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Friday, August 03, 2007

Anti-Congress

Arnold Kling:
" In my humble opinion, we should only have laws that are:
--simple;
--straightforward;
--clear; and
--necessary

To ensure this, we need a new institution. I propose the Anti-Congress, which would be empowered to instantly repeal any legislation that fails to meet any of these criteria."

An ANTI-CONGRESS? Now, isn't that an interesting idea? But, I wonder if that idea, in general form, isn't already written into our Constitution? Our Constitution is based upon the idea of expressly enumerated powers for Congress, which are written down as Article I Section 8. Of course, who would expect members of Congress to read the Constitution and choose to be bound by it (even though they each take a personal oath asserting they will). So, the Constitution also provides for another branch of government, the judiciary, which is supposed to make sure government follows the Constitution. Can't we think of the judiciary as an ANTI-CONGRESS that steps in and declares Congressional legislation unconstitutional and therefore repealed when the actions of Congress step beyond those expressly authorized by the Constitution? I think maybe we can, and it seems unfortunate that so few members of the judiciary seem to see their role in this way.

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