From a local paper, in reference to the 112th congress being opened by a reading of the Constitution:
http://www.lakegeorgemirror.com/news...ion-seriously/Congress is obligated to interpret the Constitution, and Congress, no less than the other branches, ought to be be guided by the Constitution. But how will that affirmation of Constitutionalism affect lawmaking? For an answer, we could look back to Senator Robert A. Taft (1889-1953), the last American lawmaker of any stature to define himself as a Constitutionalist. When debating policy, Taft asked whether the federal government, and which branch, possessed the constitutional authority to act, not what useful purpose the action served. During the Korean War, for example, Taft adopted Congress’ side of the long-standing quarrel about the executive’s powers to make war; he did not question the expediency of assisting South Korea, merely the right of the president to take action without Congressional participation. The Constitutional means by which the legislature defends its powers include a share in the work of of the other branches, and Taft exhorted Congrsss to exercise its foreign policy and war powers and not to abdicate them. To allow the president to arrogate those powers to himself, Taft said, was to give the executive a permanent grant of power. If today’s Congress is serious about restoring its relationship to the Constitution, it will exercise its constitutional authority to make laws to benefit the health and welfare of the country, rather than devoting its time to making arguments that health care reform, for example, is unconstitutional, arguments that will not withstand scrutiny, judicial or otherwise. To do otherwise is to abdicate its constitutional powers and allow them to be weakened. The constitution, Taft believed, limits the manner by which government acts; it does not limit government from doing the things it has to do.