Dynamist Blog

The Most Irritating Federal Law

It may not be the most important, but the Wright Amendment gets my vote for the most irritating federal law. Passed to protect then-fledgling DFW Airport, it limits flights from Love Field, the smaller in-town airport where Southwest is headquartered, to contiguous states plus (thanks to a later amendment) Alabama, Mississippi, and Kansas. Thanks to this protectionist legislation, I live 15 minutes from Love Field and get to use it once a year if I'm lucky.

After years of "passionate neutrality," Southwest is campaigning to repeal the Wright Amendment, and there are bills in both houses of Congress to do just that. Southwest is a Dallas-based company and Love Field is inside the Dallas city limits. You'd think city officials, who never miss a chance to campaign for downtown development, would be working hard for repeal. But, thanks to American Airlines' clout, they're silent.

In hopes of rousing their interest, my latest local column, a guest editorial in D Magazine, makes the parochial case against the Wright Amendment. The Future and Its Enemies makes the global case.

The Dallas Morning News' extensive coverage of the issue is here. I wrote a related NYT column in December.

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