Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 11:29 AM ET, 01/ 6/2011

#Constitution - What you're saying on Twitter

By Emi Kolawole

House lawmakers read the Constitution Thursday morning, aloud and word-for-word. Members of both parties participated in the reading, which started with freshly-minted Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) followed by the new Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). The reading lasted a little under two hours.

More from Post Politics


-- Quiz: How well do you know the Constitution?
-- House members exclude sections on slavery
-- What to expect on Constitution Day

YOUR TAKE: Watch the #Constitution reading unfold on Twitter.

Share your thoughts in the comments below or by using #Constitution on Twitter.

By Emi Kolawole  | January 6, 2011; 11:29 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: House passes new rules package
Next: Constitution Day: House holds first-ever floor reading of founding document

Comments

Some members of Congress are now discussing protection or security in their homes and local offices. I would suggest that currently the US Marshal's Service can permit members of Congress or anyone to be a Special Federal Marshal. This would permit carrying a weapon in any state and on airplanes. I would suggest that Congress amend that statute to permit Congressional Aides to be deputies as Special Federal Marshals. This way a Congress person could hire someone with law enforcement experience to aid them and carry a weapon.

See the attached from the Federal Marshal's Service.

DEPUTIZATION OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
AS SPECIAL DEPUTY U.S. MARSHALS

The deputization of members of Congress as special Deputy U.S. Marshals is inconsistent with separation of powers principles and with the statutory language and historical practice governing special deputation.

May 25, 1994

MEMORANDUM FOR FRANCIS J. MARTIN
ACTING GENERAL COUNSEL
UNITED STATES MARSHALS SERVICE

You have requested our assistance in determining whether the United States Marshals Service may deputize members of Congress as special Deputy U.S. Marshals. The Director of the Marshals Service is authorized to deputize the following individuals to perform the functions of Deputy Marshals: selected officers or employees of the Department of Justice; federal, state or local law enforcement officers; private security personnel to provide courtroom security for the Federal judiciary; and other persons designated by the Associate Attorney General. 28 C.F.R. § 0.112; see also 28 U.S.C. § 561(f) (authorizing Director of Marshals Service to appoint "such employees as are necessary to carry out the powers and duties of the Service").

We believe that deputation of members of Congress is inconsistent with separation of powers principles and with the statutory language and historical practice governing special deputation.(1) First, deputizing members of Congress violates the principle recognized in Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S. 714 (1986), that Congress may not exceed its constitutionally prescribed authority by playing a direct role in executing the laws. The Marshals Service is clearly a part of the executive branch(2) and the primary duties of Deputy Marshals are the execution and enforcement of federal law. See Steele v. United States, 267 U.S. 505, 508 (1925) (deputy marshals are "chiefly charged with the enforcement of the peace of the United States"); United States v. Krapf, 285 F.2d 647, 649 (3rd Cir. 1960) (duties of marshals include the "enforcement, maintenance and administration of the federal authority"); 28 U.S.C. § 566 (describing the duties of the Marshals Service). Permitting members of Congress to execute and enforce the laws encroaches upon the very heart of the executive authority and violates one of the fundamental tenets of separation of powers jurisprudence: "[t]he structure of the Constitution does not permit Congress to execute the laws . . . ." Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S. 714, 72

Posted by: garygramer | January 9, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

probably the first time any of the newly elected Tea Party people have ever read it...

Posted by: oh2flyua | January 8, 2011 1:31 AM | Report abuse

The fact that liberals think the Constitution still mentions slavery when in fact that language was stricken from it for all time by the 13th and 14th Amendments is telling. Liberals don't get the whole concept - it means what it says (not what it once said, or what we would like it someday to say). When you read a Will, you read the last Will because that's the only one that's still binding!

The whole point of a constitutional democracy is that you get to explicitly define in writing the fundamental commitments between the people and their government - and then have those fundamental commitments be unalterable by the ongoing laws that government passes. It takes massive super majorities over and above the legislative process to change the fundamental stuff - everything else has to fit within it.

Posted by: vimrich | January 6, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Funny how they did not read the parts of the document that related to slavery. I guess it is a somewhat living document....

Posted by: Mallynoshow | January 6, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

tcttw:
"The rationale for reading the Constitution is simple: too many liberals & progressives think it's a "living" document that can be amended to suit their needs whenever it suits them."

If it's not a living document, and since the first amendment doesn't explicitly mention online message boards, I guess we can conclude that the first amendment doesn't apply here. Right?

"The Democratic 111th Congress abused the limits of their power."

In what way?

"It will inherently limit what lawmakers can & will do for the next 2 yrs."

You're dreaming if you think it will make any difference.

Posted by: presto668 | January 6, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The rationale for reading the Constitution is simple: too many liberals & progressives think it's a "living" document that can be amended to suit their needs whenever it suits them. The Democratic 111th Congress abused the limits of their power. I like that the 112th House will insist on references to the Constitution when attempting to pass new bills. It will inherently limit what lawmakers can & will do for the next 2 yrs.

Posted by: tcttw | January 6, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The rationale for reading the Constitution is simple: too many liberals & progressives think it's a "living" document that can be amended to suit their needs whenever it suits them. The Democratic 111th Congress abused the limits of their power. I like that the 112th House will insist on references to the Constitution when attempting to pass new bills. It will inherently limit what lawmakers can & will do for the next 2 yrs.

Posted by: tcttw | January 6, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

None of the tea partiers and very few republicans know what the constitution means so why waste the time reading it?The partiers and republican are already showing what liars they are at first they were goinmgto cut a hundred billion from the national debe then it was fifty now it's down to thirty and falling. I said before the election that only the ignorant and uneducated would vote for thos nutjobs and they are proving me right.

Posted by: LDTRPT25 | January 6, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

None of the tea partiers and very few republicans know what the constitution means so why waste the time reading it?The partiers and republican are already showing what liars they are at first they were goinmgto cut a hundred billion from the national debe then it was fifty now it's down to thirty and falling. I said before the election that only the ignorant and uneducated would vote for thos nutjobs and they are proving me right.

Posted by: LDTRPT25 | January 6, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company