Regulatory Variables and Statutory Interpretation
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H.L.A. Hart's classic hypothetical posited a statute providing, "No vehicles are allowed in the park." Hart then posed situations arising under the statute: Would a police officer be compelled to arrest a mother who brought a baby carriage into the park? The driver of an ambulance? Kids on bicycles? The hypothetical applications are challenging, because they set the apparent plain meaning of the statute against sensible results. Surely an ambulance is a "vehicle," but just as surely it should sometimes be allowed in the park, yes?
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