Pay close attention to what this advertisement is trying to tell you if you happen to be a juror on the Mark Witaschek case.
“But blogmeister, what about the ooks?”
That ship sailed long ago.
Pay close attention to what this advertisement is trying to tell you if you happen to be a juror on the Mark Witaschek case.
“But blogmeister, what about the ooks?”
That ship sailed long ago.
A 50-Point Swing Against Targeted Drone Killings of U.S. Citizens
A year ago, as the presidential race was taking shape, The Washington Post’s pollster asked voters whether they favored the use of drones to kill terrorists or terror suspects if they were “American citizens living in other countries.” The net rating at the time was positive: 65 percent for, 26 percent against.
Today, after a month of Rand Paul-driven discussion of drone warfare, Gallup asks basically the same question: Should the U.S. “use drones to launch airstrikes in other countries against U.S. citizens living abroad who are suspected terrorists?” The new numbers: 41 percent for, 52 percent against.
The lede of the poll is even kinder to Paul, finding as high as 79 percent opposition to targeted killing in the United States. But that’s a new question. On the old question, we’ve seen a real queasy swing of public opinion.
Now, I would not have swung on the question of the use of drones to target “U.S. citizens” over in Whackistan (really, nasty Muslim terrorists or terrorist wannabes who only got American citizenship based on this “birthright” bullshit or the fact that we give out citizenship to any non-white with a pulse), but their use on American soil is a far different question.
My point in bringing this up is this: When you display a little bit of leadership, and take the time and effort to explain things to people, people will get it.
So who will be the Rand Paul filibustering for 13 hours on immigration? Because it certainly won’t be Rand Paul.
Why should gun ownership rates matter at all? The Second Amendment still exists, and applies whether the gun ownership rate is 1% or 100%. Does the First Amendment not exist and deserved to be deleted if only ten people in the whole country have political opinions? If there were only five crimes in the whole country in a given year, does this mean the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments can be repealed?
Your Blogmeiser’s Desk
I hate to be the Debbie Downer on the afternoon after the morning after. But you have to remember that most of these Senators filibustering the drones yesterday, including the main provocateur, is fundamentally for amnesty and open borders.
Once we get what they want, i.e. an America that is so heavily non-white that its Federal government is majority non-white, I can all but guarantee you that such a future Federal government will order an armed drone strike against what by then will laughably pass for an “American citizen” on soil that once seemed like America. Hell, I can make the case that if the population base is majority non-white and somehow the Federal government remains in the hands of people we now think of as traditional white Americans (TWAs), that the very fact that the population is non-white will make it a lot more likely that the TWA-run Federal government orders an armed drone strike against some of the few remaining TWA civilians. Seems strange, but the key to understanding my riddle is the phrase Sam Francis coined, Anarcho-Tyranny: Current and future legislation and regulations mainly enacted because of non-white misbehavior will mostly be used against TWAs who only slightly misbehave.
Even though Rand Paul hasn’t been my favorite person in the world as of late, because of immigration.
From things I have said in this space in the recent past, you might think I don’t support this filibuster.
But I do. Because I do draw the line when it comes to armed drone usage on American domestic territory.
A President ordering a military drone to do an armed strike on American soil is a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.
Here’s one beautiful thing that may well “fall out of the design” of what is now a bipartisan filibuster (Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has joined in) — Rush Limbaugh’s theory for the last few weeks is that Obama is casting the pretense that he’s somehow outside the realm of governance, and therefore, everything bad is someone else’s fault. This filibuster might well force Obama to do something that gets him on paper and on record as actually being President and actually being responsible for a relatively unpopular and likely unconstitutional policy. In other words, it might force Obama to plead guilty to using his power badly. The only other option is to withdraw Brennan’s nomination, but then Brennan can start talking.
Another thing that might have happened yesterday is that Rand Paul permanently and in everyone’s mind stepped outside of his father’s shadow, and unlike what I said in my letter to Peter Brimelow last month, single-handedly created a natural constituency for his halfway house ideology that triangulates and splits the middle between his father and a Rush Limbaugh-style lamestream conservative. Now, will that be enough to self-create a self-sustaining perpetually interested well that he can keep on going back to for money? That remains to be seen. Immigration is still a big hangup.
Yet another beautiful Bizarro world thing that has happened because of the Filibuster — Today (Friday, March 8), on his show, Rush Limbaugh denounced neo-cons. And, in Rush’s own way, he noticed Rand’s triangulatory ideology.
And yet another beautiful thing that fell out of the design — Rand might be driving neo-cons and lamestream conservatives apart. Or rather, his filibuster might have driven already percolating angst that lamer cons have had about neo-cons for some time up to the surface, just as it might be driving frustrations that the Code Pink/Amnesty International crowd (who cheered Rand’s filibuster on) have had with elected liberal Democrats up to the surface.
From Georgetown law professor Louis Michael Seidman:
I’ve got a simple idea: Let’s give up on the Constitution. I know, it sounds radical, but it’s really not. Constitutional disobedience is as American as apple pie. For example, most of our greatest Presidents — Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, and both Roosevelts — had doubts about the Constitution, and many of them disobeyed it when it got in their way.
To be clear, I don’t think we should give up on everything in the Constitution. The Constitution has many important and inspiring provisions, but we should obey these because they are important and inspiring, not because a bunch of people who are now long-dead favored them two centuries ago. Unfortunately, the Constitution also contains some provisions that are not so inspiring. For example, one allows a presidential candidate who is rejected by a majority of the American people to assume office. Suppose that Barack Obama really wasn’t a natural-born citizen. So what? Constitutional obedience has a pernicious impact on our political culture. Take the recent debate about gun control. None of my friends can believe it, but I happen to be skeptical of most forms of gun control. I understand, though, that’s not everyone’s view, and I’m eager to talk with people who disagree.
But what happens when the issue gets Constitutional-ized? Then we turn the question over to lawyers, and lawyers do with it what lawyers do. So instead of talking about whether gun control makes sense in our country, we talk about what people thought of it two centuries ago. Worse yet, talking about gun control in terms of constitutional obligation needlessly raises the temperature of political discussion. Instead of a question on policy, about which reasonable people can disagree, it becomes a test of one’s commitment to our foundational document and, so, to America itself.
This is our country. We live in it, and we have a right to the kind of country we want. We would not allow the French or the United Nations to rule us, and neither should we allow people who died over two centuries ago and knew nothing of our country as it exists today. If we are to take back our own country, we have to start making decisions for ourselves, and stop deferring to an ancient and outdated document.
Sure, because the Founding Fathers had nothing to do with America…except for founding it.
But if the going mentality is that the Founders are as “alien” as the “French or the United Nations,” then no sweat — Ruth Bader Ginsburg wants members of the Federal judiciary to consider “international law.” And what’s with all this liberal bashing of the French and the UN all of a sudden? I thought they loved them.
On their respective pages to be found on the online encyclopedia of questionable credibility, we find out that one went to Harvard Law School and the other went to Winston-Salem Teachers College. But, being as that online encyclopedia has questionable credibility, I’m not going to call it a day, quite yet.
Okay, I’ve come to the closest I can come to a credible conclusion.
Scalia is more credible than Farrakhan when it comes to interpreting legal and Constitutional language.
That said, Farra-CLOWN should read Scalia’s majority opinion in Heller. One of Scalia’s conclusions is that, taking this text of Amendment the Second into consideration, and leaving out two commas for the purposes of discussion:
A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
That the part after the comma is germane law, and the part before the comma is superfluous chatter, akin to a preface. In other words, what exists before the comma is a possible use for the real civil liberty, i.e. what is stated after the comma. But, according to Scalia, it is not the only possible utility. In Scalia’s mind, and I tend to agree, for purposes of actual nuts and bolts legality, what exists before the comma might as well not exist. (Too, it would be a lot less confusing if it didn’t exist.) It would ultimately mean the same thing for Amendment the Second as if the Framers never wrote the Preamble to the entire Constitution. The Preamble is also non-germane chatter, and does not have legal standing in actual governance. However, because the Preamble was written, some libs try to give it the force of governing power, especially because it contains the cause “general welfare,” which they take to mean monthly checks to ghetto blacks.
And then, I don’t know if you noticed this or not or if you’ve heard about this, but a number of Second Amendment defenders are planning a pro-gun rally on The Mall in Washington on the Saturday before Obama’s immaculation. That is going to drive the Drive-Bys crazy. They’re already insane over guns. They’re insane over the fact that a majority of Americans, a clear majority wants guns. They are blown away by the popularity of guns. They are scared to death that so many people are now going and buying guns, because, you see, the Drive-Bys, they’ve tried everything they can. They’ve tried to make the Second Amendment be something that was written for hunters.
Have you ever noticed that when you hear a liberal talk about the Second Amendment they always say, “Well, I’m all for guns. Clearly we should have guns for hunting.” That’s not why the Second Amendment was written. The Founding Fathers didn’t put the Second Amendment in the Constitution for hunters. If you read it, “well-regulated militia.” What the hell is that? It’s clearly a militaristic implication. It’s even more than an implication. And you know, nobody ever talks about the Third Amendment. Do you know what the Third Amendment says?
Off the top of your head, does anybody know what the Third Amendment says? It’s really fascinating to look at the Third Amendment. Of course, it comes right after the Second. That’s simple math. The Third Amendment is the one that says no citizen can offer housing to a member of the United States military under certain circumstances. It is obvious if you read the Second Amendment in conjunction with the Third what the Second Amendment’s all about, and it’s not about hunting.
Anyway, the Drive-Bys are just beside themselves, because they’ve done everything they can in terms of wielding influence to discredit gun owners, gun buyers, gun manufacturers, gun sellers, gun users, and we still have between 270 million and 300 million guns in the country. And of course the Drive-Bys know that there really is no way that even Obama can issue an executive order and have everybody go pick their guns up and have them turned in. That won’t fly. So, anyway, this big pro-gun rally on the Saturday before Obama’s immaculation, they’re gonna have a cow.
Folks, I have a major correction to make. I was totally misinformed, and there’s a lesson there. There is not a gun rally on The Mall. Gun groups are not going to rally on The Mall. Instead what’s being called for is a Gun Appreciation Day on the Saturday prior to Obama’s inauguration. No gathering on the mall. It’s Gun Appreciation Day. Gun owners are being encouraged to turn it out “out en masse at gun stores, ranges and shows from coast to coast.” They want to be as public as they can in their support of guns on the Saturday prior to Obama’s inauguration. I was misinformed when I was told that there was a rally on The Mall on the Saturday beforehand. They probably couldn’t get a permit for that.
This is a very lost part of American Constitutional jurisprudence, that the Third Amendment even exists, and that it comes right after the Second Amendment for a reason.
BTW, which libs really like or endorse hunting animals? Give them half a chance and they’d ban that, too. The only reason they bring up hunting is in a psychological maneuver to make you think that 2A doesn’t apply to firearms impractical to hunting. Personally, I wouldn’t bring up the wanton killing of animals in 2A apologetics at all.
GOP Senate Candidates Advocate 17th Amendment Repeal
How would the Senate look without Senators elected by voters?
Before the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, that’s exactly how it worked, with increasingly corrupt state legislatures picking Senators.
While there’s no chance of the amendment being repealed, a small number of Republican Senate candidates are coming under fire for even broaching the subject.
State governments lost their sway in the Federal Congress when the 17th was repealed. A U.S. Senate partially (see below) or entirely comprised of members elected by their state legislatures would have never voted for a bill like ObamaCare which puts a lead anchor on state budgets.
However, I don’t think it’s a good idea to go all the way back.
My proposal splits the difference between direct popular and state legislature. Senate seats would be directly elected in one cycle, then six years later, go in front of the state legislature, and alternate every six years between public vote and legislative vote.
The Constitution hasn’t had too many good days lately.
I only wish he would have shown up looking cleaner and wearing decent clothes. As good as a day this was for the Constitution, it was as bad for public relations.
The civil rights laws need to be amended or reformed. Aside from the usual arrest warrants that a judge must approve, law enforcement needs an additional and separate raid warrant, to justify to a judge why a no-knock raid rather than a plain ordinary street arrest is justified. The raid warrant should have the names of law enforcement officers that will both participate in the raid and guarantee the accuracy of the information. If they knock back the wrong house, then every cop on the raid warrant is instantly fired, and loses his or her accumulated pension and benefits.
A Federal trial level judge based in Chicago has invalidated part of the city’s post-MacDonald “loosened” firearms laws as unconstitutionally vague. The issue revolves around Chicago’s “unlawful use of a weapon” statues not being clearly defined. And of course, as is the Chicago Way, anyone who violates this law (and it could be anyone), loses his or her post-MacDonald “rights” in the city.
I’ve been saying all along that the Heller and MacDonald decisions were correct, but underpowered. The lawyers for Messrs. Heller and MacDonald should have asked for the cities of Washington, D.C., Chicago and eventually others to be put under a consent decree. That would mean that those cities would have to get the approval of a Federal judge before changing any firearm laws and ordinances, to prevent them from dicking around.
Va. Senate approves property rights constitutional amendment
RICHMOND — The General Assembly on Monday signed off on a major priority of Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, approving a constitutional amendment stipulating that private property can only be taken for public use.
“Private property can only be taken for public use.” Next thing you know, Cuccinelli will be wanting just compensation for the owners of such seized property.
Hey Virginia, time to party like it’s 1791.
I know it’s not a fair comparison, but I get sort of the same mental image from this picture as I do from the pictures of black mahogany mobsters forcing whites to strip naked or nearly naked in London.
What was the purpose of handcuffing him? He couldn’t have done anything terrorist-evil, he was two socks and a pair of boxer shorts away from being as naked as the day he was born.
In case you can’t tell, the man has the Fourth Amendment written on his chest. That’s the fourth ratified amendment of the Federal Constitution, a document to which TSA agents and screeners swear allegiance.
The source article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch has the name of the Federal judge handling the case, so no link to it. But it links to this YouTube video of the incident. Notice anything about the TSA screeners? Right. Now maybe the comparison between this and London isn’t so far afield.
By SHELIA BYRD (AP) – 10 hours ago
JACKSON, Miss. — Over the last three years, the FBI scoured faded documents, interviewed aging lawmen and tracked down witnesses from killings that occurred decades ago, many of them involving white police officers who shot black men or teenagers.
Now, the agency is at a dead end in the search for relatives in at least 33 civil rights-era cases, and the FBI needs the public’s help. Agents are appealing for relatives of the victims to come forward, the latest challenge in a three-year-old effort to right historical wrongs.
That “dead end” is called ex post facto. Because the acts were committed before Federal civil rights laws were passed, there’s nothing the FBI or the Federal prosecutors can do about it…(but continue reading).
Of course, you know who and you know what had to be quoted:
Southern Poverty Law Center president Richard Cohen said his organization has turned over information to the FBI in hopes someone will be prosecuted in at least a few of the remaining unsolved killings.
“The justice that is achieved in those few is going to have to serve as symbolic justice for the whole,” Cohen said.
It says here that Cohen “hopes someone will be prosecuted” when, like I said above, nobody can be prosecuted.
(BTW, when did Morris Dees die? I wasn’t aware that the President ordered all flags flown at half-staff, that his remains lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda, and that his birthday be declared a national holiday. But he had to have died recently, because the only SPLC people that I ever see quoted in the media are Cohen, Mark Potok and occasionally Heidi Beirich.)
I have a prediction.
Should evidence be found, the U.S. Attorneys will press charges in spite of ex post facto. Of course, one would expect the trial level Federal judge to dismiss it out of hand because of ex post facto, but I predict the Feds will shop it to a liberal judge, a Democrat President appointee, who will let the trial go forward anyway, in spite of the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t matter to most Democrats when it comes to anything else, why should three little ole Latin words get in their way? If the defendants are found guilty, their lawyers could appeal it to the Federal Appellate Courts, but the Appellate Courts that serve states like AL and MS are full of black judges. If it gets to SCOTUS, don’t look for them to do the right thing. One word: Sotomayor.
The only other possibility is if they bring a state level murder charge, and most states don’t have statutes of limitation on murder. MS doesn’t, b/c Byron de la Beckwith was convicted of the Medgar Evers murder three decades after the fact.
SCOTUS gives Cert to a matter out of Chicagograd that is very similar to Heller, with a decision expected in June of next year.
MSM are trying to draw a distinction between this case, McDonald v Chicago, and the Heller case. They say that Heller isn’t a precedent germane to McDonald because Heller was in a Federal district while McDonald was in a state, a rehash of the “states rights” precepts of the 10th Amendment vs the “incorporation doctrine” of the 14th Amendment debate that’s been going on for decades.
The reason this reasoning doesn’t fly is because Scalia’s singular majority opinion finding for Heller didn’t use the Federal district reasoning at all. As a matter of fact, I was fearful that SCOTUS was going to weasel out of a major precedent-setting decision by finding for Heller and using the Federal district as the sole reason. The late Rhenquist and early Roberts court was loath to make any big decision, and Heller was the first real big decision from SCOTUS in quite a long time. Scalia relied only on the 2nd Amendment to find for Heller, and added that the part of 2 that speaks of “militia” and “free state” is, in Scalia’s exact word, “perfatory,” or in other words, a preface. All it means is that it is one possible purpose of the real germane part of 2, the part about “the right of free people to keep and bear arms.” There could be many other purposes. And the perfatory clause of 2 is no more relevant to the restrictions set by the germane clause of 2 than the Preface to the Constitution is to the operation of the Federal government in general. All the glittering generalities that the Preamble lists are reasons (but not the only reasons) why the Constitution was established, and says what it says, but it doesn’t mean that those glittering generalities are a responsibility of government.
That said, Heller should be precedent for McDonald. But it might not be. One word: Sotomayor. All the jurisdictions that were running afoul of Heller drug their heels to comply, because they were waiting for the results of the 2008 elections, and hoping for an Obama win. (By the time Heller was decided, Obama had already dispatched HRC.) They probably would have complied if McCain would have won, but they wanted Obama and his judicial appointments. Heller was a good decision, but SCOTUS should have backed it up with a consent decree on D.C. That would have scared Chicago and other cities to comply, even if it were only for a few months.
McDonald will put the left in a conundrum. If SCOTUS finds for Chicago, then it’s doing what the libs want, and knocking back 2, but bolstering 10 and spiting 14 in the process, which the libs don’t want. If they find for McDonald, they’ll be supporting 2, which the libs don’t want, but spiting 10 and bolstering 14, which the libs want.
Former Kennedy aide and the current executor of Ted Kennedy’s estate, one Paul Kirk, will fill the seat until January 19′s special election. Governor Deval Patrick was able to make this appointment because the state legislature changed the Senate replacement law.
Ex post facto laws are unconstitutional. It’s fine if MA changes its law, but it couldn’t apply to the vacancy created by Ted Kennedy’s passing, because that happened before the law change. The problem is that nobody in the state is going to challenge this in court, and none of the dark blue state’s judges would overturn it anyway. All anyone cares about are those precious 60 votes in the Senate for ObamaCare.
Police Run Roughshod Over Lawful Handgun Owner
No good deed goes unpunished — that’s a lesson George Boggs of Fayetteville, North Carolina, learned earlier this month when he voluntarily turned his handgun over to the local police for safe-keeping while he went into the hospital following an automobile wreck. When Mr. Boggs (who maintains a valid concealed-carry permit for the handgun) later attempted to retrieve his firearm, the police said, sorry, we’ve sent it out for ballistics testing and can’t give it back to you yet.
Apparently the police in North Carolina believe themselves empowered to retain a law-abiding citizen’s firearm, and test it to see if it matches any firearms or ammunition on which the police have records that were used in crimes, regardless of whether they have any suspicion whatsoever that the firearm is illegal or has ever been used in the commission of a crime. And, the police do this even if the person has voluntarily and temporarily left a firearm with the police for safe keeping. In this case also, the owner of the handgun did not want the firearm fired because it had never been fired since he purchased it new, and he believed its value would be diminished.
Tough luck, according to the law enforcement authorities; so long as they get a firearm — however they get a firearm — they keep it as long as they want to test it, and , if it matches ballistically with some record they have, they would keep it indefinitely.
So much for property rights. So much for Fourth Amendment guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure. And so much for being a good citizen. When it comes to firearms, many law enforcement agencies believe they can do pretty much whatever they want, whenever they want, to whoever they want.
Good luck enforcing your Fourth Amendment rights in situations like these. The only recourse Mr. Boggs has is to have an attorney file a Writ of Replevin. However, over something whose value is only a few hundred bucks, it’s not worth the time, effort and legal fees to file one, and it’s just as well anyway because almost no lawyer would take it on. Therefore, law enforcement agencies have virtually dictatorial power to seize firearms. I fully expect that sometime in the near future for the Federal judiciary to put LEAs under a consent decree, to make sure that they return firearms in situations where they should.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution passed by a 5-to-3 margin an amendment to the document of their expertise that changes the power to fill vacant U.S. Senate seats from the Governor of the state in question to a special election to be called for by the state’s Governor at some point in the future, though the proposed amendment does not specify a time limit. The reason? Yep. RodB.
Ironically, Massachusetts did just that in 2004, mainly to keep then-Gov. Mitt Romney from appointing a Republican to replace the arrogant Ketchup Man in case he won the Presidential election that year. Now, with health care on the front burner, and Ted Kennedy is getting worse by the day, the Lion of the Senate wants to undo the 2004 changes so that Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, can quickly fill that Senate seat with a Democrat so that the Democrats in the Senate can have their precious 60 votes. I get the feeling that if Massachusetts does as Kennedy asks, he will resign instead of waiting for the brain cancer to run its path of destruction, to let Patrick make a choice as quickly as possible.
My opinion of the amendment is that they’re doing the wrong thing. They should repeal the 17th so that state legislatures could elect U.S. Senators. State governments need a direct voice in the Federal public policy formation process. Do you honestly think that the Federal government would force states to give welfare to illegal aliens if one-half of the Federal government’s legislative power represented the very same people who have to draw state budgets?
Other than Russ Feingold’s yea vote, the sponsor of the amendment, one of the other yeas was from Alaska’s Mark Begich. He might know a little something about fishy Senate appointments at the hands of a state Governor. Perfidy, thy name is Murkowski.
If the 5-3 margin is indicative of the measure’s prospects in the whole Senate, then it won’t pass. Out of eight Senators, five voted for it, meaning 62.5% support. Multiply that by 100, and you only get 62.5 Senators, it needs 67 for two-thirds. And even if they get the 67, it would then need the majority approval of at least 38 state legislatures to become part of the Constitution. With all the state budget shortfalls, and the expense of holding a special election, it’ll be a non-starter in places like Bismarck and Frankfurt.
The U.S. District Court Judge who supervised and agreed to the dismissal of the Federal felony convictions of former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) is so furious about the abuse of power by the U.S. Attorneys in the case that he himself is going to launch an investigation of their conduct, which might lead to their being charged.
He told the media that he had to investigate because he can’t trust the U.S. Justice Department to investigate itself.
No shit, Sherlock.
Even if his investigation does dig up some skulls, bringing these U.S. Attorneys to justice might be a harder sale, because the very law enforcement agencies that would be expected to arrest them are still underneath the aegis of the Department of Justice. What’s worse is that the information gathered to find candidates for Presidential appointments and Senatorial confirmations to all levels of the Federal judiciary comes from that same Justice Department.
We learned from the Tom Sell saga that the DOJ has the U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, the Federal judges, and the Federal correctional authorities all under its wings. You’re not going to find any relief from one through any of the others.
The creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 eased the problem a little bit, by plucking out most Federal LEAs out of Justice and sending them to HLS. But the FBI, and ATF (which was moved from Treasury to DOJ when HLS was created) still remain under DOJ.
What needs to be done is to pluck out the Federal prisons out of DOJ and create a new cabinet level Department of Corrections. Send the FBI and ATF to HLS, and for the sake of separation of powers, the DOJ should not exercise any suasion over the selection of new Federal judges.
Still, I think Stevens deserved to lose that Senate race, because there were plenty of reasons for him to be defeated even if he was not guilty of these particular felonies.
His reasoning reminds me of the debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists after the 1787 Constitutional Convention about the necessity of a Bill of Rights. AFs demanded one or they would essentially sit on the Constitution, i.e. preclude its ratification.
Fs responded not by saying that they didn’t believe in civil liberties, indeed they did. But their argument was that a formal BORs had two problems: (1) It was superfluous — since the proposed Constitution enumerated all of Congress’s powers in Article 1 Section 8, the enumerated powers they did give were few and specific, they did not have any 1/8 power to violate civil liberties because they were not authorized to do so. (2) It was potentially dangerous — Fs and AFs believed that human civil liberties were numerous, but Fs thought that compressing the whole of human freedom to a dozen bullet points would be tantamount to painting a target on the backs of said civil liberties.
In other words, if you explicitly prohibited Congress from abridging freedom of expression, religion, right to bear arms, and so on, such enumeration would instantly make a target out of the freedom of expression, religion and right to bear arms for tyrants. If you stayed with the implied BORs per Article 1 Section 8, then civil liberties would be virtually infinite, with none specifically stated so as to become a target.
If the Federalist faction of the American body politic of the late eighteenth century could have borrowed a a piece of jargon from our early twenty-first century, they might have phrased their (2) argument above by deriding the powerpointization of civil liberties.
ESR’s argument about the GPL seems to be a mix of both contentions by Fs about the AF demand for a BORs.
We all know how that argument turned out — the AFs were very much correct, that Congress has stretched its 1/8 powers, especially interstate commerce, to do anything. About the only firewall we have left to knock back Congressional action square with 1/8 but violating civil liberties is the BORs. In other words, if Congress passes a bill prohibiting the interstate transportation of Bible tracts, it would be perfectly constitutional just using the 1787 Constitution without a Bill of Rights, because Congress is regulating interstate commerce. But it would be unconstitutional with the 1787 Const plus the BORs, because Congress shall pass no law restricting the freedom of religion. Can regulate interstate commerce, but not in such a way that it violates civil liberties.
This is why I don’t buy into ESR’s arguments. He’s thinking like an enlightened altruistic human being, and not a predatory capitalist and/or a lawyer. Get it in writing.
Forgot about that part, didn’t ya, Obammy? Of course, since there are some who think you also forgot about the “natural born citizen” part in that same Article, it’s all par for the course.
Are the chickens coming home to roost for the libs?
The San Francisco Chronicle does a story about two murder suspects who are about to go on trial for Federal charges, filed in the U.S. Attorney from the Northern District of California. It is the first death penalty trial for either state or Federal in the city since 1991, and the first on that Federal level since 1948
While it is not exactly clear, reading between the lines, noticing some of the word choices, and knowing the paper’s editorial stances in general, lead me to think that the Chronicle is opposed to the death penalty, either in this case or in general. Furthermore, the Chronicle seems to bemoan the Federalization of every crime:
Gang violence, like most street crimes, is usually prosecuted by local district attorneys. Cyrus, in fact, had been charged with one count of murder in San Francisco before federal prosecutors under then-U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan took over his case. Their ability to do so illustrates the breadth of the federal death penalty law.
U.S. law allows the death penalty for a number of crimes against federal authority, such as treason, espionage and the murder of a federal official. But the law also applies to ordinary homicides that involve some transaction across state lines that gives the federal courts jurisdiction, such as murder with a gun that came from another state, a killing during a carjacking, or racketeering, the charge in the San Francisco cases.
“There’s no case where there’s a homicide that you couldn’t charge as a federal death penalty if you worked hard enough,” said Rory Little, a UC Hastings College of the Law professor and former federal prosecutor who wrote guidelines for capital cases in President Bill Clinton’s Justice Department.
If they are coming at this from an angle of opposition, they only have themselves to blame. It’s these kind of libs that opened up this Pandora’s Box in the 1960s, when it came to “justifying” Federal jurisdiction over enough things to pass civil rights laws to dismantle segregation.
When they bothered trying to formulate a Constitutional justification for such laws, they would almost always lean on interstate commerce. It would be something along the lines of if a roadside choke-n-puke restaurant in Alabama used table salt that was first mined in Kansas, and bottles of ketchup bottled in Pennsylvania, this means that they were engaging in “interstate commerce” and thus Federal laws prohibiting segregation could apply to the eatery. It got so insane that liberal law professors said that if a bird took off from Georgia and pooped on your Alabama lemonade stand, this meant interstate commerce and you had to sell lemonade to blacks.
At other times, they wouldn’t even bother with even a stupid Constitutional rationale, because none could be found. It would be a matter of the Federal government having the biggest guns. “All power through the barrel of a gun,” said the great integrationist hero. They might do better to heed the quote not to take the sort of power that you wouldn’t want your enemies to use against you.
If you live in Iowa, then the state wants to take away your privilege to chose a President of the United States, and give your votes to people in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Meaning if you in Iowa vote Republican in 2012 and Barack Obama wins the popular vote based on the votes of illegal aliens and black voter fraud, you then might as well have stayed home.
Iowa, nice knowing you. You won’t matter anymore if you do this, no Presidential candidate will give a damn about Iowa ever again, save once every four years in January.
RodB says that the impeachment process is unconstitutional because he can’t call witnesses. Except that impeachment isn’t the same as a due process criminal trial, it’s a political process that has some of the trappings of the same. RodB would simply be removed from public office, not deprived of any civil rights or liberties or life or property, nor would he have a felony or misdemeanor conviction from the removal alone. (The Federal corrupton charges are a different story.) Also, the impeachment process is outlined in the Illinois Constitution, so if the state legislature is following that, then it’s not unconstitutional.
What amazes me is that the same libs who rightly denounced RodB’s tactics during the impeachment process were defending them when President Clinton tried them while he was being impeached.
The P-D has an investigative article today, detailing the many problems relating to asset forfeiture and the St. Louis City Police Department, one of which led to the fall of Chief Joe Mokwa.
Aside from all these problems, which I think are actually an almost inevitable consequence of having asset forfeiture to begin with, and aside from the fact that it violates the 7th Amendment and the equivalent reading in the State Constitution, because the assets are taken on the assumption that they’re ill-gotten gain without due process, (meaning that if there were a way to convict the assets, similar to convicting the criminal suspects, I would have no problem with it), the big problem with asset forfeiture is that, especially in jurisdictions like St. Louis City, it amounts to a reliable revenue stream, and therefore, it gives the cops a built-in disincentive truly to eliminate the kinds of crimes that generate illicit revenue and physical assets.
Students have their say about California homeschooling
Thousands of students from across the nation have weighed into the arguments over the recent court ruling in California that announced there was no legal provision to allowing homeschooling in the state.
“The court cannot ‘make’ something illegal – that’s the legislature’s job. Sheesh!” wrote Jon Chi Lou, of Heritage Christian High School. And Hye-Sung F. Gehring added, “This is ridiculous. California is retarded. Always has been.”
They shouldn’t, but they can. Haven’t they heard of the Warren Court? Sheesh!
Beyond that, these two students are demonstrating the effectiveness of homeschooling. Out of the box, so to speak, they intimately know the difference between legislative and judicial power. Too bad Earl Warren didn’t.
Does the fact that John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone to American parents not make him a “natural-born citizen,” as the Constitution requires Presidents to be?
Democrats and many anti-McCain Republicans will push the issue, but I highly doubt that the Federal courts would say no to the son of a four-star Navy Admiral and the grandson of a three-star Navy Admiral, if the matter gets that far.
I do find the irony delicious that the man who wants to grant citizenship to tens of millions of non-citizens might, in theory, not be a citizen enough himself to be President.
Someone e-mailed me pointing to this site, called Trash Pants. Trash Pants are a series of pants that appear somewhat baggy, and appear to sag, but the appearance of exposed boxer shorts are built in, and actually part of the pants themselves. The person who e-mailed me was the founder of the company, who thanked me for what she thought was reasonable commentary on this blogmeister’s part about the political paranoia about sagging pants, though she and I have disagreements about a few things.
However, here’s an interesting dilemma. What if you buy a pair of Trash Pants, and you wear them in public within the city limits of, e.g. Delcambre, Louisiana? You will appear to be violating the town’s ordinance, and you will surely be detained by one of the city’s Finest, but because that which appears to be the boxer shorts are actually part of the pants, you’re literally not. Does the cop cite you, or not?
Though this New York Post article about SCOTUS deciding to hear the D.C. Gun Ban case, and deciding on its constitutionality probably in May or June of next year, a Presidential campaign year no less, does not mention the Presidential campaign in its text, it does have a prominent photo of the anti-gun former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani.
Since this decision is probably coming down next May or June, the two parties’ nominees will have been settled by then. If Giuliani does win the Republican nomination, increased interest in the issue by NRA members and other pro-2nd Amendment activists might mean that enough of them refuse to vote for him (or the Democrat) such that the Democrat slides into the White House by default. But if RG tries to pander, this only opens him up to Democratic accusations of flip-flopping, ruining his reputation among people not so interested in 2nd Amendment issues, which would mean the Democrat wins.
One interesting aspect raised by this article states that whatever the High Court’s decision, it might not impact the 2nd Amendment issue and legality anywhere else. The reason is that the issue is D.C.’s Gun Ban, and the District of Columbia is a creation of the Federal government and the U.S. Constitution itself, and any action of the home rule D.C. city government (including the gun ban) is an ex officio action of the U.S. Congress. New York and Chicago have gun bans, but those are ex officio actions of the states of New York and Illinois, respectively. And when you have state actions (or implied actions), the 10th Amendment comes into play.
We could have a situation where SCOTUS strikes down the D.C. Gun Ban, using the reasoning that the D.C. city government (an ex officio appendage of the U.S. Congress) violated the 2nd Amendment in enacting the legislation. If they do that, then this does not automatically mean that the New York and Chicago bans are unconstitutional, or does it mean that the same SCOTUS would strike them down. However, the “incorporation doctrine” that is an interpreted element of the 14th Amendment would mean that SCOTUS might, and New York and Chicago might repeal their bans to head off a legal fight.