40,000 new Laws took effect starting 2012!!

Recently, in our philosophy class we learnt that “breaking the law is one way we might be able to move toward better laws”. This is a matter of people’s choices. When a group of people adopt their own behavior, changing their attitude and breaking laws, there the laws makers will respect their choice and try to regulate them with new laws. The Sodomy laws, surrogate motherhood law, the abortion laws and such kind of laws, all came to help people find themselves involved in a system. However, it’s interesting to know that some laws are conflicting or interfering with the constitutional amendment.

For example let’s take a look at the surrogacy motherhood process. This is an arrangement, whether negotiated privately or through an agency, whereby a woman agrees to become pregnant (sometimes her egg is fertilized artificially with the sperm of the intended father) for the purpose of gestating and delivering a child on behalf of an infertility couple which is in the inability to become pregnant through natural or artificial way. This is a good thing because it is an option for some people to become parents and have their own kids without processing to the adoption. However, too many issues are related to this arrangement. For example the surrogate mother at delivery, may change her mind and refuses to give the baby away, then comes lawyers and the court. The point I wanted to make here is that because surrogacy involves payment to the surrogate mother (taken like a sale of child and Human being are not object for sale), this violate the 13th amendment of the USA constitution (bill of rights) that outlawed slavery and all kind of sale of human being. However, even though surrogacy is conflicting with the constitutions, more than 11 states legalized it .

Recently, lot of new laws took effect, but I am not sure if they were new ones to regulate new behaviors, or if they were just replacing old ones because these old laws were no longer matching people’s desires and attitudes. 2012 have been a more highly regulated year since all 50 state legislatures passed close to 40,000 new laws. Jay McQuade  said, “Unlike our Congress, which had fewer than 60 laws make it to the House and Senate and signed by President Barack Obama, last year was actually a productive one for state lawmakers. The total averages down to 800 new laws per state. The new laws span from gun control to immigration reform to hourly wage adjustments.” http://www.policymic.com/articles/77953/40-000-new-laws-take-effect-across-the-country-today.

3 Responses to 40,000 new Laws took effect starting 2012!!

  1. Interesting to see some of the major law changes in the last couple years. you noted that there were nearly 40,000 new laws in 2012. I am guessing most of these laws were small changes to laws that were already in place. most of the laws you noted are still discussed on a regular basis. they are talked about in a political sense. when you mention immigration or the minimum wage, most people already have their mind made up about how they want those laws to be. and you cant turn on the news without hearing about the abortion or the legality of same sex marriage debate. a major reason these laws have changed in the past couple years has to do with who was in power at the time. most of theses changes would be categorized as liberal or democratic. With the political atmosphere the way it is today, many people are very outspoken against nearly every new law that is passed by the other side. this has led to deep and sometimes angry debates.

    in the foreseeable future the way laws will be be passed or changed will depend on which political party is in power. this is due to the fact that the United States as a whole is very polarized and can not seem to work together to come to a compromise on anything even if they know that it would be for the good of the whole. they will wait until it is their turn to be in power and make their changes then wait until the other side id in power to change the laws back to the way they want them.

  2. The problem with law-making in general is it’s tendency to dehumanize the breakers of the law and create a kind of transaction that assigns value to each instance of breaking the law. For example, say you steal from somebody. The penalty for petty theft in Ohio is a fine of not more than $1,000, and jail time of not more than 180 days. This is a penalty that was written into law as a punishment for committing theft. As long as the good stolen is valued at less than $1,000, then these penalties will occur. Is it immoral to steal? Certainly, if we accept the premise that all humans have a right to property. So this punishment exists for theft, and it is the same in all cases where the theft is in this category. This particular statute makes sense, as the punishment fits the crime. What about First Degree theft, then? The penalty for first degree theft is 3 to 11 years in prison with a fine of not more than $20,000. First degree theft entails stealing something valued at more than $1.5 million. Here we start to see the flaws in law, an item valued at less than $1.5 million is equated with 3 to 11 years of a human being’s freedom. This creates a hierarchy of law, where the right to property has become more important, in the eyes of the law, than the rights to life and liberty. Now, i’m not saying that laws are bad – they are just fundamentally a flawed creation, in their current forms. So rather than looking at laws to guide our behavior, one must develop a code of ethics by which to live their life. The problem is sometimes your personal code is incorrect, or the personal code of others prevents the following of your own code (law is an example of this, possibly). Laws must not be seen as immutable, then – and they should follow morality and be based on ethics – not the other way around.

    Edit: For those interested in the concepts of law + punishment discussed here, I highly recommend reading the Second Essay of Nietzsche’s “On the Genealogy of Morality”

  3. I fully support the separation of legality and morality, and treating them as two independent subjects. I would like to note that the premise on which our country was founded is a reason why a large portion of Americans are able to separate the two. Although we aren’t the only country, the fact that our nation was founded by criminals under 18th century British law, is why we are able to accept the fact that it is not immoral to break the law. The American Revolution, and the events that immediately preceded it, is the first example of Americans revolting, and subsequently rejecting, unjust laws. The second legal system after the revolution was designed as a Constitutional Republic to protect from unjust laws. Arguably, it is the best protection Americans could have, as it allows us to rid of tyrannical and unjust laws.

    Of course, there are plenty of arguments to be made against the fact that Americans don’t equate morality to legality. Some may argue that our government has deviated far from its roots, and as a consequence we have lost our most basic ideals of applying ethics to our legal code. A lot more laws have been placed on the books, many of which are questionable on whether or not they should be regarded as unjust laws.

    Interpretations of the most controversial laws have always been subjective, resulting in person A evaluating a law as moral, while person B may see it as unjust. Major movements, such as the Civil Rights Movement, have shown that people will fight for their moral interpretation of the law. Typically, those who have more people on their side, and feel strongly about their interpretation will prevail in either removing an unjust law or pass a just law.