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June 04, 2009


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Dennis Tuchler

As vagueness an ambiguity are being conflated in this paper, I would change the subject to "uncertainty about uncertainty in the meaning of texts".


The paper finds a correlation between strong views on whether a statute is unambiguous and strong views on policy. The paper suggests that participants' views on policy "appear to bias their judgments" regarding whether the statute is ambiguous. However, the paper contains no evidence of this. (The survey failed to ask participants what the better interpretation of the statute is.) It is possible that individuals with a strong pro-defendant view as a matter of policy may also hold a strong pro-government view as a matter of interpretation (or vice versa). The fact that strong views are correlated may simply indicate that some people are more confident than others.

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