An editorial in the July 11th edition of the Union Leader (Manchester, NH) got me to wondering about all the laws that are passed in legislatures throughout the nation as well as Congress. What of the laws are ambiguous? What if they are, on the face of it, totally meaningless? Or what if old laws, not seen or enforced in years, are still languishing on the books, waiting to be used in a manner the framers never intended?
There should be a way to do away with such laws without the need to resort to the courts while still leaving the control in the hands of the people's duly elected representatives.
In the past, New Hampshire had a Sunset Commission. It was tasked with reviewing laws, committees, and agencies in the state and recommending which of them should be repealed, disbanded, or dissolved. Unfortunately, it recommended its own demise, which I believe was a mistake. Other states have has sunset commissions and others have tried to institute them. Some where created for a specific and very limited purpose or for a specified period time.
There have been attempts to institute them at a federal level, but they have been met with considerable opposition. Most of the opponents think that they would usurp the power of the Congress, but I believe they would merely help Congress to do away with redundant/superfluous government organizations and poor/bad/onerous laws and regulations. Many of those opponents are also representatives of special interests, i.e. lobbyists. Sunset commissions would make their jobs more difficult, therefore they are opposed to them.
That might be one of the best reasons to create such a commission.