Here's a story, originally from The New York Times, about how "tens of thousands of would-be college students have been denied financial aid because of drug offenses, even though the crimes may have been committed long ago and the sentences already served."
"It is absurd on the face of it," says Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.). He knows what he's talking about: He wrote the goddamned law, which was passed in 1998. "I am an evangelic Christian who believes in repentace," he says, "so why would I have supported that?…Why would any of us in Congress?"
Souder's subsequent Damscus Road experience aside, the short answer to his question is: Because Congress is filled with jackasses.
Whole story here.
Journalism students note: This is a well-wrought story with a memorable anecdotal lede that tells of a girl who got thrown out of her house at age 13 for "declaring herself a lesbian" and then descended into drug abuse. Her inability to get federal financial aid is contrasted with the experience of an ex-con who, "after serving almost 10 years in prison for attempted murder…went straight to college on federal loans and grants."