Congress finds, and lists, meaning in Constitution – The Washington Post

Congress finds, and lists, meaning in Constitution – The Washington Post.

Congress finds, and lists, meaning in Constitution

By , Friday, September 16, 2:28 PM

In honor of Constitution Day we pose the question: Which part of the Constitution governs the use of laser pointers?

It sounds like a dumb question, since the Constitution predated the laser by 171 years. But this year, the House of Representatives declared it had found an answer: Article I, Section 8, Clause 3.

That clause says Congress has the power “To regulate Commerce … among the several States.” Which, of course, doesn’t say anything about lasers. But the House still used those words to justify a bill that prohibited pointing lasers at aircraft: The logic was that they were acting to protect “commerce.”

This legal loop-de-loop is the result of a new rule in the House, where Republican leaders require every bill to carry a “Constitutional Authority Statement.” The idea was to demonstrate that a new GOP majority respected the enduring restraints of the Constitution.

Instead, this Congress has often demonstrated something else: an ongoing tendency to make the Constitution say whatever they want it to

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Read the full story here: The Washington Post

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Filed under Congress, Constitution, politics, Republicans, USA

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