I’ve heard from a number of people this week what a great Constitutionalist John Boehner is. My first thought is my normal reaction – if they’re in D.C., odds are 434-1 against them being a strict supporter of the Constitution.
So what’s the big deal about J.B.? Well, yesterday he held a press conference in support of Arizona’s new immigration law – and specifically cited the 10th Amendment in support of his position.
Here’s what he had to say:
“The people of Arizona have the right under the 10th Amendment to write their own laws — and they have,” Boehner said at a press conference on the Capitol. “It has a 70 percent approval in Arizona and I think we ought to respect the people of Arizona and everyone should make their own decisions.”
Ok, I can – as a general rule, support that statement. States should certainly be able to make laws on everything that’s not specifically delegated to the federal government in the constitution.
And further, I do believe that AZ’s law does warrant some discussion about the role of D.C. in this issue. For example, the words “immigration” and “naturalization” had meanings that were quite different at the time of the founding, so a) why aren’t both listed in the enumerated powers? b) is the former an incidental power authorized to the principle power in the Constitution? (under the Necessary and Proper clause, that is) and c) How does the law jive with Arizona’s Constitution?
But all that aside – my biggest question is this: Is John Boehner a strong supporter of the 10th Amendment? Let’s start with John’s big statement and see how his record stands up: “The people of Arizona have the right under the 10th Amendment to write their own laws — and they have”
How about education? Well the record shows that Boehner voted in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act – nationalizing control over education, which under the Constitution, was to be left wholly in the hands of the states.
Immigration? Well that was much of the reasoning behind the Real ID Act of 2005 (along with keeping us “safe” from terrorists). How did Boehner vote on that? Well, didn’t seem to me that he looked at the Constitution much on that vote either – he voted yes. I’m glad to remind readers here, that good people in their states have nullified Boehner’s constitution-violating vote on this issue.
Boehner’s record on the constitution? Not good at all.
Now, keep in mind that the 10th Amendment isn’t really about giving power to states to act. Instead, it’s about codifying in law that We the People of the several states created the federal government and that all powers not delegated to the feds are reserved to us (in our states or our own hands as we see fit).
With this understanding of the proper role of the federal government, let’s take a look at a few other major issues – and Boehner’s votes for
TARP Bailouts – yes.
Patriot Act, and reauthorization – yes.
AUMF – yes.
Military Commissions Act – yes.
There’s plenty on this site about these various federal acts, so this blog post isn’t the place to cover the massive constitutional violations that each represent.
But, it seems pretty clear to me that Boehner, like most of the thugs that occupy D.C. in the name of the people, has almost no respect for the Constitution at all. He just pays it lip service when it serves his purpose.