Archive for the ‘Amendment’ Category
The Constitution Under Attack **** GET YOUR FREE MAGAZINE ****
Alert! A rather insidious assault on the Constitution has been in progress for many years now in the form of a continual erosion of the rights of the people, the ignoring of checks and balances, the creation of extra-constitutional branches of government and the defiant redefinition of the document itself.
Yet now, as perhaps never before seen, there is a two-fold attack on the United States Constitution which is being perpetrated by both “Conservative” and “Liberal” interests simultaneously under the auspices of Domestic and Foreign Policy. While both political factions tend to oppose one another in these two areas, the solution each faction promotes would ultimately “fundamentally change” America.
A Treasonous Foreign Policy
The Obama Administration is in the process of hammering out two new “Free Trade” agreements in backroom negotiations. The two treaties are the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The TPP would establish a partnership in which the United States would join with Pacific rim nations in a regional super-governmental structure in which US domestic law would be brought into conformity with that of the other block members. The TTIP would accomplish much the same with nations in the Atlantic region, namely, the European Union nations. Enforcement of the harmonizing of law amongst these blocks of nations would require new international agencies. One can easily see, that the creation of these new agencies by our Congress would move the responsibility of law making out of the hands of our elected representatives to agency members not directly affected by the will of the voting public. In other words, the people of our nation will have lost its ability to affect legislation in these areas. Furthermore, dispute resolution would necessarily need to be handled in tribunals which represent the interests of the partnerships as a whole. Therefore, American businesses will be subject to the will of non-American or super-national panels without recourse to the national legislature.
It is difficult to discuss exact details of these treaties at this time because the negotiations are closed to Congress and the American people. The secrecy in which these negotiations are being conducted is foreboding. I suppose we have to pass the “Partnerships” to find out what is in them. What we do know is that they are being treated as if they are treaties and we are reminded that Treaty Law supersedes the Constitution. Despite the fact that there is ample evidence to show that treaties are invalid when they attempt to alter the Constitution, much damage has already been done in this manner through NAFTA and the WTO while our domestic courts have ignored these abuses. See the free magazine link below which details what we know at this time.
A Dangerous Domestic Agenda
Meanwhile, in an attempt to arrest the abuses of a run-away federal leviathan in Washington, our “Conservative” leaders are dreaming up new ways to destroy our Constitution. The latest fad is that of the Liberty Amendments being promoted by Mark Levin. This movement is quite insidious and rather ingenious. While the various problems discussed by Mr. Levin are real, genuine concerns, the poison is in the solution. A Constitutional Convention call could accomplish all of the planks of the “Liberal Left” at once, even if it were called by “Conservatives” for the exact opposite intentions. Please understand, I am not opposed to the intentions, the reasoning, or the correction of real abuses. I oppose the method of solution and here is why.
In the United States of America, the sovereign will of the people is the basis for all government. We are reminded in the Declaration of Independence that “…Men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights… That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
The methods established within the Constitution to invoke this abolition or altering of the government is the Article V process. One such method is via a Constitutional Convention commonly called a Con-Con. There is a reason this method is not normally used.
Once this process is invoked and delegates are appointed, they would operate with the sovereign power of the people. This raw power must operate outside the confines of the governmental form which they seek to alter or abolish and there is no authority on earth which can restrain it. We are told that the amendments they would seek to establish would require ratification by the existing state governments. Is that a guarantee? No. Theoretically, the existing ratification process could be altered or abolished during this process. We have the historical precedent of the 1787 Constitutional Convention to prove that fact.
When the original 1787 Convention was called, the body was under instruction to alter the Articles of Confederation and the ratification process was specified to require unanimous consent of the 13 state legislatures. Rather than alter the existing document as instructed, they wrote an entirely new document. Read the document they gave us:
“The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.”
What happened to the unanimous consent requirement?
So, I caution my fellow countrymen. Do not be so gullible as to accept these assurances. There are no assurances. Ask yourself a simple question. In a country in which its leaders refuse to obey the contract of government, what makes our “Conservative” leadership believe that new amendments will be obeyed? The solution to America’s woes ultimately come down to the American people having the will to enforce the Constitution as it is written and as it is intended. That need will still exist regardless of how many amendments we pass.
Preserve The Constitution
The primary goal of all Americans must be to preserve the Constitution. For as long as this document stands as a bulwark against dictatorship, we have recourse to it. We have the ability to enforce it. If we allow either the “Left” to Supersede it via dangerous regional partnerships or the “Right” to alter it through convention, all bets are off. So, all men of good will need the Constitution. Our course of action is simple: Defend it and enforce it!
- How The Free Trade Agenda is Knocking down America (Full New American Magazine vol 29 no 17)
- America’s Voice Now Youtube Program November 2013 Part 1
- America’s Voice Now Youtube Program October 2013 Part 2
- America’s Voice Now Youtube Program October 2013
- America’s Voice Now Youtube Program August 2013
- Preserve Your Rights – Stop the “Free Trade” Agenda
- The “Free Trade” Agenda Threatens Our Rights
- Levin, Limbaugh, Hannity Calling for Con-Con
- Mark Levin’s Dangerous Constitutional Convention Proposal
- More About Levin’s Dangerous Con-Con Proposal
- Wrap-up Regarding Levin’s Dangerous Con-Con Proposal
- Not-So-Free Trade (Printable Brochure) Great Mailing Stuffer
- Real Price of Free Trade (Printable Brochure) Great Mailing Stuffer
- Free Trade Promises and Reality (Printable Brochure) Great Mailing Stuffer
Sheriff Finch exercised his discretion over an arrest case in which the accused was charged with illegal possession of a concealed firearm in his car. The Sheriff told the arresting officer that he believes in the 2nd Amendment and that no charges would be filed. Then he removed the case file, since it was not going to be of any value going forward.
Florida Governor Scott removed him, an elected official, from office and arrested him on a felony charge. Here are the comments by Constitutional Lawyer Kris Anne Hall.
10/31/2013 UPDATE: Sheriff Finch NOT Guilty
What is NPV?
NPV wants the President to be elected by a simple majority of all American voters. The National Popular Vote movement is a radically dangerous ploy to side-step an Amendment process that would most definitely fail in favor of individual state battles with simple majority votes. It is much easier for NPV to convince a handful of states to combine or block together their electoral votes then it would be to get the nation as a whole to sign on to the idea that the President should be elected by popular vote.
How it would work.
NPV wants to get the President elected by a simple majority of all American voters by convincing enough states to agree to cast their electoral votes for the winner of the popular vote regardless of the will of the people within their state. In other words, they don’t mind if you cast a vote, they just want to be able to ignore it. Now, every state that signs onto this agreement is upsetting the influence of some of the lesser states with regard to the presidential election. There are 538 total electoral votes. The winner requires a majority or 270 votes. If they can obtain enough states to block 270 votes, they defacto determine that the winner of the popular vote will win the election. Even if they fall short of their goal of at least 270 votes. Each state that jumps on board increases the likely hood that their influence will be sufficient to guarantee the popular vote winner gets the presidency.
Sports as an analogy
Suppose The Phillies and the Yankees play in the World Series. Now the Yankees open the series with a 10-2 whooping over the Phillies. The Phillies in turn win 3 straight 1 run games and clinch the series 2-0 in game 5. In this scenario, the Yankees will have outscored the Phils by 3 runs over 5 games. They will have won the popular vote. However, the Phillies will have outright won 4 games. This is the scenario that NPV does not like. They don’t want the president to have to be elected by enough states. They want the president to be elected if every Californian and every Texan votes for him. It should not matter how big you win a particular state, not if you are interested in a presidency that represents the will of the entire country. Let’s not forget the additional impact that the illegal alien vote will have on elections. (Don’t get me started on how and why non-citizens can vote.)
So, what is so bad about electing the president by popular vote?
Like it or not, our nation is comprised of 50 separate sovereign entities called states. They created the Federal government for the purpose of maintaining peace among the states and providing a unified diplomacy abroad. The presidential position is, foremost, a diplomatic one. Its role is mainly in representing the interests of the several states. The same is true of the Senate, where they were to represent the State interests with regard to legislation and treaties. In 1913, the election of the Senate was stripped of state influence and converted to popular vote. This alienated the states from the federal government. Now in 2011, we are seeing the NPV pushing hard to remove the States’ influence on the office of the President. Remember… The title is President of “The United States”. It is not Czar. It is not Premiere. It is not Emperor. It is not Dictator. It is not Prime Minister. All of these titles indicate a man representing the nation as a whole or a national governing body. Our presidency was designed to represent the states unified when dealing with foreign powers.
What’s this College of Electors all about anyway?
The Electoral College is foremost the embodiment of “The Great Compromise” which broke the impasse of our original Constitutional Convention. There was much jealousy among the states at that time. The larger states wanted representation based on population. The smaller states wanted equal representation. They both got their way. Then again, they both gave up something. The House was organized along population. The Senate was organized on equal representation. The primary duties of each were divided. Domestic issues involving expenditures were to be mainly handled in the House with concurrency of the Senate. The foreign policy issues were handled mainly in the Senate with the President leading the negotiations with foreign powers. This why we have 538 Electoral votes. 1 vote for each house member, one vote for each Senator. The election of the president has as much or more to do with the will of the individual States as it does with the will of the People.
Why do States Matter?
The states are to act as another layer of checks and balances in a federal system. The people should be able to rely upon the states to remedy abuses of federal power. Many programs that are run from Washington, DC are unconstitutional and should be handled at the state level or abolished entirely. This is important because competition among the 50 states should act as a barometer to determine which programs are effective and how they are best implemented. Competition for citizens and businesses should be the determining factor. It is the best way to evaluate how well states are run. This migration of people also affects the national influence a given state would have upon the general government. NPV threatens to alienate states completely from the federal system and it leads the United Sates further towards pure democracy and dictatorship. In conjunction with the new War Powers being offered to the President it is a dangerous step toward the conversion of our Republic into an Empire.
Here is a quick look at what the NPV program would do to the election of the president. The 11 states in the yellow box below hold enough votes to determine the presidency. If NPV has its way, as few as 11 states out of 50 would determine the presidency.
Why has the Constitution failed to protect the states from incursion by the Federal Government?
The answer is a complicated one, however, it can be boiled down in its essence to two distinct causes: First, ignorance and un-enforcement of the constitution. Second, amendments causing fatal damage to the original intent of the law-givers.
The solution to the first cause involves a re-institution of a free-market educational system. The solution to the second problem involves a discovery of the various amendments to the constitution and an analysis of its intended and unintended consequences. For the sake of this discourse I wish to concentrate upon the second cause and specifically the Seventeenth Amendment.
The first step in analyzing the effects of the Seventeenth Amendment should be to determine the founders’ intent with regard to the original condition upon which this Amendment acted. According to John Adams in a letter dated April 15, 1814 to John Taylor of Caroline, Virginia the legislatures of the states were to determine the method of electing the Senate as a check in the federal system: “the legislatures of the several states are balanced against the senate”. In other words, the Senate owed its allegiance to the state through which it gained its office and through which it would seek additional terms every sixth year.
Is not the constitution of the United States “complicated with the idea of a balance?” Is there a constitution upon record more complicated with balances than ours? In the first place, eighteen states and some territories are balanced against the national government, whether judiciously or injudiciously, I will not presume at present to conjecture. We have seen some effects of it in some of the middle and some of the southern and western states, under the two first administrations; and we now behold some similar effects of it under the two last. Some genius more prompt and fertile than mine, may infer from a little what a great deal means. In the second place, the house of representatives is balanced against the senate, and the senate against the house. In the third place, the executive authority is, in some degree, balanced against the legislative. In the fourth place, the judiciary power is balanced against the house, the senate, the executive power, and the state governments. In the fifth place, the senate is balanced against the president in all appointments to office, and in all treaties. This, in my opinion, is not merely a useless, but a very pernicious balance. In the sixth place, the people hold in their own hands the balance against their own representatives, by biennial, which I wish had been annual elections. In the seventh place, the legislatures of the several states are balanced against the senate by sextennial elections. In the eighth place, the electors are balanced against the people in the choice of the president. And here is a complication and refinement of balances, which, for any thing I recollect, is an invention of our own, and peculiar to us.
John Adams April 15, 1814 Letter to John Taylor of Caroline, VA
The Works of John Adams, vol. 6 sec. X Online Link
The Seventeenth Amendment altered that allegiance. The Senator now seeks terms directly from the people. How can a Senate elected by the people at large adversely affect the state and federal balance of power? In order to determine the impact of the Amendment one must examine the duties of the Senate.
The Senate Powers include: the sole power to try all impeachments (Art I Sec 3), advice and consent with regard to treaties (Art 2 Sec 2), advice and consent with regard to presidential appointments (Art 2 Sec 2). In addition, the Senate has powers shared with that of the House listed as Congressional powers. The Declaration of War and the concurrence with the House on all legislation is included among these.
When one investigates the origin of the powers of the Senate, one is struck by the fact that the basis for Senate powers originated in the Articles of Confederation. For instance, the treaty power of the Senate is derived from the two-thirds consent required by the states under the Articles of Confederation.
So in summary, the US Constitution was created to strengthen the former Articles of Confederation. The Confederacy proved too weak to “Secure the blessings of liberty to us and to our Posterity”. A union of the states was feared by the framers. The Great Compromise established a hybrid governmental structure. The bicameral legislature was used to combine that part of the confederacy which protected the states and added elements of a union to provide the general government with the power needed to “Secure the blessings of liberty to us and to our Posterity”. The structure of a Confederacy was maintained through the Senate. The strength of union was codified in a House.
The Seventeenth Amendment has helped to foster a full union of the states. The very condition guarded against by the framers is now in place. The wisdom of the founders is evident as their fears have been realized. The states have no ability to check the Senate. Legislation, treaties, appointees and wars flow from the Senate down to the states against the wishes of the several states. It is up to our generation to restore representation of the states in federal government. A failure to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment will lead to continual bickering between the general government and those of the several states and could ultimately lead to separation and civil war.
This is part 3 of a series of discussions designed to point out the fallacies behind some modern Amendment ideas. As the drive towards a Constitutional Convention heats up, it is a good idea to examine the many Amendment proposals that are being discussed. The Repeal Amendment is being offered in response to legislation which is both wildly unpopular and places hardship upon the states. ObamaCare was a driving force behind this and Real ID plays no small part.
The Repeal Amendment states:
Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.
Although the Repeal Amendment seems like a healthy attempt to wrest usurped power from the federal government and return it to the sovereign states it is flawed in that it serves to undermine the proper role of the federal government. It would actually reintroduce some of the weaknesses that were discovered in the original Articles of Confederation.
Article 1 section 8 of the Constitution contains a list of enumerated powers that the states established within the federal system. These powers are rightly exercised at the federal level. Unfortunately, the Repeal Amendment makes no provision to safeguard those powers and so it introduces a line of separation of powers which will move with the whim of the states.
What is needed is for the States to stand up and enforce the Constitution as it was written. They must make their case when the general government extends its legislative power beyond the clearly defined enumerated powers in the Constitution. Nullification is the best remedy when the federal courts sanction usurpation of power by the executive and legislative branches. Nullification is the concept that the states refuse to enforce a federal law within their jurisdiction.
A future blog will cover the concept of Nullification also known as interposition and the arguments for and against the supremacy of the states. It should be noted that these problems have been greatly exacerbated by the 17th Amendment. A repeal of that amendment would also serve to restore the federal system as originally intended. It too shall be covered in a future blog.
This is part 2 of a series of discussions designed to point out the fallacies behind some modern Amendment ideas. As the drive towards a Constitutional Convention heats up, it is a good idea to examine the many Amendment proposals that are being discussed. No one wants to see balanced budgets more than I. Just be careful what you wish for.
Without exception, every balanced budget amendment proposal I have seen has included built-in loop-holes to allow our legislature to circumvent the requirement. I suppose that’s to be expected in today’s short-sighted world. Every year a new budget is proposed and passed and in every instance the Congress can balance the budget with a simple majority vote. It never happens. I don’t believe an amendment will change that.
I have two great reservations about a balanced budget amendment.
There are two ways to balance a budget. First, cut spending. I assume that this is what most Americans would like to see. Second, raise taxes. Let me ask you a simple question. If Congress were under mandate to balance the budget today, which method do you think would be most likely to be used?
The frustration of the American people over the budget issue is being used to fuel a call for an Article V Constitutional Convention. The risk of doing so is hardly worth it. Especially since the outcome of a balanced budget amendment is likely to result in higher taxes and a still unbalanced budget. As soon as taxes are raised sufficiently to bring the budget in line, a war or similar crisis will result in the exercise of whatever loop-hole is included and the debt will continue to rise.
We need to be very specific about how the budget is to be balanced. We cannot expect to make real progress on this issue unless we examine the true role of Government. If we want a welfare/warfare state we will have huge debts. Let us work to reduce the size of government. Let us enforce the Constitution, our contract of government, as it is written. Let us bind men down from mischief with the chains of our Constitution.
Reference My Previous Posts on the dangers associated with a Con-Con:
This is part 1 of a series of discussions designed to point out the fallacies behind some modern Amendment ideas. As the drive towards a Constitutional Convention heats up, it is a good idea to examine the many Amendment proposals that are being discussed. Term Limits is a perpetual favorite among the conservative-minded electorate. It is often connected with a convention call because it is believed that the Congress would never approve an Amendment that will place limits upon itself.
Term Limits Limit You
There can be no argument. The fact is, a term limit on elected officials would remove power from the hands of the people. Simply stated, it would limit your options at the polls.
Term Limits: A Deficiency in The Articles of Confederation
Gouverneur Morris pointed to term limits as a defect in the Articles of Confederation when he said that imposing ineligibility “tended to destroy the great motive to good behavior, the hope of being rewarded by a reappointment.”
Roger Sherman on the Rewards of Reappointment
“Frequent elections are necessary to preserve the good behavior of rulers. They also tend to give permanency to Government, by preserving that good behavior, because it ensures their re-election.” — James Madison’s record of the Convention of 1787
Alexander Hamilton on Term Limits
The Federalist, No.72: “Nothing appears more plausible at first sight, nor more ill-founded upon close inspection….”
Term Limits and the Presidency
Ask yourself this question: Has a term limit on the president of the United States produced better presidents? Afterall, this is a perfectly good example of term limits in action. It is the only example we have presently to study. It is interesting to note that the Congress has not declared war since this Limit was put in place. That’s not to say that we haven’t been at war, however. Quite the contrary, we have fought many times since.
Eligibility vs. “Lame Duck”
In a system of a fixed number of terms, a certain percentage of the Congressmen are lame ducks during their final congressional term, and the people lose their leverage to keep their Representatives on good behavior. Could you imagine a Congress with term limits set a three terms? We could have 1/3 of our House and Senate in “Lame Duck” perpetually. What impact could that have? Consider all the lobbyists providing retirement money for these out-going Congressmen. This hardly sounds like a recipe for representative government.
An elected official who faces term limits will have absolutely no inducement during his final term to listen to his constituents. He will be inclined to seek arrangements while in office that will benefit him when he is forced to leave. Is this the route to good government? Term limits will also send home good, capable, and honorable men and women who have performed admirably and who we desperately need to stay in office.
The lack of Term Limits in our Constitution is not a deficiency. It was a debated decision that considered the goal versus the results attained via the Articles of Confederation. It was identified as one of the deficiencies requiring a remedy. Short terms of office and frequent elections was determined to be the most prudent and effective means of attaining the desire goal of good government. The term limit debate seeks to treat a symptom rather than cure the disease.
UsTermLimits.org has a suicidal facebook campaign promoting a two term limit on the Senate. I did a quick analysis to see what that might accomplish:
As you can see, assuming a 75% re-election rate (and that is conservative), you could be looking at 75 of 100 senators or more in Lame Duck at the same time.
Resources: (Pdf Articles)