A reader writes:
The real problem with the pledge is not the requirement for citing specific constitutional authority. In fact, Congress already does this quite regularly. For instance, in Section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Congress, beginning at page 317 and continuing through page 321, sets forth extensive reasons why the law is a necessary and proper exercise of its power to regulate interstate commerce. The GOP wants people to believe that Congress passed health care reform without thinking about its constitutionality, when in fact, it did the exact opposite. This typical GOP disingenuousness is the real problem.
This is already the rule in the House of Representatives for all its committees. It has had neither the effects of its supporters or opponents. See the bottom left corner of page 26 in this PDF document.
The pledge to attach a Constitutional "seal of approval" on all proposed legislation may not be dangerous, but it will certainly bring legislation to a screeching halt.
You have to keep in mind that more than a few candidates who will be elected this year believe that certain Constitutional amendments are actually unconstitutional. Also remember that many of these people believe that the current President was elected unconstitutionally and therefore any legislation he signs or vetoes and any wartime actions are also unconstitutional (and even if the first were true, the latter still would be false).
So let's look at this for what it really is: an easy way for the GOP to do nothing in the next two years - thereby avoiding Obama's veto pen, hoping things continue to tank economically so they have a shot in 12, all under the cover of "protecting the Constitution."