This story in the Washington Post takes a dismissive and snarky tone, but I think this is a splendid idea. Especially the part about requiring each bill to cite its constitutional authority.
When Republicans take over the House next week, they will do something that apparently has never been done before in the chamber’s 221-year history:
Two new rules will give Constitution a starring role in GOP-controlled House
They will read the Constitution aloud.
And then they will require that every new bill contain a statement by the lawmaker who wrote it citing the constitutional authority to enact the proposed legislation.
Call it the tea party-ization of Congress.
To just associate this with the tea party in that condescending way is out of line. Why would any lawmaker object to this? They take an oath to defend the Constitution. Why shouldn’t they defer to it? Or do some journalists and politicians really believe in unlimited government?
At any rate, this could at least be an educational experience. As Ezra Klein of the Washington Post told an interviewer, “The issue of the Constitution is that the text is confusing because it was written more than 100 years ago and what people believe it says differs from person to person and differs depending on what they want to get done.” The thing dates way back to 1911 at least, so it surely can’t be binding on us postmodernists.
People often say that everything can be interpreted any number of ways, but I wonder about that. What part of the Tenth Amendment, the basis for that “radical” requirement to specify the constitutional authority for each bill, is so open-ended in its possible meanings?
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.