Agreeing on the GOP Constitutional Issues

by jhwygirl

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) delivered the GOP’s weekly address on Saturday, delving in to what he believes is the constitutional issue of health care reform. The Hill has the story, and the video.

I do believe that in almost all situations we all have something common….and McDonnell’s position is certainly one I agree with:

Regardless of party, we should all agree that the sooner we know if the law is constitutional, the better for the American people.

In fact, I really wish the Montana legislature took a look at this when they were proposing bills. It’d be really nice if any bill had some sort of constitutional review (for both the U.S. and the Montana constitutions) before any hearing in committee.

Sometimes there will be a comment – if there is a fiscal note produced – regarding legal issues. But not everything gets a fiscal note – and hell, even a lot of bills related to taxation don’t seem to get fiscal notes. I know I’ve heard hearings on tax related bills where there hasn’t been a fiscal note published. How in the hell is the public supposed to comment on bills when even a rudimentary analysis isn’t completed by the non-partisan legislative staff?

That way we’d have some reasonable assumptions about lawsuits that the state would have to defend in the future? I mean – that costs taxpayer dollars too.

Ahh, I’ve digressed…

Anyways…if I could propose a bill, it’d be that one – require any bill to have a informational review for constitutionality prior to committee hearing. That informational review should be required to be published….and not stuck in some “junk folder” in some back file.

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  1. CharleyCarp

    It wouldn’t be binding, and in the case of the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t be predictive of the future: the analysis would be quite simple, and show that the ACA is constitutional. That doesn’t mean that the SC will ultimately so conclude.

    But legislatures would have to hire a bunch of lawyers to write all the memos, so it would be a jobs bill.

  2. We have one judicial branch, we don’t need another.

  3. cosmicgarden

    I saw a committee hearing on one bill this session where the legislative services bill drafter DID express a strong opinion the bill was unconstitutional. But the GOP sponsor opined that since there were no supreme court judges present, anyone’s opinion is just as valid as anyone else’s. That same Representative thought the Montana Constitution says we can change the US Constitution any time we want– he didn’t seem to know there were two separate Constitutions.




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