This Article begins by identifying and drawing the outline of this previously unrecognized source of law: technology-made law. It then focuses on one paradigmatic case: changes in the meaning of “zero” and the closely related concept of a mathematical limit (for example a speed limit). It defines “zero” and demonstrates its explicit and implicit uses in law. It then posits that there are two ways to interpret a law involving a technological limit: a technology-static approach, in which comparisons are made using the technology available at the time the law was enacted, and a technology-dynamic approach, in which comparisons are made using the technology available at the time compliance is determined. It then sets the stage for a comparison of these approaches by surveying the sources of authority for making law. The approaches are then compared using examples of the type of law which should be interpreted under the technology-static rubric (vehicle speed limits) and the type of law which should be interpreted under the technology-dynamic rubric (environmental law). The analyses are then compared so as to extract a set of principles that should aid in resolution of the question (static or dynamic interpretation) in other cases. Finally, it offers a generalized theory of how problems of technology-made law can be minimized and how they should be addressed in circumstances where they have not been avoided.
Recommended CitationMax Stul Oppenheimer, Zero and the Rise of Technological Lawmaking, 34 Pace L. Rev. 1 (2014)
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol34/iss1/1