Home > Federal Bills, Federal Power > Will Congress fight Senator Paul’s Constitution Amendment forcing them to be equal under the law

Will Congress fight Senator Paul’s Constitution Amendment forcing them to be equal under the law

October 22, 2013
US Constitution Pg 1

US Constitution Pg 1

With the mainstream media attention focused on the Government shutdown there has been little attention placed on a Constitutional Amendment proposed by Senator Rand Paul. The amendment was introduced as S.J. Res. 25 and is titled “A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to applying laws equally to the citizens of the United States and the Federal Government”. The amendment was introduced on October 11 and sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The amendment is pretty straight forward and has four short sections that are hard to misinterpret. Here is the text:

‘Section 1. Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress.

‘Section 2. Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to the executive branch of Government, including the President, Vice President, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and all other officers of the United States, including those provided for under this Constitution and by law, and inferior officers to the President established by law.

‘Section 3. Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, including the Chief Justice, and judges of such inferior courts as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

‘Section 4. Nothing in this article shall preempt any specific provision of this Constitution.’.

This amendment is a direct answer to recent moves in DC that have left small government advocates quite angry. The first sections is a result of when the Office of Personnel Management (OMB) made a decision that Congress and their staff could be subsidized after they are put on the healthcare exchanges. Even though the law clearly states subsidies are not allowed the Obama administration pushed for this ‘fix’. If Senator Paul’s amendment had been in place it would have prevented Congress from getting special treatment under the law.

Section two applies to the executive branch. The key here is to think larger than just the President and his staff. Section two could be used to prevent legislation that adds more unconstitutional power to agencies such as the NSA and DEA. It is unclear yet how effective this would be, but it is worth trying.

The third section of this amendment appears to be a direct answer for the Supreme Court upholding and arbitrarily changing Obamacare into a tax (an illegal act for SCOTUS to take). I don’t think this amendment would have changed anything at that time. But forcing the Supreme Court to abide by the same laws as every other citizen is a good idea.

I think the amendment is a sound idea and should be passed; yet I don’t think this amendment has a chance of passing the self-interested DC politicians.. It will be fun (and aggravating) to watch Congress debate how they should be allowed to give themselves special privileges the average American cannot get. Senator Paul may be handing an issue to constituents in 2014 that want to get rid of long-serving incumbent politicians.

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