It was during questioning of Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen that Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) revealed perhaps more than he realized about Democrats’ thinking about the Constitution and the role of government in the American polity. Nadler said in a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee into Koskinen’s tenure and whether or not he should be impeached that it "really bothers me" when citizens claim that America’s foundational document is intended to limit the federal government's power.
 
Koskinen is accused of having made misleading statements and alleged failure to produce evidence for the committee's investigation into the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. "The Constitution was enacted to strengthen government power to enable central government to lay taxes and to function effectively. We put limits on that through the Bill of Rights, but the Constitution was enacted for the opposite purpose," said Nadler.
 
Nadler was responding to testimony by Andrew McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney general, who argued before the  Judiciary Committee that the "principal purpose of the Constitution is to limit the power of government to intrude on the liberties and suppress the rights of the American people."
 
Nadler claimed that he wanted to make a "historical correction" because "it really bothers me” when he is contradicted.
 
Nadler has not been shy about his knowledge of the Constitution. For example, in 2011, Nadler said that Republicans’ intention to read the Constitution on the House floor was "ritualistic," complaining that it treats it as "a sacred text" for "propaganda" purposes. He also once sent a request to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to investigate whether New York City police monitoring the Occupy protests had deprived the protestors of their Constitutional rights. In 2008, Nadler said that a bill to reform government surveillance "abandons the Constitution's protections and insulates lawless behavior from legal scrutiny".
 
Nadler has a liberal voting record, which includes his support for abortion and same-sex marriage, and his opposition to the Iraq war, the PATRIOT Act, and the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005. In the 1990s, Nadler earned plaudits from fellow Democrats during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, which he described as a "partisan railroad job." He represents the 10th Congressional District of New York, which includes the west side of Manhattan from the Upper West Side down to Battery Park, including the site where the World Trade Center stood. His district also encompasses Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen, and Greenwich Village, Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Borough Park, and Bay Ridge. It includes the Empire State Building, Central Park, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and New York Stock Exchange.

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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