Sunday, June 16, 2024

Keeping abreast of Constitutional Law

| September 28, 2007 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

Last week I wrote a letter to the editor pointing out that Sen. Baucus had violated his oath of office by voting for and promoting CHIP.

On Sept. 25, in the Missoulian I read an article on the front page saying that while Rep. Denny Rehberg opposed a previous version of the legislation, he plans to vote for expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program, SCHIP.

A quick review of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution makes it clear that this vote will constitute a violation of Rep. Rehberg's oath of office. Apparently he did not want to violate his oath for the larger sum but finds that the new version of the bill is for less federal spending. He does not seem to mind violating his oath of office for the smaller sum.

Please permit me to provide a condensed lesson on how to determine whether or not an issue is unconstitutional. The 10th Amendment to the Constitution states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

So if an issue cannot be found in the body of the U.S. Constitution or in the Amendments, it is unconstitutional.

If we continue to allow our congressmen to violate their oath of office there is no stopping point.

In the Sept. 26 issue of The Western News I read an editorial submitted by Denny Rehberg extolling our wonderful U.S. Constitution but just one day before I read the article in the Montanian where our congressman said this about the unconstitutional SCHIP legislation: "I think that it is a sensible reasonable compromise." He is going to vote for it.

Rep. Rehberg seems to be assuming his constituency is ignorant enough of constitutional law that he can vote as he pleases. Does the oncoming totalitarian government sound good to you?

Russell Brown