“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Thursday, January 6, 2011

About Congress, the Constitution & Detailed Powers Attribution for Legislation

Much has been made recently, especially by Congressional Democrats, of today's reading in the House of the Constitution.

One Democratic Representative derisively snorted that the GOP is treating the Constitution 'like some sacred document.'

As Monica Crowley observed on Fox News yesterday, sometimes these Democrats make the Tea Party's task almost too easy.

But, seriously, there's a legitimate issue here. In the lead staff editorial in today's Wall Street Journal, California's ultra-liberal Representative Henry Waxman was quoted as saying he was taught in law school that the Constitution means, or is, 'whatever a judge says it is.'

Thus, Waxman inadvertently explains the Progressive approach to legislation, i.e., Constitution be damned, just pass what you want and leave it up to a judge to decide.

That's wrong. That's not upholding the oath we all heard the entire House swear yesterday.

Instead, as Waxman mistakenly illustrated, Progressives will keep passing unconstitutional laws, knowing that they only need a few judges, serially, to expand Congressional powers via judicial writ, while they have unlimited time and attempts to achieve that objective.

However, if they were held to a higher standard a priori, i.e., providing a detailed, public justification from the Constitution, for legislation, much of their power-expanding agenda would be revealed for what it is.

You see, until we get term limits for the federal bench- all of it- Waxman's approach is a major loophole in our system of checks and balances.

When 435 Representatives and 100 Senators have to publicly justify voting on the existence of a Constitutional source of power for legislation, they are liable to removal for supporting legislation of overly-expansive Congressional and federal power. But when they can pass anything, and force a lawsuit to allow a judge to rule on the Constitutionality, they both evade responsibility, while also moving the issue from one of a vote among 535 elected legislators to one life-appointed federal judge. Perhaps a few more, if the case is appealed up through the federal chain to the Supreme Court.

So requiring Congress to be more specific in identifying the source of power for new legislation is actually quite important in our system. It's about 'sunshine,' transparency, and the clear articulation by legislators of their views on limited versus expansive federal powers as described and enumerated in our Constitution.

Bucking these issues to the courts, knowingly, is subterfuge and a conscious undermining of the system's designed checks and balances.

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