If you’ve ever thought liberal Democrats in Congress seem to have very little knowledge and understanding of the Constitution, it turns out you’re right.That’s certainly the case with Rep. Jerrod Nadler, who recently made a comment about the design of the nation’s founding document that’s likely making our founders spin their graves.
According to Nadler, the purpose of the Constitution is not to limit the power of the federal government — but to increase it.
Yes, he’s being for real.
The Washington Examiner reports, A House Democrat said Wednesday that it “really bothers me” when people claim the U.S. Constitution was designed to limit the federal government’s power.At a Wednesday House Judiciary Committee hearing focusing on whether Congress should consider impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the founding document of the U.S. was designed for the “opposite” purpose.
Koskinen is being accused of making misleading statements and failing to produce essential evidence for the committee’s investigation into the targeting of politically conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service.
“The Constitution was enacted to strengthen government power to enable central government to lay taxes and to function effectively. We put limits on that through the Bill of Rights, but the Constitution was enacted for the opposite purpose,” said Nadler.He said that after former assistant U.S. attorney and self described conservative constitutionalist Andrew McCarthy argued during his testimony that the “principal purpose of the Constitution is to limit the power of government to intrude on the liberties and suppress the rights of the American people.” Nadler said he wanted to make that “historical correction” because he hears people saying the contrary and “it really bothers me.”
Our third president, the legendary Thomas Jefferson, would beg to differ with Rep. Nadler’s take on what the Constitution was written to accomplish.Jefferson is quoted as saying, “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”
Here’s another nugget from Jefferson expounding on the purpose of the Constitution:
I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition. – Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, 1791
Jefferson was not alone in his thinking here, either. James Madison also stated that the Constitution was to limit federal government and reserve the majority of power for state and local governments.
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. – James Madison, Federalist 45, 1788
These are just a very small sampling of the writings that came from a couple of founders. The overwhelming majority of those involved in drafting the document would’ve wholeheartedly agreed with the sentiments above, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt the intent of the Constitution was to keep the federal government from growing and gaining more power.
Clearly, Nadler needs to take a refresher course on the Constitution and while he’s at it, perhaps a class in American history, to help acquaint him with our nation’s founders and their ideals as well.
[Note: This article was written by Michael Cantrell]