The issue of constitutional justification is important to us.
For the first time in American history, bills in the 112th Congress must be accompanied by a statement citing the specific powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the proposed law. However, believing it is time for Congress to return to the vision of our Founding Fathers and restore their intent of restricting government action to powers that are few and defined, Founder and Chairman of the Constitution Caucus Scott Garrett intends to bring real “teeth” to enforcement of the new constitutional citation rule.
Chairman Garrett’s rule would require that in the event that a bill did not offer sufficient constitutional justification, a Member could object to the bill’s consideration, which would result in twenty minutes of debate followed by a vote on whether or not to table the objection and move to consideration of the bill or amendment.
The enforcement measures of this rule would ensure that bills could not dodge the Constitution by citing the ambiguous General Welfare Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause. Chairman Garrett’s rule would provide a true check of the constitutionality of legislation by requiring a citation of the constitutionally enumerated power granted to the Congress, not the clauses that can be improperly interpreted to extend Congressional authority beyond the intent of the Founders.