Thoughts from Jonah Goldberg, on the ridiculous notion that the left has that only the courts can or should assess constitutionality:
Newsweek’s Ben Adler was aghast at the clause in the GOP’s Pledge to America that Republicans will provide a “citation of constitutional authority” for every proposed piece of legislation. “We have a mechanism for assessing the constitutionality of legislation, which is the independent judiciary,” Adler wrote. “An extraconstitutional attempt to limit the powers of Congress is dangerous even as a mere suggestion, and it constitutes an encroachment on the judiciary.”
A progressive blogger, meanwhile, writes in U.S. News & World Report that such talk of requiring constitutionality is “just wacky.”
Before we get to the historical niceties, a question.
Does anyone, anywhere, think legislators should vote for legislation they think is unconstitutional? Anyone? Anyone?
How about presidents? Should they sign such legislation into law?
Yet, according to this creepy logic, there’s no reason for congressmen to pass, obey, or even consider the supreme law of the land. Reimpose slavery? Sure! Let’s see if we can catch the Supreme Court asleep at the switch. Nationalize the TV stations? Establish a king? Kill every first-born child? Why not? It ain’t unconstitutional until the Supreme Court says so!
And of course, that means the president can’t veto legislation because it’s unconstitutional, because that’s apparently not his job. Wouldn’t want to “encroach” on the judiciary!
Of course, reasonable people understand how absurd all of this is.
Sadly, the country is not run by (nor is the media staffed with) reasonable people.