Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Trickery is Still Trickery

Pat Austin mentioned this interview over at Potluck. House Majority Whip claims in an interview with Fox there is no trickery with the methods meant to pass health care legislation in the House this week. When asked about the Slaughter rule Clyburn says,"that is one of the ways that's being discussed. And that's a way that's been used at least a hundred times since I've been here in Congress and I've only been here 18 years." No it hasn't certainly not for any bill of this size.

It has been used back in 2005 for a vote to raise the debt limit. This was not an entire bill mind you, it was a text change. As Ed Morrissey points out, in the link above, a lawsuit was filed by a private citizen by the name of Ralph Nader. The suit was joined by another couple of famous people namely, Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman and Louise Slaughter of the Slaughter Solution fame. Here is the rub and bad news for us, the Court ruled against them. Ed has the text of the ruling so I won't copy that here but he summarizes as follows:
In other words, the signatures of the Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate are considered authoritative on the question of process. The court refused to interfere on a political question in 1892 and has maintained that precedent since. Unless this Supreme Court intends on overturning Marshall Field — an action that would create a constitutional crisis — Pelosi’s signature will be considered “unimpeachable,” at least in terms of process. The courts will undoubtedly have more to say on the constitutionality of the actual law, but probably not on the Slaughter Rule.
Here is the ruling on Field v Clark.   While this does appear to be some bad news for those hoping that this might be overturned on those grounds, if it passes, this doesn't have any bearing on the absolute fact that the House is operating in unknown territory here.  No bill has ever been passed this way.  Moreover, the hypocrisy of the Democrats, who filed a lawsuit on this issue for a text change yet seek to pass a bill that affects 1/6th of the economy, is stunning even for them.  No bill has been abandoned conference midstream and attempted passage by another legislative strategy.   Regardless of the constitutionality of the process, Democrats are absolutely lying when they claim this happens all the time.  It has never happened.

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