The House of Representatives voted 245 to 159 to pass the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act of 1999. Because of a rule requiring two-thirds approval, the measure didn’t pass. Its sponsor, Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., plans to introduce it again when only a majority is needed for passage.
There is absolutely no constitutional authority for this disgusting abuse of federal power. But most Americans, who think Congress has a right to do anything for which they can get a majority vote, ignore the clearly written constitutional restraints on Congress.
The key restraint here is the Tenth Amendment, which holds that all powers not enumerated in the Constitution belong to the people and the states. Of course, congressmen might pretend they have such authority under the “commerce clause,” their standard excuse to grab power.
If the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act is approved, it will become a precedent for congressional control over other aspects of the Internet and an important loss in our liberty. Let’s follow the money and ask who benefits should the law be passed. What about legal gambling establishments in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and elsewhere? From their revenue point of view, they’d be happy to see less online gambling competition.
If people want to gamble online, they are going to gamble online. The only thing the act will accomplish is, like Prohibition, make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding people. It will turn banks and other financial institutions into government snoops. Rep. Barney Frank, (D.-Mass.) said, “If an adult in this country, with his own money, wants to engage in an activity that harms no one, how dare we bar it.” I second that and add, since protection of “the children” often serves as an excuse to restrict our liberties, that if children get involved, let their parents, not Congress, deal with it.
It’s a good case of how the social conservatives run the party, and the fiscal conservatives just didn’t show up.