Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

When Jupiter Aligns With Mars


the Age of Aquarius will arrive . . . or “voting rights” for the District of Columbia.  Marc Fisher writes in the Washington Post today that this could be the year when politicos in the capital get past all that pesky stuff about what the Constitution says, and give D.C. a seat in the House of Representatives.  Don’t want to be on the “wrong side of history,” says Wisconsin Republican congressman Paul Ryan, sounding remarkably like the Progressives of a century ago who thought the Constitution was an outmoded relic of a more ignorant age.

And how about Jack Kemp, who manages to cram a lot of foolishness into very few words:

“I talk to members of Congress about this and they literally walk away, saying the bill is unconstitutional.  Unconstitutional?  They voted for the Patriot Act!” Kemp says.  “A presidential veto on this would consign the Republican Party in perpetuity to 8 to 10 percent of the black vote.”

Does Kemp think the Patriot Act is unconstitutional?  It looks like it.  It also looks like he thinks that one unconstitutional vote justifies the next one–like the alcoholic who figures that having fallen off the wagon, he might as well sleep in the gutter.  Finally, it looks like Kemp thinks that a presidential signature on a patently unconstitutional bill is a smart bit of pandering to the black community.  An edge for your party in the next election–now there’s a good reason to violate your oath of office!


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