195

As I see it, there are fundamentally three reasons a person would outlaw an action that is currently impossible: To ensure that the first attempt is illegal If you refuse to outlaw an immoral act until it can be shown to be possible, you run the risk that a person can commit this act before it has been made illegal. Essentially, the legislative body doesn'...


74

It's a good idea if you think the President should have much stronger powers than other branches, and that legislative compromise should be eliminated, as part of the system, altogether. As much as we hate the way legislation is bundled, it is, quite often the way to work compromise into the system. I don't vote for measure "A", but I want measure "B", ...


68

The mechanics of lobbying can work at several levels. "Senator, I represent the National Association of Flute and Tuba Manufacturers. Were you aware that flute and tuba manufacturers are the fifth largest employer in your state? Could I have 20 minutes of your time to present a white paper about the importance of tax policy X for the health of flute and ...


43

Why have US Presidents not been given the power of line item vetoes They have. Congress passed the Line Item Veto Act of 1996, but it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Clinton v. City of New York in 1998 at the request of Rudy Giuliani and others. To pass it in a constitutional fashion would require a constitutional amendment, and ...


39

A legitimate lobbyist is paid to explain the needs of some special interest groups to the politicians. And also how the needs of that special interest group benefit the electorate as a whole, or at least not harm it. Less savory means include the bundling of donations from multiple sources for improved impact. Say there is a slump in the dairy industry. A ...


37

The monarch of the United Kingdom is, as are most contemporary monarchies, a historical artefact, with little (if any) political power, their role is largely ceremonial. Refusal of royal assent is rarely exercised any more, and the main reason is, as you suspected, respect for democracy. Conversely, the last time royal assent was refused in the UK was in ...


37

The reporting on the senate bill still having the AMT set at 20% and the new corporate tax level being at 20% while the house bill removed the AMT is accurate. Corporations have been outspoken in their opposition to the 20% corporation tax with the 20% AMT as it would essentially remove the tax benefits currently available for R&D funding and other tax-...


27

Because to do so would cause a constitutional crisis. As the Wikipedia article on the subject lists, previous such crises have more typically been caused by the head of state acting against the advice of the government on matters such as dissolving Parliament, or dismissing or appointing Prime Ministers. However, the underlying issue is the same: in ...


27

A fairly large one is that Nobody has considered all the legal ramifications yet You brought up cloning as an example so let's run with that. This article goes over why we can't clone humans yet and notes this rather large show-stopper [G]iven the science we have now, it would still require a significant number of failed human pregnancies, so many that ...


24

Because there are more effective ways for Her Majesty to change or veto laws. The Queen can indeed veto a law after it has passed the Houses of Parliament, but it would be ill-advised. Instead, she can use her considerable "soft power" to warn the Prime Minister of her disagreement with the law before it is voted upon. Such warnings are secret, but are ...


24

The Purpose of those Laws The Constitution serves a difference purpose than other laws. The Constitution provides a skeletal outline of our government, but it doesn't provide specifics. Other laws can be used to fill in those gaps. For example, the Constitution has only a few lines about elections. Consider that everything said about the House of ...


24

This is a common legislative tactic. Although Sen. McConnell didn't explicitly describe his plan, he was likely planning on gutting the bill (removing all of its current content) and eventually replacing it with new, immigration-related content. This isn't an amendment: it's replacing the current text of the bill with all-new text. This saves time for the ...


24

One factor not yet mentioned in the other answers is that legislators do not draft laws purely for the effects they will have when implemented, but also for the effect which announcing them as policy will have on voters. If I know that my key demographics believe strongly in something, regardless of the reality of the situation, then I would want to ...


17

The reason for amending this bill instead of the Senate creating a new bill was to fulfil the requirements of Article I, Section 7, Clause 1 of the Constitution, also known as the Origination or Revenue clause, which states that all bills for raising revenue must originate within the House of Representatives. Note that despite the Senate seemingly being able ...


16

In your cited case, to forestall further research being put into the subject. If the activity is deemed illegal, then most research organizations that might work on this are excluded, and progress is greatly diminished. That won't stop someone or some organization from pursuing human cloning, but it will insure that the research centers of the EU and US ...


16

It's not true. The rule would be completely unworkable; Opposition MPs would be unable to table any amendments to government bills, since they'll almost inevitably have voted against the second reading of the bill. All rules I've found regarding tabling of amendments simply refer to "members", making no other distinction. They might control the timings or ...


15

Yes, Supreme Court Justices have drafted and submitted bills to Congress. The Judiciary Act of 1925 has often been called "the Judge's Bill", because it was drafted by Supreme Court Justices Willis van Devanter, George Sutherland, and James McReynolds, along with Chief Justice William Howard Taft. The bill granted the Supreme Court substantially more ...


15

Another fantastic example of this phenomena comes from China. It is illegal to reincarnate there! Why would an officially atheist government pass such a law? Tibet. The Dalai Lama, the religious and cultural leader of Tibet, is said to be reincarnated. When the current Dalai Lama dies and "reincarnates", whoever claims to be the new Dalai Lama can be ...


13

The original business motion, which set out the schedule and rules for the Meaningful Vote on the Brexit deal (item 5 in the Votes and Proceedings from 4 Dec 2018) states that: (9) No motion to vary or supplement the provisions of this Order shall be made except by a Minister of the Crown; and the question on any such motion shall be put forthwith. This ...


12

No the US has no mechanism for resolving this. That's a consequence of two things that are distinct about the US system (compared with the Westminster and similar systems) The system where all budgets must be approved by both chambers of the legislature and the President, with no built in mechanism for resolving disputes. Coupled with an alternating ...


12

UCMJ is just part of the US code that says in article 2 that it applies to certain people (a) The following persons are subject to this chapter: (1) Members of a regular component of the armed forces, including those awaiting discharge after expiration of their terms of enlistment; volunteers from the time of their muster or acceptance into the ...


12

Puerto Rico would officially ask to become a state (customary but not explicitly constitutionally required). Congress could pass a law admitting it as a state. You can read more about that here, which was previously posted in a comment. It's unclear how this would have changed aid. In theory, states have more influence on the political process than do ...


12

I think the existing answer is a touch unclear; every Statutory Instrument can be said to "amend or repeal legislation, with varying degrees of parliamentary scrutiny" because secondary Legislation is legislation, so I wanted to go into a bit more detail about exactly what makes something a Henry VIII power as opposed to some form of secondary ...


11

It's basically a cloture vote. Introduction A three-fifths majority (60 votes) is required in the Senate to invoke a cloture in most cases. This's because the Senate reduced the number of votes required for cloture from two-thirds to three-fifths in 1975 since a two-thirds is very difficult to obtain. However, invoking cloture on a measure or motion to amend ...


11

Answering this requires distinguishing between two of the many posts that Johnson holds. Prime Minister, and Leader of the Conservative Party are separate jobs. The normal process goes like this: Johnson gives notice of his intention to resign as leader of the Conservative Party, just as May and Cameron did. The Conservative Party then holds a leadership ...


10

The US Capitol is really not that far from the White House. They are on the same street, and under two miles apart. It's around an 8-minute drive, according to Google Maps. In cases of dire national emergency where the bill must be signed before midnight (like the Don't Nuke Russia At Midnight Act of 2018), police blocking off traffic and a Secret Service ...


10

Whenever it wants to. Governments often avoid comment on purely internal affairs of other countries, such as election campaigns. But this is no more than a polite convention of diplomacy, and it has many exceptions. The USA routinely comments on the internal policies of other nations. For example, the State Department publishes reports evaluating human ...


10

The Democratic and Republican parties, and major think-tanks, host orientations for entering "freshmen" Congressmen. These symposiums are normally held after the Congressmen-elect know that they are likely to be certified as winning their seats, but before their inaugurations. For example, this C-SPAN video discusses the 1994 Republican freshman class's ...


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