An Emory University student stood up in a public forum last month to defend President Barack Obama's extraconstitutional behavior by claiming he had invoked the Constitution's “Elastic Clause.” Of course, no such “clause” exists. The student must have picked up the notion in economics class. You know, Mush for Brains 101.[Bolding in original.]The source of the story is a familiar name, J. Christian Adams. He's the guy who pushed in 2009 the (as we all know by now false) THERE'S VOTER INTIMIDATION IN PHILLY! story. I wonder why the braintrust didn't identify him as the source here. Perhaps to do so would have been, considering his misplaced (and false) VOTER INTIMIDATION IN PHILLY! story, an auto-discredit they wanted to avoid.
Anyway, J. writes:
If college students listened to Mark Levin or Rush Limbaugh, they would receive a better American history education than they are getting from their professors. I recently spoke at Emory University, where one student defended all of President Obama’s unconstitutional actions by invoking the Elastic Clause of the Constitution.While it's true that the phrase "Elastic Clause" is no where to be found in the Constitution, the phrase "Elastic Clause" refers to a clause that certainly is found there. Which clause? This one:
Citing the Elastic Clause could indeed justify a wide range of administration actions, except for one problem – it doesn’t exist.
But you couldn’t tell that to the student at Emory University who came to my speech last week on Obama’s abuses of power. He persisted in defending the actions through the Elastic Clause, as if the be-all, end-all provision was common knowledge.
From the sound of it, the Elastic Clause must be common knowledge in faculty lounges.
The Congress shall have power . . . To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.And how do I know that the phrase "Elastic Clause" refers to Article I, section 8, clause 18 of the Constitution? Says so here and here and here and here.
Mr. Adams, but, Mr. Adams, while I cannot write with any style or proper etiquette (I'm but a simple trumpet player from Connecticut), I'd have to say that IF it's explained in such diverse places as the Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington School of Law, Dictionary.com, uslegal.com AND answers.yahoo.com, it's probably what you'd have to refer to as "common knowledge."
Kinda embarrassed yourself by saying otherwise, don't you think?
Instead of denying the common knowledge that Article 1, section 8 exists, what you should have countered your Emory challengers with, Mr Adams, was this simple point: The clause in question is found in Article I of the Constitution and Article I defines the government's Legislative powers, not the it's Executive powers. So it's a stretch the size of the Louisiana Purchase to use the Elastic Clause to describe President Obama's Executive powers.
But what do I know? I'm not a lawyer. But it took me all of a half hour to find out.
The fact that so much wrong can be found in such a small space in the Tribune-Review is nothing new.