Ancient Rome had no concept of a limited-liability corporation, so entrepreneurs got around it by appointing a slave as the CEO. A master was not legally liable for a slave’s debts, so this allowed the owner to control the company while avoiding personal liability in case of bankruptcy.
In 1931, a man stole an airplane but was acquitted on all charges because airplanes were not considered “vehicles” and there was no law against aircraft theft at the time.
A 1996 federal law allows restaurants to donate leftover food without getting sued, and nobody has ever filed a lawsuit against a restaurant over donated leftovers.
Fed up with Ontario laws restricting the cross-provincial sale of eggs, the Canadian province of Manitoba copied the Ontario laws, sued itself all the way up to the Supreme Court, and got those laws deemed unconstitutional in ALL provinces.
In the 1930s laws were proposed in Massachusetts and St. Louis to ban car radios out of fear that they would distract drivers and cause accidents or even lull a driver to sleep.
“Flipping the bird” is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment. It’s not a crime to be obnoxious. But there’s a man in Oregon who tests the limits of free speech by giving the finger to every police officer that he sees.
In 1948 in the US, pregnant women were not allowed to be teachers in 57% of public school districts because “the sight of pregnant women would unfavorably influence students” and because “pregnant teachers’ minds would not be on their work.”
In Canada it is illegal to pretend to practice witchcraft. However, completely legal to practice witchcraft.
In France, it is illegal to to publish photographs of a handcuffed suspects, as they are not to appear guilty until proven so.
From the late 1860s until the 1970s, several American cities had ugly laws that deemed it illegal for persons who were “unsightly” or “unseemly” to appear in public.