There aren’t many things Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) doesn’t believe to be unconstitutional. While it probably would not be possible to count every essential law or program that violates Lee’s tenther understanding of the Constitution, a short list includes Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, FEMA, the FDA, federal income assistance for the poor and national child labor laws.
So it’s really not that much of a surprise that he found yet another law he thinks is unconstitutional today. This time, it’s the entire Violence Against Women Act:
[The Violence Against Women Act] oversteps the Constitution’s rightful limits on federal power. Violent crimes are regulated and enforced almost exclusively by state governments. In fact, domestic violence is one of the few activities that the Supreme Court of the United States has specifically said Congress may not regulate under the Commerce Clause. As a matter of constitutional policy, Congress should not seek to impose rules and standards as conditions for federal funding in areas where the federal government lacks constitutional authority to regulate directly.
Once again, Lee might want to consider reading the Constitution before he behaves like he’s an expert in what it says. Although it’s true that Congress cannot prohibit domestic violence under its power to regulate commerce — unlike, say, a comprehensive regulation of the nation’s health care market, domestic violence laws are not economic regulation — the Constitution permits Congress to do a whole lot more than just regulate the nation’s economy. Specifically, the Constitution allows our national leaders to “to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” and there is simply nothing in the Constitution’s text that prevents Congress from providing for the general welfare by funding grants that states can use to combat domestic violence.
Lee, however, has made quite a political career out of ignoring the text of the Constitution — and wielding his fake Constitution to declare that pretty much any federal law that protects the sick, the unfortunate, the young, the old and, now, women is somehow unconstitutional.