Passage A suggests that an instance of "capricious enforcement" (line 32) most likely involves

Theresa on November 20, 2015


Please explain this one

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Mehran on November 21, 2015

Thank you for your question, @Theresaturner. This reading comprehension question refers to a specific line in Passage A. It is always a good idea to return to the passage before answering such questions and to try to read in context--a few lines above and a few lines below the specified line--to be sure you fully understand the phrase you are being asked about.

Here, we need to really look carefully at the text. This passage starts out by explaining that rules of law "are almost always overinclusive" and that if we read those rules too literally, we will go after conduct that "the legislature that formulated the rule did not want to forbid." [Lines 6-9] In other words, if law enforcement agencies get carried away with enforcement, they will behave in a manner that is contrary to legislative intent.

We are told that "[c]apricious enforcement is not unknown (or even rare) but it does not appear to be the central tendency since legislative oversight assures that the [law enforcement] agency does not stray too far from the intended . . . regulation being enforced." [Lines 32-36]

All right. Taken together, and in context, we can conclude that an instance of "capricious enforcement" most likely involves a case where the law enforcement agency does not follow the intent of the legislature as it goes about enforcing the law. This is answer choice (E).

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any additional questions.