Drafting Proper Short Bill Titles: Do States Have the Answer?

Jones, Brian Christopher (2012) Drafting Proper Short Bill Titles: Do States Have the Answer? Stanford Law & Policy Review, 23 (2). pp. 455-476. ISSN 1044-4386

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Contemporary short bill titles for major pieces of legislation in the U.S. Congress read more like overt policy statements than informational cues as to what the bill entails. Many of these titles are adorned with unapologetically lavish acronyms, which often focus on catch phrases incorporating highly emotive actions and/or characteristics. The most recent federal drafting manual says little about short bill title construction, and its sparse instructions are seldom followed. Conversely, an examination of some state drafting manuals reveals that they have much to offer in terms of legislative bill titling advice, and the federal government may want to take notice. Many states incorporate bill titling clauses in their constitutions, and also have detailed policies and recommendations on short title construction. Such guidelines usually focus on accuracy, the informational aspect of bill titles (for lawmakers, citizens and others), and the elimination of promotional and misleading language in titles.

Item Type: Article
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Law
Depositing User: Brian Christopher Jones
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2016 16:02
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2018 17:50
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/470

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