Can Rob Wittman (R-1st) tell us where in the United States Constitution it mentions youth crime and gang prevention?

I asked that question in a previous post regarding Bobby Scott’s youth crime and gang prevention bill that Rob Wittman is a cosponsor of. It was an admittedly snarky argument since 99.99% of the stuff Congress does has no authorization in the United States Constitution.

However, as I was browsing the legislation that Wittman is currently cosponsoring I came across H.R. 450. H.R. 450 would “require Congress to specify the source of authority under the United States Constitution for the enactment of laws”. The text of the bill reads:

Each Act of Congress shall contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act. The failure to comply with this section shall give rise to a point of order in either House of Congress. The availability of this point of order does not affect any other available relief.

So Wittman is cosponsoring legislation that would require people that introduce legislation in Congress to enumerate where in the Constitution it says that Congress has such authority to enact the legislation while simultaneously cosponsoring legislation that Congress has no authority in the Constitution to enact. Unless, of course, I missed a mention to youth crime and gang prevention in the Constitution. It wasn’t in the edition I have, but who knows, right?

While H.R. 450 hasn’t been passed — and never will be — Rob Wittman is supposed to be a leader, correct? One of 435 special people elected due to the their perceived unique abilities by the public, including their leadership ability. Now, if Rob Wittman was a leader, shouldn’t he be following this resolution before it was even pass and ensuring that every piece of legislation that he sponsored or cosponsored specified where in the Constitution it was permitted and authorized?

6 Comments

  1. Eric Martin says:

    Wow- that’s pretty profound. Krystal Ball is looking for a Chief of Staff, maybe you should apply, or throw your hat in the ring now so your constituents can have the opportunity to examine how you propose to solve the world’s problems.

  2. Thanks Eric, I’ll keep that mind.

    It really sucks that someone actually expects a national politician to follow the United States Constitution, a document that they swore to support and defend. Perish the thought!

    ..And since when did I have constituents?

  3. Jason Soiman says:

    I think its apparent you are the “hate blogger” you describe yourself to be because when you get a wild hair against someone all writing that makes any sense goes out the window. Its a real shame because some of the subjects and writing on her are really good but the other half is pretty scary. Still can’t believe Jeffersoniad links to you. Why so much hate? I am not in Wittman’s District but I know firsthand his people think he is doing a great job. You have a million excuses why he was elected, if this, if that, if this, but isn’t that what an election is all about? I have some problems with some of his votes but that can be discussed without the hate cup running over. Jeffersoniad needs to cut you loose until you grow up. You never answered how old you were.

  4. John Nicholas says:

    …provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States….

    I beleive it would fall under the “general welfare” clause.

  5. Reinhardt Watson says:

    James Madison, the father of the Constitution, said in Federalist 45,”The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Government are numerous and indefined. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negociation, and foreign commerce: with which last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and property of the people.”

    In the Kentucky Resolutions, written by Thomas Jefferson, said “Resolved. That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations, and no other crimes whatsoever; “

    This is what Jefferson said about the general welfare clause.” It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States, and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.”

    He also wrote. “On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed”

  6. Charles R. Lawson says:

    I agree with Mr. Nicholas above. Beside the fact that I believe Mr. Watson to be a bright younger citizen with decent writing talent, I also believe he often writes without looking at all sides of an issue. This issue involves spending scads of money either on incarcerating gang criminals or spending scads of money on preventing the crime in the first place.

    It’s the same argument I have with extreme anti-abortion activists. “Why don’t we spend more time on abstinence and less time once the horse is out of the barn?” I get the same silence when I ask that, that Rob Wittman gets when he proposes legislation like this one.

    For once we have a non-lawyer, with a real degree, with real intelligence and ability in our government. Don’t make our shining star look like he’s in league with the rest of the Communists on this one issue Mr. Watson, it’s unbecoming of your abilities as a writer and thinker.

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