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Why Have a Constitution if You're Not Going to Follow It?

President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court last month set off a storm of protest among conservatives, who sought someone who would adhere to the principles embodied in the Constitution rather than the whims of judicial activism. Virginians and Marylanders can thank the Constitution for not having to pay a commuter tax, which "more than 30 plaintiffs -- including (D.C.) Mayor Anthony A. Williams" were seeking to impose upon D.C.'s suburban neighbors. According to today's Washington Times, "A federal appeals court yesterday ruled that Congress has the authority to prevent the D.C. government from taxing government. In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District said the Constitution clearly grants Congress 'exclusive authority' to govern the District." The newspaper then cited the following text from the appeals court's decision, "The policy choices are Congress' to make."

The Washington Post noted in their story on the appeals court's commuter tax decision that "Congress barred the District from imposing a commuter tax as part of the Home Rule Act of 1973, a ban that city leaders say has resulted in unfair tax demands on D.C. residents. At stake is an estimated $1.4 billion that the District hoped to tap each year from residents of Maryland and Virginia who work in the city."