A Read-the-Bill Rule for Congress

43 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2010 Last revised: 12 Jun 2012

Date Written: August 4, 2010


In this Article, I argue that legislators have a duty to read the text of proposed legislation before voting to enact it. A Read the Bill political movement has formed in response to recent high-profile instances of rushed legislation. Putting aside partisan concerns, a rushed legislative process creates real problems because it forces legislators to vote on bills without having the time to properly evaluate the new legal rules that are being imposed on citizens. If a rule or norm of reading the bill can slow the legislative process enough to provide for thorough consideration of proposed legislation, it would bring a substantial benefit in the form of better laws. The rule would also draw the attention of legislators to their primary, fundamental role of making good law.

Keywords: Legislation, Congress, Legislative Process, Read the Bill

Suggested Citation

Volokh, Hanah M., A Read-the-Bill Rule for Congress (August 4, 2010). Missouri Law Review, Vol. 76. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1597281

Hanah M. Volokh (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

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