It was Madison who, seeking to calm those who feared an all-powerful central government, wrote, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” Let me repeat that: “few and defined.” Notwithstanding Madison’s clarity, today Congress considers and routinely passes legislation regulating virtually every conceivable human endeavor and enterprise.
My colleague John Shadegg of Arizona has proposed that every bill include a section that cites the specific constitutional authorization of the proposition. I commend John and think we can even go a step further. When there is a question about a bill’s constitutionality, we should set aside time during debate to focus on that question first. We shouldn’t proceed with legislation until we have resolved its constitutionality.
Cantor gets it. At the risk of repeating myself, this is what the Tea Party is all about. Restoring the Constitution.