Monday, June 04, 2007

Administering Wicked Laws

I keep putting off analyzing the good and bad legislation from the 80th Texas Legislature for two reasons: The Governor could still veto good bills, and the bad ones (which are all nearly certain to become law) make me too depressed to think about. Larry James recalled a quote recently that sums up my fears every odd numbered spring about Texas' frenzy of biennial lawmaking:
I say that you cannot administer a wicked law impartially. You can only destroy. You can only punish. I warn you that a wicked law, like cholera, destroys everyone it touches -- its upholders as well as its defiers.
- Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, Inherit the Wind
All told, 1,478 bills passed the Texas Legislature in 2007 - God help us, because he's the only one who knows what they all are. (Here's the list of bills supported by the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition sent to the Governor.) Some bills, like the TYC-related legislation, we know will become law, and Rick Perry certainly never met a penalty enhancement he didn't like. But for the rest, this Governor has used his veto pen more frequently (and insensibly) than any other before him, so there's really no telling on most of it until his final decisions are announced June 17.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God help us, indeed.