September 6, 2011 11:54AM

Yes, the Department of Education Is Unconstitutional

Tina Korbe at HotAir had a mostly‐​great post on Michele Bachmann’s completely correct observation that the federal government is not authorized by the Constitution to muck about in education.

Specifically, Bachmann said, “[T]he Constitution does not specifically enumerate nor does it give to the federal government the role and duty to superintend over education that historically has been held by the parents and by local communities and by state governments.” Kudos to Bachmann for that. My colleague Neal McCluskey is the go‐​to guy on all of this, and explains it very succinctly in many places.

Korbe notes that Bachmann is right about the Constitution, but in an “update” at the end of her post, inexplicably adds:

Just wanted to clarify that Bachmann is “right about the Constitution” insofar as she says that the Constitution does not explicitly enumerate education as among the responsibilities of the federal government. I do not think the Ed Department is unconstitutional — but neither is it constitutionally mandated, leaving the people with the option of determining whether education is best directed at the federal or state level.

The Department of Education, along with so much else the federal government does, is unconstitutional. The only things that are constitutional for it to do are those things enumerated in the Constitution. Hence, if something is not listed there, it cannot do that something, period. That’s the whole point of enumerated powers.

Tina, I think a second “update” is in order!

Oh, and the feds have manifestly failed to achieve anything with their involvement over the decades.