Gene Healy has a fantastic post over at the CATO institute regarding the recent debate over trying to get Congress to actually read legislation before they vote on it (which I think is an excellent idea)
But, as Healy points out, there’s something closer to the root that we should be demanding first – the Constitution itself. Here’s an excerpt:
If congressmen can’t be bothered to read a law that directly affects them, should we be surprised that they’re not planning to read the health care bill, which won’t?
But, even assuming we could force legislators to read the bills, would that lead to better government? Maybe not.
Federal law has become incomprehensible because Congress has inserted itself into every area of American life. As James Madison explained, though, Congress’s constitutional powers are “few and defined…. [to be] exercised principally on external objects,” like foreign policy and international trade.
Read the bills? It’s more important for congressmen to read the Constitution. They’ll be pleased to learn that it’s short and written in plain English.