Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Proposed Constitutional Amendments

If you've been reading this blog for a long time (and really, why would you?), you may remember that back in January of last year, I proposed a Constitutional amendment so that, upon re-election, any returning incumbent president would be required to append to the normal oath of office, after promising (again) to protect and defend the Constitution, etc., the new phrase, "And this time, I mean it."

I would now like to propose another amendment:
(1) Any law passed by Congress shall expire on a date five (5) years after the date on which the law takes effect. Once expired, the law shall be null and void, exactly as if it had been repealed by act of Congress.
(2) For all laws currently in effect at the time this amendment is ratified, the expiration date shall be the month and day of the original effective date of the law, with the year of expiration to be determined by the rightmost digit of the statute's number: Add that number to the year in which this amendment is ratified to determine the year in which that section of the US Code will expire.

Basically, by adding an expiration date to all laws passed by Congress, you give them something important to do. My psychological theory is, Congress needs to Do Stuff in order to feel important. If they spent an entire session just sitting around and not passing any laws, Congresspeople would feel useless and unimportant, and that's not why they went into politics.

With my proposed amendment, Congress can keep itself busy passing laws, without actually adding new laws, or at least without adding pointless or even downright destructive new laws, since they'll be able to congratulate themselves for at least keeping murder and treason illegal. And the more time they spend on actual important stuff like that, the less time they'll have to get... meddlesome.

EDIT: One other point: By setting the expiration date at 5 years, it deliberately does not match the terms of office for Senators and Representatives. This increases the likelihood that a "different" Congress (i.e., with a different balance of power) will be re-examining the law as it approaches expiration.

1 comment:

The Dread Pirate No-Beard said...

Damn good idea. If you were a Democrat I'd vote for you five times and bribe the mentally disabled for their votes using cigarettes.