New Hampshire has perhaps the largest legislature in the country, called the New Hampshire General Court. As a result, they have lots of whackos who submit some seriously crazy bills. Like how about a bill requiring that every other bill justify itself by reference to the Magna Carta?
The eyebrow-raiser, set to be introduced when the Legislature reconvenes next month, requires legislation to find its origin in an English document crafted in 1215.
“All members of the general court proposing bills and resolutions addressing individual rights or liberties shall include a direct quote from the Magna Carta which sets forth the article from which the individual right or liberty is derived,” is the bill’s one sentence.
Ironically, that bill contains no such warrant.
New Hampshire lawmakers might have trouble applying passages like, “We shall straightway return the son of Llewelin and all the Welsh hostages,” or, “If anyone who has borrowed a sum of money from Jews dies before the debt has been repaid, his heir shall pay no interest on the debt for so long as he remains under age.”
One of the bill’s sponsors admitted that he wasn’t terribly familiar with the actual text, and mainly saw the measure as an homage. New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman Ray Buckley said he was “mostly speechless” when he heard about the bill. “I appreciate all the hard work the Republican legislators are putting into the effort to make them look like extremists,” he said. “Saves us the trouble.”
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