Bloomberg News (12/6, Homan) reports, “The US House voted to remove the term ‘lunatic’ from sections of federal law, while the word ‘idiot’ would remain.” The measure, “which passed 398-1, would amend a section of the US Code that defines the meanings of certain words used in acts of Congress. Making the change would eliminate ‘references that contribute to the stigmatization of mental health conditions,’ according to an April 25 statement by the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota.” The bill has the backing of the American Psychiatric Association, among others.
The AP (12/6) reports, “The congressional action is the latest effort to remove language from the US code that has become outdated or demeaning. Two years ago Congress took out references in federal law to the term ‘mental retardation.'”
— “Congress Erases ‘Lunatic,’ Keeps ’Idiot’ in Federal Law, “Timothy R. Homan, Bloomberg, December 5, 2012.