Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Quote of the Day

Quotation du Jour

Since some Progressives have been suggesting that amending the constitution to block the nationalization of health care is un-conservative, I thought it might be wise to post a bit from President Washington's Farewel Address:

You have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support.

Categories > Quote of the Day

Discussions - 2 Comments

The Constitution doesn't need to be amended to prevent the Feds from having anything to do w health care; it only needs to be FOLLOWED!

Doc is right, outside of his "anything to do" phrase. But let's talk about this anyhow.

I don't see why we conservatives should have any principled "constitutional" nor "conservative" opposition to the Repeal Amendment, anymore than we should have had to adopting any ONE of the twenty or so amendments proposed by Larry Sabato (with the exception of his ignorant/impossible/dangerous attempt to tweak equal suffrage in the Senate). That is, so long as we don't pass nor debate too many of them, we should be willing consider all proposed amendments on the merits, even the ones that change the structure of our government more, such as this Repeal Amendment. And lately, we haven't had enough amendment talk, which IMO is necessary to let the SC know it isn't in charge of the Const. (As such, I'm even for a moderated "gateway" amendment that would bring the 3/4 barrier in article V down a bit, say, somewhere around 68-70 states. And if you did that, the Repeal Amendment would be unnecessary, since amendment can be used to make the most extraordinary laws unworkable.)

The proposal of this amendment is not tea-party nuttery; it is rather a reaction and a warning justly elicited by the utter legislative irresponsibility and contempt of the health care bill.

On the merits, however, there seems to be one big problem. Two-thirds of the states seems a number low enough that there would be calls for MANY federal laws, not just extraordinary ones like Obamacare, to be reviewed. And that effectively would give every State legislator a moonlighting job of part-time federal legislator. A bill-review workload increase of around 15-30%, I'd guess, a lot of floor time and back-room time taken up debating such review in each state legislature, and thus, less attention paid to State concerns. Of course, many in our political classes state-level already make it their business to have a position on each and every federal bill, since they want to go to DC some day themselves, but that's not a tendency to be encouraged.

So I prefer state legislators being just that--this smacks of constitutional gimickry and California politics, and not the elegant simplicity of good republican institutions.

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field
 

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL: http://nlt.ashbrook.org/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/15955