"Why the Heavens Fell," first published in Wonder Stories (May, 1932), appearing under the name of Epaminondas T. Snooks, D.T.G., but actually written by C. P. Mason, who (as a little Googling informs me) was actually part of the editorial staff at Wonder Stories, having been hired by Hugo Gernsback a couple of years earlier (around late 1929 or early 1930).
The story was much later reprinted in Famous Science Fiction (Fall 1968); a digest-sized edition. That's probably where you read it. But if you click on the "Why the Heavens Fell" link I provided, you can read a scanned version of the original publication from 1932.
The narrator of the story describes himself as a field man for the Supernational Electric and Radiation Corporation. He is sent to visit Professor Schnickelfritz and give him some royalty checks for inventions which the professor has previously allowed the company to mass-produce and sell, and the narrator's boss ("the Old Man") has made it clear that the narrator (whose name is never mentioned) should use this chance to find out if the professor has developed anything else which would be of serious commercial value.
There's some rather funny stuff as Professor Schnickelfritz demonstrates various new inventions to the narrator, including one which projects the newly-discovered Nu Nu Lambda ray through the air, but only reaching a short distance (just far enough to melt a hole in the wall on the other side of the room). The professor then explains that if he had four times as much generator, he could make the ray penetrate twice as far. The narrator asks why not four times as far, and the Professor says it is because of the Law of Inverse Squares. The Professor does not advocate getting rid of that law; nor does he explain just what type of law it is. The narrator apparently assumes it is some hidebound old law which Congress (or some other legislative body) must have passed many generations ago, and then everyone forgot about it. Ergo, when the narrator returns to his boss's office to report, we have this:
Flushed with success, I laid before the Old Man the secret which the
professor had confided to me at the last moment: the possibility of
radio power transmission, if once the law that hampered us could be
done away with. "To undertake to disregard it outright,” I said, “with
the elections coming on, is to invite too much campaign publicity;
even if the overhead expense for official connivance isn’t too high.
But I understand that this Law of Inverse Squares is a pretty old one;
and it may be possible to get a court decision that it is obsolete, or
at least, to be interpreted in the light of modem business
“Better than that,” said the Old Man, with that immediate grasp of the
situation that makes him a leader of international business: “I think
it possible that we can get Congress to repeal it. Slip the repeal
clause into an appropriation bill in conference, just before the
inauguration, and it will go through, without too much notice to some
of the outsiders who would like to get in on the ground floor. I’ll
get Senator Bloughard on the phone this afternoon. Leave it to me.”
Then, in the final bit of the story, after both houses of Congress have passed the bill in question, the narrator happens to meet the professor in the streets of Washington, D.C., and gives him the joyous news that in another minute or so the President will be signing into law the bill to repeal the Inverse Square Law.
The astonishment on the great scientist’s face seemed painful, instead
of the rejoicing I had reason to expect. He gripped my arm:
“You lie!” he exclaimed.
“It is true,” I answered proudly: “We’ve fixed all that. In another
minute the Law of Inverse Squares will cease to apply in the United
“Mein Gott!” exclaimed Schnickelfritz: “Radiation, gravity, the sun!
For your lives, stop him!”
He turned as if to dash toward the Capitol and, in that moment, I felt
throughout my whole frame that the presidential pen had finished its
task. The Law of Inverse Squares had been repealed!
A giant hand seemed to crush down on that milling throng, as the full
force of all earthly gravitation was exerted upon them; and, as I
fell, I realized that the great dome of the Capitol, too, had fallen
to that irresistible force of attraction!
No time to think! It was but an instant later that the greater power
of solar gravitation exerted its force. The entire United States, with
its insular possessions (including Alaska) had been wrenched from the
bosom of puny Mother Earth by the resistless grip of the Sun! And, as
the whole solar radiation of light and heat, no longer restricted by
the Law of Inverse Squares, burst upon us, the whole heavens became
one mass of incalculably-heated yellow flame, into which we plunged,
without creating even a ripple, and were there utterly, instantly
That's the end of the story. Of course, it leaves wide open the question of how the narrator was able to subsequently narrate this detailed account of how it had all gone wrong. Is his ghost communicating with someone outside the borders of the United States via Ouija board, or something?