Monday, September 21, 2015

Forget the Necessary and Proper Clause, We Need an IDGARA Amendment to the Constitution

I would like to propose an amendment to the Constitution.

It would, of course, be a mere formality. It would, however, make constitutional the excesses, overreaches, violations, and abuses regularly visited by government actors upon the People, upon individuals, and upon States.

The Amendment would be styled, The I Don't Give a Rat's Ass Amendment, and it would read as follows:
Whenever this Amendment shall have been ratified by three fourths of the States, or whenever any government officials needs or desires to pretend that it shall have been so ratified, then this Amendment shall be part and parcel of the Constitution, and shall amend and modify each and every letter, word, clause, sentence, paragraph, portion, provision, Article and part thereof, so that, as amended, every provision of the Constitution shall be understood to read, 'If I care what the Constitution says, then and only then will I abide by its terms; when, however, I find the terms and provisions of the Constitution inconvenient, obstructive, or unhelpful, then I don't give a Rat's Ass what it says, and that's perfectly permissible."
In writing on the Law, Thomas Aquinas suggested that positive law, law enacted by man, should be limited in terms and scope and number, and should comport itself to the conduct of men (as consistent with God's law). The I Don't Give a Rat's Ass Amendment does just that. It avoids the niceties and restrictions that so often are merely forms and shadows, and too often observed in their breach.

If you read in these words a criticism limited to Democrats, then you misunderstand the temper of my criticism.

John Roberts has twice deployed the essential power of the I Don't Give a Rat's Ass principle in sustaining the Obamacare Act against constitutional challenges. Lest you forget, Roberts is a hopeful monster of Republican creation.

Anthony Kennedy has three times deployed the essential power of the I Don't Give a Rat's Ass principle as he causally but casually pushed America toward acceptance of a Supreme Court ruling holding that the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment intended to prohibit limitations on marriage that discriminate against same-sex couples.

George W. Bush deployed the I Don't Give a Rat's Ass principle in signing the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 into law despite his stated conclusion that several provisions of the law were, in his judgment, unconstitutional. He deployed that same principle with his grotesque enlargements of Clinton era surveillance programs when he pushed for, and signed into law, the PATRIOT Act.

Of course, it isn't just Presidents and Supreme Court justices that handily rely upon and invoke the essentials of the I Don't Give a Rat's Ass principle.

Too often, Congress enacts laws of uncertain constitutionality, leaving to the Courts the performance of its own separate duty to judge whether bills presented for consideration satisfy constitutional norms.

The FCC has reared its ugly head to seize the Internet, a medium of communication, and appears intent on deciding how private persons and organization use that medium to communicate. That the Constitution prohibits any law abridging the freedom of speech and of the press simply elicits from Net Neutrality Commissioners an entirely unsurprising "I Don't Give a Rat's Ass."

I hope that you will consider adding your voice to mine.

It is time to relieve beleaguered elected officials and agents of government of the shameful task of pretense, the arduous artifices of obfuscation, bound up in being required to pretend that they care what the Constitution says.

With the "I Don't Give a Rat's Ass Amendment" then we truly can advance to an open, honest, government in the sunshine.