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May 16, 2005

The Fool(ish bills) on the Hill

Sentencing song parodies (such as the hysterical Desparado or Take a Walk on the Blakely Side) should not be confined only to describing judicial developments.  Thus, today I have a particular Beatles song in my head as I think about some recent legislative developments.  Let me just hum a few bars:

Day after day, (not quite) alone on the Hill
The men with the foolish bills are proposing more still
But nobody should want to pass them
They should see that they are just foolish

This is hardly up to the standards of the folks at Begging the Question, but I have to find some way to express frustrations about the bills making their way through the House these days.  Lately I have been spotlighting the extreme gangs bill (HR 1279) that passed the House last week (and has already garnered considerable criticisms from many quarters as noted here and here).  Helpfully, the NACDL has created this webpage which assembles materials and criticisms of HR 1279, and I now can provide (for downloading below) the thorough and persuasive 14-page dissent authored by the Democratic staff of the House Judicial Committee regarding the bill.

But what has moved me to song was this post at TalkLeft, which spotlights the terrible drug sentencing provisions of H.R. 1528, the drug sentencing bill which also includes the Booker fix provisions. (Prior discussion and lots of commentary on this bill can be found at links here and here, and details about letters in opposition to H.R. 1528 are discussed here and here and here.)  The TalkLeft post does a great job of spotlighting some of the extreme aspects of the drug bill; it also has me pondering whether it is worse if supporters of the bill just do not know, or just do not care, about the extreme reach of the bill.

Download gang_bill_dissent_from_house.pdf

May 16, 2005 at 04:40 PM | Permalink


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