All new legislation offered by members of the House of Representatives since January 3, 2011 is required to include, under House Rule XII, a reference to the constitutional authority under which the bill is presented. Most of the bills offered since then show either the members’ lack of understanding of, or blatant disregard for, the purpose of Rule XII: to tie the proposed legislation to the enumerated powers under the Constitution.
The rule states:
A bill or joint resolution may not be introduced unless the sponsor submitted … a statement citing as specifically as possible the power or powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the bill or joint resolution.
The rule was scoffed at by critics who said it would have no measurable impact on bills being presented for consideration by members of the House. Attorney Sandy Levinson, for example, observed sardonically, “No lawyer takes this seriously. As any lawyer would know, it is not hard to come up with a constitutional justification for anything you want to do.”
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), supported by the Tea Party, was skeptical as well:
Click here to read the entire article.