(Via Hot Air Headlines) David Weigel got a copy of the new guidelines for establishing the Constitutionality of all new laws in the 112th Congress, and I suspect that the Democrats have not yet grasped the magnitude of how nasty this is going to be for their side’s operating methodology. What is particularly entertaining is how the Republican House leadership gave a comprehensive glove to the Left’s Constitutional scholar community: they recommended that those looking for help use the Federalist Papers; the Congressional Research Service; the Heritage Foundation; a site run by the Liberty Fund; CATO; and the Federalist Society… with the American Constitutional Society clearly tacked on as an afterthought, or possibly to cut down on the whining*. I’d call this ideological grouping ‘lopsided,’ except that if we could trust Democratic legislators to create Constitution-friendly legislation then we wouldn’t have this new rule in the first place.
I would seriously recommend, by the way, that Congressional staffers take this new requirement seriously, for the most practical of reasons: whether or not you agree with this rule, it exists – and it puts the official writers of legislation on the record… and on the spot. Anyone inclined to treat this like a joke would be well advised to remember that most jokes do not age well, and that no Member of Congress wants to appear to be not taking his or her job seriously. Particularly when there’s an election coming up – and in the House, there’s always an election coming up.
*They also included the Brookings Institution, but nobody can reliably predict what side those guys are on any given day.