Thursday, March 12, 2009

Columnist: Don't Trample on the Constitution

Here's a great column that will be running in tomorrow's Muskogee Phoenix:
Sacred document can’t be trampled

By Robin L. Quillon - CNHI News Service

Legislation is pending in the U.S. Senate to grant the District of Columbia voting representation in Congress (it currently has a House delegate who has no voting rights). D.C. residents have long believed they cannot be taxed without representation.

However, the U.S. Constitution clearly states that “members of Congress shall be selected from States.” Clearly, D.C. is not a state, and the Supreme Court agreed when it ruled: “The Constitution does not contemplate that the District may serve as a state for purposes of the apportionment of congressional representatives.”

The only other option for Congress is to amend the Constitution or carve up the district and give it to Maryland.

I believe if Congress proceeds to grant D.C. a representative, its members will be in violation of the oath they took to “solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States” designed by our Founding Fathers to form a more perfect union, and should be removed from office immediately.

We the people cannot allow our sacred Constitution to be trampled upon, stretched and ignored so blatantly by the very people who have sworn to support it.

But let’s face it, taking an oath seriously these days is passé and means something to a politician only if it is convenient to his or her cause or gain. And in this case, it is all about retaining majority and power.

The argument of giving Utah another representative (something they deserve as a result of the census) to offset this move insults our intelligence.

As members of Congress contemplate their oath, perhaps they should reflect upon the trials of Sir Thomas More.

More faced a dilemma that would test his resolve. His mind was made up, and he refused King Henry’s edict to swear an oath and sign the Act of Supremacy.

The main purpose of this act was so that Henry VIII could get an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon – something Pope Clement VII refused to grant – and be declared King Henry Supreme Head of the Church of England.

More tried to remain out of the line of fire, but More, indeed, was arrested and sent to the Tower of London to await execution by beheading.

He gave his life rather than comprise his standards.

Let’s hope members of our Congress think twice and do not lose themselves by opening their fingers just a little, causing irreparable damage to our Constitution and endangering our more perfect union.

Robin L. Quillon is the publisher of The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, Pa.

I wholeheartedly agree.

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