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« Bob Woodward on extraordinary rendition and assurances of non-torture | Main | We're #2! »

October 14, 2010

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Nicholas Johnson

I never, never thought I'd ever agree with Christine O'Donnell about anything. But I think she's right on this one.

Not only are federal legislators "not powerless" to make constitutional decisions, they are required to do so by Art. VI, Sec. 3 ("bound by oath or affirmation to support the constitution") and by their oath of office -- originally drafted by the first Congress and now reading: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

Clearly, their decisions on such matters are not final and binding; that IS the role of the courts.

Nor does it make sense to make one's judgment about constitutionality the only test, the "litmus test": "if it's constitutional I vote for it; if it's not I don't." There are, after all, other considerations in ADDITION to constitutionality when deciding how to vote on legislation.

But one can hope that all Members and Senators would both inquire, and then decide, regarding each bill's constitutionality before voting on it.

Score one for O'Donnell.

Air Jordan

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

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