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Clearing Opinion from government legislation

Updated on May 20, 2012

The language used in legislation today at all levels of government seems to engrain the practice of opinion in relation to the requirements to be enforced. The growth of government, where applicable has increased the practice of opinion and the reduction of this action can only take place if two things occur. The first thing which may or may not happen is legislation of the future being written in more clear language to remove the possibility of opinion in enforcing the law. The second action involves a reduction in the size of government and this too may or may not occur. It will be up to the voters this election year to choose the path for our country into the future.

It is important to identify that we as individuals have opinion but our opinion should not influence our compliance with established legislation, policies in an organization or in rules organizations create. In some cases opinions in relation to established legislation have been established through our court system and impacts future compliance based on court decisions.

The U.S. Supreme Court is the place where opinion becomes the law on legislation for which decisions have been made. Two major decisions are now before the Supreme Court to decide which interpretation is correct. These issues are: with immigration and healthcare.

Reducing the size of government or reducing the quantity of rules/regulations is a task which can only happen if the voters tell our elected officials they have had enough. This applies to the state and federal government. Often opinions of the federal government do not agree with a state opinion or interpretation of a federal law and this causes problems. The line between the federal government and state government is a fine one and while states have certain responsibilities to their citizens they are also required to follow federal law.

Instances which the federal government has overruled a state government causes problems for citizens. Where this has occurred citizens have been threatened with fines if they do not comply even when they have had the approval of local and sometimes state governments. One such instance involved the approval for building a house where the EPA handed down a decision that the area was considered a wetland and violates EPA laws and regulations. Let me say I support protecting the environment but consideration needs to be made for common sense and whether individuals rank higher than protected animals. The EPA has made good or even great decisions but sometimes mistakes happen with regards to decisions made.

It is clear that better language needs to be written in legislation generated by Congress and state legislatures throughout the country. It is important when creating legislation that the requirements and the authority be clearly identified for the agency tasked to enforce it. This will not only help to reduce regulations and rules associated with specific topics it will be better for citizens across the country. Legislation that clearly identifies the requirements and authority of government entities is desperately needed.

Another aspect of legislation which should be included is removing the threat of fines by a government entity when there is a difference of opinion between local/state governments and the federal government. I am not suggesting that all threat of fines be removed from an agency’s authority but there needs to be some exceptions where individuals have been given government approval for such things as building a house on a specific piece of property. Forcing financial hardship on families to move based on an opinion of the federal government is wrong. When differences of opinion exist between the federal government and state/local government individuals should not be penalized for their actions.


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    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 5 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by and providing your input. I agree with your point about overriding state legislation as it applies to federal government responsibilities. The problem can be one where the authority being taken by the federal government is not specifically identified within the Constitution.

      Granted there are areas where the federal government is the appropriate level to make decisions which applies to all states.

    • Freeway Flyer profile image

      Paul Swendson 5 years ago

      Federal vs. State jurisdiction is one of the oldest debates in our republic. And if the federal government did not have the ability to override state legislation, there would not be much of a Union (as they found out the hard way with the Articles of Confederation.) Still, as you point out, individuals should not be penalized under federal law if local rules give them the impression that a certain behavior or action is legal. There has to be some room for honest mistakes.