House GOP may require constitutional test for all new legislation

posted at 10:10 pm on December 16, 2010 by Allahpundit

Insofar as this sort of thing might encourage the public to think more critically about constitutional limits on government, I like it. Insofar as it’s aimed at reining in Democratic legislative excess … I don’t get it.

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), the head of the House Rules Working Group, on Thursday said the GOP transition team will recommend the adoption of a rule requiring lawmakers to provide constitutional authority for every bill.

“The Constitution is not that long. The operating manual for a Toyota Camry is more than five times longer, so it should not be that difficult,” Bishop said.

GOP leaders intended to send out a memo later Thursday providing guidance to members of the 112th Congress on how to deal with the new requirement, and suggest “resources they can go to to assist,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the chairman of the transition team.

“The Constitution will suddenly become en vogue again” in the next House, Bishop said.

Well, it’ll be en vogue again for the small class of political junkies who follow Congress closely enough to pay attention to debate over constitutional points. Which, as I say, is why I like it, but don’t expect the media to suddenly convert to strict constructionism just because Republicans are now forcing them to pay attention to this. Beyond that, two things. One: If you’re thinking that this might somehow deter statist liberals from offering more ambitious legislation, why exactly are you thinking that? They’ve defended something as novel as the ObamaCare mandate with not one but two constitutional powers (Commerce and Tax and Spend) and doubtless could find some small peg in the text of the Constitution itself or Supreme Court precedent on which to hang any bill they like. Even if their reasoning is lame, does anyone seriously believe that votes on either side of the aisle will turn on it? A Blue Dog who finds a progressive’s constitutional argument wanting will simply shrug it off and vote for it anyway on grounds that it’s up to the courts to decide.

Two: To the extent that anyone’s actions will be constrained by this, it’ll be the GOP’s. This is an open invitation for libertarians to confront the Republican leadership on traditional constitutional objections like the lack of any formal declaration of war for Afghanistan or Iraq or the absence of any textual authority for the Department of Education. If Boehner et al. are going to be constitutional sticklers with Democratic bills, what happens the next time the GOP passes funding for education or there’s a new high-profile terror arrest and we get back into the Miranda question again? Seems like they’re setting themselves up either to spend a lot more of their time as a congressional majority defending the constitutional merits of their own bills (Democrats will attack them on it at every opportunity, partly to make hay and partly to slow down the GOP’s agenda) or to ignore the constitutional debate and risk being attacked as hypocrites by the media. I don’t get it.


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crr6 on December 17, 2010 at 10:51 AM

From the same paragraph of your cited statement:
“Indeed, our decision in United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S. 62 (1971), inferentially is to the same effect, for we there would not have indulged in statutory interpretation favorable to abortion in specified circumstances if the necessary consequence was the termination of life entitled to Fourteenth Amendment protection.
The Court obviously engaged in verbal slight-of-hand to dance away from the glaring aspect of infanticide and baby murder intrinsic to the problemn so that they could make Roe all about “the mother’s privacy.”

I pray to God we get to set aside this bad case law that condones the murder of 60 million babies one day very soon!

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 11:00 AM

It’s really pathetic you have to put on another Band Aid through Congress to call attention to the fact that they are not doing their already defined job.
Why do all of these morons find it necessary to pass an act or a resolution or pass a law when everything is already clearly defined?
Seriously, how many ways does it have to be said to
FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION?
Freaking sad.
I don’t care how many acts or resolution or stupid laws you pass, you’re always going to have a bunch of a-holes trying to get around the Const with all their redefining of what ‘is’ is.
It’s freaking ridiculous.

Badger40 on December 17, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Seems like they’re setting themselves up either to spend a lot more of their time as a congressional majority defending the constitutional merits of their own bills (Democrats will attack them on it at every opportunity, partly to make hay and partly to slow down the GOP’s agenda) or to ignore the constitutional debate and risk being attacked as hypocrites by the media. I don’t get it.

Or perhaps they’ll only propose legislation that’s fully consistent with the plain text of the Constitution.

Ha ha, yeah, I know, it’ll never happen.

Inkblots on December 17, 2010 at 11:06 AM

crr6 on December 17, 2010 at 10:51 AM

This is sorta like the slavery issue.
We do not consider viable human beings, even if they are still inside the uterus, a real person.
You can dicker all you like over who is a person, but medically, the definition is there at least at a basic level.
As a woman, your ‘rights’ to your body end when you have another human being growing inside you.
That human being is not your personal property to dispose of as you wish, like they used to think a slave was.
I really hope America can recognize it’s babies as real people & not some chattel.

Badger40 on December 17, 2010 at 11:10 AM

House GOP may require constitutional test for all new legislation


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I’m sure Obama’s down with this./s
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We do not consider viable human beings, even if they are still inside the uterus, a real person.
Badger40 on December 17, 2010 at 11:10 AM

http://discovermagazine.com/2011/jan-feb/75
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RalphyBoy on December 17, 2010 at 11:47 AM

ajacksonian on December 17, 2010 at 8:47 AM

I would also include a law or Constitutional Amendment that if a law is passed, and later found to be un-Constitutional, those Congressmen who voted for it would be guilty of a felony, punishable by death.

Now try to argue nothing would change.

dominigan on December 17, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Really Allapundit, you don’t get it? Let me help you out – most of the Republican reps are retarded. They have proven how stupid they are time after time, all you have to do is watch what they do.

I don’t include Tea Partiers who got elected as Republicans in that statement because the Tea Partiers are really Libertarians who want fiscal conservatism and don’t think the government has any business telling people how to live or behave. That works for me too.

woodNfish on December 17, 2010 at 3:59 PM

S

eems like they’re setting themselves up either to spend a lot more of their time as a congressional majority defending the constitutional merits of their own bills (Democrats will attack them on it at every opportunity, partly to make hay and partly to slow down the GOP’s agenda) or to ignore the constitutional debate and risk being attacked as hypocrites by the media

Answer: What are legal precedents. The entire Constitution doesn’t have to re argued each time a Bill is passed. Many aspects of the Constitution, have already been argued and settled. That is why the Individual Mandate is in trouble. The Commerce Clause they are trying to use to enforce “A Penalty” has been narrowly interpreted. The Progressives are over reaching – There is case law -PRECEDENTS.

Just like down in Oklahoma, where they are amending their state constitution to block Sharia and International Law.

When finally adopted other states can use Oklahoma’s precedent. The Liberal Media laugh at the Okies, but they are way ahead of the curve. Sharia Law is not allowed in Indonesia the largest Muslim population- has anyone asked why Indonesia won’t adopt Sharia Law? Nope, but if Okies amend their constitution they are being bigots. Not so much.

How many Indian Tribes are represented in Oklahoma?

Link includes Video

The Obama administration’s actions last week proved, although Green Jobs Czar Van Jones is gone, his ideology continues to guide the White House. Barack Obama called the leaders of American Indian tribes to Washington to witness him sign a UN treaty that, if followed literally, would return the entire continental United States to tribal control. He is not prepared to go that far, but he has made a down payment on the pledge by offering stealth reparations to the tribes in exactly the manner advocated by Van Jones.

Last Thursday, Obama held a summit with the tribal elders of 565 federally recognized American Indian tribes to sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. The treaty stipulates, “Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.” In essence, the president signed away the entire country.

Even the few conservatives who paid attention to the treaty’s dangerous language missed a significant element of the pow wow. The Energy Department’s website announced “the establishment of an Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs in order to more effectively engage tribal governments in our national energy priorities and promote tribal energy development.” Specifically, the office will fund “projects to improve energy efficiency and develop geothermal, solar, bio-mass and wind energy on tribal lands.”

Compare that with Van Jones’….

Yeah those dumb hicks in Oklahoma, they are such rubes…Not so much. The rest of the country doesn’t get the Heartland is pushing back and the MSM is trying to belittle them for their efforts. But if they are successful – we all get to line up behind them and God Willing the Republic stands.

If I was an Okie, and was blocking Sharia Law, I would make sure it couldn’t come in the back door through International Law either. That and this UN treaty Obama signed….people should start paying attention Oklahoma passed laws to get rid of their illegal alien population why didn’t the federal government sue them? Oh that’s right George W Bush was President then…..

Americans need to wake up, the Wolf isn’t at our door, it’s in our house.

A UN Treaty. Last time I checked that means International Law not the U.S. Constitution.

Dr Evil on December 30, 2010 at 10:46 PM

Tom Coburn is a Republican Senator from Oklahoma, I would really like to hear what he thinks about this UN Treaty, and Oklahoma amending their state constitution to block Sharia and International Law.

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), the head of the House Rules Working Group, on Thursday said the GOP transition team will recommend the adoption of a rule requiring lawmakers to provide constitutional authority for every bill.

Yep I get it.

Dr Evil on December 30, 2010 at 10:55 PM

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