Much has been said,
most all of it idiotic, about how a typo/drafting error was responsible for the recent federal court decision that forbids Obamacare subsidies from being used to offset the cost of federal health exchange plans. Seriously. A lot of people who are not particularly bright have actually claimed the whole brouhaha is due to a silly little typo.
A major federal appeals court, however, did not just gut Obamacare because of a “drafting error.” But in keeping with the spirit of the always accurate and super intellectual argumentation we’ve come to expect from the Left, we here at The Federalist have identified a number of other huge drafting errors in major legislation.
Without further ado, here are 5 massive drafting errors in landmark legislation that had been completely missed until now:
1) The Bush tax cuts didn’t actually sunset after 10 years. They were permanent.
When the Bush tax cuts were initially passed in 2001 and expanded in 2003, they technically included a 10-year sunset in order to comply with budget reconciliation rules. But most of the people who voted for it and wrote it didn’t want a sunset. They wanted the tax cuts to be permanent. The point of the law was to increase economic growth. Why on earth would lawmakers not want to increase economic growth forever? We’re supposed to believe they only wanted more jobs and higher growth for ten years? That’s absurd.
Sure, the law technically states that the new tax rates and brackets were to expire after ten years, but we really do need to look beyond the plain meaning and focus on the real intent of and context surrounding the law.
Plus, I heard someone somewhere say they actually meant to make it sunset after 100 years, not 10. The point is: let’s not let this silly drafting error get in the way of increased economic growth. Unless you hate people having jobs and making money.
2) The Iraq war authorization actually allows the U.S. to invade Canada.
In 2002, Congress passed and the president signed a law giving the president the authority to use military force against Iraq. And everywhere else. A few caveats: yes, the law itself is entitled “Authorization For Use Of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution Of 2002,” so a pedestrian analyst might look at it and assume it’s only related to Iraq. And yes, the law technically only allowed the president to use force against Iraq and not other countries:
AUTHORIZATION.—The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to—
(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
But c’mon. The resolution was written by Republicans and supported by Bush, and they’re all dirty war mongers who love killing people, so it’s absurd to assume they’d only constrain their insatiable blood lust to a single Middle Eastern country. Ergo, watch out Canada. You might be next.
3) The PATRIOT Act allowed waterboarding of anti-war opponents.
Think about it. Terrorists attacked us, and we were unprepared. The PATRIOT Act was intended to give law enforcement the ability to find and stop terrorists before they could strike us again. Terrorists opposed the war against terrorism. And anti-war activists opposed the war, so they’re kind of just like terrorists.
Anyhow, the point is that waterboarding dissenters would have made crushing dissent a lot easier, which would’ve made war a lot easier, which would’ve made protecting America easier, which was the whole point of the PATRIOT Act.
Sure, they didn’t technically write that authorization into the law, but there’s really no other way to interpret their intent. And if you disagree, it’s probably because you’re a terrorist.
4) About that whole Second Amendment thing…
Finally we get to the real fruits of the Left’s labor of interpretation legislative intent. Yes, the Second Amendment mentions guns. Yes, it mentions the right to own and bear them. Yes, it says that right shall not be infringed. Yes, America was freed from oppressive British rule thanks to the ability of common individuals to fight back using their own weapons.
But c’mon: a right for people to own guns? That’s just absurd.
5) About that whole First Amendment thing…
Remember that time the Founders fought a war to ensure our right to freely express our religious beliefs? Well, you remembered wrong. It turns out they were only cool with speech approved by 21st century liberal politicians. I mean, the right to own a gun to protect yourself is one thing. But the right to say your thoughts out loud? Talk about absurd:
[I]n the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Democrats held a hearing on Tom Udall’s proposal to gut the First Amendment by allowing Congress to prohibit or restrict participation in political campaigns. The Democrats like to say that the amendment would reverse the effect of the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases, but in fact it goes much farther than that. The amendment, which is favored by Harry Reid and most Senate Democrats, would give Congress unprecedented power to limit debate on public issues in the context of elections. You really have to read the proposed amendment to understand how radical it is.
Thankfully, the constitutional geniuses who run the U.S. Senate have finally found a way to correct the first-ever American legal typo: just repeal the First Amendment in its entirety. With that out of the way, they won’t ever have to worry every again about people going to court to affirm the notion that words mean things.
At long last, America’s never-ending, speech-laden, typo-fueled nightmare might finally be over.