Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

The Washington Post is reporting today that Nancy Pelosi is planning on having the House vote on "a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill" and then use an obscure rule known as "deem and pass" to skip the Senate voting on the changes and having the President sign it into law. This is a great plan, except for one small minor problem; it is that "G-ddamned piece of paper" as Bush once put it: the Constitution. Sadly, even Obama doesn't know this is un-Constiutional: "I don't know about the politics, but I know what's the right thing to do."

The matter of the House and Senate passing different versions of the same bill has been brought up before the Supreme Court a few times already, so I do have them backing me up on my opinion for the record.

The first time was in 1998 in the case "Clinton v. City of New York" where it was ruled that "(1) a bill containing its exact text was approved by a majority of the Members of the House of Representatives; (2) the Senate approved precisely the same text; and (3) that text was signed into law by the President." The Constitution explicitly requires that each of those three steps be taken before a bill may "become a law."

Notice how Clinton v. City of New York repeatedly uses the term "exact text?" If one word changes during the path a Bill takes to become law, it MUST start the process over. This was reaffirmed in 2007 with "PUBLIC CITIZEN,
Petitioner, v. CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" where it was ruled that "Pursuant to this bicameralism requirement, a bill must be passed in identical form by both chambers before it can become a law."

The one thing that sets America apart from other countries is the fact that we are dedicated to the rule of law; that we never let the "Tyranny of the Majority" run wild over the minority; that all are equal in the eyes of the law.Nancy Pelosi's insisting that her being able to amend the Senate Bill and have that mean that both house agree without the Senate ever seeing those changes is unconstitutional and the courts have already ruled on this more than once. Obama's encouraging of this action is beyond disgusting to me as I voted for "Hope and Change" and we already had a President for no respect for the rule of law.

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