Ignorance of the law is no excuse
Ignorantia juris non excusat is an ancient legal doctrine which holds that a charged person cannot claim ignorance of a law to avoid being held accountable for criminal actions. But increasingly, it seems, our representatives are doing just that.

Representative Jackie Wolorski takes the podium before the Indiana Senate to explain to her fellow representatives what they almost unanimously supported last year: a bill allowing for unprecedented mental health testing. The video could use some editing, but watch it through to the end. I think this is one of the central problems in our government, today. Our representatives no longer have time to read the legislation they are passing and instead focus on the titles and summaries provided them by lobbying firms. They are ignorant of the laws, yet they continue to pass them.

Yes, Representative Wolorski, you are a representative of your constituents. Meaning you act on their behalf or in their stead with their best interests in mind. Reading the bills you are passing should be a minimum requirement. It will save you the embarrassment of having to explain why you voted for wide scale mental health screening which would develop a central database to keep this information, sometimes without the consent of parents. It would save you the embarrassment of attempting to repeal it a year later. And it would have saved a lot of Indiana school children and their parents from being subjected to this screening.

If that is too much work, I'm sure the state will be in infinitely better condition if the number of bills is simply reduced to a manageable reading load.

Update: Thanks for the link, Jodi! The Read the Bills Act attempts to address the growing issue of our elected representatives not reading the legislation they pass. It is worth looking over. Do you think they will at least read this one before voting on it?

Update 2: I just noticed this as my husband was watching the video. Our elected representatives are responsible to us, not for us. One tiny preposition, but it reflects two opposing world views regarding the role of the state in our lives.

Hat tip: Go Big Ed