A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Supreme Court Justices are channeling an old column of mine

Okay, it's a stretch to suggest Antonin Scalia was channeling me, but as someone who shamelessly self promotes, I do it. In September of 2009, I suggested bills that were too long were a constitutional problem. Nino goes a step further and say that they violate part of the Bill of Rights.

During testimony before the US Supreme Court concerning the constitutionality of the healthcare bill, Our good Justice expressed the concern I’ve had for years concerning legislation.

"What happened to the Eighth Amendment? You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages? And do you really expect the Court to do that? Or do you expect us to -- to give this function to our law clerks? Is this not totally unrealistic? That we are going to go through this enormous bill item by item and decide each one?"

There was no little laughter in the courtroom, but the matter is serious. We have bills longer than the Bible that are passed and never read by the tribunes of the people in Congress. One Congressman, Rep. Conyers admitted he never read the bills with a What-me-Worry attitude saying “I love these members, they
get up and say, ’Read the bill,’What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it
means after you read the bill?” Mr. Conyers has gone out of the way to prove the truth of Mark Twains words, “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

Well we addressed that up hear on Long Hill and made a proposal for reform that has so far not caused any groundswell, as have none of our proposals. We appealed to the authority of a great author, Jonathan Swift. He gave the example of a wise if fictional commonwealth that limited the number of words in legislation to an amount that was readable.

We have posted the article as it was published in the Sturbridge Times Magazine below.

Is it that your senators and reps won't read, or can't read?

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