It occurred to me recently that a strong case could be made that shutting down the government is unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment.
Subjecting several million people (800,000 government workers, countless government contractors and at least the same number of people they do business with) to profound economic disruption of their lives, in the absence of due process or even any crime, could easily qualify as “cruel and unusual punishment.” The word “extortion” (the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats) also comes to mind.
It is reported that the recent 35-day shutdown cost the U.S. economy $11 billion. This seems to me to be a critically dangerous threat to our national security.
It is imperative that legislation be passed that forever removes “government shutdown” as an option for budget negotiations. Totally innocent bystanders should not have to pay such a high price for someone to get their way.