Weird question but what is your favorite act of Congress?

Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#23
As a non American, I'm not very familiar wit American domestic politics.


So,I'll name what I see as the best and the worst


Not an act, but The Declaration Of Independence; at the same time ,one of the noblest and most cynical documents I've ever read. I guess it, depends on one's own level of cynicism. As far as I'm aware, that Declaration was the first time notions such as universal equality and the right to pursue happiness had ever appeared in a public document. The French followed in 1789, with Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood..

The Bill Of Rights, a stunning pice of legislation, and not obvious. Eg Australia does not have a Bill Of Rights.

Worst; The Patriot Act, which abolishes Habeus Corpus "in some circumstances".. As far I'm aware, the rights outlined in the Bill Of Rights may not be removed from any group or individual. --- PLUS, with that Act, its companion agency; the sinister-sounding Department Of Homeland Security. Who watches the watchers?
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#25
Sorry; I'm aware of that, but think of it as legislation because changes to the US Constitution require only a 2/3 majority of Congress. Here, changes to our constitution require a majority vote of ALL voters, by referendum. --We have mandatory voting, with a 98% turn out. That means that changes to our constitution can only occur if that's what everyone really wants.

In Australia, changes to our constitution are uncommon. The Commonwealth in Australia was formed in 1901. As of 2017, 44 referenda have been held. Only 19 passed.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,874
#26
Actually constitutional amendments need to also be ratified by 3/4 of the states. There are amendments passed by Congress that were not ratified, including the original 13th Amendment which protected the right to slave ownership and was designed to prevent the Civil War. Also, the Equal Rights Amendment against sex discrimination.

The US Constitution was written before there was the idea of popular referendum, and was generally designed so that the system would not be too democratic.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,874
#28
You do know that the word Congress can have a different meaning. ;)
I don't understand. It can mean a meeting of some organization. Originally, there was the Continental Congress, which started before the Revolutionary War and approved the Declaration of Independence. Presumably this word was retained, rather than parliament or something for the federal legislature under the Constitution.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,874
#29
In most US states, state Constitutional Ammendments have to be approved by referendum. These provisions came in about the same time as the Australian Constitution.

Under the US system, there are no national elections as such, and no national referendums. Presidential elections are technically many state elections for electors who elect the President.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,602
Stockport Cheshire UK
#30
I don't understand. It can mean a meeting of some organization. Originally, there was the Continental Congress, which started before the Revolutionary War and approved the Declaration of Independence. Presumably this word was retained, rather than parliament or something for the federal legislature under the Constitution.
Ok, l will explain. The word congress is also used to describe engaging in a sexual act.
congress
 

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