A House of Repeal?

Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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4 Responses

  1. sidereal says:

    For a long time I’ve thought that a wise constitutional amendment would be one that stipulated that all laws passed by Congress had an inherent sunset. Perhaps moderated based on the margin of passage in, say, the Senate. For example, if a bill passed 51-49, it would expire in 5 years. If it passed 80-20, it would expire in 40 years. The idea being that stale law must be repeatedly defended.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to sidereal says:

      I am in love with this idea.Report

    • Kyle in reply to sidereal says:

      hmmm….I like this idea, I think.

      Though, wouldn’t that mean we might still be at war with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan?

      More seriously the only drawback would be things like the Patriot Act that grease through Congress…but then again the Patriot Act had a four or five year sunset clause built into most of its provisions.Report

  2. t e whalen says:

    This doesn’t make much sense to me. Is this just a veto with a five-year delay? What happens when Congress passes a law which modifies a law already on the books? Can this new house repeal the modification, or must it repeal the entire codified statute?

    Why might we expect better results out of this system. It’s been theorized that the presence of an active judiciary emboldens Congress to pass crummy laws and to kick difficult political issues into the courts — wouldn’t something like this new chamber just mean that Congress could pass increasingly worse laws with fewer political consequences?

    What would a campaign for this body look like, other than variations on pledges to “repeal your taxes”? As terrible as political campaigns are now, the campaign process for a chamber with essentially negative powers would make them look like a Frank Capra movie. A contest between candidates entirely over which laws are the worst and need to go away soonest, without any positive agenda at all, sounds really corrosive and terrible for the fabric of the political culture.Report