In observing the confirmation hearings of Judge Sam Alito, it was particularly disturbing to note all of the important Constitutional questions which were not asked. Were I a member of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, here are some of the questions I would have directed to the nominee:
1. What relation, in your view, does the Declaration of Independence bear to the Constitution of the United States?
2. Do you agree with the statement in the Declaration that “all Men…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”?
3. The Preamble of the Constitution asserts that “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Do you agree that “We the People” are the source of authority for the Constitution and everything in it?
4. How do you interpret the term “promote the general Welfare”?
5. Article I, Section 1 says “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” Do you believe that legislative powers may be exercised by entities other than the Congress? What about the Federal Reserve? May it exercise legislative powers? What about regulatory agencies? What about the Civil Service? What about Presidential Executive Orders? What about international organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO)? What about NAFTA? What about the Judiciary?
6. In the event of a national calamity, it is possible that many members of Congress may suffer death or disability. Article 1, Section 5 asserts that “a Majority of each [House] shall constitute a Quorum to do Business.” In your view, how ought such a majority be defined? Would it be a majority of the living? A majority of those physically and mentally capable? What would it be?
7. Do you attach any religious significance to the language in Article I, Section 7 which, in defining the time available to the President to consider whether he shall veto a piece of legislation which has arrived on his desk, permits him “ten Days (Sunday excepted) after it shall have been presented to him.” Is there a Christian premise to this language in the Constitution?
8. Article I, Section 8 says “The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.” Do you believe that the power of Congress, as stipulated, is limited to those matters set forth in Article I, Section 8?
9. Article I, Section 8 says “Congress shall have Power…To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations.” Did Congress violate this provision in accepting U.S. participation in the WTO, in NAFTA, and in CAFTA?
10. Article I, Section 8 says “Congress shall have Power…To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures.” Does this not imply that our money shall be of fixed value, not subject to regulation by an entity such as the Federal Reserve?
11. Article I, Section 8 says “Congress shall have Power…To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court.” Does this not suggest that Congress also has the power to abolish Tribunals which it has constituted?
12. Article I, Section 8 says “Congress shall have Power…To declare War.” To what extent can the President intrude on this authority?
13. Article I, Section 8 says “Congress shall have Power…To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” What is your understanding of the term “the Militia”?
14. Article I, Section 9 says “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” During his tenure as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan accepted a title of nobility from the Queen of England. Did this violate, in your opinion, the Constitution, even though Congress had previously legislated a general waiver to this Constitutional restoration?