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SENTRY JOURNAL » Congress, constitutional experts, eric holder, john brennan, Obama, US Constitution » Constitutional Experts

Constitutional Experts

by RightHandMan
Twice this week I have heard the mention of so called “constitutional experts”, but I still don’t know who they are.  John Brennan on “Fox News Sunday” and Eric Holder on “Meet the Press” both, when asked about the legality of Joe Lieberman’s upcoming bill on renouncing citizenship of Americans tied to terrorism, passed the buck to these so called “constitutional experts”.
In order to find out who these people are who apparently hold so much power in our country, I did a little searching.  Here are some interesting notes that I found.
  • “Constitutional experts” were called upon by Congress for a hearing to figure out the constitutionality of the POTUS czars.  A couple of the “experts” were named as Bradley H. Patterson (a presidential scholar), and John Harrison (a University of Virginia law professor).  They concluded that the President had the right to appoint independent advisers.
  • Yale Law professor Jack Balkin was a so called “constitutional expert” that proclaimed that the self-executing rule used by Congress to pass the health care bill was constitutionally sound.
  • Michael Connelly is a “constitutional expert” who took the exact opposite view of Jack Balkin.
  • Jonathan Turley is a professor of law at Georgetown University and has been given the title “constitutional expert”Turley is best know for coming out against anything tied to Bush.

There is no doubt that there are actual constitutional experts.  In fact, some of these individuals are likely qualified for such a title.  I am not denying that the U.S. Constitution, though it is only around 8000 words long, can be muddled when in the context of modern circumstances and the psychobabble of modern law.  However, when our elected and appointed officials are looking to so called “constitutional experts” for guidance, I am bothered.  Why do we have our three branches of government if we are going to leave the burden of conclusion to the law professors?  Why aren’t our elected and appointed officials the constitutional experts?

I think these experts are a political tool.  They are quoted at times in order to fortify a stance and at other times as a scapegoat.  Today Brennan and Holder basically plead the 5th in order to escape scrutiny when asked their opinion on the Leiberman bill, a bill that could become a huge factor in their policies.  When did proclaiming your ignorance in regards to your job become so popular?

There are also times where these experts are called upon as props like the doctors behind Obama who supported his health care plan.  This seems to have been the case during the congressional hearing regarding the czars.  Apparently our congressional leaders felt more confident in the judgement of professors and didn’t feel compelled to use the judicial process.

Obviously the weight of “constitutional expert” carries a lot of weight since you can be an expert and still only offer a subjective view. Jack Balkin and Michael Connelly both are “constitutional experts” and both disagree with the legality of the nuclear option.  Does Congress think they have too few members and too little to debate on that they require the opinions of others as well?  If these individuals were offering hard facts in a difficult scientific debate such as stem cell research, global warming, etc. then I could understand the desire for their knowledge, but they are only offering opinion on a topic that is inherently belongs to government.

Right now we find ourselves in the midst of a constitutional awakening as citizens, yet our representatives find the idea of reading bills or being asked questions about our founding documents exhausting, pointless, and beyond understanding.  So what are we to conclude except that those leading this country are constitutional imbeciles?  That is, except for Obama, who is also a constitutional expert.


Filed under: Congress, constitutional experts, eric holder, john brennan, Obama, US Constitution

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  • TRESTIN MEACHAM May 10, 2010 at 6:41 AM

    The title constitutional expert is disturbingly vague. Anyone could technically be a constitutional expert.

  • John Carey May 10, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    I know what you mean Trestin. I mean let's face, anyone can call themselves a constitutional expert. I think I'll leave that title to the Founders.

  • Lawrence May 10, 2010 at 5:08 PM


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  • Matt May 10, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    Hey all. I just wanted to let you all know that I've declared myself a Constitutional Expert.

    Oh, the fun we will have…

  • John Carey May 10, 2010 at 8:50 PM

    Funny Matt. My dog Kaiser has also declared that he is a Constitutional Expert.