Upon hearing the news this morning that the Senate is passing a resolution to declare that John McCain does indeed have the legitimate prerequisite of native American citizenship to run for President, I was briefly inclined to wonder whether these Senators were sleeping during their high school government class.
The issue arose because Mr. McCain was born at an American military base in the Panama Canal, and the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution requires that American Presidents must be native born. So is Mr. McCain disqualified or not? The matter isn't really a serious one in his case, because nobody will be able to raise any serious doubts about his legitimacy as a candidate. But now, lest anyone should even try, and as if to lay the matter legally to rest once and for all, the Senate, led by the Democrats, has passed a bill declaring that the Constitution does not preclude his candidacy.
But here's what has me scratching my head. Isn't it the business of the judicial branch to interpret the Constitution? How often we hear (rightly) of the impropriety of activist judges who seek to make laws rather than interpret them. Well, isn't it equally improper of Members of Congress to interpret laws rather than make them? It may be a small point, but maybe not. To be sure, this is likely some sort of publicity stunt on their part--some ostensible demonstration to the American people of how gregarious Democrats (who sponsored this bit of "legislation") toward the presumptive Republican nominee--but possibly there's a more serious matter to be pondered here.
To put it simply, it's a bit troubling to see our nation's most prominent politicians failing to understand the most basic principles of American politics.
But I digress . . .