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The Amendments, which comprise the Bill of Rights, would be easier to understand if they had been titled the Bill of Prohibitions or Bill of Restraints.

 

When the Bill of Rights is read through the preamble, it shows that none of the Amendments define or limit the extent of the individual rights of the people. The Amendments do, however, define and enumerate the extent of the restraints placed on the powers of the federal government concerning the rights of the people and the powers reserved to the States.

 

We need to stop using and start rejecting statements like “First Amendment Right of free speech” or “Constitutional right of free speech.” We have the right of free speech and the First Amendment simply placed a constitutional prohibition or restraint on the powers of the federal government concerning the right. The Amendment did not grant us this right.

 

The road to resurrecting the intent of the Amendments should start right now, right here, and with us. Whenever the intent of the Amendments is mischaracterized, we need use it as an educational moment to enlighten our fellow citizens.



1 year, 10 months ago on Bill of Rights: The Founders' Vision is Dead and Gone

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In my opinion, the nullification models are open to attack because they do not define and make the separation of power between the States and their federal government the hammer. The use of the word "delegated," without more, negates nullification because the taxing power, which was used as the basis for the constitutionality of the bill, is a delegated power. It also negates the Tenth Amendment because the Amendment ONLY applies to powers not delegated. If heath care does not fall of the federal side of the separation, and it doesn't, then the federal government cannot invoke a delegated power as the basis for the law.

1 year, 10 months ago on 4 Steps You Can Take to Stop Obamacare Now

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I would pose a question to Stepman.

 

Since the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary is limited to cases and controversies arising UNDER the Constitution, what is the remedy and venue when the federal government acts OUTSiDE of the Constitution?

1 year, 11 months ago on Refuting more Historical Ignorance on Nullification

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The Acts violates the separation of power between the States and their federal government so the so-called Supremacy Clause has no application because there was no authority to pass the law in the first place.

2 years ago on Will Montana Voters Nullify the Mandate?

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I have always believed the States were in charge of elections for the P and VP...thanks for the confirmation.

2 years ago on Federal “Campaign Finance” Laws are Mostly Unconstitutional

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This subject demonstrates why it is critical to understand the purpose of the document known as the Bill of Rights.

 

The preamble to the Bill of Rights declares that the purpose of the proposed amendments was to prevent the federal government from “misconstruing or abusing its powers.” To accomplish this, “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” were being proposed. The Amendments, when adopted, placed additional restraints on the powers of the federal government. There is no First Amendment right of free speech―there is a First Amendment restraint on the powers of the federal government concerning the right of free speech.

 

Since the First Amendment imposes a restraint on the power of Congress, the Senate cannot use a delegated power (treaty) to negate a constitutional restraint (First Amendment). In other words, Congress cannot use one clause to negate another.

 

Thus, the natural right of free speech cannot be affected or negated by a treaty.

 

2 years ago on What should we really fear?

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"The principles of nullification logically flow out of the delegation of powers that created the federal government in the first place."

 

Since there was a separation of power between the States and the federal government, which constitutes the original grant of power, and a secondary grant of power, which contain the delegated  powers in the body of the Constitution, I believe your statement should be something like this:

 

"The principles of nullification logically flow out of the separation of power that created and empowered the federal government in the first place and the secondary delegation of powers that enumerate and define the authority of the federal government to put the original grant of power into effect."

2 years, 1 month ago on Jefferson and Madison vs "Staff Writer"

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Here is the 6th way if republicans gain control and think outside the box.

 

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/greenslade.html

 

 

2 years, 1 month ago on Top 5 Ways to Fail at Eliminating Obamacare

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"The federal government has no authority..."

 

These 6 words should flow from the lips of every American who still believes in liberty.

2 years, 1 month ago on Dangerous Dicta

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In the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention in 1788, Mr. Ames made the following statement concerning the original method of electing the members to the Senate and the consequences if the people elected them:

 

“But whom, in that case, would they represent? Not the legislatures of the states, but the people. This would totally obliterate the federal features of the Constitution. What would become of the state governments, and on whom would devolve the duty of defending them against the encroachment of the federal Government? A consolidation of the states would ensue, which, it is conceded, would subvert the new Constitution, and against which this very article, so much condemned, is our best security. Too much provision cannot be made against a consolidation. The state governments represent the wishes, and feelings, and local interests, of the people. They are the safeguard and ornament of the Constitution; they will protract the period of our liberties; they will afford a shelter against the abuse of power, and will be the natural avengers of our violated rights.”

 

During debate on the proposed constitution in the North Carolina Ratifying Convention, William Davie stated:

 

“The next department is the Senate. How is it formed? By the states themselves. Do they not choose them? Are they not created by them? And will they not have the interests of the states particularly at heart? The states, sir, can put a final period to the government… If the state legislatures think proper, they may refuse to choose senators, and the government must be destroyed.” 

 

As stated by Mr. Davie, the authority to appoint members of the Senate gave the States the ultimate power of nullification.

2 years, 2 months ago on On Repealing the 17th Amendment Part II: Dissent

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Yo Mr. Elitist...you missed the point...he did not know basic geography.  That said, I read your latest on the income tax. You might want to re-think your statement on the 16th Amendment.

 

In 1980, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) prepared a report for Congress concerning the federal income tax. (According to CRS web-page, they provide Congress with legal and other analysis that is authoritative, accurate, objective and nonpartisan). This Report discussed two 1916 Supreme Court decisions and the effect of the Sixteenth Amendment on the federal government’s power to tax:

 

“The Supreme Court, in a decision written by Chief Justice White, first noted that the Sixteenth Amendment did not authorize any new type of tax, nor did it repeal or revoke the tax clauses of Article I of the Constitution… Direct taxes were, notwithstanding the advent of the Sixteenth Amendment, still subject to the rule of apportionment and indirect taxes were still subject to the rule of uniformity.”

 

Source for above quote: “Some Constitutional Questions Concerning the Federal Income Tax,” Howard M. Zaritsky, (Congressional Research Service, Washington, D.C., 1980) p. 5, Report No. 84-168 A 734/275.

 

Note: The two cases were Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 240 U.S. 1, (1916) and Stanton v. Baltic Mining Company, 240 U.S.103 (1916).

 

In the Baltic Mining Company case, Justice White wrote:

 

“(T)he Sixteenth Amendment conferred no new power of taxation but simply prohibited the previous complete and plenary power of income taxation possessed by Congress from the beginning from being taken out of the category of indirect taxation to which it inherently belonged….”

 

As stated by above, the Sixteenth Amendment did not authorize any new type of tax or repeal or revoke the existing clauses. Indirect taxes were still subject to the rule of uniformity and direct taxes were still required to be apportioned among the several States based on population. Thus, the Amendment could not have granted Congress a new power to impose income taxes because the Amendment did not authorize a new type or class of tax. 

2 years, 2 months ago on Our Federal Government

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 @DarylLloydDavis

 

"the proliferation of the college educated citizen? "

 

Like the one who asked me if the Japanese flew over the US before bombing Pearl Harbor in 1941.

2 years, 3 months ago on Our Federal Government

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I continue to say the way to address federal usurpations is through separation of power (between the States and their federal government) resolutions adopted by the States and submitted to the feds with nullification as the action to be taken to negate the usurpations...followed by a constitutional amendment...yes a Convention can be called and restricted to a single issue.

 

"The United States, in their united or collective capacity, are the OBJECT to which all general provisions in the Constitution must necessarily be construed to refer."  [Emphasis not added]

 

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Essay No. 83.

 

 

2 years, 3 months ago on Standing on the Moral High Ground

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These comments confirm what I told a friend recently during a discussion... the biggest threat to liberty is not government...it is our fellow citizens.

2 years, 3 months ago on The America-Haters Strike Again

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Maybe a copy of the pamphlets should be sent to Chief usurpers Obama and Roberts.

2 years, 3 months ago on Constitution 101: Necessary and Proper Clause

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@VinB

A 1980 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report discussed the effect of the Sixteenth Amendment on the federal government’s power to tax:

 

“The Supreme Court, in a decision written by Chief Justice White, first noted that the Sixteenth Amendment did not authorize any new type of tax, nor did it repeal or revoke the tax clauses of Article I of the Constitution… Direct taxes were, notwithstanding the advent of the Sixteenth Amendment, still subject to the rule of apportionment and indirect taxes were still subject to the rule of uniformity.”

 

As stated by CRS, the Amendment did not authorize any new type of tax or repeal or revoke the existing clauses. Indirect taxes were still subject to the rule of uniformity and direct taxes were still required to be apportioned among the several States.

 

The Report also made the following statement concerning the nature of the income tax:

 

“Therefore, it can be clearly determined from the decisions of the United States Supreme Court that the income tax is an indirect tax, generally in the nature of an excise tax.”

 

In 1989, the CRS revised and updated its report and discussed the nature of an excise tax:

 

"What does the court mean when it states that

the income tax is in the nature of an excise tax?"

 

“An excise tax is a tax levied on the manufacture, sale, or consumption of a commodity or any various taxes on privileges often assessed in the form of a license or fee. In other words, it is a tax on doing something to property or on the privilege of holding some property or doing some act, not a tax on the property itself. The tax is not on the property directly, but rather it is a tax on the transaction.

 

When a court refers to an income tax as being in the nature of an excise, it is merely stating that the tax is not on the property itself.”

 

If the so-called tax in Obamacare is not direct then it can only be indirect. A review of the above shows it fails that test too.

 

 

2 years, 3 months ago on "Taxes" are for Revenue. SCOTUS is Wrong.

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Robert’s mentioned Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story’s commentaries on the Constitution in the opinion. Story addressed the meaning and scope of the general welfare phrase:

 

“Do the words, ‘to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises,’ constitute a distinct, substantial power; and the words, ‘to pay debts and provide for the common defence, and general welfare of the United States,’ constitute another distinct and substantial power? Or are the latter words connected with the former, so as to constitute a qualification upon them? This has been a topic of political controversy; and has furnished abundant materials for popular declamation and alarm. If the former be the true interpretation, then it is obvious, that under colour of the generality of the words to ‘provide for the common defence and general welfare,’ the government of the United States is, in reality, a government of general and unlimited powers, notwithstanding the subsequent enumeration of specific powers; if the latter be the true construction, then the power of taxation only is given by the clause, and it is limited to objects of a national character, ‘for the common defence and the general welfare.’

 

The latter has been the generally received sense of the nation, and seems supported by reasoning at once solid and impregnable. The reading, therefore, which will be maintained in these commentaries, is that, which makes the latter words a qualification of the former; and this will be best illustrated by supplying the words, which are necessarily to be understood in this interpretation. They will then stand thus: ‘The congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, in order to pay the debts, and to provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States;’ that is, for the purpose of paying the public debts, and providing for the common defence and general welfare of the United States. In this sense, congress has not an unlimited power of taxation; but it is limited to specific objects, ---the payment of the public debts, and providing for the common defence and general welfare. A tax, therefore, laid by congress for neither of these objects, would be unconstitutional, as an excess of its legislative authority."

 

Justice Story also stated the taxing power could not be used as a regulatory power:

 

“The power to lay taxes is a power exclusively given to raise revenue, and it can constitutionally be applied to no other purposes. The application for other purposes is an abuse of the power; and, in fact, however it may be in form disguised, it is a premeditated usurpation of authority."

 

Looks like Justice Roberts needs a new title: Chief Usurper of the United States Supreme Court.

2 years, 3 months ago on "Taxes" are for Revenue. SCOTUS is Wrong.

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Shortly after his death in 1850, John C. Calhoun’s essay entitled: "A Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States" was published in book form. In describing the federal government, Calhoun, who had been Vice President of the United States from 1825 to 1832 wrote the following:

 

"It is federal, because it is the government of States united in a political union, in contradistinction to a government of individuals, that is, by what is usually called, a social compact. To express it more concisely, it is federal and not national because it is the government of a community of States, and not the government of a single State or Nation."

2 years, 4 months ago on Federalism Is Fundamental

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I might add a 6th...the war on truth and knowledge through the media and the education system.

2 years, 4 months ago on 5 Greatest Threats to Your Liberty Today

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Question-Why do we need a hemp act for the federal government when that government was not granted the authority in the first place?

2 years, 4 months ago on Hemp History Week: A Tenther's View

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I think the first and fundamental question in every case should be---by what authority?

2 years, 4 months ago on Advocating lawlessness to pass laws? No Thanks

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The federal government was not granted ANY general legislative authority over land within the individual States.

 

In 1957, a congressional committee prepared a report entitled: "Jurisdiction over Federal Areas within the States." The Report examined the intent and scope of Article I, Section 8, Clause 17. This Clause states:

 

“The Congress shall have power . . .  To 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 Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by Consent of the Legislature of the State in which then Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful Buildings…”

 

The Report discussed the debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 concerning this Clause and stated:

 

“The debates in the Constitutional Convention are also of interest in the light they cast on the purpose of the consent requirement of clause 17. There appears to be no question but that the requirement was added simply to foreclose the possibility that a State might be destroyed by the purchase by the Federal Government of all the property within that State. Could the Federal Government acquire exclusive jurisdiction over all property purchased by it within a State, without the consent of that State, the latter would have no means of preserving its integrity.”

 

The Report concluded that the federal government does not have any general legislative authority over land within the several States:

 

“It scarcely needs to be said that unless there has been a transfer of jurisdiction (1) pursuant to clause 17 by a Federal acquisition of land with State consent, or (2) by cession from the State to the Federal Government, or unless the Federal Government has reserved jurisdiction upon the admission of the State, the Federal Government possesses no legislative jurisdiction over any area within a State…”

 

As an aside, if the federal government was supreme and above the States then State consent would be an absurdity.

 

Source of Report-Jurisdiction over Federal areas within the States, Report of the Interdepartmental Committee for the Study of Jurisdiction over Federal Areas within the States, Part II, A Text of the Law of Legislative Jurisdiction, (Washington, DC, 1957).

2 years, 5 months ago on Another Federal Real Estate Screw-Up

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Before they are done they will transform the United States of America into---

 

The United Surveillance State of America.

2 years, 5 months ago on Is There a Drone in Your Backyard?

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And where in the Constitution can we find the clause that grants the federal government general law enforcement power within the States and where is the record of this power being debated in the Federal Convention of 1787?

 

2 years, 5 months ago on Is There a Drone in Your Backyard?

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Looks like a provision in a defense bill to remove this was voted down in the House---

 

"House Vote Upholds Indefinite Detention of Terror Suspects"

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/19/us/politics/house-votes-to-preserve-a-power-of-indefinite-detention.html?_r=1&hp&gwh=E90E9513C6117AF4685494EFA970BA4B

 

For those who think the Republicans are for constitutional government...think again!

 

 

2 years, 5 months ago on A Restoration of Law and Hope?

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"First, the idea that an executive officer chooses who is to be on the court is strange, if that court is really to be unbiased and “blind.” Ah, but the president only gets to have his choice if the senate agrees..."

 

Since the Union is between the several States, and these States comprise the United States, it makes perfect sense to me for the President and Senate to perform these duties.

 

The President is chosen by electors who are appointed in a manner prescribed by the legislatures of the States.

 

The Senate, as originally conceived, was appointed by the legislatures of the States.

 

The people had no direct voice in either choice.

 

In Federalist Essay No. 14, James Madison wrote:

 

"[I]t is to be remembered that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any…"

 

The members of the republic are the individual States. Thus, as stated by Madison, the general powers of the federal government were to be limited to objects that concern the States in their united or collective capacity.

 

Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist Essay No. 83 wrote:

 

"The United States, in their united or collective capacity, are the OBJECT to which all general provisions in the Constitution must necessarily be construed to refer."

 

If we put all this together then the chief executive of the government of the States collectively and legislative body of the States collectively should be the ones who nominate and confirm all officers of the government of the States collectively.

2 years, 5 months ago on What Separation of Power?

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The Tenth Amendment cannot be an afterthought because the principle enumerated in the Amendment is a truism and one of the fundamental principles of the Constitution.

 

In October of 1787, less than one month after the proposed constitution was signed in the Federal Convention, James Wilson, a Federalist from Pennsylvania, explained the proposed constitution and answered some of the criticisms being leveled against it:

 

“It will be proper…to mark the leading discrimination between the State constitutions and the Constitution of the United States. When the people established the powers of legislation under their separate governments, they invested their representatives with every right and authority which they did not in explicit terms reserve…if the frame of government is silent, the jurisdiction is efficient and complete. But in delegating federal powers, another criterion was necessarily introduced, and the congressional power is to be collected, not from tacit implication, but from the positive grant expressed in the instrument of the union. Hence, it is evident, that in the former case everything that is not reserved is given; but in the latter the reverse of the proposition prevails, and everything that is not given is reserved.”

 

As stated by Wilson, under the Constitution, as originally written, everything not given was reserved. This principle exists independent and irrespective of the subsequent adoption of the Tenth Amendment. Thus, the Tenth Amendment is a restatement and constitutional enumeration of a  fundamental principle.

 

 

 

 

2 years, 6 months ago on Tenth Amendment a Waste of Ink?

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 @cptbanjo

 

On April 26, 1913, Cordell (Judge) Hull, a Representative from Tennessee, explained the “new” income tax law adopted by Congress following the adoption of the Sixteenth Amendment:

 

“In any event, the proposed tax is measured by net profits or gains, and is not imposed upon gross income nor capital nor other property. If a citizen has not been successful in his efforts to accumulate profits he is not required to pay the tax, but if he has prospered he is required to contribute to his Government, not the scriptural tithe, but a small percentage of his net profits.”

 

Mr. Hull went on to state:

 

“The proposed law should be construed as similar laws have been construed by the courts with respect to the application of the tax [Corporation Excise Tax Act of 1909], and that is that the income in question shall be the measure of the tax and not the specific fund out of which the tax is necessarily payable; the bill takes as the measure of the tax the net income of the proceeding year. Paragraph B defines the net income of a taxable individual or person. Income as thus defined does not embrace capital or principle, but only such gains or profits as may be realized from rent, interest, salaries, trade, commerce, or sales of any kind of property, and so forth, or profits or gains derived from any other source.”

 

Source for Hull’s quotes: Congressional Record, Volume 50: Part 1, pp., 505-506.

 

2 years, 6 months ago on Freedom from the Income Tax

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Even though I was a big fan of Browne, his statement that the passage of the 16th Amendment authorized an income tax in contrast to excise taxes is incorrect.

 

Eighteen years before the adoption of the Sixteenth Amendment, a legal controversy arose concerning a federal income tax statute. In 1895, the United States Supreme Court struck down, as unconstitutional, the federal Income Tax Act of 1894. The Court concluded the tax imposed by the Act on “rents or income of real estate” was not significantly distinct from a tax on the property itself. Therefore, the Court classified the tax as a direct tax requiring apportionment among the several States.

 

Following this ruling, even though the Court did not hold that all income taxes were direct taxes, there was uncertainty as to whether income taxes fell in the class of direct or indirect taxes. As a result, Congress sought to remove all doubt by passing an amendment to the Constitution. 

 

Immediately after the Amendment was ratified in 1913, Congress enacted another income tax. The new law was immediately challenged as unconstitutional. In 1916, the Supreme Court issued two decisions on the scope of the Amendment. The Congressional Research Service in a 1980 Report explained the effect of the Sixteenth Amendment in two sentences:

 

“The Supreme Court, in a decision written by Chief Justice White, first noted that the Sixteenth Amendment did not authorize any new type of tax, nor did it repeal or revoke the tax clauses of Article I of the Constitution… Direct taxes were, notwithstanding the advent of the Sixteenth Amendment, still subject to the rule of apportionment and indirect taxes were still subject to the rule of uniformity.”

 

Source for above quote: “Some Constitutional Questions Concerning the Federal Income Tax,” Howard M. Zaritsky, (Congressional Research Service, Washington, D.C., 1980) p. 5, Report No. 84-168 A 734/275.

 

As stated by CRS, the Amendment did not authorize any new type of tax. It also did not repeal the existing clauses. Indirect taxes were still subject to the rule of uniformity and direct taxes were still required to be apportioned among the several States.

 

The CRS Report referenced above made the following statement concerning the Supreme Court’s decisions on the nature of the federal income tax:

 

“Therefore, it can be clearly determined from the decisions of the United States Supreme Court that the income tax is an indirect tax, generally in the nature of an excise tax.”

 

Source for this quote: page 6 of the 1980 CRS Report.

 

On March 27, 1943, an analysis of the federal income tax was published in the Congressional Record. This compilation of information was written by a former legislative draftsman in the Treasury Department (one of the people who wrote the tax laws) and entitled: “The Income Tax is an Excise Tax, and Income is Merely the Basis for Determining its Amount.” This commentary stated, in part:

 

“The income tax is, therefore, not a tax on income as such. It is an excise tax with respect to certain activities and privileges which is measured by the income they produce. The income is not the subject of the tax: it is the basis for determining the amount of the tax.”

 

Source for this quote: Congressional Record, Volume 89: Part 2, p. 2980.

 

The so-called federal income tax is an indirect excise tax based on the exercise of an activity or privilege. Income is simply the measuring stick to determine the value of the activity or privilege that is the subject of the tax.

 

Thus, the question is: what is the activity or privilege that is the subject of this indirect excise tax and why is it disguised and presented as a Sixteenth Amendment tax on income when the Amendment did not authorize any new type of tax?

2 years, 6 months ago on Freedom from the Income Tax

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The flag of the United States, from a constitutional standpoint, merely symbolizes the limited Union that was established between the several States when they adopted the Constitution.

 

The flag has a star for each State presently in the Union and a stripe for each of the original 13 States. Every symbol on the flag represents States. If the flag were the symbol of the American people, as comprising one nation, then it would be a fixed symbol. Instead, it has changed every time a new State entered the Union because the number of United States changed.

2 years, 6 months ago on One Nation, Indivisible?

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And as an added nail in their coffin no mandate was imposed on the seamen.

2 years, 6 months ago on Health Care On Federal Enclaves, And Really Silly Journalists.

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If the federal government is supreme and above the States as people like Representative Fabrizio assert,  then why do the States have the SOLE power to amend the Constitution and restrict or enlarge the powers of the federal government?

2 years, 6 months ago on When are Federal Laws Supreme?

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You need to add the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 to your list...signed into law last month.

 

http://lewrockwell.com/napolitano/napolitano45.1.html

2 years, 7 months ago on The Next Steps Toward Liberty

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I am elated to see the words "compact between the States" and "agent of the States" on the Tenth Amendment Center. When I made these points several years ago it triggered some heated discussions. Way to go Mr. Lyons!

 

That being said, I think Mr. Lyons could have sealed the deal if he had incorporated Article V into the "let's review" part of his essay.

 

Pursuant to that Article, the Constitution can only be amended by a vote of the States. Neither Congress, nor a majority of the American people, as comprising one nation, can amend the Constitution. In fact, the American people, as comprising one nation, cannot propose changes to the Constitution. Likewise, neither the federal government, nor the whole people, can intercede and nullify a vote of the States on constitutional changes (Constitutional Convention). The amendment immediately becomes part of the Constitution irrespective of whether Congress approves or disapproves. That body is constitutionally bound by the actions of the States because the Constitution is a compact between the States and the federal government is simply their agent or representative.

 

Through the amendment process, the 38 (three-fourths) smallest States, with a minority of the population, can bind the remaining 12 States with a majority of the population. By way of the amendment process, the States have the authority to restrict or enlarge the powers of the federal government but that government lacks the authority restrict or enlarge the powers of the States. In fact, the States have the constitutional authority to abolish the powers of their federal government but that government lacks the constitutional authority to abolish the powers of the States.

 

This proves conclusively that the federal government exists at the pleasure of the States, not vice versa. It also confirms that the parties to the Constitution are the States because they are the only parties that can amend the document. 

2 years, 7 months ago on The Bill of Rights Applies to the Federal Government

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In his book, which was written before the Civil War but published several years after it ended, Abel Upshur made a prediction too:

 

“So far as (the federal) government is concerned, I venture to predict that it will become absolute and irresponsible, precisely in proportion as the rights of the States shall cease to be respected, and their authority to interpose for the correction of federal abuses shall be denied and overthrown.  It should be the object of every patriot in the United States to encourage a high respect for the State governments.  The people should be taught to regard them as their greatest interest, and as the first objects of their duty and affection.  Maintained in their just rights and powers, they form the true balance-wheel, the only effectual check on federal encroachments.”

 

“The danger is, not that the States will interpose too often, but that they will rather submit to federal usurpations, than incur the risk of embarrassing that government, by any attempts to check and control it.”

 

Abel Upshur, “The Federal Government: It’s True Nature and Character,” (New York, Van Evire, Horton & Co., 1868).

2 years, 7 months ago on James Madison and the Gathering Storm Prophecy

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During the debates in the Federal [Constitutional] Convention of 1787, a draft of the proposed constitution contained a provision granting Congress the power “to make war.”  A separate proposal to vest this power in the president was debated and rejected.  It was asserted that a president should not have the power to initiate war because he could not be trusted with such a power.  In addition, a proposal to substitute the word “declare” for “make” was agreed to unanimously.  Thus, the constitutional power to initiate or declare war, as this article states, was vested solely in the Congress.

2 years, 7 months ago on Executive War Powers Have Strict Constitutional Limits

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In 1957, David Lawrence wrote an interesting article for U.S. News & World Report entitled: There is No: ‘Fourteenth Amendment’!

 

Mr. Lawrence’s article shows the Amendment was never properly ratified. It can be viewed at― (http://www.constitution.org/14ll/no14th.htm).

2 years, 7 months ago on The 14th Amendment and the Bill of Rights

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Let me see if I have this straight. Government passes a law granting government  the authority to order an American killed without following constitutional mandates, but if that same American were to mention, while drinking at a bar, that a government official should be killed for usurpations of power under the Constitution,  government claims the authority under the Constitution to investigate and prosecute the individual for violations of the law.

 

Looks like Joseph Stalin's minions are alive and well and running the federal government.

2 years, 7 months ago on Can the President Kill You?

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The "Constitutional Authority Statement" that accompanied H.R.1540 stated:

 

"Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant to the following:

 

The constitutional authority on which this bill rests is the power of Congress to 'provide for the common defense,'  'raise and support armies,' and 'provide and maintain a navy,' as enumerated in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution."

 

Since the legislation violates several of the Amendments in the document known as the Bill of Rights and these Amendments placed additional restraints or prohibitions on the powers of the federal government (See paragraph 1 of the preamble to the Bill of Rights), these reprobates are asserting that they have the authority to assert this constitutional power to negate subsequent constitutional restraints.

 

In my opinion, this is an absolute usurpation of power and blatantly unconstitutional because Congress cannot assert a constitutional power to negate or circumvent  subsequent constitutional restraints on the exercise of power.

2 years, 7 months ago on NDAA: It Doesn't Apply to You? Baloney

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As you stated, the Constitution was adopted for and between a Union of States. It was not adopted for a nation of individuals, as comprising a single nation. Thus, the Constitution would not be a model for a consolidated national government like the ones she mentioned.

 

That being said, I seriously doubt that fact had any bearing on her comments because progressives have been working for a 100 years to transform the document from a federal constitution into a national constitution.

 

They attempt to attack the Constitution with straw man arguments. Their attacks are akin to claiming cars are defective because you cannot drive them under water.

 

 

2 years, 8 months ago on Yes, They DO Hate the Constitution!

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Delegate Marshall stated:

 

"Even President Obama had questions about the bill, when he promised the American people that he would not use the unrestrained powers it granted him..."

 

Really? According Sen. Levin (D-MI),  it was Obama who requested the provision for indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial.

 

Obama is nothing but a piss ant dictator masquerading as a statesman.

2 years, 8 months ago on NDAA Nullification Passes Virginia Senate by a Veto-Proof 39-1 Vote

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Where do we look to find the “compelling governmental interest” clause of the Constitution?

Under that standard there are no limits to federal power because they could argue there is a “compelling governmental interest” for every piece of legislation or regulation they pass.

2 years, 8 months ago on Contraceptives and Catholic hospitals: The primary issue is Obamacare, not the First Amendment

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@WilliamSchooler@Bob Greenslade

The 10th Amendment is secondary, not primary. When I spoke to some Tea Party groups most of the people in attendance thought the 10th Amendment established the principle of not granted is reserved. This is not the case. In my opinion, it needs to be emphasized more in any 10th Amendment discussion because the principle exists independent of the Amendment. That was the point.

In early October of 1787, James Wilson, a Federalist from Pennsylvania, during a speech at Independence Hall, explained the proposed constitution and answered some of the criticisms being leveled against it. In his speech, Wilson succinctly explained the principle of powers not granted are reserved and stated why a bill of rights had been omitted from the Constitution, as originally written:

“It will be proper...to mark the leading discrimination between the State constitutions and the Constitution of the United States. When the people established the powers of legislation under their separate governments, they invested their representatives with every right and authority which they did not in explicit terms reserve...if the frame of government is silent, the jurisdiction is efficient and complete. But in delegating federal powers, another criterion was necessarily introduced, and the congressional power is to be collected, not from tacit implication, but from the positive grant expressed in the instrument of the union. Hence, it is evident, that in the former case everything that is not reserved is given; but in the latter the reverse of the proposition prevails, and everything that is not given is reserved.

This distinction being recognized, will furnish an answer to those who think the omission of a bill of rights a defect in the proposed constitution; for it would have been superfluous and absurd to have stipulated with a federal body of our own creation, that we should enjoy those privileges of which we are not divested, either by the intention or the act that has brought the body into existence. For instance, the liberty of the press,...what control can proceed from the Federal government to shackle or destroy that sacred palladium of national freedom?...the proposed system possesses no influence whatever upon the press, and it would have been merely nugatory to have introduced a formal declaration upon the subject—nay, that very declaration might have been construed to imply that some degree of power was given, since we undertook to define its extent.”

2 years, 8 months ago on States to DC: Back Off!

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Michael-nice interview.

I have one comment.

As you know, the 10th Amendment is a truism because the Constitution was constructed on the principle enumerated in the Amendment. If the Amendment had never been added the principle would not have disappeared. Too many people think the principle enumerated in the Amendment is the sole basis for the principle: powers not delegated are reserved because of the Amendment.

I hope you will consider making that point in future interviews.

2 years, 8 months ago on States to DC: Back Off!

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There should be a 3rd question. Since the DNAA violates several provisions of the Bill of Rights, and the purpose of Amendments, as stated in preamble to the Bill of Rights was to placed additional prohibitions on the powers of the federal government, where is the federal government granted the power to remove or modify enumerated restraints on its powers?

This is what happens when we treat the Amendments as grants of rights instead of denials of power.

2 years, 9 months ago on Refuted: Congressional Lies about NDAA Kidnapping

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In a speech before the Oregon Bar Association on September 2, 1943, Alfred Clark explained how the feds ended-up in the Alaska gold mining show:

“Today, in a very real sense, law no longer governs the American people. They are governed by regulations, orders and directives issued by one or the other of our multiple Federal bureaus. I am not now referring to war regulation and the like, but to conditions existing before the war, and which, unless the trend is checked, are likely to continue and to intensify after the war is over.

This has been accomplished, to a very large extent, through a new and, in many aspects, a startling interpretation of the commerce clause of the Federal Constitution, which is now being used to obliterate the States and convert our system into a highly centralized form of government, exercising uncontrolled police power in every State, over all, or nearly all, local affairs and industries.”

“The commerce clause of the Constitution is now pressed into service as the basis for asserting the power of unlimited control and all regulation of all local and State affairs.”

“Agriculture, mining and manufacturing are now held to be in interstate commerce, and all phases subject to Federal regulation.”

The State of Alaska should get some balls and throw these federal jerks out of their State and tell Congress that if they send any more agents they will arrest them for interfering in intrastate commerce.

2 years, 9 months ago on It All Comes Down to People

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The title of this article is right on the money because the Founders clearly articulated the principle during the ratification process; the individual States would protect the people from federal encroachments.

In the New York Ratifying Convention, Melancton Smith stated:

“The state constitutions should be the guardians of our domestic rights and interests, and should be both the support and the check of the federal government.”

Gilbert Livingston would add:

“[I] conceive the state governments are necessary as the barrier between the people’s liberties and any invasion which may be attempted on them by the general government.”

In Federalist Essay No. 26 Alexander Hamilton stated:

“[T]he State legislatures, who will always be not only vigilant but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens against encroachments from the federal government…will be ready enough, if anything improper appears, to sound the alarm to the people, and not only be the voice, but if necessary, the arm of their discontent.”

If the State legislatures were to be the “arm” of the people from federal encroachments, then it follows that the States must have the independent power or authority to perform that function and it would appear to me that no precise description of the method is required.

2 years, 9 months ago on State Governments check Federal Power

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@RepublicRed@Bob Greenslade

The Founders said the States would protect the people from any usurpations by the federal government. Have they done their job or failed us?

2 years, 9 months ago on First NDAA; Now Enemy Expatriation Act

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Sage continued:

“But there is a provision, which some have thought, or pretended to think, referred to, or provided for, another citizenship, when really, taken with the above clauses, it is the strongest possible evidence to the contrary. ‘The congress shall have the power (not to naturalise, but) to establish a uniform rule of naturalisation, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the united states.’ As to citizenship, the object of the clause was to produce uniformity and homogeneousness throughout the states. New ‘citizens of each state’ were to be made of immigrants, and as the thirteen states were necessary actors in naturalising and aimed at uniformity, they ‘delegated’ the power to the congress they created, ‘to establish a uniform rule,’which, of course, they obligated themselves to act by. States were the only authorities that could endow foreigners with all civil rights, so as to make them equal to native born citizens―which is the object of naturalisation―and at the same time protect them in all civil rights given; for these new citizens were to become their members and subjects; and their machinery of government includes the only courts that have plenary jurisdiction over all the civil rights of citizens.”

2 years, 9 months ago on First NDAA; Now Enemy Expatriation Act

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In his classic work of 1878, The Republic of Republics, Bernard Janin Sage, a constitutional attorney, wrote the following on citizenship:

“The citizens are the state; the only citizenship is of the states; and necessarily the only allegiance is to the states. These are the ideas of both federal and state constitutions, as well as of the fathers.

It is beyond question that the only citizenship originally existent in the states that joined themselves in union, was citizenship of a state; and allegiance to, a nation, or a national (or federal) government, was never provided for, if it was even thought of. This is quite evident from the following clauses: ‘The citizens of each state shall be entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states’ (Art. IV. §2.) ‘The judicial power of the united states shall extend * * to controversies between citizens of different states; between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states; and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens, or subjects.’ (Art. III. §2.) See also amendments, Art. XI. If there were any citizens of a nation, they were not recognised or provided for. There were no other citizens than ‘citizens of each state,’ and their citizenship and allegiance was never transferred. The reason is quite obvious. States were the constituents of the federal system; and these very citizens were the states―each being a member, and integral part of his state; and if such transfer had taken place, there would have been no more ‘citizens of each state,’ and it would have contradicted and defeated the constitution itself; there being no provision for any other citizens than those of a state, who must, of course, remain untransferred in order to answer to those descriptions and provisions as to ‘the citizens of each state,’ ‘citizens of different states,’ &c. &c. " p. 417.

2 years, 9 months ago on First NDAA; Now Enemy Expatriation Act

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