The Legislative Research Council should be rejecting bills before they make it to Committee

At the Legislative Coffee today, Representative Barthel (Former SF Police Chief) said this;

“In spite of what you hear on the news about a lot of the controversial bills, and things that are introduced, frankly a lot that stuff never even makes it the Governor’s desk. But a key part of that is because of the feed back that we get from the constituents and people we work for that’s how a lot of that stuff dies. And sometimes without that input we may not know what the feelings are of the people of the state.”

First off, maybe you would know what people actually want you to do if you hold some coffees, forums and townhalls BEFORE session instead of in the middle of session. Of maybe knocking on doors and talking to constituents face to face in the off season when the weather is nice.

While it is nice to know that Doug actually listens to constituents, these bills should never be written to begin with, and if they are, the LRC should be rejecting them based on the unconstitutional nature of them. Isn’t that their job? To ‘research’ the viability of these bills? To make sure they are ‘legal’?

Secondly to Barthel’s comment, everyday people have to take time out of their busy lives to drive to the barren wasteland of Pierre and testify against these ridiculous bills in committee hearings, wasting valuable time, energy and personal capital. If the legislature and LRC were doing their jobs, these bills wouldn’t see the light of day. So yes Doug, we do criticize the legislature for these moronic proposals, even if some of them are killed.



10 comments ↓

#1 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 03.01.20 at 1:24 am

I think all legislative candidates should be required to submit a petition with 50 valid signatures, and then submit to a mental health evaluation. If they pass both, then they should be allowed to precede to the primary process, and then if they survive that, then they should be allowed to be exposed to a general examination by the voters in the fall.

#2 Mark Peterson on 03.01.20 at 7:32 am

So you are saying that an unelected body of government employees should tell the elected members of the legislature what bills should be introduced. Do you not believe in the election of those that pass laws on the state level?

#3 l3wis on 03.01.20 at 8:51 am

According to their website;

Mission
The mission of the LRC is to provide to the members of the Legislature legal analysis, fiscal analysis, and advice in addition to research, drafting, and budget services in a professional, confidential, and nonpartisan manner.

Notice the key words there ‘legal analysis’. If a submitted bill is unconstitutional, they should tell the sponsoring legislator so, and tell them to fix it within those parameters. That is there job. Unconstitutional bills passed by the legislature costs taxpayers millions. It is moronic.

“Do you not believe in the election of those that pass laws on the state level?”

No, I don’t, because people don’t vote for people in this state, they vote for a letter behind their name.

#4 matt johnson on 03.01.20 at 11:37 am

a law cannot be found to be unconstitutional until it passes and then goes thru judicial review; remember judicial review imposed obama care on us even though it was unconstitutional

#5 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.01.20 at 1:11 pm

MJ, ObamaCare was not found unconstitutional, only parts of it dealing with mandatory involvement of the states in Medicaid was found unconstitutional.

Currently under review by the SCOTUS, is the question as to whether the whole ObamaCare Act is now constitutional, but that is only because the Trump tax cut removed the enforcement mechanism of ObamaCare, which was to require everyone to have health insurance, but that removal was done, and created this current legal paradox, not because of what Democrats did as legislators, who backed ObamaCare, but because of what a Republican congress and a Republican president did to ObamaCare after it had already been the law of the land for four and a half years.

If you remember right, the four liberals on the SCOTUS along with conservative Roberts found ObamaCare constitutional with Roberts finding its constitutionality on the grounds that ObamaCare was a tax, and thus, within congress’s constitutional right to enact, as oppose to the question of whether health care was something the federal congress had the right to legislatively deal with within the confines of the elastic clause of the constitution, as the four liberal members of the SCOTUS suggested it had.

You are right that judicial review cannot happen until a law has been passed, but that’s enforceable judicial review. Even before a law is passed, its constitutionality, or whether it will pass constitutional muster, is something that can often be surmized with at least a majority and minority report on the matter; and in this case, conceivably by the SDLRC.

#6 matt johnson on 03.01.20 at 2:05 pm

if you will remember vsg we were told that the payments to be required under obama care were not a tax; only a convoluted decision by the court deemed those payments to be a tax- thus constitutional only by that convoluted argument

#7 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.01.20 at 4:19 pm

This so called “convoluted argument” you mentioned was authored by a conservative Chief Justice, named Roberts, who was appointed to the SCOTUS by conservative Bush43.

Although, the Obama Administration claimed in court that ObamaCare was constitutional via the elastic clause, opponents to ObamaCare in court claimed that it was a fee on health care, and thus, an unconstitutional expansion of the elastic clause; but Roberts in turn, remembering what a law professor at Harvard said about a great Justice, who’s name evades me at this time, that it is the duty of a court to find the constitutionality of a law and not go looking for an unconstitutional argument, or conclusion.

The presumption in a constitutional society is that everything that exists is right, or constitutional, until questioned, but it is not the duty of the court to litigate or prosecute a question. It is the duty of a court to resolve the question presented to a court, especially a higher court.

Now, this then begs the question evolving around the legitimacy of judicial activism, but judicial activism evolves from a question of blatant unconstitutionality, or constitutionality, with the latter being what, or how, Roberts came up with his tax position on ObamaCare.

Judicial activism is a wildcard, which some are troubled with, but all benefit from, from time to time. In fact, prior to Marbury v. Madison (1801), it hadn’t been established that the SCOTUS had the right to question the constitutionality of a law, but the mere establishment of that right by the court itself, which in modern times is the crux of SCOTUS business, is all dependent upon an initial judicial activist position by the SCOTUS in its early days.

#8 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.01.20 at 4:28 pm

Added to paragraph two:

Roberts saw the opponents “fee” as a tax, and thus constitutional according to the obvious right of the legislative branch to tax.

The opponents of ObamaCare were actually “convoluted” in their argument against the act in a hope to sidestep the taxing rights of Congress, and to instead try to limit the debate to a fee coming from the elastic clause.

It was the conservative opponents of Obamacare, who were the attempted masters of convolution, and not Roberts, or the Obama Administration, when it comes to the 2014 decision on it.

Keep in mind too, that the Obama Administration attempted to sidestep the issue of a fee, or tax, for political reasons, and just claimed that the elastic clause legitimized ObamaCare, then Roberts showed up to save the day for them by owning the tax mantle, or image, of this case and maintaining most of ObamaCares reality.

#9 matt johnson on 03.01.20 at 5:24 pm

2 points- only a liberal would tell us they are not imposing a tax and then laud the decision that said the imposition of a charge was a tax; secondly then your argument above states that the original idea of the discussed post was wrong, as “… everything that exists is right or constitutional until questioned. … it is the duty of the court to resolve the question ..” Laws can be presented, discussed and passed. Only a court can determine constitutionality- not some quasi-governmental body.

#10 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.01.20 at 10:13 pm

“…. secondly then your argument above states that the original idea of the discussed post was wrong, as “… everything that exists is right or constitutional until questioned. … it is the duty of the court to resolve the question ..” Laws can be presented, discussed and passed. Only a court can determine constitutionality- not some quasi-governmental body.”

No, it’s not. The post is only suggesting that the SDLRC should put an asterisk to some bills requested to be written by legislators. Did you read l3wis’s comment?

“… only a liberal would tell us they are not imposing a tax and then laud the decision that said the imposition of a charge was a tax…”

No, not just a liberal, but any politician regardless of philosophy given the opportunity. But it does take a conservative to continue to shove down the throats of the American people the idea, that supply-side economics will actually, or one of these times, increase revenue to the state.

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