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Triage and Repeal

The real contract with Americans is simple to honor: triage all existing statutes, vote to summarily repeal the vast majority that are unconstitutional, and keep voting to summarily repeal until you gain enough votes and you do repeal all these statutes.

James Anthony
April 8, 2022

Senator Rick Scott (R-FL, 75% Liberty Score under Pres. Trump [1], 87% now [2]) recently urged Republicans to commit that if they win congressional majorities they will carry out “An 11 Point Plan to Rescue America [3].”  

Sen. Scott’s plan addresses school choice, race data, police funding, border security, government size, term limits, election processes, families, biological sex, religious freedom, and national interests. These 11 points are fleshed out as 128 policy ideas.

Proliferating policies and diluted commitments, though, would be the same-old problematic process. The real solution is to simply honor the real contract with Americans: the Constitution.

Triage All Statutes

For legislators to honor the real contract with Americans that is the Constitution, they must repeal their tyrannical burden [4] on Americans: existing unconstitutional statutes [5].

Although presidents shall from time to time recommend to congress’s consideration such measures as they shall judge necessary and expedient [6], all legislative powers granted in the Constitution are vested in congresses [7].

Organizationally, routine responsibility for various existing statutes is taken by various congressional committees’ and subcommittees’ majorities [8], [9]. Also there’s the safeguard [10] that overall responsibility remains with each house’s majority, which can bypass the committees and subcommittees by directly bringing up bills for votes [11].

Procedurally, in senates the filibuster and cloture rules are unconstitutional. These rules make each majority senator’s vote count less than each minority senator’s vote. These rules also deprive vice presidents of their power to vote when the vote is equally divided, a constitutional power that mere Senate rules can’t overrule [12].

Oaths of office require each legislator to support the Constitution [13].

Together, these things mean that each congressional house’s simple majority has the power, organization, and duty to methodically examine every statute for constitutionality, and to vote to summarily repeal every statute that the members individually interpret to be unconstitutional [14].

Legislators can screen existing statutes for constitutionality using the following simple criteria [15]:

  • No misleading parts.
  • Only uses powers enumerated for the national government.
  • No delegation of legislative power.
  • No grabs of executive power.
  • No grabs of judicial power.
  • Not noncritical, complex, or long, and not helping make the total corpus of law incomprehensibly complex or long.

The few statutes that fail this screen but are constitutional are easy to recognize. A congress’s exceptions and regulations on national courts, for example, read like grabs of judicial power, but congresses are explicitly delegated the power to make these rules [16]; this offsets the judicial power.

Statutes that are constitutional consist entirely of rules and associated sanctions, with all tradeoffs already made [17]. After statutes that are constitutional are enacted into law, all that’s left to do is enforce the law and judge cases.

When statutes are limited in this way, powers are separated simply and fully [18].

Statutes that are constitutional don’t authorize any administrative-bureaucracy rulemaking or adjudication. Both are unconstitutional because both are tyrannical [19].

Triage and full repeal aren’t hard; living under tyranny is hard. And this tyranny can only be formally repealed by legislators.

If supporting the Constitution will mean that a committee or subcommittee must dissolve, then plainly the committee or subcommittee should never have formed and should have been dissolved long ago. To be the first members who finally did the right thing would be an honor [20].

Vote Solidly

In committees and subcommittees and in the full houses, the first members who are willing to triage the existing statutes won’t be in the overall majority. At first they won’t even be in the majority of the majority.

But no matter. Each member’s contract with us isn’t a contract for him to control his colleagues’ actions, it’s a contract for him to control his own actions.

The honor required of each member is to vote to triage, to make sure that at least one member sponsors each required full-repeal bill, to vote for full repeals, and to solidly keep voting for full repeals.

Each member’s job is to support the Constitution. Each voter’s job is to support him, to bring in reinforcements, and to keep this battle up forever in favor of freedom.

Clear a Path to Freedom

“Great Inflations” [21], [22] accelerate when more and more people start expecting governments to print increasingly-more money with no end in sight. People stop holding money in reserve, and instead buy other things as fast as they can [23]. Investors become uncertain they can earn future returns, and they stop investing.

Investors’ uncertainty froze into place the Great Depression. Investors became pervasively uncertain about how much of their property they would be able to keep secure from governments. Investors considered their prospects for future returns too risky to justify making current investments, and they stopped investing.

Economic historian Robert Higgs named this political/economic dynamic “regime uncertainty [24], [25].”

We have regime uncertainty now.

Today’s regime uncertainty becomes inescapable when a senator who has a Liberty Score of 75% to 87%—making him currently our 7th-most pro-liberty senator [2]—proposes proliferating policies and diluted commitments.

If instead our best politicians would get behind triaging all existing statutes and would stand firm in voting to summarily repeal every statute that they themselves interpret as being unconstitutional, then this would be the turning point towards regime certainty: certainty of secure life, liberty, and property.

Humans have great ability to envision the future [26]. We don’t need to reach the end of a journey to visualize the whole path unfolding before us.

The best politicians among us have a fantastic opportunity, right now, and throughout their times as our fiduciary agents [20], to point the way to freedom. And soon, to start clearing the way [27].


  1. “Scorecard.” Conservative Review, 14 Jan. 2021, Internet Archive, web.archive.org/web/20210114013516/https://libertyscore.conservativereview.com/. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
  2. “Scorecard.” Conservative Review, libertyscore.conservativereview.com/. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
  3. Scott, Rick. “An 11 Point Plan to Rescue America: What Americans Must Do to Save This Country.” Rescue America, 15 Feb. 2022, rescueamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/RickScott-11-Point-Policy-Book.pdf. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
  4. Crews, Clyde Wayne, Jr. “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State, 2021 Edition.” Competitive Enterprise Institute, 25 June 2021, cei.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Ten_Thousand_Commandments_2021.pdf. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
  5. Lawson, Gary. “Everything I Need to Know About Presidents I Learned from Dr. Seuss.” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, vol. 24, no. 2, Spring 2001, pp. 381-92.
  6. USA Constitution, art. II, sec. 3.
  7. USA Constitution, art. I, sec. 1.
  8. “List of United States House of Representatives Committees.” Wikipedia, 12 Mar. 2022, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_House_of_Representatives_committees. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
  9. “List of United States Senate Committees.” Wikipedia, 4 Apr. 2022, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Senate_committees. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
  10. Willey, Ronald J. “Layer of Protection Analysis.” Procedia Engineering, vol. 84, 2014, pp. 12-22.
  11. Welsh, Michael, et al. “An Overview of the Development of U.S. Congressional Committees.” Law Librarians Society of Washington, D.C., 9 July 2008, llsdc.memberclicks.net/assets/sourcebook/cong-cmte-overview.pdf. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
  12. Coenen, Dan. “The Filibuster and the Framing: Why the Cloture Rule Is Unconstitutional and What to Do About It.” Boston College Law Review, vol. 55, no. 1, Jan. 2014, pp. 39-92. 
  13. Thomas, George. “Recovering the Political Constitution: The Madisonian Vision.” The Review of Politics, vol. 66, no. 2, Spring 2004, pp. 233-56.
  14. Paulsen, Michael Stokes. “Does the Constitution Prescribe Rules for its Own Interpretation?” Northwestern University Law Review, vol. 103, no. 2, Spring 2009, pp. 857-921.
  15. Anthony, James. “The First 1,461 Days of a Constitutionalist President.” rConstitution.us, 8 Jan. 2021, rconstitution.us/the-first-1461-days-of-a-constitutionalist-president/. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
  16. USA Constitution, art. III, sec. 2, cl. 2.
  17. Schoenbrod, David. “Goal Statutes or Rules Statutes: The Case of the Clean Air Act.” UCLA Law Review, vol. 30, 1983, pp. 740-828.
  18. Anthony, James. rConstitution Papers: Offsetting Powers Secure Our Rights. Neuwoehner Press, 2020, pp. 4.1-8.8.
  19. Anthony, James. “On the Reading of Old Constitutions.” rConstitution.us, 9 Oct. 2021, rconstitution.us/on-the-reading-of-old-constitutions/. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
  20. Natelson, Robert G. “The Government as Fiduciary: A Practical Demonstration from the Reign of Trajan.” University of Richmond Law Review, vol. 35, 2001, pp. 191-236.
  21. Samuelson, Robert J. The Great Inflation and Its Aftermath: The Past and Future of American Affluence. Random House, 2008.
  22. Thornton, Mark. “The ‘New Economists’ and the Great Depression of the 1970s.” Mises Daily Articles, 16 Feb. 2022, mises.org/library/new-economists-and-great-depression-1970s. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
  23. Blumen, Robert. “Weimar and Wall Street.” Mises Daily Articles, 17 Feb. 2022, mises.org/library/weimar-and-wall-street. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
  24. Higgs, Robert. “Regime Uncertainty: Why the Great Depression Lasted So Long and Why Prosperity Resumed after the War.” The Independent Review, vol. 1, no. 4, Spring 1997, pp. 561-90.
  25. Higgs, Robert. “Regime Uncertainty: Some Clarifications.” Mises Daily Articles, 19 Nov. 2012, mises.org/library/regime-uncertainty-some-clarifications. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
  26. Bar, Moshe. “The Proactive Brain: Memory for Predictions.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, vol. 364, no. 1521, 12 May 2009, pp. 1235-43.
  27. Anthony, James. “A New Major Party Is Forming Right before Our Eyes.” American Greatness, 5 Apr. 2021, amgreatness.com/2021/04/05/a-new-major-party-is-forming-right-before-our-eyes/. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.

James Anthony is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party and rConstitution Papers, has written in The Federalist, American Thinker, Foundation for Economic Education, and American Greatness, and publishes rConstitution.us. Mr. Anthony is an experienced chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering.


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