Sure, crimes such as selling a pig corpse that has “pronounced sexual odors” are funny, but the humor wouldn’t matter if the subject itself weren’t important. As Chase writes, “The tricky part for the average person is that there’s no comprehensive list of all the things that are crimes today. In fact, no one even knows how many federal crimes there are. What’s worse is that the law usually doesn’t require that a person know something is illegal before they can be criminally charged and convicted for it. And when you can’t always know if something is a crime, you can’t always know if you’re a criminal.”
As if this sort of legal sprawl weren’t alarming enough, many of these laws come directly from unelected heads of federal organization instead of Congress itself. As Chase explains:
By the late 1800’s . . . Congress started passing broad statutes giving executive branch officials the power to make rules with the force of law . . . So Congress began delegating its lawmaking authority to federal agencies. As a bonus, congressmen didn’t have to face the political repercussions when agencies made unpopular rules the way they would by voting on controversial bills. And if there’s one thing that’s popular in Washington, it’s lack of accountability.
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor