California Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) appears to be trying to upturn the common (at least among libertarian circles) wisdom that laws written in memorial to somebody who died tragically are generally awful.
As noted on Reason 24/7, Lofgren is proposing what she’s calling “Aaron’s Law,” after Aaron Swartz, the young programming genius who committed suicide while facing federal prosecution for his antics downloading and “liberating” huge numbers of academic journal papers at MIT.
But to say she’s proposing a new law is not quite accurate, and that’s what makes her efforts different from typical memorial legislation. She’s proposing amending an existing federal law to – get this – make it less powerful. I know!
A memorial law that actually tries to reduce governmental authority – will wonders never cease? And can we spread it to federal drug policies?