Book Review

Document Type

Book Review


Journal of Legal Education




This review of Leo Katz's book, Why the Law is So Perverse, addresses three questions. First, does Katz draw the appropriate normative conclusions about legal perversities based on their connections to social choice theory? In other words, what are the legal ethics and professionalism implications of his book? Second, how does each of the legal perversities in the book follow from a particular social choice theory result? In other words, what is the precise theoretical connection between each of the legal perversities discussed and an impossibility theorem in social choice theory? Third, can we reinterpret our understanding of the seemingly dismal and negative impossibility theorems from social choice in a constructive and positive way to suggest how society can make the best of legal perversities? In other words, what are benign interpretations and positive versions of the social choice impossibility theorems and their implications for how society can deal with what Katz calls legal perversities?


"AALS [Association of American Law Schools] is the copyright holder of the edition of the Journal in which the article first appeared."