What is the deal with the outbreak in blatantly unconstitutional legislative proposals? In just the last few days:
- the US Congress has considered a bill giving House representation to a non-state,
- the Connecticut legislature has considered a bill that would dictate the way the Catholic Church governs itself, and
- the Iowa legislature is considering a bill that would limit criticism of politicians and would even limit factual reporting of their votes, and
- the US Congress passed a stimulus bill (which the President signed with much fanfare) that overrides state constitutions, removing the governor’s power of veto if he or she declines to accept stimulus funding.
Wasn’t there a time when our leaders felt a responsibility to obey the Constitution, or am I looking back to a halcyon age that never really existed? If it ever existed, that time is surely gone now. Today, many of our leaders (“rulers” might be more apt) have clearly decided that the thankless task of applying the Constitution is the sole provenance of the courts. Their job, as they see it, is to get away with as much as they can.