October 26, 2006

Fall Back to Art. I, Sec. 8

by Armen

"Congress shall have the power to...fix the standard of weights and measures." U.S. Const., Art. I, sec. 8. This weekend we will fall back to standard time for the last time in October. Next year, Daylight Savings Time will extend from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November. Pub. Law 109-58. However in amending 15 U.S.C. 260a(a), the Energy Policy Act of 2005 did not amend subsection (b), which reads in full: "It is hereby declared that it is the express intent of Congress by this section to supersede any and all laws of the States or political subdivisions thereof insofar as they may now or hereafter provide for advances in time or changeover dates different from those specified in this section. Which brings me to my question: Why the hell aren't Arizona and Hawaii on DST? Has no federal court issued an opinion on this? Can daylight savings ever raise an adequate case or controversy? Should I have made this the topic of my writing requirement?

UPDATE: Subsection (c) is even better: "For any violation of the provisions of this section the Secretary of Transportation or his duly authorized agent may apply to the district court of the United States for the district in which such violation occurs for the enforcement of this section; and such court shall have jurisdiction to enforce obedience thereto by writ of injunction or by other process, mandatory or otherwise, restraining against further violations of this section and enjoining obedience thereto."

This leads me to believe that using standard time alone has been construed to mean that it is not a different changeover time or date. It's just not a changeover. I think this is bogus. Call me French, but I find it hard to believe that the national government cannot uniformly move the nation into DST.

October 26, 2006 03:56 PM | TrackBack

"It's just not a changeover. I think this is bogus."

I don't see what's bogus about it. There's historically been significant Anglo-American resistance to Daylight Savings. When other nations began to adopt it following Germany's lead in WWI, Americans had it briefly but Congress repealed it immediately after the war. FDR had it again during WWII, but it seemed to be a wartime measure that lapsed with hostilities. The greatest trouble seemed to be caused not when one state decided not to use DST at all, but when all the states and localities wanted to start it at different dates. Any state can vote to keep the whole state on regular time, as long as the state is contained within a single time zone. This still would be a little confusing for people going across the continent. I don't think it matters much for people going to and from Alaska and Hawaii, though.

Posted by: PG at October 26, 2006 10:30 PM
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