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(nudge) Funny names for legislation (nudge)(nudge)

350px-OgrabmeSo, the fact that we turn to the US Code’s Table of Popular Names for entertainment is probably just a sign that nobody at the LII has a social life, to speak of. But let’s face it — sometimes the US Code is good for a few laughs about something other than its content. This is never more true than when posturing politicians try to market legislation by giving it catchy names, like for example the Lead-Zinc Small Producers Stabilization Act of October 3, 1961.

OK, so we were just kidding about that one, and if you followed the link you now know that it is listed as “omitted”, which is what the Law Revision Counsel’s Office says when they forget that they left something in the glove compartment with all the parking tickets. But seriously, folks, there are some funny ones.

Take, for example, the “Oh, Grab Me” Act. It was part of a series of legislative events surrounding the Embargo Act of 1807, an essentially punitive act leveled at the British — and very disruptive at a time when the economies of the post-colonial US and the UK were still deeply interlinked. “Oh-grab-me”, you will note, is “embargo” spelled backwards, and is thus the first example of palindromic wit in American legislative history. Its effects were undone by the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809, which seems fitting, somehow.