The online quiz is here – http://games.toast.net/independence/ .
I got 28 out of 30.
Congress passes many bills which are clearly unconstitutional. I wish the president would veto those. If the executive branch declares an intent to not follow something unconstitutional I am ok with that (the exec branch took an oath to uphold the constitution, not the whims of congress). The legislative branch can sue and the courts can settle the matter. If congress really felt the president was acting unconstitutional they would try to impeach him (only a few nuts job like Kosinich have gone that far)
Going to court is ugly and reduces confidence on the governing process by citizens.
A better set of controls would be:
1) have congress un-bundle bills that have separate and unrelated components into separate bills (by internal rules or constitutional amendment as a last resort). This makes it harder for congress to hide unconstitutional activity and easier for the president to veto unconstitutional bills.
2) Each bill should explicitly state the legal/constitutional authority upon which it based (by internal rules or constitutional amendment as a last resort). This makes it harder for congress to hide unconstitutional activity and easier for the president to veto unconstitutional bills.
3) Bills reported out of committee – especially spending bills – should have a reasonable period of time for members of congress, citizens, the press, and the executive branch to exam and note flaw, objections, and trojan horses (by internal rules or constitutional amendment as a last resort). This will make it harder for bad law to be implemented.
4) Bills expanding the federal government or imposing new regulations should have a sunset clause – to force periodic renewal – and sunshine clauses – what will it cost and how will it be paid for (by internal rules or constitutional amendment as a last resort).This will make it harder for bad law to be implemented.
5) Congress should alter the judicial system so any remaining legislative/executive branch constitutional disagreements are fast-tracked.
Any other suggestions?
Update: I left out…the president should veto anything that doesn’t follow/conform to points 1,2 or 3 from above.
I spotted a link to this at Instapundit:
Rosencranz makes several points (and my summary us unlikely to do justice to his remarks). The Constitution, he notes, draws its legitimacy from the consent of the governed and the American Revolution was motivated, in part, in opposition to the imposition of foreign rule on the colonies. Thus it would be quite incongruous for the meaning of the Constitution to be dependent upon the decisions and views of foreign governments or international institutions, rather than the considered views of the American people. Changing the meaning of the Constitution, Rosencranz notes, is to be done through constitutional amendment, not the changing conceptions of justice embraced by foreign governments and international organizations. [Link Volokh.com]
Makes sense to me.
I am all for his idea:
The most interesting part of Rosencranz’s remarks is a proposal for a constitutional amendment declaring that foreign and international law should not be relied upon to interpret or construe the U.S.
So make this Number 36.
Zenpundit has a post on modern US Secession movements with links.
It was interesting following the links. They are all bad ideas.
Zen rightly notes that this was settled with the Civil War. There is no legal Secession.
So, Dick Cheney thinks he is part of the Legislative branch when it suits him.
The VP is part of the executive Branch. He is not part of the legislative branch because one of his duties is to preside over the Senate.
The Supreme Court Chief Justice is not a member of the legislative branch because he may also preside over the senate in some circumstances.
I don’t like people fucking with the constitution.
I don’t like the money this is going to cost the taxpayers.
I am now officially okay with Congress impeaching Dick Cheney purely on this issue.
Also, The loophole over the VP presiding over his own impeachment trial must be closed (yeah, I know this will take a few years).
The Senate has the sole power to try impeachments. The Vice President is the President of the Senate. He presides. The Constitution provides for only one exception in cases of impeachment: “When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.” That’s because of the obvious conflict-of-interest of having the VP preside when the President is tried. But there’s no similar provision for having someone else preside if the Vice President is impeached.
That is certainly a flaw.
Congress should start the process to add another amendment to the US Constitution to provide that the Supreme Court Chief Justice shall preside at the impeachment trial of Vice-President.
It might be a good idea to extend that to the impeachment trial of any member of the executive branch.
This is my 36th suggested amendment to the US constitution.
The House has gone ahead and passed a bill giving DC voting representation in the House.
This is an unconstitutional measure alot of time and money is going to wasted on this.
This is being discussed on REDDIT.
Here is my contribution showing exactly why it is not constitutional:
Representatives can only come from states and must be a resident of the state they represent:
From the US Constitution Article 1 Section 2
“The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.
No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.”
The District of Columbia is not a state:
To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authorityover all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of thestate in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines,arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;–And
Be very clear…DC is not a state (“if it were a state”):
The District constituting the seat of government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:
A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the
whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a state, but in no event more than the least populous state; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the states, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a state; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.
What could congress do to give voting representation to people in the district?
Method One: Return or hand over most of the lands in the district back to the the surrounding states.
Method Two: Make the district or large parts of it a separate state (Article Four, Section 3). When I was a kid their was a DC Statehood movement called I think”New Columbia” or something like that.
Method Three: Work through the amendment process and grant the residents of the seat of government one representative in the house.