POLITICS

South Carolina To Root Out 'Subversives', Make Them Pay Five Dollars

04/11/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

CLARIFICATION: Contra the available reports, this inane law has actually been on the books since 1951. It's garnered renewed attention because a repeal attempt is underway. Good luck: a 1993 attempt to do so failed.

I have to say, South Carolina's legislators are amazing geniuses. Faced with what I gather to be a concern that various groups of Americans might be plotting to overthrow the U.S. government, South Carolina has drawn a line in the sand and declared: "Is that so? Well, that will cost you a five dollar filing fee!"

The state's "Subversive Activities Registration Act," passed last year and now officially on the books, states that "every member of a subversive organization, or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent and every person who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States ... shall register with the Secretary of State."

This law applies to any "corporation, society, association, camp, group, bund, political party, assembly, body or organization, composed of two or more persons, which directly or indirectly advocates, advises, teaches or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States [or] of this State."

And, hey, if you subversives wouldn't mind, why not share the details of your plot to overthrow the United States with the state?

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you to pay five dollars to pay state administrative costs.

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