Posted in Judiciary, tagged Barack Obama, make law from the bench, Obama, sonia sotomayer, sotomayer, supreme court, supreme court noiminee, WP Political Blogger Alliance, WP Political Bloggers Alliance on May 26, 2009|
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Do we really want judges making law from the bench based on their own beliefs of how things should be? Do we really want to obfuscate the legislative process by having unelected jurists – a party of one – make our laws? President Obama has stated, as recently as yesterday, that he wants jurists who render decisions based solely on the law and to look at the existing law and U.S. Constitution for their decisions.
If he really believes this than why did he nominate Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court? Once again we have to watch both hands when he speaks. He appears to be shaking your hand with his right hand and quietly picking your pocket with his left hand. I say this because Sonia Sotomayer is clearly a jurist who openly brags about making policy from the bench. She has laughingly talked about legislating from the bench.
We do not need to look at her prior decisions, when she has openly, and I might add arrogantly, admitted legislating or making policy from the appellate bench. A recent YouTube clip says it all! Yet she is nominated for the highest court in the land, and is young enough, that if affirmed, will serve for the next thirty years. Is this what was intended by checks and balances? If you don’t believe me and you have not seen the clip click here, remember she is the one speaking to law students. She is explaining where they might best pursue a law career. She is suggesting appellate court experience, since that is where policy is made.
If we continue to allow jurists to make decision on how they wish the law to be and not how it stands as written, an enterprising defense attorney will, sooner or later, use the “I disagree with the law as written and I feel it should be different, just as Justice so and so does on a regular basis” defense.
Had enough yet? If you believe in the rule of law and not law of the judge, you may want to get on the phone with your Senators and tell them to keep looking for a balanced jurist.
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Recently the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives sought to move a global warming bill – a 900 page bill – that has not been read or digested by any legislator, out of committee and to the full House for a vote. Congressman Henry Waxman, Democrat, the committee chairman, acknowledged publicly that he did not fully understand what was in the bill. He simply wanted to move the bill out of committee and to the House for a vote. At 900 pages, this an enormous bill covering intricate “cap and trade” and other environmental regulations.
“Cap and trade” potentially represents a radical change in the cost to the people of this country of our industrial infrastructure and power generation. This bill has the potential to devastate our economy beyond the economy’s current volatility and yet no one person really knows what is in it. What makes this plan even more flagrant is the cavalier attitude and approach by the Democratic leadership on passage of this bill.
When the committee Republicans were insisting that the bill be read aloud – their right under our Congressional procedures – Chairman Waxman hired a speed reader for the clerk’s staff and threatened to have the entire bill read by the speed reader. Remember, speed readers are those folks no one can understand and are found in comedy routines. Are our legislators this arrogant and whimsical about how they represent us in Congress? Instead of taking bill content knowledge seriously, the Democrats just want to pass an ideologically radical, economically risky 900 page bill without any one legislator knowing what is in it.
Don’t we as citizens deserve more? When we elect someone to Congress, we expect them to represent us on matters of legislation. We don’t expect our legislators to abdicate learning about bills before them so they can make a prudent and intelligent vote. If they are not going to bother learning what is in a bill, then we can either use a dice roll or hire chimps to vote. Hiring a speed reader is not a funny or laughable matter. It is an arrogant abuse of power and a mockery of our constitutional republic. Just how many bills will these legislators vote on without reading? This flagrant approach to bills started with the unread $770B stimulus package. We deserve better.
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Just what are the powers granted to the federal government under our Constitution? It’s simple; the powers are laid out clearly in the Constitution in Article 1, Section 8. There is no secret here or any ambiguity in this matter. The Constitution tells the federal government what it can do and anything not covered is reserved for the States, thus the power of the federal government is severely limited and the States are superior to the federal government. Yet our federal government functions like it has unlimited power – if Congress says it is okay, it must be okay. Well this current federal / state relationship is clearly wrong and unconstitutional. Congress and the executive branch are out of control.
The federal government, particularly Congress, in words directly taken from the Constitution, is empowered to:
- lay and collect taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
- borrow Money on the credits of the United States (this one has been worked to death);
- regulate Commerce with foreign nations and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes (regulate in this case means to make function smoothly and foster trade – not to control everything and anything that is remotely managed through interstate commerce);
- establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States (the federal government has been remiss on Naturalization and violating its own laws on Bankruptcy);
- coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures (the federal government certainly has been working the coining – printing – money to its fullest, but its current economic policies have actually worked to unregulate the Value of our Money);
- provide for Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
- establish Post Offices and post Roads;
- promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
- constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
- define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations (this specific power to punish piracy was not readily utilized by the Obama administration recently, until the Captain of a Navy vessel forced his hand);
- declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water (military tribunals);
- raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years.;
- provide and maintain a Navy;
- make Rules for the Government and Regulation of land and naval forces;
- provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrection and repel Invasions;
- provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress (your National Guard);
- exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise the Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-yards and other needful Buildings;
- and make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof (limited to the defined powers of the federal government).
Under the 15th amendment, the United States has the power by legislation to enforce the voting rights of citizens.
In the 16th amendment, the Federal Government was given another power: The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. (This amendment has allowed the Federal Government to use the tax code to manipulate the States and to drive social issues, but it was never intended to allow this action.)
The federal government has absolutely no other authority than what is spelled out above. Watching your Congress work would let you believe that it can do whatever it wants.
- Can you find the power to institute Cap and Trade – a tax on carbon emissions?
- Can you find in this list of powers the power to loan money to AIG and other TARP recipients?
- Can you find the power to regulate executive compensation?
- Can you find in this list the power to mandate educational requirements to the States?
- Can you find in these powers the right of the federal government to tell me what I should eat or, to make rules for national healthcare or to control healthcare – there is no interstate commerce when I visit my doctor?
Try your own test of these powers to see if other federal government regulations pass the test.
Just what are the powers of the States? What limitation on these powers does the Constitution offer? The limitations are those rights afforded the people of the United States in the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights also provides for the powers of the States in the tenth amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution (article 1, section 8 ), nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. The 14th amendment provides additional restraints on the States “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Why have we let the federal government become what is was not supposed to be – all powerful? Why have the States rolled over when confronted with federal legislation violating the assigned powers of the federal government? Perhaps it is time to fight back and place the federal government back into an inferior position to the States. Push, plead, and cajole your state representatives to fight back and regain their rights as states.
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Posted in broken government, The Political Process, tagged Congress, constitutional amendment, democrats, earmarks, pelosi, republicans, Senate, seventeenth amendment on May 16, 2009|
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I have had enough with the Congress, both Democrat and Republican – the lies and half truths by Dodd, Rangel, Pelosi, and Frank, feigned indignation from Republican leadership, and on and on. Take a good look and you will see that the snake oil salesmen and women of the world have determined that Congress is the best gig in town. Yes there are a few patriots in Congress, but the majority only care about staying in Congress and retiring rich.
I have had enough from the Bush and Obama administrations – each administration with its own gross degree of hypocrisy. Does anyone really think we can spend our way out of debt? Does anyone really think that the push for cap and trade is not a tax? Does anyone really think that either administration really cared or cares about the future of the American people – we know they cared or care about the future of their ideology, but what about the future of the American people? Main stream America is an afterthought to these parties. I don’t mean sending stimulus checks – I do mean the overall health of this nation. All we seem to believe in is short term appeasement of the voter in exchange for votes. We use earmarks to gain campaign funds – how wrong is that? Main stream America has been ignored by both parties, in favor of both right and left wing zealots and the progressives from both parties – oh and let’s not forget those very uber rich who are now buying our Congress and perhaps the presidency – you know – the George Soros types through tentacled organizations, with their own agenda. Who do we blame? Us, that’s who – not the U.S., but the people who are simply not engaged with their government. Our government is no longer of the people and by the people. It is now of the fringe and by the fringe – the 12% on each side. Too many Americans are just interested in what is in it for them. Too many Americans know who was thrown off American Idol, but not who the Speaker of the House is – yet they vote.
Unless and until we begin to care enough about our own future and how much the government should play in that future, we will continue down the path of letting the fringe of America – from each party – be in charge. The Federal Government is out of control and has been out of control for nearly a dozen years. In fact, we could say the Federal Government has been out of control since the seventeenth amendment – that was when the states abdicated their constitutional role of watchdog of the federal government. Look it up.
Had enough? If so, then do something about it. Start by finding good people running for state office or in state office and get behind them. Likely they have not been corrupted and if you find really good patriots to support, likely they will not be corrupted. Push for the states to take back the watchdog role of the federal government. Push for the states to control the federal government. Sit on your hands and you will get what you deserve – a non-functioning nanny state, run by the fringe in power. Soon they will tell you how to eat, drink, rear your children, and how to live, or are they already doing that? They can’t help themselves because they believe they are much smarter than you.
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