Phi Beta Cons

Re: Higher-Ed Bill

Peter — I suppose you can count me, albeit halfheartedly, as one of the conservatives to oppose this kind of thing. Nothing in the Constitution gives the federal government the right to get involved to this degree in local schools.

I say “halfheartedly,” though, because the legislature pretty much acts within the bounds the Supreme Court lays out for it, and those bounds are basically “just claim it has to do with ‘interstate commerce’ or something.” If Congress’s Left is stretching the Constitution to pursue its aims, it amounts to unilateral disarmament for Congress’s Right to refuse to do the same thing.
On a side note, I guess that’s the issue I take with constitutional scholars who claim the non-judicial branches should have equal say in determining the constitutionality of legislative acts — they may be right in some historical sense, but it amounts to letting the foxes guard the henhouse. Also, when political parties interpret the Constitution differently, it means they have different options for enacting their desired policies, so it punishes those who take a limited view of the powers given to Congress. There’s a huge downside to “judicial supremacy” in that a bad court often ends up writing laws itself (::coughRoecough::), but the response to this should be a movement toward better courts, not a downgrading of courts’ powers.

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