Congress just passed a law removing a word some say is demeaning from the lettering of the law. And that word is, if you'll pardon, "Lunatic."
that the word's removal passed the House by an overwhelming vote of 398 to 1. The only holdout: Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, who said that not only should the word remain on the books, but it should be used to "describe the people who want to continue with business as usual in Washington."
Gohmert's contrarian point of view notwithstanding, the legislation was supported by a handful of mental health organizations who said the word is offensive, counterproductive, and "only serves to perpetuate stigmatization."
"Lunatic" doesn't appear often in federal code, but CBS notes the legislation cites a bank regulation that refers to the power of a bank to serve as "committee of estates of lunatics" on guardianship issues.
"Federal law should reflect the 21st century understanding of mental illness and disease," said Senator Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota who co-sponsored the bill. "The continued use of this pejorative term has no place in the U.S. code."