooks meant to introduce lawyers to the creation and interpretation of law. It argues that the failure to account for this process has left gaps in our understanding of what law is and how it should be interpreted.

By uclalaw