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What should a court do when it is presented with two statutes that appear to be in conflict? If the conflict proves irreconcilable, and neither of the statutes is more specific than the other, a long-standing principle of statutory interpretation advises the court to conclude that the legislature's last word on the subject-the later-enacted statute-controls. The later enacted statute therefore "repeals" by necessary implication the earlier, contrary statute to the extent of the conflict.' This rule of thumb reflects an understanding that, occasionally, updating of the statutory scheme is desirable, either because this updating was intended (if not acknowledged) by the legislature [2] or because the legislature's most recent enactments are more likely aligned with the electorate's current political preferences than are earlier enactments to the contrary.[3]

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