Kudos to EFF for casting light on the shadows.
In the case of NSLs, the proper legal way to do this would be to have a new judge review the need for continued secrecy every couple years.
Along with this approach I would want a new mechanism for batching several individual single topic bills for collective passing on a single vote. That as opposed to the current U.S. model of bundling wholly unrelated legislation into a single bill for voting on.
I don't know enough about civics to say if that is a good idea or not, but I certainly found it interesting.
After there was legislative turnover those folks lost the majority and if only to drive the point home the other party removed a law that shielded husbands from rape charges...if there was a law that needed to be removed that was a good choice, but the other party didn't touch it.
I think to do it right you really need to prepare and study the big picture before you legislate out things on a large scale.
Of course by knee-jerk I'm only referring to the presentation. We know these things get drafted ahead of time, then sit around waiting for the right opportune tragedy to push them through.
The court orders shall not be secret.
You think the gag orders are natural because you live in one of rare countries whose law system permit the gag orders. Most countries don't.
Including the law that implements that policy? Including the Bill of Rights? A law prohibiting murder?
Seems like the kind of thing that should have no trouble getting rubber-stamped every few years.
Lets invert that though.
In 1615 Iceland passed a law stating that any Basque that set foot in the Westfjords /must/ be killed. They got around to abolishing it in 2015.
Seems like the sort of thing that probably should have been revoked earlier, no?
More generally, most countries legal codes are a god damn shitshow of strata so dense it takes years to decades of study to understand them even a little.
As a result, rulings are arbitrary and hard to predict, citizens are uninformed on the law and can be blindsided by vindictive police, new laws are disproportionately hard to create due to conflict resolution with old laws being required and parliaments enshrine old laws in tradition and are lothe to amend them.
In general, it's the legal equivalent of that codebase that no one is willing to change because no one remembers why things were implemented in the first place.
Lets not pretend that adding expiry clauses to existing or new laws would lead to a world where murder is legal. That'll get tracked pretty closely and refreshed on the regular. I would expect two outcomes:
1. A government department is created specifically for the purpose of tracking and ranking upcoming law expiries by importance. We should probably have something like this already.
2. For the things society holds really dear, murder/rape/assault, taxes, driving laws etc, I would expect to see a regular "refresh the core issues" session at the start of every year. Essentially a formality where the government can go "yep, torture is still bad, moving on".
However, I'd expect most of the random statutes against oral sex that are still all across the US to expire pretty quickly with lawmakers by and large not giving enough of a shit to refresh them, and that's /good/. Those laws serve no meaningful purpose, their only use is as a weapon for corrupt police to threaten average citizens with.
I also don't really think it's that big a deal to ask the government to once a year go "we all still think rape's pretty uncool? yep? great, all in favor of amending the Consolidated Sexual Offenses Act 2019's expiry to be 2038, up from 2037? Done! Moving on."
I imagine any politician that objected would get eviscerated in the public eye. Should be a one-hour-a-year process to knock out all the key stuff, particularly if everyone knows first sitting session of the year is the refresh-the-core-values session.
There is a solution though: write fewer laws. Ideally so few that citizens can reasonably be expected to know them, or at least so they can be counted.
I wonder if a society can function with a max of 1000 laws at any one time?
So, if something receives an unanimous vote in favor, maybe it shouldn't have a limited term at all. Something that has a 3/4 supermajority in favor can probably last for a few decades without review. Something that barely squeaks by with 50%+1 should be considered a crutch, to review at the earliest opportunity (i.e. sunset shortly after the next election date).
Furthermore, any new vote on a repeal of an existing law should override earlier counts. So something that was originally passed unanimously only doesn't sunset for as long as nobody tries to repeal it. If there's a repeal vote, even if that fails, the new vote percentage establishes the sunset.
This would have some very interesting effects on legislatures, especially those dominated by two or three parties. The dominant party would have to balance between passing uncompromising laws that sunset very quickly, versus compromise that might amass a supermajority sufficient to close the issue for a long time.
Also, like DHCP leases, for such important items you'd want multiple review chances. E.G. If it's a 100 year expiration, review at 30 left, 15 left, 10 and 5+ left possible to review at any time.
Since political whims can very on a frequent basis, such reviews should require consensus over time to have an effect. Ie. 3 successive presidents must decide the constitution is a bad idea before it can be abolished, etc.
Failure to renew before the actual sunset is what would trigger the automatic deletion/deactivation.
These laws sounds nice but in practice shouldn't be blanket applied to everything, you've very easily pointed out why.
A democracy loses meaning with these kinds of laws, and the freedom act is a classic example of Orwellian doublespeak.
There are obviously many people who care deeply about democracy but given how long these activities have gone on and get passed without strong public push back betrays a serious lack of organization in the public sphere. Unless a million people are on the roads this won't stop.