Monday, January 7, 2013

Umm, Speaker Vos, Can I Direct You to the Constitution a Minute

In an article appearing in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, newly minted Assembly Speaker Robin "Boss" Vos gave a quote that makes the social studies teacher in me scream (emphasis mine):
"I don't have any plans to ever run for a political office higher than this one," Vos says. "I'm not using this position as a steppingstone to run for Congress, to run for governor or became the state treasurer or whatever. I care for the institution. I love the Legislature. I think we should be the most powerful branch of government because we are the most representative of the people. And I want to do everything I can to make my constituents proud back in Racine County."
Umm, excuse me? The Legislature should be the "most powerful" branch of government because you represent the people? Because the Governor doesn't? Or the State of Wisconsin Constitution and other statute and case law doesn't represent me?

I will direct you to Whitehouse.gov and their non-partisan interpretation of our federal government: http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government 
To ensure that no person or group would amass too much power, the founders established a government in which the powers to create, implement, and adjudicate laws were separated. Each branch of government is balanced by powers in the other two coequal branches: 
Or "Boss" Vos may want to talk with Justice David Prosser to see what he thinks about the legislature being more powerful than the Wisconsin Supreme Court: http://www.wicourts.gov/news/thirdbranch/current/people.htm 
In his remarks, Prosser drew on his experience having worked in each branch of government in discussing the relationship between the legislative and judicial branches.
Improving understanding of the judiciary as a separate but co-equal branch of government will assist both the courts and the legislative branches in carrying out their roles, Prosser told the audience at the Concourse Hotel.
Not that I'm a Justice Prosser fan, but you've got to admit that he's got a point. The Supreme Court should be a co-equal branch of government. Sen. Mark Miller agrees too: http://www.thewheelerreport.com/releases/August12/0830/0830miller.pdf 

Long story short - Keep dreaming that I'm giving up on the Judicial and Executive Branches as co-equal to your legislature "Boss."

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