Thursday, December 30, 2010

Two new rules will give Constitution a starring role in GOP-controlled House

What?? A Congress who actually reads the Constitution? Did I just feel the Earth shake? I know it is cold, but did Hell just freeze over? According to the Washington Post, Congress will enact two new rules that will give the Constitution some primacy in Congress.
When Republicans take over the House next week, they will do something that apparently has never been done before in the chamber's 221-year history:

They will read the Constitution aloud.

And then they will require that every new bill contain a statement by the lawmaker who wrote it citing the constitutional authority to enact the proposed legislation.
As Gina, Renee Zellweger's character in Empire Records, said: "Shock me, Shock me, Shock me with that deviant behavior." Congress is going to read the Constitution (which may be a first for Congressional Democrats and more than a few Republicans). May I suggest to presumptive Speaker John Boehner regular recitations of Article I, Sec. 8 and the Bill of Rights, I am thinking Daily.

But the second rule, requiring citation of the Constitution provision granting authority to enact the legislation, really warms my heart. But I would suggest an amendment to that rule right now. Don't let Members of Congress get away with a necessary and proper clause citation. They need to cite some other authority--an actual power delegated to the Constitution.

Still, even if the education of Congress is a little late, it is better than never.

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