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If so, it makes more sense for the Congressional hearings browbeating Roger Clemens. This is not a judgment, on my part, about whether he did or didn’t take anabolic steroids, but, “Why Congress?”

According to the Human Growth Hormone/Steroids Statutory Overview there are laws already in force regarding the use of steroids, with penalties outlined as well. While others have pointed out that there are much more important issues that Congress could be focused upon, there is much more at stake here than the circus Congress has prepared for your titillation.

If there are already laws on the books addressing this issue, is it within the power or Congress to be conducting this hearing? The Constitution of the United States of America outlines the duties and limits of Congress (the legislative branch).

Where does this investigation of Roger Clemons fit within that scope? More specifically would it not be more in the jurisdiction of the judiciary branch?

Or as Rush Limbaugh puts it (emphases mine):

[…]  This is eerie to sit here and watch a congressional committee go after a private citizen, Roger Clemens and this trainer up there, Brian McNamee.  Now, I followed this.  I understand what this is all about, but to paraphrase Bill Clinton, no hearing on steroids in baseball ever fed a hungry child. I don’t know what Clemens is doing there.  Has he lied to Congress before his deposition this week or did they call him up there because of the Mitchell Report and he went public and said The Mitchell Report’s not true so then Congress said we want to get in the act?  So I think that may be Congress’ reason for wanting to get involved in this.  Look, nobody recommends people take HGH or steroids, athletes, kids being influenced by it and all that, but it’s sort of like Congress wanting to get involved in the New England Patriots spying on opposing teams.  The league’s supposed to handle this kind of stuff.  It’s really up to the league.  They can hold over the anti-trust exemption over baseball.  We’re going to remove it, we’re not going to give you that exemption anymore so baseball has to cooperate, go out and do this dog and pony show. […]

Yet, Congress is the one handling it. They have overstepped their bounds and took power away from the judiciary branch in the trespass.

What I find most disturbing about the affair is the superficiality of the criticisms such as: “Doesn’t Congress have better things to be doing with their time and our money?” while very few question whether they have the authority to conduct this hearing at all.

Admittedly it’s not the first time but when does it become important enough to question? When the judiciary branch is completely dissolved or made impotent? Or when ordinary citizens are hauled before a Congressional hearing to determine their punishment under legislation crafted to “fit the crime?”

Perhaps the next ones to be hauled before Congress so will be those of us who ascribe to federalist principles and the separation of powers between the branches of the federal government as “enemies of the state. ”

It’s a dangerous game Congress plays for TV ratings.

7 Responses to Congressional Usurpation of the Judiciary Branch?

  • hoppersean says:

    I truly appreciate the way you’ve framed this issue.

    I have to admit that my first and lingering impulse was “What else can they waste our money on.”

    Your post has given me pause to consider another, more disturbing issue.

  • hillbilly says:

    sean, that’s pretty much how I look at it, too, thinking as long as they’re wasting their time on stupidities, they can’t do much damage elsewhere. They are doing this on the pretext of the baseball anti-trust exemption but it doesn’t reall hold water because steroids are still illegal and that should be approached through the judicial system. If they want to revoke the anti-trust exemption they can but it wouldn’t really do much overall to the MLB at this time. So they play at this thing while normalizing such proceedings in the nation’s minds. When next they do something, few will question that and so on until the lines are so blurred, the power of the judiciary will be “in name only.”

    But they just did, BB, the stimulous package. It’s an earmark as well as being a pacifier. How can we complain about earmarks when we are getting the biggest one of all… collectively. For myself, I call it loan sharking. We might get that little bit of money forced on us, but the interest in the form of higher taxes will not be worth the loan.

  • hoppersean says:

    Rearding normalizing…
    “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.” Thomas Paine

    Regarding not being able to do damage elsewhere… Maybe we should send them to Spring Training on a fact finding mission. I think pitchers and catchers are reporting this week 🙂

    Regarding the Stimulus Package…
    You nailed it!!!

  • hoppersean says:

    😯 Yeah, she’d be the one threating to haul them into commitee if they didn’t give her an autograph for her grandkids.

February 2008


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