Posted by: Opey | July 31, 2007

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Sometimes I look back at my choice to major in political science and ahead at my decision to go to law school and I have to laugh. Both of these fields are by and large very serious, often times involving decisions and actions that could largely affect thousands of people’s lives. In those circumstances, I look back with satisfaction at my choice in education. Then comes a situation like I ran into today. There are sometimes where politics and the law come together with a few more special ingredients and form something that is well beyond ludicrous. As I was doing my usual “walk” through the news and Internet this morning, I came across a story that made me stop what I was doing and laugh out loud. As of September 1, 2007, the fine state of Texas will have a new law on the books. That law is, drum roll please, the Restroom Access Act. The Restroom Access Act, aka the Right to Poop law, states that people with certain medical conditions must be allowed access to restroom facilities, including private/employee bathrooms. The first string of laughter came at the subject. I know, I have the sense of humor of a 10 year old. The thought of deliberations on the Texas legislature floor about the number 2 business brought a smile to my face. The next fit of laughter came as I read the act. It requires those with the requisite medical conditions to carry a doctor signed statement or prescription indicating the illness or an identification card from a recognized health organization. That’s right: Right to Poop ID cards. The act goes further to state that violation of this offense is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine not to exceed $100. Real slap on the wrist there. As I searched for Restroom Access Act on Google (don’t get to do that every day), I found out that our neighbors to the South, Illinois, also has such a law. I understand that there are people out there with serious diseases that benefit from such acts, but the fact that such a law is necessary, in addition to the stipulations of the act, just made me laugh and shake my head at some of the strange things that can come out of the marriage of government and law. Leave it to the Texas and Illinois governments to do something to make me laugh.


  1. You are is sad that such a law is necessary. But, it is as retail store policy often excludes access or the retail clerk is not smart enough or empowered enough to make a decision to help a person in need. Should you ever be afflicted with any of the medical conditions or have a temporary need due to a medication side effect for example, you will be thankful the law is in place. Just so you see what life is like for the people who need the legislation, next time you get the stomach flu or food poisoning, try going about life as normal. In fact, try even leaving your house. You will quickly appreciate how valuable quick access to a restroom is. Trust me, you won’t be laughing then–especially if you have an accident.

  2. I think you misunderstand the part where I say it is sad that the law is needed. I meant that it was sad that both A) Such conditions exists and people suffer from them and B) That there are stupid policies and supervisors that denote which bathrooms are off limits.

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