Sunday, January 02, 2011

A return to tradition

More craziness in Congress...the Republicans must once again be in charge of the House or Representatives. Once the anti-flag-burning amendment is introduced, I'll be certain of it.

Reading the Constitution aloud is just a harmless bit of silliness, compared to this truly useless measure:

[House Republicans] say they will require every new bill to contain a statement by the legislator who wrote it, citing the constitutional authority to enact the proposed law.

I just can't figure out exactly what this measure is supposed to accomplish. Obviously, no legislator will introduce a bill she herself believes to be unconstitutional, but that doesn't mean her colleagues will agree. Lawmakers often disagree about the meaning of the Constitution...they're like people that way. People interpret the Constitution in a variety of ways, and usually in line with their ideological beliefs. Slapping a constitutional citation on the front of a bill isn't going to convince those who believe the bill unconstitutional; hell, even actual rulings by courts don't always accomplish that. (There are still Americans who believe that the income tax is unconstitutional.) At the end of the day, the courts, and not Congress, decide if a law squares with our founding document, and no citation on a bill will change that. Period.

But I suppose a return to the past is a reminder that, like gravity, there are some things you can always rely upon.

1 Comments:

Blogger Sean said...

Then they should also meet on paydays and each member must make a statement citing what they've done to earn our tax dollars.

1:55 PM  

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