Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Time for a Lawsuit

It appears our lawmakers are now routinely derelict in their duties, and violating their oaths of office. Some of it is not their fault. They are not being given the chance to consider the provisions and consequences of bills they are being asked to vote on. Essentially, the Congressional leadership is putting them in an untenable position.

We need a class action lawsuit. It should assert, at a minimum, that any vote to report a bill out of a committee or to pass a bill from either the House or the Senate is invalid if the legislators have not had the opportunity to read and evaluate the actual legislative language of the bill at issue before voting on it.

“Conceptual languate” doesn't cut it. The actual legislative language often violates the conceptual language it supposedly implements. And the budgetary effect of actual legislative language is often radically different from that of its “conceptual language”.

Here's the bottom line: If the legislators have not had the opportunity to read and analyze the actual legislative language of the bill, no vote by the legislators can be legitimate.

Yes, I'd like to be able to push the idea that legislative bodies should be required to post the actual language of bills for public comment before a vote can be taken, but I don't think that can be done this way. That would require some actual legitimacy of the legislative leadership. Without that legitimacy, the most we can ask the courts to enforce is that our legislators have the opportunity to evaluate bills they are asked to vote on.

We may not be able to enforce their reading and evaluating bills' language, but we should be able to enforce their not being prevented from performing their Constitutional duties. No matter what, simply trusting the legislative leadership is not enough.

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