The Constitution is a remarkable document. It is an agreement between the government and the people. It is a document that outlines exactly how our government would be set up, how disputes would be settled, and it even divides the power to make sure that no one person or branch has too much power.
The Bill of Rights is also astonishing as it outlines a list of rights each citizen holds. These rights, without exception, are carefully-worded phrases that express what government can and cannot do.
They insist that the government cannot abridge free speech, that they cannot quarter soldiers in homes, that they cannot search or seize property without legal approval and that they cannot restrict firearm ownership.
The Constitution is a document dedicated entirely to the creation of rights for the people and the implementation of boundaries for government.
But don’t tell Rep. Jerrold Nadler that…
According to the New York Democrat congressman, the Constitution was designed to augment the power of government, not limit it.
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to discuss the possibility of impeaching disgraced IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for his role in the targeting of political dissidents. During this hearing, Nadler claimed that it “really bothers” him that people think that the Constitution was meant to limit the power of government.
“The Constitution was enacted to strengthen government power to enable central government to lay taxes and to function effectively. We put limits on that through the Bill of Rights, but the Constitution was enacted for the opposite purpose,” said Nadler.
Nadler evidently failed high school government class and every civics class thereafter as most of the Constitution expressly outlines what the government can’t do.
The document offers a system of checks and balances to keep government limited. It also details in what ways the federal government is supreme to state governments, and provides that the rest of the powers not listed are state powers. It limits the amount of land to which the federal government may lay claim and it outlines methods by which we can impeach corrupted politicians and bureaucrats.
That the federal government routinely ignores these boundaries set forth by the Constitution does not mean that the Constitution now says something different; it means that we have slowly slid into a system of despotism.
If lawmakers cannot grasp the central premise of our republic and her founding document, they should not be entrusted with the awesome power they wield.
Perhaps an audit is in order; let us give a civics test to each member of congress. Those scoring below 90% should be ousted and replaced promptly.