"Americans just want us to... not be concerned
if they can be constitutionally justified...
Why, if we had to do that we could not pass
most of the laws we enact around here."
by:
Sen. John Glenn
(1921- ) First American astronaut to orbit the Earth, US Senator (D-OH)
Date:
07/16/96
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Reader comments about this quote:
I think Glenn left his brain in orbit. Ninety-nine per cent of Federal "Law" should have never been passed and just because it passes "Constitutional muster" does not justify anything.
 -- Anonymous, Grassy Meadows, WV 24943     
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    That is the point Senator.
     -- Ken     
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    I think is to legally incorrect and that John Glenn never said it. Randy Mott JD Georgetown randymott@yahoo.com
     -- Randy Mott, Washington DC     
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     -- Mike, Norwalk      
    Just goes to show what a complete partisan idiot John Glenn is and has always been....The sheer arrogance of him and his ilk are the greatest American tragedy. The American political house needs a complete cleaning. When these idiots speak out against the country they should be arrested and tried for treason.Glenn took an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution what more do the American people need to hear ??
     -- Bill Sloss, Jasper, AR     
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    WOW. I didn't know any of them had the guts to come out and say it!!
     -- Ethan, Clinton     
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    The reason this is true is because Congress is really only managing its federal jurisdiction -- which was to be confined to Washington D.C. Unfortunately, the 'federales' have usurped their jurisdiction through bankruptcy -- and all the sovereign states have done the same by giving up their sovereignty for dependence upon fiat currency. Most state constitutions are mute and without a constituency. Most of the laws passed by Congress only apply to those entities dependant on federal dollars. But they never cease to attempt to lay claim to more and more jurisdictions. Most federal laws do not apply to anyone other than government employees -- but having a social security card makes you a government employee -- do the research, you'll see. By accepting government entitlements, you must agree to the terms. Government employees are to be strictly regulated, as is understandable with the power that comes with the office. The sovereign individual is hardly even known any more -- and that, my friends, is what America was all about!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    How far gone we must be to have a politician boldly and arrogantly say that he and his fellow criminals are above the law and not suffer any consequences for it!
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Seems like they left alot out of this quote. 535 folks in Congress are not suppose to be constitutional lawyers. That is what we have courts for. The constitution is a guide for the polictical process in this country. One could argue that it was unconstitutional to go to the moon. Hell the Constitution says nothing about space travel. As Jefferson said every generation should revolt anew. Is that not similar to the idea of living in a growning, changing, evolving society rather than one that was set down in concrete 231 years ago. Again the constitution is about process not a guide book for every aspect of our lives.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Good quote. I do believe this was intended to be humorous and a bit of a jab at the other congressmen. By the way the courts are not supposed to be there to decide the constitutionality of a law. The congress was given this responsibility by the constitution and the supreme court decided in the early 1800's that they would take that responsibility off of the congresses hands and we have had an ever increasing abuse of power from them ever since.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    I think that the ellipses are hiding a large part of Glenn's quote. I, for one, would like to see the entire thing, but for the record, I agree with the quote as it has been promulgated.
     -- Bob, Felicity     
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    I hate him
     -- shaine, Rototuna     
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    I spent 1970-72 in Washington, DC, working with members of Congress and their staffers and have had frequent contacts with them since. The subject of constitutional compliance has often come up. When I challenge the constitutionality of some proposed legislation, I often get that "You are the first person to contact us with that point." Sen. John Glenn (D-OH) once admitted he disregards and has broken his oath of office to uphold the Constitution. On July 16, 1996, the Senate Committee on Governmental affairs held hearings considering a bill to require Congress to specify for each new law which section of the Constitution gives it authority to pass the law. Sen. Glenn spoke out strongly against this requirement stating, "Why, if we had to do that we could not pass most of the laws we enact around here." He stated that the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and others could never have been passed if Congress had to find authority for them in the Constitution. He declared, "Americans just want us to solve America's problems of health and safety--and not be concerned if they can be constitutionally justified." This is typical of the attitudes of members of congress, who, although few of them have a deep understanding of the Constitution, disregard it because their constituents don't make constitutional compliance a leading issue on which they decide who to vote for. They also have, on more than one occasion, expressed to me (but not for attribution) that Congress passes many provisions that they know are unconstitutional (some have estimated more than 2000 per year), but they rely on the fact that the federal courts, and especially the Supreme Court, don't have time to hear cases on more than a few of those. In other words, their strategy is to flood the legal system with so much unconstitutional legislation that most of it will never be successfully challenged in the courts. This problem is the reason why many members of the federal bench have been pushing back, trying to avoid encouraging people to take constitutional issues to court, and encouraging them to take them to Congress instead. I have asked several members about this and one of them once said to me, "If I only voted for things that are constitutional I wouldn't be re-elected." Others have said the same thing in similar words. So most of them know that much of what they are doing is unconstitutional. When I point out that Rep. Ron Paul gets re-elected by about 70% even when he is opposed, they seem baffled at how that can happen. I reply that Paul's constituents are not refugees from a libertarian planet. They are typical of people in other congressional districts, and that while they might wish Rep. Paul would "bring home the bacon" to their district, and say so, they also respect his adherence to the Constitution and vote for him despite their pocketbooks. What the voters lack are leaders with some stature, such as constitutional scholars, to raise the issue of constitutional compliance for much of the legislation before Congress. If the question is framed as a choice between constitutional compliance and their pocketbooks, they often will vote for the Constitution. But their election choices are seldom framed to them in that way. Posted by Jon at 16:10 (I found this post on the internet via Google)
     -- Filby, Washington, DC     
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