Should members of Congress actually know the Constitution and how it is supposed to work?
At the beginning of the 113th Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives added a new rule that whatever bill was submitted, that bill must be accompanied by a ‘Constitutional Authority Statement (CAS). These statements will be explored not only in this article, but several more to follow.
Would it be too much to ask that our representatives actually get the statement correct?
H.R. 2458: To terminate any Federal employee who refuses to answer questions or gives false testimony in a congressional hearing.
The following is the Constitutional Authority Statement (CAS):
[Congressional Record Volume 159, Number 89 (Thursday, June 20, 2013)]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
By Mr. BROOKS of Alabama:
Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant to the following:
Article I, Section 8. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper . . .If one searches for the Clause to which Mr. Brooks is referring we come up with Clause 18 which states: (emphasis mine)
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof
It is obvious when one reads the entire Clause 18, it is referring to the Enumerated Powers immediate above. So Clause 18 does NOT grant Congress any powers whatsoever. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Clause 18 is a limitation on Congress in the same way as the 2nd Amendment. In that Congress is limited to the powers that precede Clause 18.
It is possible that this bill could be constitutional via Clause 14.
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces
It is definitely a stretch, but maybe possible.
Just a note to Mr. Brooks:
Each and every bill (and law) MUST satisfy the ENTIRE Constitution along with all the Amendments. If a bill violates any portion of the Constitution, then that bill/law is Unconstitutional.
Mr. Brooks is far from being the only member of Congress that should find a Constitution 101 class benificial. It appears the vast majority, if not all, should attend the same class.