Friday, January 7, 2011

Reviewing the nation's blueprint

This morning members of the House of Representatives read the Constitution. Of course, they couldn't agree on how the document should be read.
Do we read the entire document, including those provisions that have been superseded by amendment?
Do we read that messy little section that talked about some folks only being worth 60% of what other folks are worth?
Should we just skip over that whole Prohibition thingy?
Under the new regime, all bills must cite the Constitutional provision that gives Congress authority to take action. Does that mean members might have to read the provision of the 4th Amendment that bans unreasonable search and seizure? Does it mean they might have to review the 5th Amendment to realize that criminal defendants have a right to remain silent (whether or not they announce their intention to remain silent)? Will they look at the 6th Amendment and remember that criminal defendants have the right to have an attorney and to confront their accusers?

Maybe it means someone will think twice before creating yet another federal crime and duplicates what's on the books in the states.

If these guys and gals can't even agree on how to read the blueprint of our democracy, how can we expect them to get anything done? Of course that might not be a bad thing, if you know what I mean.

No comments: