CBI: Saul Levmore, "What’s the Right Drinking Age? and Other Problems of the Slippery Slope"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 12:15pm
Room II

Legal scholars praise "incrementalism" and "minimalism" in law, which is to say the idea that law should progress in small steps and lawmakers should intervene less rather than more. But the acclaim for these approaches ignores the role of interest groups in our legal system. There are many issues where there is good reason to think that legislating step-by-step is a recipe for getting to the wrong result.  But can we distinguish cases where the "slippery slope" is a well-deserved slur from those where law is simply moving incrementally in order to experiment or placate anxieties and get things right? As we will see, compensation policies and even moratoria on certain kinds of regulation might be an antidote to an unrecognized problem with interest groups.


Saul Levmore