Three Laws Seemingly Devoid of Any Legislative Intent Whatsoever


Legal research

Legislation, ordinances, and legal statutes are meant for the good of society. That much is obvious. However, you may come across some rather bizarre laws seemingly devoid of any legislative intent whilst doing your legislative history research.

Here are a few such rules that correct problems you didn’t even know existed.

Missouri Wants You to Keep Your Bear in a Cage.

In Missouri, it’s illegal to drive around with an uncaged bear in your vehicle, but caged bears are alright in the eyes of the law. Obviously the legislative intent here is to make sure no one is driving with an apex predator loose in their vehicle and there’s no question that it’s fairly reasonable law to follow. However, the law does beg question of how many uncaged bears there were before this was made illegal.

Alabama Won’t Let You Dress Up as a Priest.

That’s right. It’s illegal to impersonate a clergyman in Alabama if you’re in a public place. According to Alabama Code Section 13-A-14-4, you could even face jail time for pretending you’re a man or woman of the cloth. Obviously the legislative intent behind this law was to get people to stop pretending to be ordained persons, but what’s not so obvious is why exactly they had to make it illegal.

Connecticut Strictly Defines What’s a Pickle and What’s Not.

Believe it or not, a pickle isn’t a pickle in Connecticut unless it can bounce. If it doesn’t, then apparently it’s just a pickled-cucumber, but not a pickle. If you think about the legislative intent behind this weird law, you begin to wonder two things: just what exactly people were trying to pass off as pickles, and why it became such a problem.

This is just a small sample of weird laws seemingly devoid of any legislative intent that are still on the books. If you’ve ever come across an odd law while doing your own legislative research, feel free to share on the comments. If you have any questions or would like to speculate on the legislative intent of these weird laws here, feel free to share in the comments, too!

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