Tenth Amendment Center national communications director
@Jon_Roland State nullification is any act or set of acts that makes an unconstitutional "law" null, void or simply unenforceable within a state. This includes abandonment of enforcement efforts, non-cooperation and actions to overtly block federal efforts. Northern states utilized all three approaches to nullify the Fugitive slave act of 1850 - including arresting federal marshals.
Only one true "sovereign" exists in the American system...that is the people. The people first created independent political societies (states) and through those political societies delegated some powers to a general government to form a union. Since the people acted through existing political societies to form a union and delegate powers to the federal government, they can also act through those same political societies to stop their creation from exercising undelegated powers.
1 year, 2 months ago on A Basic Civics Lesson for Pseudo-Historians
@the beeste Indeed - even the courts agree that the feds can't compel the states to enforce their acts.
@SethDelconte They key to understanding the meaning of the Constitution is through the lens of the ratification debates. NOT the convention. They tossed all kinds of ideas around at the convention. Madison pushed for a federal veto of all state laws during the convention. That idea was soundly rejected over and over again. (In essence, that's the role the Supreme Court serves in today.) I don't know if you clicked the link in the article for "extra reading," but that will lead you to a more in depth discussion on the role of the courts. If you are really interested in digging into the subject, I recommend you pick up a copy of my book, Our Last Hope. I lay out the case for nullification piece by piece and dissect the direct evidence for it in the ratification process. The bottom line is that you can't have a federal government with limited power (and there is NO debating that was the intention) if a branch of the federal government decides the extent of its own power. It simply makes no sense.
1 year, 2 months ago on They Don’t Know What They Don’t Know – Tenth Amendment Center Blog
@Frudoc This was a weird situation where I made some edits and then the author added some things and the two versions didn't get meshed properly. I think I've cleaned up the issues! Thanks for pointing it out.
1 year, 3 months ago on Do you believe in self-rule? – Tenth Amendment Center Blog
@DavidBrown1 Nullification of the Fugitive Slave Act by northern states failed so miserably that South Carolina listed it as its first complaint in its Declaration of Causes for secession.
1 year, 3 months ago on An important introduction to Nullification. http:/...
@GeorgeSeaver The feds clearly have no authority to dictate a state's definition of marriage. But here's the interesting question: does the federal government have the authority to define marriage as it sees fit for the purpose of granting FEDERAL benefits? In other words, if the federal government wants to restrict military survivor benefits to only male-female marriages, not same-sex unions, does it have that authority? Or conversely, can the feds open up federal benefits to same-sex marriages. That's where it gets tricky.
1 year, 3 months ago on Nullification for Lawyers
@CSA1861It's legitimately debatable whether the tariff was constitutional. Madison definitely thought it was. But the argument against it was that it did not fit the definition of "general welfare" because the benefits accrued to northern manufacturing states and harmed the south. At any rate, I think you would see what happened to S.C. happen in any dubious attempt to nullify - there would be very little support for other states and it would likely fail. Organizations like ours would oppose it. It just wouldn't fly. I don't see anything in today's nullification movements that are even close to the line. Federal power is SO out of control.
<p>But I grant, there is always the risk of unwarranted nullification. But I'll take that risk to the risk of an unchecked, all-powerful federal government.
1 year, 4 months ago on Who Decides Constitutionality?
@cptbanjo Hamilton was addressing the structure of the federal government. He was not addressing the relationship between the principle - the people of the states - and their agent - the federal government they created. The agent doesn't dictate to the principle the terms of its existence. That's nonsensical.
As Madison pointed out:
"Dangerous powers, not delegated, may not only be usurped and executed by the other departments, but that the judicial department also may exercise or sanction dangerous powers beyond the grant of the Constitution; and, consequently, that the ultimate right of the parties to the Constitution, to judge whether the compact has been dangerously violated, must extend to violations by one delegated authority, as well as by another; by the judiciary, as well as by the executive, or the legislature.However true, therefore, it may be, that the judicial department, is, in all questions submitted to it by the forms of the Constitution, to decide in the last resort, this resort must necessarily be deemed the last in relation to the authorities of the other departments of the government; not in relation to the rights of the parties to the constitutional compact, from which the judicial as well as the other departments hold their delegated trusts."
1 year, 4 months ago on Yeah, I’m OK With That – Tenth Amendment Center
@PaulYannucci This is one of the grossest comments I've seen posted on this website. Ever.
1 year, 5 months ago on February 19, 1942: A Black Stain on American History
@dover Republicans support this detention garbage too. This is not a partisan issue.
@Ripcity Interesting - because those ratifying the Constitution seemed to think they were doing so on behalf of the people of a sovereign state - and that those sovereign states were not giving up any sovereignty other than the specifically delegated powers enumerated in the Constitution. In fact, those "selling" the Constitution told them that was the case."Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution." Madison, Federalist 39So the fact that the Supreme Court - part of the federal government the people of those sovereign states created - came along down the road and "rejected" what was clearly the case at ratification and declared itself the judge of its own power doesn't seem like a very convincing argument.In order for your view of the Republic to carry any weight, it is incumbent upon you to show proof from the ratifying period that they were ratifying as "one American people." You also need to unravel Jefferson's basic argument."The several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress."
1 year, 5 months ago on An important introduction to Nullification. http:/...
@whitemcky The British sent the Redcoats.
1 year, 5 months ago on Sheriffs, States and the Supreme Court
@dmellon Agreed. The people of the states are the final arbiters. My assumption is that the people delegated powers to their state governments. The state legislators are the duly elected representatives of the people. Therefore they have the authority to nullify. The people of the states ultimately control their legislators.
1 year, 5 months ago on Nullification: The Basics – Tenth Amendment Center Blog
@ChrisSwenson Armed guards may or may not make sense. Personally, I'm concerned about the increasing militarization of our local police forces and the unintended consequences of increasing "security" after every tragic event - especially when federal agencies get involve. We only have to look at the aftermath of 9/11 to find reason for concern. But the bottom line is that security in schools is a state and local issue and should be addressed and debated at that level.
1 year, 7 months ago on NRA says to hell with the Constitution
@AnthonyJamesPalumbo @Mike I didn't think you were. Just wanted to be clear for all of the readers. And you are absolutely right. More federal power is not the solution to any problem!
@MichaelBrady I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume this is the first time you've come across the Tenth Amendment Center. We are not "left wing." Our tenacious opposition to Obamacare would make us pretty piss-poor left wingers. On the other hand, we're not "right-wingers" either. In fact, we refuse to allow the political establishment pigeon-hole us into its silly boxes. We stand for one thing - follow the Constitution, every issue, every time, no exception, no excuses. And we've been standing consistently on this principle for a long time, since 2006, in fact.
@AnthonyJamesPalumbo @Sean Just for the record - I do not support incorporation. In fact, I will be publishing an article on that subject in the very near future!
@dmellon A sad, but rather accurate analysis. I'll add this - I've worked in the media - most media folks don't understand the problem either. They just parrot what "officials" tell them.
1 year, 7 months ago on A hockey player's view over the fiscal cliff
@bertloftman That's interesting!
1 year, 8 months ago on For Some, It's Just a Constitution of Convenience
@Racefish Although if you read the whole ruling, the Court operates on the premise that a federal health care system is within the scope of federal powers.
1 year, 8 months ago on Will Montana Voters Nullify the Mandate?
@KeimgMeg Thank you!
1 year, 8 months ago on This is Our Last Hope
@Lawrence D Wood Can you point me to some documentation on this?
1 year, 9 months ago on The Feds are Dangerous to the Rights of Minorities
@ANTICRIME Thanks! I appreciate the kind words!
@kenlbear The Constitution created a federal government. The Bill of Rights was included to further clarify the limits of federal power, as the preamble to the BOR explains.THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institutionThe Second Amendment clarifies that the federal government cannot infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. But since the Constitution defines the federal government and not the state governments, it logically follows that the BOA was not intended to bind the states. In fact, even a cursory study of the original intent bears this out.It is true that no person or institution should infringe on a natural right. But that fact does not empower the federal government to "police the states." It is up to the people of the states to enforce their state constitutions and maintain vigilant control over their state and local representatives to ensure those rights remain protected at that level.
1 year, 9 months ago on Rejecting the Incorporation Doctrine
@findingthetruth “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” - Madison. In other words, the provision for the "general welfare" can only be through the enumerated powers. It's not a blanket power to do whatever for the general welfare. “This specification of particulars [the 18 enumerated powers of Article I, Section 8] evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd as well as useless if a general authority was intended.” - HamiltonBasically, general welfare means even the actions taken within the enumerated powers must be for the U.S. as a whole, not for a single state, region or interest group.
1 year, 9 months ago on James Madison: putting principle over pragmatism
@Bob Greenslade That's a much sharper explanation. I'm going to use it. Thanks!
1 year, 10 months ago on Jefferson and Madison vs "Staff Writer"
@West Texan @dsands @CarolineCarr So Mitt is going to protect your guns?When he was the governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed a ban on assault weapons, like the one used in the movie theatre in Aurora. “Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts,” he said at the time. “These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.” Romney also signed a law that raised the state’s gun-licensing fee to a hundred dollars, from twenty-five. Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/07/mitt-romney-the-gun-control-candidate.html#ixzz24JwaiH2Y
It seems to me your position is based more on perception and the "red team blue team" paradigm than any anchor in reality.And really - that's the point. The Democrats swear the Republicans are the worst people in the world because they are Republicans and the Republicans claim the Democrats are the worst people in the world because they are Democrats, and people fall in line with their party. Meanwhile, they all DO the same thing once they are elected.But by all means, carry on. If it makes you feel any better, Mitt will take my state whether I cast a vote for him or not. So you will not be cleaning up my stink. And I'll continue working to clean up the stink left in D.C. by the party loyalists.
1 year, 11 months ago on Curing the American Disease
@dsands @CarolineCarr Under George W. Bush - a Republican - we got: Real ID, Patriot Act, the creation of a brand new department (Homeland Security), TARP, a stimulus bill, a massive expansion of Medicare (a huge nationalized health care plan), an invasion of Iraq, No Child Left behind (expanding unconstitutional federal intrusion into education), billions added to the debt and a continuation of an unconstitutional "drug war." Under Obama, a Democrat, we got more stimulus, cash for clunkers, auto bailout, more nationalization of health care, extension of the Patriot Act, detention without due process written into the NDAA, war in Libya, drone strikes all over the place, an expansion of the war in Afghanistan, a continuation of the unconstitutional drug war, billions more added to the debt. Sure, the Republicans keep my taxes a little lower, but they won't do anything about spending, so really, they are just taxing my kids and grandkids. Clearly, neither party really has any intention of shrinking government or following the Constitution. And to be honest, I find the Republicans grosser than the Democrats because they run around and do all of this progressive, big-government, unconstitutional crap while proclaiming themselves the party of the Constitution and small-government. The bottom line is that I cannot cast a vote - indicating my seal of approval - on a federal candidate who has already indicated he will willfully violate the Constitution in multiple ways. If you can - by all means, hold your nose and do it.
@dsands But seriously...the point isn't "don't vote." If you believe it is important, by all means. We just want people to get out of the paradigm that 90 percent of Americans are stuck in - that notion that if we just get the "right guy" in D.C., everything will be fine. There is no "right guy." It's not that Obama is so bad. It's that the entire system is broken. Electing Romney isn't going to shrink the size and intrusiveness of the federal government. Romney isn't going to fix it. He is part of the problem. The federal behemoth WILL keep growing under a Romney administration - as it has for the past 100 years. So we had better figure out start doing something different than banging our head against the marble walls of D.C. every four years. You are 100 percent behind nullification...that is awesomeness! You are part of the solution. But most of your fellow Americans do not. They are fixated on "getting Obama out," or "keeping Romney out" and in my view, that is a difference without a distinction.
@dsands @Michael Boldin And you want to pass because the candidates don't line up 100% with you?Let me turn that question around - you want to choose the "best" guy between two people who are at best about 6 percent different?
@DarylLloydDavis You are welcome to post here. Nobody is stopping you. Your comments are not being censored. I have perused your website. You desire to do away with the original Constitution and replace it with a system based on direct democracy. Our goal at TAC is to restore the the original Constitution. Those two goals are diametrically opposed. So while we may share some underlying philosophy, we are not heading in the same direction. Quite frankly, I simply don't have time to refute your arguments.
1 year, 11 months ago on Garbage in, Garbage Out
@Chaplain Michael DarylLloydDavis proposes a new constitution based on direct democracy. He clearly disagrees with our objectives here at the Tenth Amendment Center, but he uses our website in an attempt to drive traffic to his.
@DarylLloydDavis You've missed the point. The billboard only served as a springboard for the deeper point of the article. I never said the group didn't have every right to apply pressure to get the billboard removed. And I wasn't even attempting to address the nuances of First Amendment law. My objection is to the underlying philosophy expressed by the spokesperson for the group - “We aren’t opposed to free speech unless it’s hate speech.” He clearly believes he has a "right" to determine what expression is and is not permissible. The issue wasn't the location of the bill board, it was the message expressed.
1 year, 11 months ago on Liberty: A two-way street
@dmellon We have definitely worked with Tea Party groups on coalition building. It varies state by state depending on how strong the state chapter is.
1 year, 11 months ago on Help wanted!
@dmellon Well said. And no, I don't think the people necessarily need the state legislatures - although since they exist, they serve as a mechanism already in place. But America has a long tradition of extra-constitutional popular action. H. Robert Baker touches on the subject in his fantastic book on Joshua Glover and Wisconsin's resistance to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.I have written a book on nullification that will hopefully be ready to distribute by Sept. that actually builds the case for nullification beginning with the sovereignty of the individual (from a Lockean perspective.)
@dmellon I see your point. I agree completely. In fact, your argument is identical to ours. We don't hold that Jefferson granted some mystical power to the states. We simply site Jefferson frequently because the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 he drafted (along with Madison's report of 1800) make the best, most concise constitutional argument for nullification. It is, in fact, based on the Tenth Amendment. Thanks for taking the time to clarify!
@dmellon Clarify No. 4. You make the case that the health care bill usurps the powers of the states. What are you asking the state legislature to do?
@AndrewStover So, I looked at this again and decided it wasn't really two false premises. More like false premise 1 and false premise 1a. So, I just eliminated that confusion completely!Thanks for your input.
1 year, 12 months ago on Obama, Warren and a false premise
@AndrewStover I tweaked it a bit, hopefully makes it a little more clear.
@AndrewStover You're right, it probably wasn't as clear as it could be.Premise 1 - using the system to justify the systemPremise 2. We "owe" something back because we use "public" resources such as roads. In fact - we already "paid" for them.
@onetenther I can't disagree with you, my friend. It's really just a matter of where we choose to focus our resources at this point. If a strong amendment movement develops, I certainly wouldn't oppose it!
1 year, 12 months ago on Standing on the Moral High Ground
@onetenther But a repeal amendment only applies to the specific object(s) repealed. Nullification is a legitimate and necessary check on federal power in general. My biggest difficulty with those who champion the amendment process as the panacea (while I don't philosophically oppose the idea) is that the federal government ignores the Constitution we have. I'm not convinced adding to it will restrain the feds. Even with amendments limiting federal power, we still need the threat of state nullification to hold them in check. Paper chains won't do the trick.
2 years ago on Standing on the Moral High Ground
@onetenther His videos and manifesto are widely available online. I found the quotes on several news sources. He also said this.""David is an adjective, Wynn is an adjective, Miller is a pronoun," he writes. "Two adjectives are a condition of modification, opinion, presumption, which modifies the pronoun, pro means no on noun. So therefore, I'm not a fact. I'm a fiction."Clearly a nut-job
2 years ago on Fear Mongering at Huffington Post. Again.
@West Texan You are absolutely right!
2 years ago on Dealing with the Federal Bully
@onetenther One more...shorter.
2 years ago on "Taxes" are for Revenue. SCOTUS is Wrong.
@onetenther If you're in the mood to do some reading, this is a great scholarly article on the meaning of "commerce." It touches on the tariff/taxation issue toward the end.http://constitution.i2i.org/sources-for-constitutional-scholars/legal-meaning-of-commerce-in-clause/
@onetenther Natelson spends a lot of time in his book explaining the distinction and the historical basis for understanding tariffs and taxes. Quite honestly, I don't have time to get into it here.
@onetenther Protective tariffs were not considered "Taxes" by the framers, but regulatory levies permissible under the commerce clause.
@Alex Hamilton You are correct. I mistakenly used another source's assertion and left off an important qualifier. He was talking about the fact that the SCOTUS never in that time period limited the scope of the commerce power, but allowed for its continual expansion (unless you count the 1966 case, which was really a Tenth Amendment ruling.)At any rate, your link makes my case just as well.
2 years ago on The Supremes: Looking out for their own
@Alex Hamilton Your analysis of the 14th is the typical analysis used by those who wish to expand centralized power. Bingham may or may not have wanted to make the 14th applicable to the states. But it was not sold to the states that way and they did not ratify it with that understanding. (Not to mention that one could argue the ratification wasn't even legitimate since the southern states ratified with a proverbial gun to their head - as a condition for full admittance back into the Union.
Bingham was all over the place. On the one hand, he did indeed argue for an enforcement of the bill of rights. On the other hand, he argued vehemently against the phrase “civil rights and immunities” in the 1866 Civil Rights Act, saying it could be interpreted to strip rights from the states. He was afraid the bill would empower to federal government to force his state of Ohio to enfranchise blacks.
As much as northern states wanted to protect the basic rights of freed slaves (the first part of the 14th guaranteed them citizenship) they certainly did not want to give up their own sovereignty and powers. Bingham himself conceded this point.
"The care of the property, liberty and the life of the citizen, under the solemn sanction of an oath imposed by your Federal Constitution, is in the States, not in the Federal Government. I have sought to effect no change in that respect in the Constitution of the country."
Historian Wallace Mendelson, a 14th Amendment scholar, noted, “Bingham is one who used ringing rhetoric as a substitute for rational analysis.”
But really Bingham’s thoughts and desires don’t govern the meaning of the 14th. He may well have wanted to incorporate the Bill of Rights through the 14th. That doesn’t mean that’s what the 14th actually did. That is the same argument some proponents of strong national government use – saying because Hamilton, Madison and others proposed and pushed for strong national powers in the Philadelphia Convention, that the Constitution grants strong national powers. It does not. The ratification conventions and how the amendment was “sold” dictate the meaning.
So the question becomes what are privileges and immunities, what is the meaning of due process and what is equal protection. As I said, it was understood that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 governed the meaning of the 14th.
"It is but incorporating in the Constitution the principle of the civil rights bill which has lately become a law." - Martin Thayer (R-Penn) Sen. Lyman Trumbull (Ill.) guided the 14th through the Senate. In a speech in Chicago as the amendment was being debated, he “clearly and unhesitatingly declared Sec . 1 of the Amendment to ‘be a reiteration of the rights as set forth in the Civil Rights Bill.’” Indiana Sen. Lane reaffirmed Trumbull’s views as did several other Congressmen addressing their states. West Virginia Rep. George Latham said, “The civil rights bill, which is now a law…covers exactly the same ground as the amendment.” Howard Jay Graham, an advocate of an abolitionist reading of the amendment said, “Virtually every speech in the debates on the amendment – Republican and Democrat alike – said or agreed that the amendment was designed to embody or incorporate the Civil Rights Act.”
Bingham’s desires not-withstanding, the purpose of the 14th was to ensure the protection of a specific set of rights to new black citizens – not an incorporation of the Bill of Rights. The northern states weren’t about to give up their sovereignty to the federal government. Had that been the understanding, they would not have ratified it. In fact, the argument was that the Civil Rights Act wouldn’t even have any affect in the North. (Rewind to Bingham’s fear of giving blacks the vote in Ohio.) In fact, the Slaughter-House ruling got it right.
2 years ago on A False Premise Makes for a False Court Ruling
@justinmontana Thanks for sharing that verse!
2 years ago on Thank You!
@jeff2 I think that is a damn good point! The logic seems to follow. But could you make a case that requiring the states to collect said income tax is necessary and proper under the 16th Amendment? I'll have to cypher on that.
There have been a few bills introduced here and there that would have the states collect taxes and only send the amount of money they calculate is for legitimate constitutional purposes on to D.C. Kind of a fun concept, but not very practical.
2 years, 1 month ago on DOMA ruling a small victory for state sovereignty
@jeff2 You've about got me convinced on this. Insofar as a federal definition doesn't intrude on a state power. In other words, it only applies to legitimate federal purposes. Maybe. I'm still uncomfortable with an overriding federal marriage definition. And I still think you can make that marriage defining is outside of the fed power. But necessary and proper - maybe. Tough one.From a purely philosophical standpoint, the real problem is that the government has its nose deeply imbedded in what is generally a religious institution. Good conversation!
@jeff2 Please don't put words in my mouth. I do not think that "in all cases, ought to control the feds." I think in terms of powers granted. I see your point. I just disagree . I think in terms of "does the Constitution delegate the federal government a power to define marriage?" No. It does not. As I have said twice now, Congress can define and restrict benefits within a given piece of legislation as it sees fit. It could stipulate that only people 5'5" or taller get XYZ benefit. That is necessary and proper. If you have read much legislation, you know that they carefully define everything in a bill. Your grass definition is an fine example. A federal law placing a tariff on grass WOULD explicitly define what it meant by grass in that legislation. Taking the next step and passing a single law saying "in all cases this is what grass is" would be an overstep of federal power.DOMA creates a definition of "marriage" for EVERY federal action in one sweeping law, binding every future act of Congress to that definition. The intent isn't simply to help define who gets benefits, it's to create a national definition of marriage. We all know that - and if you've read the ruling, you will find the judges address this issue. Seriously, read the ruling. I think it clarifies my point.And you simply can't look at the state and federal government as "autonomous spheres." They overlap. So we always have to parse the issue of where does federal authority stop and where does state authority begin. I believe DOMA steps over that line into state authority. You obviously disagree, and I do think you make a valid case. So we will have to leave it at that. But I appreciate your well thought out argument.
@jeff2 Perhaps we could better solve the problem if the federal government got out of the benefit handing out business.
@jeff2 You continue to miss the point. DOMA creates a federal definition of marriage - not just for benefits - but for all purposes. It does not have the authority to do this. States define marriage. When you get a marriage license, you get it from the state where you’re getting married, not the federal government. The state determines who can officiate, how old you have to be, whether you have adequately terminated any previous marriages you had, and so on. In that sense, your marital status is somewhat like a piece of property: federal laws or regulations frequently goes one way or another depending on whether you have it, but it uses state law to figure all that out.Like I said, if Congress wants to define eligibility for a benefit within a certain piece of legislation in a certain way - they are free to do this. But if they use the term "marriage" they are bound to EACH STATE'S definition of it because "marriage" is a state power. If the feds want to limit to to opposite sex partners, they should do that within a given piece of legislation. DOMA goes far beyond that. It creates a federal definition of marriage. Have you read the ruling?
@jeff2 DOMA is not just about handing out benefits. It creates a federal definition of marriage for any and every "federal purpose." If Congress wants to limit a certain benefit to "marriages involving one man and one woman" within a piece of legislation, that is well and good. To create its own sweeping definition of marriage is something altogether different. In essence, DOMA tells a legally married same-sex couple "no, you are not married." It may seem like an exercise in semantics, but it think it is a subtle yet crucial distinction.
@onetenther You are misapplying the necessary and proper power. Defining marriage as a man and a woman is not "necessary or proper" for handing out benefits. When the federal government decides to provide benefits based on "marriage" it implicitly accepts each states' definition of what marriage is, because that is a power left to the state. The state defines marriage and IF the fed chooses to bestow some benefit based on marriage, it must accept each state's pool of married people. If a spouse dies - what difference does it make to the federal government if that survivor benefit goes to a man that was married to a man or a man that was married to a woman? From a practical standpoint, not a bit. A benefit is a benefit. That was the court's point in this ruling. There is no reason for the federal government to redefine a state's definition of marriage. The exists no overriding federal concern. It also creates an "equal protection" issue. You seem to accept that Mass. has the right to recognize a same-sex union. Well, it's either a valid marriage or it is not. If it is - then it gets the same protection under law as a marriage between a man and a woman. To deny a same sex couple certain federal benefits denies them equal protection. You are saying they are married, but they are REALLY less married than the man and woman who get these benefits. So, IF a state has the power to define marriage, it follows that the feds must recognize that marriage as valid as well. If the feds can say - well, you can get married, but we aren't going to recognize it, then the state doesn't really have the power to define marriage, now does it? You should read the entire ruling. I linked to it. The judge makes basically this very argument.
@IronMike76 SCOTUS also said, "The question before us is, whether the class of persons described in the plea in abatement [people of Aftican (sic) ancestry] compose a portion of this people, and are constituent members of this sovereignty? We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word ‘citizens’ in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. On the contrary, they were at that time considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them."Needless to say, I'm not real impressed with "what SCOTUS says."T
2 years, 2 months ago on If the Feds Won't Stop the TSA, the States Should
@onetenther Make sure you call AND write her office and ask her to sign it!
2 years, 3 months ago on Two and Counting? NDAA Nullification Passes in Arizona
@Dagoof Thank you!
2 years, 3 months ago on Strike the Root!
@ScottStr Thank you!
@GregFieldI'm not suggesting one must believe in anything, other than the dignity of the individual. But it is a fact that Judeo-Christain thought formed the foundation of the philosophy of government the framers brought to the table. Their philosophy rested heavily on Locke, who was a theologian. But that doesn't infer that you have to necessarily accept the theological explanation to embrace the premise. In fact, many of the framers did not. Your statement is kind of like asking if you can be an American if you are a Buddhist or an atheist! Of course you can. In fact, I think I was making that point. I didn't include scripture as a religious test, but simply because it provides a beautiful and poetic illustration of human dignity. Even if you take it as myth, it still makes the same point. I included Kant's philosophical argument as a secular counter-point to the Judeo-Christian perspective. And note that I made a point to emphatically state that EVERY person has equal dignity and worth regardless of what they believe. It's innate. I happen to believe it is innate because God created us, but how you get there matters not a wit to me!
2 years, 4 months ago on Big Government Tramples Dignity
@SherryAnn68 Ain't that the truth?!?
2 years, 4 months ago on Battle against NDAA kidnapping provisions cross party lines
When I get in an interview situation where I don't have time to get into the minutia of NDAA, I simply point out that the fact so many credible people see potential problems with it, and so many people have such divergent points of view on what it means should be troubling in and of itself. That means we are leaving it up to a Pres. Obama or Rick Santorum or whoever happens to get elected to office to protect my best interests. No thanks! @SherryAnn68
@Freedom Ranger @West Texan You do realize the founder and executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center lives in LA. I can assure you - no commie cool-aid.
2 years, 5 months ago on Kentucky, West Virginia considering firearm freedom legislation
@Freedom Ranger@West Texan I hear ya! Thanks for stepping in and doing work. We need more people like you!
@Freedom Ranger@West Texan The Montana legislation passed in 2009 does require the stamp."A firearm manufactured or sold in Montana under [sections 1 through 6] must have the words 'Made in Montana' clearly stamped on a central metallic part, such as the receiver or frame."You can read the Montana bill here.http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2009/billhtml/HB0246.htm
@Freedom Ranger I agree it's not a prefect bill, nor is it an end-all cure-all. But it is a positive step. Progressives got us to this point over more than 100 years a small step at a time. We will not get it all back at once.
The point of the bill is there is absolutely NO grey area when it comes to federal regulation of intrastate commerce. When things cross state lines...things blur. Obviously we stick to an originalist view of the commerce clause - that it only grants power to regulate trade. But with the Made in Kentucky stamp and the complete lack of interstate activity, there is no way the feds can argue control. That is the point. And in my reading of the bill, nothing precludes a private individual making a firearm and applying the stamp.
@RedTulie Thank you!
2 years, 5 months ago on Esquire: Lies and Race-Baiting to Promote Central Power
@Nathaniel I think it's important to respond to "arguments" that bubble up in what some would consider the mainstream. It may not change the mind of the die-hards, but it gives me the opportunity to A. demonstrate we really do know what we are talking about and hold the intellectual high ground and B. It highlights the ridiculousness of their arguments and will likely sway fence sitters. The tactic of the left is ridicule. I've read Alinsky and it is a stated strategy. So I turn the tables on them. They are the extremists and their arguments are juvenile. This was the perfect opportunity to highlight that fact. On top of that, the Esquire article provided a good jumping off place for me to do a bit of legitimate teaching and debunk some common fallacies. They certainly aren't limited to Esquire.Plus, really, it's just kind of fun!
@Bob Greenslade Amen Bob!
2 years, 5 months ago on It All Comes Down to People
@Bob Greenslade Excellent points, Bob!
2 years, 5 months ago on State Governments check Federal Power
@SgPoyzer and Mitt.
2 years, 6 months ago on Obama and Santorum: Two Peas in a War Pod
@scott adie I agree Scott. Language evolves. It is also often coopted, especially in the political world. The main goal of the politician is to get elected, so they apply terms to themselves in order to appeal to a specific voting block. They politician may or may not actually believe the tenants described by the given label, and she may not mean it in the same sense as the people in the group she is trying to appeal to define it. But the group merely hears the label, accepts it within the context they understand it and assume the politician is "one of us." That was really my point in writing this piece, to try to get people not to blindly accept a person as "one of us" based on labeling, but instead examine the record and actual words of the individual.
2 years, 6 months ago on What are they Actually Conserving These Days?
Glad to help. If you get any info, just let me know and we'll get an update up! @TheEagleKeeper
2 years, 6 months ago on Georgia to consider creation of Constitutional Guardian Advisory Council
Upsure was brilliant. He wrote one of the best defenses of nullification I've read. I also source St. George Tucker - View of the Constitution of the United States quite often. He's fun because nobody can't pin the racist - slaveholder label on him, since he wrote a very nice essay opposing slavery. @Bob Greenslade
2 years, 6 months ago on The Heritage Solution: Beg and Plead
If you read the debates surrounding the drafting of the 14th and the ratification debates, it becomes quite clear that the amendment was not intended to "bind the Bill of Rights to the states.:" The 14th was intended to constitutionalize the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Raoul Berger provides and outstanding academic treatment of this issue in "The 14th Amendment and the Bill of Rights.
2 years, 7 months ago on Bill of Rights. FTW!
I'm glad it makes sense to you! @EulaMcLeod
2 years, 7 months ago on You don’t have ‘Constitutional Rights’
Perhaps. But your point begs a question. Given that the U.S. lacked power in the early days of the Republic, from a "security" standpoint, wouldn't it have made more sense to ally with a more powerful nation for protection? It seems to me, that as a world superpower, we are in a better position today to pull off Washington's expressed foreign policy than at the time he articulated it.@JamesP.Delaney
2 years, 7 months ago on "I love George Washington. Except for his Foreign Policy."
Yes indeed. One can definitely change, but only if willing to read, listen and think critically. And most often, I don't think it comes quickly, but in small steps! @RHill
2 years, 8 months ago on Higher Education, Just Another Government Created Bubble