Over the course of his 20-year congressional career, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) hasn’t stood out for doing anything truly remarkable. I generally think of him as the guy who organized the reading of the U.S. Constitution on the House floor last year, as a symbolic stunt (which didn’t go well) devoid of any real meaning.
Next year, however, Goodlatte is likely to become the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, replacing Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) who’ll be forced to step down due to his caucus’ term limits on committees. With that in mind, Ian Millhiser notes just how far to the right Goodlatte really is.
For those who can’t watch clips online, the Virginia Republican suggested to his constituents just last year that Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security aren’t really constitutional, and exist because “the courts have stretched the Constitution.”
Millhiser added, “To be fair to Goodlatte, he later states that it would not be practical to ‘just say we’re throwing out Medicare because it’s unconstitutional,’ but this does little to change the fact that the man House Republicans want to place in charge of constitutional matters does not have even the most basic understanding of the Constitution.”
Goodlatte’s other major legislative contribution was spearheading a measure to condemn Supreme Court references to international law and/or legal traditions.