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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Comstock Act and Federal Express

Here's a question. The Comstock Act was a self-described regulation of the Post Office. This was clearly within Congress's authority during the 1870s. A modern use of the Act, though, presumably could not reach packages sent through a private service like UPS or FedEx. They are not the Post Office. They are not the mail. Thus, I'm unclear about what a revived Comstock Act could do aside from making deliveries more costly as everyone implicated substitutes away from the Post Office.

That's the downside of relying on a very old statute. You don't need to enact a new one, but you're stuck with the limits of the old one.

UPDATE: A subsequent amendment to the Act extended its reach to include common carriers. So what I said above does not work. Moving right along . . .

Posted by Gerard Magliocca on March 27, 2024 at 09:58 AM | Permalink


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