Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Is it proper for a legislator to consider the constitutionality of a bill when voting on it?

Dahlia Lithwick thinks not, apparently:
I have been fascinated by Christine O'Donnell's constitutional worldview since her debate with her opponent Chris Coons last week. O'Donnell explained that "when I go to Washington, D.C., the litmus test by which I cast my vote for every piece of legislation that comes across my desk will be whether or not it is constitutional." How weird is that, I thought. Isn't it a court's job to determine whether or not something is, in fact, constitutional? And isn't that sort of provided for in, well, the Constitution?
More here.


  1. She's wrong, in a very "lay" way.

    Anyhow, O'Donnell's stated legislative philosophy is silly for obvious reasons (many constitutional bills are still bad ideas).

    But, so is the national media focus on this one particularly weak member of the Tea Party herd

    I don't think that bashing O'Donnell is going to bring down the movement

  2. Thanks for the comment.

    To the extent O'Donnell's point is "If it's constitutional, I'm for it!" I agree that's silly. But I doubt very much that's what she means. What I think she means is that she thinks the constitution puts important limitations on the power of the federal government, and she is going to respect those limitations.

    As to your other points, agreed.


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