When will elected officials again take seriously their oath to support — and defend — the U.S. Constitution? Against all enemies, foreign and domestic? To bear true faith and allegiance to the same? And to take this obligation freely “without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion?” To well and faithfully discharge the duties of office?

This oath is now figurative to most, at best. Lawmakers should first review bills to assess if they are authorized, under the Constitution, to enact them. If they cannot locate a specific, applicable clause, lawmakers are obligated by their oath to vote against them.

Think this already happens.

1. Obamacare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Any lawmaker wishing to read the bill, should have fought to do so, then applied the above process. Upon finding no such clause, Maine’s Mike Michaud should have voted nay — but he did not. Nor did other lawmakers read it prior to voting. I suspect most still have not.

2. Bailouts, sometimes called Troubled Asset Relief Programs. I find great amusement the word “troubled” is in the title. Despite precedence, government has no authority using taxes to pick corporate winners and losers. This has rendered me a forced consumer of automobile, housing and financial institutions, none of which I have personal use.

3. Gun restrictions. Individuals’ rights can be removed, but only upon conviction of crimes. However, this is very different from creating a blanket loss of a right which individuals have done nothing to lose, like in the current gun right debate.

Why don’t lawmakers expose constitutional offenders voting for invalid bills? Failure to act is as impeachable as making the unconstitutional vote itself.

Failure to follow the oath of office is a prime reason for our nation’s decline.

Greg Paquet

Smithfield

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