Just reading around the 1933 Enabling Act for no particular reason

Some general observations follow

When we think of 'Enabling Act' and Germany, we think of the 1933 one

But in fact it was one of several in Germany after 1919 - ten or so had been made in Weimar Germany

All for very good reasons, of course

Hitler's Enabling Act was different in scale, not in principle

The 1933 Enabling Act was also expressly time-bound

It was to last only for a definite period of four years

Of course, it was just then renewed (and renewed)

The 1933 Enabling Act also expressly stated that it would not affect the rights of the legislature or the president

Deviations from the constitution would thereby be limited

Safeguards were in place

And it was not about secret law-making

Laws were still to be published - they would just take effect the day after publication

Again, another safeguard
So: not a constitutional novelty, limited in duration, limited in its scope, respectful of the rights of the legislature, transparent

Nothing to worry about


We now know different, yet it is striking how, well, plausible parts of the Act could have seemed through 1933 eyes
And that is the thing about 'enabling' legislation - they always seems plausible

Always some good excuse to depart from tiresome checks and balances

East to nod-along to

The point here perhaps is not to say all 'enabling' legislation is like 1933 Enabling Act

Of course not, that would be a sort of legalist Godwin's law thing

The point is more subtle

For some at the time, the 1933 Enabling Act did not seem too radical or disproportionate either
Actually, I think the reason I read around the 1933 Enabling Act was because it is something 'everyone knows' as part of their general stock of knowledge

And looking at such a thing afresh is always worthwhile

It was striking how plausible it must have seen to many in 1933

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