I’m reading this story about the just-passed federal legislation that would provide some $850 million in extra funds for public school districts in Texas to help prevent layoffs and whatnot, conditional on Texas agreeing to actually use the money on education and not general fund budget-balancing, and I have a question.
[Governor Rick] Perry argues that it’s unconstitutional for him to guarantee any future legislative action.
“Hopefully, somehow or another, they can slip it out of there,” he said of the provision that is already part of the law.
“Everyone understands that this is not doable,” he said. “The Constitution is the Constitution. You have to respect it.”
I would be slow to trust Rick Perry’s interpretation of the Constitution in the best of times; I’m certainly not willing to take his word for it now. But that doesn’t mean he’s wrong, so let me ask: Where in the Constitution does it say what Congress has done is illegal? I know that in Texas, you can’t write a law that says “this only applies to Houston”, but you can write one that says (in essence) “this only applies to a city with over two million people”, which is to say Houston. I have yet to see anyone say what the Constitutional principle is that’s at play here. Can some lawyer out there enlighten me on this? Thanks.