Last Updated on August 20, 2022 by Constitutional Militia
Misconstrued Role of Congress: Acts of Congress Not Necessarily Binding
THE PEOPLE are not necessarily legally bound by every act that individuals who may happen to be Members of Congress may perpetrate. Whether an action taken by such individuals is entitled to be denoted an action “of Congress” depends, not upon its mere occurrence in the Capitol, but upon its strict congruence with the Constitution, because “Congress” enjoys no authority—indeed, has no legal existence—outside of, let alone contrary to, the Constitution. So, that Members of Congress may have purported to enact some statute, although necessary for that statute’s bare existence, is not sufficient for its validity. “Illegality cannot attain legitimacy through practice.” Moreover, if (as no one doubts) “a bold and daring usurpation might be resisted, after * * * [long and complete] acquiescence”, then surely a mindless “[g]eneral acquiescence cannot justify departure from the law”, no matter how long it may have continued. “[N]either the antiquity of a practice nor * * * steadfast legislative and judicial adherence to it through the centuries insulates it from constitutional attack”. “[N]o one acquires a vested or protected right in violation of the Constitution by long use, even when that span of time covers our entire national existence and indeed predates it.” Rather, “when the meaning and scope of a constitutional provision are clear, it cannot be overthrown by legislative action, although several times repeated and never before challenged”. Constitutional questions “must be resolved not by past uncertainties, assumptions or arguments, but by the application of the controlling principles of constitutional interpretation”.