The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

About that “Symbolic” Reading of the Constitution…

Remember all the complaining from Democrats about how reading the Constitution on the House floor was largely symbolic?

I humbly submit exhibits 1 and 2 as to why these readings need to happen more often-not just in government, but in our day-to-day lives.

Exhibit #1: also asked Lewis what part of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to require individuals to buy health insurance.

“Well, when you start off with the Preamble of the Constitution, you talk about the pursuit of happiness,” said Lewis. 

As Rev. Motown would say, stop right there.

Nowhere in the Preamble to the Constitution is the phrase “pursuit of happiness” mentioned. Don’t believe me? With emphasis added:

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Where was Rep. Lewis when the Constitution was being read? You’ve gotta get past the Preamble before you even get to…

Exhibit #2; more from Lewis:

“You go to the 14th Amendment–it’s equal protection under the law and we have not repealed the 14th Amendment.

…and video from Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee:

Now, maybe this is just a difference of opinion…but here’s what your humble community college student thinks:

The verbiage from the 14th about “equal protection:”

…nor shall any State…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Not “the equal protection of health care,” because we’ve never had that. If we did, the whole argument over health care “reform” would be moot, wouldn’t it?  The health care bill tries to establish some semblance of equal protection between the individual mandate’s requirement for “minimum essential coverage,” but that seems well on its way to getting stuck down, leading back to…square one.

About the 5th:

No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…

Having health care-or not having healthcare, as is your choice (that whole “liberty” thing!) does not equate, by any stretch of the imagination, to deprivation of life, liberty, or property. That said, though, requiring someone to have health care after they’ve made a conscious decision not to, for whatever reason, does seem to deprive said someone of…liberty, without due process.

Seem contradictory to you? And she’s a lawyer…shouldn’t she know this stuff?

And, as I said on FB yesterday, by their logic, it’s okay to violate one section of the Constitution to keep from “violating” another section.

As much as some on the left complained about reading the Constitution (and some on the right; I complained about what wasn’t read), it seems like we could all use a refresher course on it.

Especially some of our legislators.




Written by Coby Dillard

January 21, 2011 at 9:04 am

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