This week Congress responded to public anger over the AIG bonuses by passing a law imposing a 90 percent tax explicitly on the AIG execs. But as an editorial at Investors Business Daily notes, such a a law violates the bill of attainder prohibition in the Constitution (Article I, Section 9). This shocking disregard for plain constitutional limits bodes ill for the republic.
You don’t have to like or agree with the AIG bonuses to understand that Congress is doing something it shouldn’t under the Constitution. Once a precedent is set, Congress will be able to go after anyone or any group, at any time, for any reason.