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Republicans highlight poor constitutional justifications for bills

Home - by - November 20, 2012 - 15:30 America/New_York - 4 Comments

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U.S. Constitution / WC

Each member of the House has had to attach a Constitutional Authority Statement (CAS) to every proposed bill since Jan. 5, 2011.

However, one group of Republicans is unimpressed by the offered justifications for constitutionality.

The Republican Study Committee (RSC) analyzes each statement—3,865 in the first year alone—and in response to some of the more questionable justifications began emailing every congressional office a “Questionable Constitutional Authority Statement of the Week.”

“We started highlighting horrible Constitutional Authority Statements because there were so many of them,” said Brian Straessle, RSC spokesman. “Think of it as a shaming mechanism to get people to think seriously and carefully about the intended limits of the federal government’s power.”

For example, the justification for bill H.R. 401, to honor Muhammad Ali earned recognition from the RSC on the week of June 7.

H.R. 401 authorized President Barack Obama to present the famous boxer with a gold medal on behalf of Congress. The CAS cited “Clause 2 of Section 5 of Article I of the Constitution, Clause 1 of Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution, and Clause 18 of Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution.”

The RSC responded by saying, “The statement cites three different potential justifications for the legislation, and neither individually nor as a group do these seriously attempt to justify the proposed action.”




  1. Mountain Dog

    November 20th, 2012

    The House should be able to vote down unconstitutional bills. I think the anti-Constitutional acts perpetrated by 0bama need to be addressed and dealt with, followed by a fast and furious impeachment. Then maybe we can start weeding out the corruption created by the 0bama administration. Or would that be asking too much from our lazy useless representatives?

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  2. Col. Angus

    November 20th, 2012

    Ali may have to settle for a Nobel Prize, or ambassador post.

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  3. thirdtwin

    November 20th, 2012

    Great. Now Republicans are racists who want to use constitutional jibber-jabber and trickery to deny a simple medal to a beloved African-American boxer who just happens to be a nice Muslim.

    Well, that is how the MSM will filter it, no? Seriously…that’s the example you go with? Muhammad Ali? It’s almost like the reporter doesn’t think Constitutionality is very important.

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  4. Stranded in Sonoma

    November 20th, 2012

    This is one of those “If I was president” times.

    If any bill reached my desk that was longer than 5 pages, I would veto it on principle. I would read each bill. The instant I found something that was unconstitutional, I would redline the passage, then veto the bill. I would NOT redline each unconstitutional passage and allow congress to fix the entire bill. I would stop at the first and veto the bill. If congress rewrites the bill, I would start again and make sure the unconstitutional part is removed or changed. If I encounter another unconstitutional passage, I would redline it and veto the bill. And so on.

    After about 50-100 of those, the congress would probably start wondering what was happening. After about 500, they’d see a pattern. After about 2,000 they’d start figuring out what is and is not constitutional. By about 5,000-10,000 they would be somewhat constitutionally literate.

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