The prospects of constitutional challenges to progressive legislation undoing said legislation seem to have waxed with the progress of challenges to “Obamacare”. All in all, I support a safety net that includes health care. That said, the dismissive attitude of former speaker Pelosi to the whole question of constitutionality of laws she supports was disturbing. It would seem to me that liberals should take seriously the idea of constitutionality of reforms they support, and perhaps constitutional amendments needed to make them pass legal muster.
Liberals need to delineate and support constitutional limits on the use of federal power for social welfare, despite their enthusiasm for it.
Why? Because limits on laws due to the constitution provide protection from people in power you may not like. Consider this suggestion from Steve Landsberg:
Paul Krugman wisely reminds us that:
The odds are that one of these years the world’s greatest nation will find itself ruled by a party that is aggressively anti-science, indeed anti-knowledge. And, in a time of severe challenges — environmental, economic, and more — that’s a terrifying prospect.
Yes, a terrifying prospect — and an excellent reason to limit the powers of ruling parties, though Paul never seems to notice this.
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Mon, 29 Aug 2011 04:23:43 GMT
The same can be said for conservatives. They support law enforcement usually without reservation. They ought to recognize that the police power they cede to George Bush would and for now at least are in the hands of a President they mostly barely hold above contempt.
Conservatives need to delineate and support constitutional limits on police power, despite their enthusiasm for it.
I’m old fashioned: I don’t like to mix politics and legal challenges. If the court rules something illegal, then that is to be respected. Once the constitution is politicized, the country is weakened a notch. That’s one reason I was very glad President Obama didn’t take the 14th amendment route on the debt ceiling. He KNOWS that would not have been constitutional, and if the President knowingly abused the Constitution to win a political fight that would be a sad day.