THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 754, January 19, 2014
There are pro-freedom people,
and anti-freedom people. And
the mostly-pro-freedom people
are actually anti-freedom people.
Another Candidate Amendment: The "Sunset Amendment"
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
(Accumulating for a future edition of "No Loopholes," if ever.)
The "Sunset Amendment"
1. No law shall have force in perpetuity unless: (a) it shall have been stated to be of perpetual intent; (b) it shall have passed out of both the Senate and the House of Representatives with at least a two-thirds majority vote in both houses; and (c) it shall have been signed by the President on the first reading as specified within the Constitution.
2. No law shall have force for a term of greater than ten years unless: (a) it shall have been stated to have a specific term greater than ten years but not exceeding twenty-five years, or shall have been stated to have been of perpetual intent but failed the tests of Section 1 of this Amendment, in which event if it meets the terms of this Section it shall have force for twenty years; (b) it shall have passed out of both the Senate and the House of Representatives with at least a three-fifths majority vote in both houses; and (c) it shall have been signed by the President on the first reading as specified within the Constitution, or a Presidential veto shall have been overridden.
3. No law not described above shall have a term of greater than ten years.
4. No law governing revenues shall have a term of greater than ten years, and laws governing appropriations shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of the body of this Constitution.
5. The term of each law shall be appended to the law based on the results of the vote of the House of Representatives and of the Senate and shall be accepted by the President with his signing, or rejected with his veto, subject to the conditions described above.
6. No law which is scheduled to expire may be renewed without a thorough review and debate in accordance with the Rules of the House of Representatives and the Senate at the time of renewal, or for any term greater than the original term authorized regardless of vote. The process of renewal for any law shall begin not less than one year before the expiration of the law, or at the start of the Session of Congress in which the law will expire, whichever date is earlier. The renewal of any law which expires more than six months following the start of any Session of Congress may not be executed by the prior Congress.
7. Any law in force at the time of the Ratification of this Amendment, which has a specified term, or which is given a specified term by this Amendment, shall continue in force for the duration of the original term as authorized or for a period of not more than fifteen years or the term specified by this Amendment, whichever is shorter, but shall be renewed in accordance with the provisions of this Amendment.
8. Any law in force at the time of the Ratification this Amendment which is considered to be in perpetuity, but which shall have failed the test of Section 1 at the time of its original passage, shall be renewed in accordance with the provisions of this amendment as follows (terms measured from date of Ratification of this Amendment): (a) laws of age greater than one hundred years, no later than five years following Ratification; (b) Laws of age greater than fifty years, no later than ten years following Ratification; (c) Laws of age greater than twenty years, no later than fifteen years following Ratification; (d) all other laws, no later than twenty years following Ratification. Such laws may then be renewed in perpetuity if the tests of Section 1 of this amendment are passed, and otherwise must be renewed in accordance with the provisions of this Amendment.
9. If any new law attempts to amend any law of perpetual term, the new law must either be rejected or must pass the terms of Section 1, else the original and new law shall both be thereafter renewed in accordance with the provisions of this Amendment.
10. If any new law attempts to amend any law of stated term, the new law must expire concurrently with the original law, and any renewal incorporate the amendments imposed during its term of effect.
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