14 yr Old Addresses NH State Assembly: Guns and Religion

This young lady should read her message to Congress…………….
Forwarded for publication: a copy of an email…

14 year old girl speaks on 2nd Amendment rights in NH Congress   CowboyByte

Here’s the story…

My 14 year old daughter, Daphne, and I went to a gun rally at the NH Capitol in  Concord on Saturday, Jan 19, 2013. I don’t even own a gun, but I’m a strong believer in the Constitution and the wisdom of our Founders especially when it comes to government taking away our freedoms, and I don’t like the direction Obama is taking the country on that issue. You know, America, land of the free, and all the core strengths that made America great.

I made up a bunch of signs and Daphne prepared a letter before the rally, thinking she  might hand it out to anyone who was interested. While attending the rally, Daphne noticed that the speaker had stopped talking and that he was handing the bullhorn to anyone who wanted to speak. She pointed that out to me, and soon she went over to the Capitol steps, got in line, and waited for her turn. After fighting her way to the front of  the line, she stood there, on the steps of the NH State Capitol, and read a shorter version of the letter below.

She brought the house down.

After the cheers had died down, dozens of people shook her hand and congratulated her. A couple of reporters interviewed her briefly and other photographers took her picture. Just before she left, a representative from the New Hampshire Assembly talked to her and asked  if she could come and speak at a hearing on gun control on Tuesday, Jan  22, 2013. Daphne said, Sure.

On Tuesday, we picked her up from school at 12:00 noon and drove to Concord. We found  our way to the Legislative Assembly Hall, Room 204. The room was packed and there was a line down the hall and around two corners. Soon, they moved the meeting to another room. The second room also proved too small. Finally, they sent us across the street, up to the large chamber in the Capitol Building.

The room was near capacity. About ninety-five percent of the people were pro 2nd  Amendment rights. The Representatives and PACs got to speak first, then the common folk. Daphne was in the first 10 folks to speak who were not representing a group. She was poised, though a little nervous, and spoke clearly to the crowd. When she was done, she brought a copy of her speech to the front of the chamber where the representatives were  sitting, and they fought over who would get to take it from her. The moderator had previously silenced the hall from cheering or clapping, but people told her they would have cheered if they could as they shook her hand on the way out. The whole proceeding took more than 3 hours.

TRANSCRIPT:

Delivered to the New Hampshire Legislative Assembly
January 22,  2013

Dear citizens of  New Hampshire,

Four days ago, I was across the street for a gun rally on the steps of the Capitol. I had  never been to a gun rally before. I expected it to be all about hunters and guns. I was surprised: People were not afraid of not being able to hunt. They were not afraid of criminals at all. Do you know who they were afraid of? The Federal Government. I was shocked. They were afraid of the government taking away their freedoms.

The reason I went to the rally in the first place was that I heard children, like me, talking with President Obama about guns on the radio. I think those kids were far too young to make policy, and got it all wrong.

Naturally, I don’t want my mom or dad to die either, nor my friends or family. But I learned in school that the First Amendment gives us our Basic Freedoms, like Freedom of Speech,  Freedom of Religion and Freedom to Assemble. To  protect our God-given rights, our Founders gave us the 2nd Amendment: The Right to Bear Arms.

My Civics teacher  taught us that the reason our Founding Fathers gave us the right to bear  arms is to protect ourselves from the government of man because when man is given absolute power, he becomes absolutely corrupt. In 1776, guns freed us from the abuses of King George.  Today, guns keep us free from tyranny by government.

If President Obama wants to take our guns, isn’t he taking away our means to protect our  right to freedom? Wasn’t the 2nd Amendment given to us to protect our 1st Amendment rights? It’s not by chance that those are the first two amendments. They were the two most important gifts our Founders gave the American people.

I don’t know. I’m just a 14 year old girl, and that’s what I thought I learned in school.  Did Mr. Obama learn something different in school than that?

I think it is terrible for someone to use a national tragedy for political gain, don’t you? So, when I heard Mr. Obama issued 23 gun control orders in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, I was upset. In school I was taught executive means to execute laws — not make them.  When did that change? Didn’t the president swear an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution? Doesn’t the 2nd Amendment state: “the  right for people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” ˇ Tell me  how 23 orders on gun control is not an infringement. Can someone please tell me that? Has King George returned?

I hope New Hampshire members of congress remember their pledge and do not use this  tragedy to create unjust laws.

So I ask myself,  what gun would our Founders want their citizen militia to have today to  protect us from a government greedy for power.  I think Thomas  Jefferson would recommend a semi-automatic rifle  with 50-round clips, and pistols that hold 20. But, I’m sure George  Washington would demand these  arms.

Just so you know, I don’t even own a gun, nor does my mom, or dad. But when I’m old enough, I want the right to buy a gun if I want to, so I can protect the America that I love. I hope I never need one, but I always say, “plan for the worst and hope for the best”.  Unfortunately, that’s sort of why the government is taking away our guns: they are planning for the worst Americans, and not thinking of the best. Maybe the question we should be asking is what caused the morality of the United States to decay? Are parents no longer  teaching their kids “thou shalt not kill?”

I want to live in an America with laws that protect the best people on Earth, not the worst, don’t you? Wouldn’t that be more free? Wouldn’t that be more  American? Isn’t freedom  what America is all about? The right to bear arms is our best guarantee to live free.

Finally, at my  track meet at UNH on Sunday, I read the banner on the wall. It said three words: Tradition. Pride. Excellence. I hope and pray that New Hampshire will continue its tradition of excellence and lead the way for the rest of the county, and never infringe on my rights. May the people  of the great state of New Hampshire carry on their long tradition of freedom, so we can proclaim with pride the  words our forefathers gave us: Live Free or  Die!

This is our United States. This is our New Hampshire. And that should never change.

Live Free or Die,  New Hampshire!

Thank you,
Daphne  Jordan
Nottingham

Keep the 1st Ammendment

by Editors of the National Review.

The phrase “stunning development” is used far too often in our politics, but here is an item that can be described in no other way: Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats, frustrated by the fact that the Bill of Rights interferes with their desire to muzzle their political opponents, have proposed to repeal the First Amendment.

That is precisely what the so-called People’s Rights Amendment would do. If this amendment were to be enacted, the cardinal rights protected by the First Amendment — free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances — would be redefined and reduced to the point of unrecognizability. The amendment would hold that the rights protected by the Constitution are enjoyed only by individuals acting individually; individuals acting in collaboration with others would be stripped of those rights.

The Supreme Court and U.S. law have long held that Americans do not surrender the rights they enjoy individually when they act in association with one another. This has been a fundamental feature of U.S. law since the very beginning, and even before that, inasmuch as the notion that collective action does not deprive us of our rights goes back into the Common Law as well. U.S. court cases going back to the 18th century recognize that fact, as does federal statute: 1 U.S.C. §1 reads in part: “the words ‘person’ and ‘whoever’ include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals.”

Strange things give the Left the heebie-jeebies, and “corporate personhood” seems like a strange thing. But “corporate personhood” is simply the notion that incorporated groups — businesses, political parties, unions, nonprofits, etc. — are single entities under the law. One would think that the Left would find this convenient: If Monsanto is not a “person” under the law, it cannot be regulated, taxed, sued, or fined, because for the purposes of the law it does not exist. Without the ability to treat enterprises as a single legal entity, there would be no redress for damages caused by a defective GM vehicle except to file claims against each individual owner of the 1.57 billion shares of GM stock outstanding.

But if GM and Monsanto can be sued, then they can defend themselves from suits. If they can be taxed on their property, then they can own property. If they have liabilities under contracts, then they have rights under contracts, too. If they have liabilities under the law, then they have rights under the law.

But the Occupy Left and the Democrats who sympathize with those ignorant misfits resent the fact that some business enterprises oppose their political agenda and support their opponents. (And some don’t: Wall Street gave generously to the Democratic party, and to Barack Obama particularly, in the 2008 election cycle.) The Left controls the unions, the government bureaucracies, most of the media, and the educational establishments, but its dreams of taxation and regulation do not sit particularly well with many who have to pay those taxes and suffer the regulation. The answer, in the mind of Pelosi et al., is to strip those opponents of their political rights.

The so-called People’s Rights Amendment would have some strange consequences: Newspapers, television networks, magazines, and online journalism operations typically are incorporated. So are political parties and campaign committees, to say nothing of nonprofits, business associations, and the like. Under the People’s Rights Amendment, Thomas Friedman would still enjoy putative First Amendment protection, but it would not do him much good inasmuch as the New York Times Company, being a corporation, would no longer be protected by the First Amendment. In short, any political speech more complex than standing on a soapbox at an intersection would be subject to the whims of Nancy Pelosi.

Representative Donna Edwards, a Maryland Democrat, nonchalantly concluded that the amendment would of course strip even political campaigns of the First Amendment rights: “All of the speech which, whether it’s corporations of campaign committees and others engage in, would be able to be fully regulated under the authority of the Congress.” The entire point of having a Bill of Rights is that there are some things Congress may not do. “Congress shall make no law” is a phrase that Democrats cannot abide, apparently.

One of the great dangers of such efforts to regulate political speech is that it puts incumbents in charge of setting the rules of the game under which their power and their position may be challenged. That is a recipe for abuse and corruption, and for smothering those critics who would draw attention to abuse and corruption.

Nancy Pelosi proposes to amend the Constitution the way the iceberg amended the Titanic. The First Amendment has served us well. Nancy Pelosi has not, but she has led her Democrats to a disturbing place in their quest to secure power, even at the cost of cashing in the Bill of Rights.

 

Wikipedia: National Review is a fortnightly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City.

Australian Government to Ban Free Scientific Inquiry on the Internet? | johnosullivan

Australian Government to Ban Free Scientific Inquiry on the Internet | johnosullivan.

What do you think?  Do you think open and frank discussions may “confuse” citizens .. making them suspect the “official” version of reality is, well, unsupportable?

Look at history for some reflection.  What kinds of governments repress, stifle, or prohibit the free exchange of observable facts?  All tyrants want to control information.. control people.. and impose their will over others.   A free people, free to discuss issues openly and without fear of retribution, is the last thing Tyrannical leaders or governments want to flourish.

 

EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck | ALEC – American Legislative Exchange Council

Media_httpwwwalecorgw_nyceg

This is exactly the kind of Statist regulations and regulatory world that massive centralized government leads to- the world ruled by unelected, unaccountable bureacrats. This is the world that Obama and his ilk of elitists will use to crush America. We were warned. We ignored history, once again. We’ll have to learn the lesson again. This is how freedom

Obama’s Cordray Appointment A Tyrannical Abuse of Power

Standing behind a podium on a stage just outside Cleveland, President Barack Obama delivered a speech yesterday that will reverberate throughout history. No, its lasting impact will not come because of its soaring rhetoric. Instead, it will make its mark because it was at that moment on a Wednesday afternoon in Ohio that the President announced his plans to act in total and utter disregard of the U.S. Constitution with his illegal appointment of Richard Cordray to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

It’s an astonishingly reckless exercise of executive authority that Heritage’s Todd Gaziano described as a “tyrannical abuse of power.” Never before in the 100-plus years of precedent on the recess appointment power has a President taken such an action while the Senate was still in session. Yet notwithstanding that fact, President Obama yesterday decided that he would be the first.

Here’s why the President finds himself so far outside of constitutional bounds. Under Article II, section 2, clause 2 of the Constitution, the President has the power to fill vacancies that may happen during Senate recesses, as Gaziano writes. In this case, President Obama was seeking to fill the vacancy in the CFPB, a new agency that has come under significant criticism given its unparalleled powers to issue expansive regulations with virtually no accountability. Republicans in the Senate, to date, have refused to confirm the President’s nominees to head up the CFPB, vowing to block Senate approval until reforms are made to the agency. So President Obama has decided to act without their approval by attempting to make a recess appointment. The trouble is that Congress is not in a recess because the House of Representatives never consented, as required under the Constitution, Article I, section 5. That means that the President simply does not have the power to make this appointment. Gaziano explains the implications of the President’s actions:

[The recess appointment] power has been interpreted by scores of attorneys general and their designees in the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel for over 100 years to require an official, legal Senate recess of at least 10-25 days of duration. (There are a few outlier opinions, never sanctioned by the courts, that suggest a recess of six to seven days might be enough–but never less than that.)

The President’s purported recess appointment of Cordray would render the Senate’s advice and consent role to normal appointments almost meaningless. It is a grave constitutional wrong that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already denounced. But it fits a pattern of extra-constitutional abuse by the White House that seems more interested in energizing a liberal base than safeguarding the office of the presidency.

Why take such action? The President says it’s because he can’t wait for Congress to act on behalf of the American people. The truth is that the President is hell bent on ramming through his agenda, and he is entirely unwilling to compromise with the duly elected representatives who sit in the House and Senate. By circumventing the Senate and appointing Cordray, the President can ensure that his big-government regulatory agenda is enacted without the reforms that Congress is demanding. Unfortunately, the Cordray appointment is not the only example of the President’s wanton, unilateral actions.

Apart from Cordray, the President also plans to make three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board without Senate approval, which will fundamentally alter the makeup of the board and enable the President to realize his Big Labor agenda. That means an unrestrained push to unionize businesses at all costs and punish companies that seek to grow in non-union states (as was attempted in the Boeing case) — even if it means harming both workers and the economy. And in the case of environmental regulations, immigration law, No Child Left Behind, the auto bailout, the selective enforcement of voting rights laws, and the regulation of the Internet (among others), the Obama Administration has in fact enacted its agenda via legislative fiat time and time again.

In an interview last month with 60 Minutes, the President gave warning of his intentions to preside over an imperial presidency for the next year. “What I’m not gonna do is wait for Congress,” he said. “So wherever we have an opportunity and I have the executive authority to go ahead and get some things done, we’re just gonna go ahead and do ‘em.” The President now, though, seems to have made a significant course correction. With these latest illegal, unconstitutional appointments, the President has jumped at an opportunity to act regardless of the fact that he has no executive authority to do it. And under his feet is a trampled Constitution and 100 years of precedent for which he has no use. It’s time for Congress and the American people to take a stand against President Obama’s abuse of power.

Quick Hits:

  • Having totally failed at his efforts to create jobs for the 13.3 million unemployed Americans or otherwise significantly alleviate the unemployment rate, the White House now says it’s on track to create 180,000 “work opportunities.” Translation: mentoring and unpaid internships.
  • There is even more carnage in Iraq following President Obama’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the country. At least 27 people were killed on Thursday when truck bombs bearing the “hallmark of Sunni militants linked to Al Qaeda” exploded in Baghdad.
  • The President is headed to the Pentagon today to unveil a significantly reduced military and the largest defense budget cut since the end of the Cold War, despite America’s continued obligations abroad and the ongoing threat of terrorism.
  • Deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, his two sons, and other defendants may face the death penalty for the ordering of the killing of protesters during the Arab Spring uprisings last February.
  • The White House could be on course to make a premature, dangerously naive move in agreeing to release high-ranking Taliban officials from Guantanamo Bay in return for the Afghan insurgents’ agreement to open a political office in Qatar. Read more about it on The Foundry.

Could this man be more wrong about so many policies .. so reckless with our Constitutional Republic? Are we witnessing the rise of Tyranny in America that led to so much death and destruction in Europe and the rest of the world under the tyranny of Socialists/Communists, Hitler and Lenin?

The Constitution and Limited Government

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Issue Date: 2011_09

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September 2011
Edward J. Erler
Professor of Political Science,
California State University, San Bernardino

Edward J. Erler is professor of political science at California State University, San Bernardino, and a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute. He earned his B.A. from San Jose State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from Claremont Graduate School. He has published numerous articles on constitutional topics in journals such as Interpretation, the Notre Dame Journal of Law, and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. He was a member of the California Advisory Commission on Civil Rights from 1988-2006 and served on the California Constitutional Revision Commission in 1996. He has testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the issue of birthright citizenship and is the co-author of The Founders on Citizenship and Immigration.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar on May 24, 2011, in Dallas, Texas.

The Constitution and Limited Government

Two cases that are currently making their way to the Supreme Court may well in the short term decide the constitutional issue of the reach and extent of the federal government. At stake, in other words, is the future of limited government. And together, these two cases present an exceedingly odd situation. In the case of the Arizona illegal alien law, the federal government is suing a state for constitutional violations; and in the case of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—that is, Obamacare—more than half the states are suing the federal government, contesting the Act’s constitutionality. It is indeed a litigious season.

But the Supreme Court’s decisions in these two cases may not be the last word, because both of them present eminently political issues that will have to be decided ultimately by the American people.

The administrative state, of course, always seeks to extend its reach and magnify its power. This is an intrinsic feature of a system where administration and regulation replace politics as the ordinary means of making policy. If there are to be limits to the reach of the burgeoning administrative state, they will be political limits imposed by the people in the ordinary course of partisan politics. The advent of the administrative state poses the greatest challenge to limited government, because it elevates the welfare of the community—whether real or imagined—over the rights and liberties of individuals. The task today is to confine the federal government to its delegated powers. The minions of the administrative state seek to destroy constitutional boundaries in their desire to replace politics with administration. This is tantamount to denying that legitimate government derives from the consent of the governed, or that limited government rests on the sovereignty of the people.

One of the proofs offered in the Declaration of Independence that King George was attempting to establish an “absolute Tyranny” over the American colonies was the fact that “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.” Obamacare certainly fits the description of the activities denounced in the Declaration. The number of regulations and the horde of administrators necessary to execute the scheme are staggering. We have only to think here of the Independent Payment Advisory Board. It is a commission of 15 members appointed by the President, charged with the task of reducing Medicare spending. This commission has rule-making power which carries the force of law. The Senate, it is true, will have the power to override its decisions—but only with a three-fifths majority. There are no procedures that allow citizens or doctors to appeal the Board’s decisions. The administrative state—here in the guise of providing health care for all—will surely reduce the people under a kind of tyranny that will insinuate itself into all aspects of American life, destroying liberty by stages until liberty itself becomes only a distant memory.

The advent and extraordinary success of the Tea Party movement, with its emphasis on restoring limited government, has made this a propitious time to rethink what the Framers meant by limited government and how they understood the relationship between limited government and the protection of rights and liberties. It is rare to see a people acting spontaneously in a political cause. The Tea Party movement must be regarded as a testament to the independent spirit—the freedom-loving spirit—of the American people.

How did the Framers understand limited government? In the first place, limited government was not for the Framers identical with small government, as the Tea Party sometimes tends to believe. The identification of limited government with small government was the position of the Anti-Federalists who opposed the ratification of the Constitution. Limited government, for the Anti-Federalists, meant government that was too weak to threaten the rights and liberties of the people. Small government was, therefore, both the necessary and sufficient condition of political freedom. Consequently, the Anti-Federalists preferred a purely confederal form of government in which the states assumed priority.

The Federalists, on the other hand, regarded confederal government as an attempt to do the impossible: to create a sovereignty within a sovereignty. Conflicting claims to sovereignty would be debilitating and would render the government of the whole ineffective—as was surely the case under our first constitution, the Articles of Confederation.

The Framers of the Constitution settled upon a novel design for government, one that Madison said was “partly national, partly federal.” For some purposes, Madison explained, we will be one people; for others, we will be multiple peoples. With respect to the national features—those things that concern the nation as a whole—the federal government will have sovereignty—complete and plenary power to accomplish the objects entrusted to its care in the Constitution. Those objects are principally found in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. National defense, for example, is exclusively delegated to the federal government. And since the exigencies that face nations in foreign affairs are unpredictable and innumerable, the federal government must have sovereignty to fulfill this delegated trust. And if that trust is to be fulfilled, the federal government must also be accorded the necessary means to achieve that end. If this entails large government—and today it surely does—then large government must be compatible with limited government. Similar reasoning applies to all the objects delegated to the care of the federal government.

The Declaration of Independence provided the authoritative statement of America’s political principles. For the first time, government was said to derive its legitimacy—its just powers—from “the consent of the governed.” This was a turning point in world-historical consciousness: no longer would it be possible to argue that sovereignty belonged to governments or kings—even if kings claimed appointment by divine right.

In order to form just government, the people delegate a portion of their sovereignty to government to be exercised for their benefit. The fact that only a portion of sovereignty is ceded by the people is the origin of the idea of limited government. The people delegate only some of their sovereignty to government, and what is not granted is retained by the people—the people, for example, always reserve (and can never cede) the ultimate expression of sovereignty, the right of revolution. The Declaration describes this right as “the Right of the People to alter or to abolish” government when it becomes destructive of its proper ends—namely, the protection of the safety and happiness of the people. This right of revolution, as understood by the Founders, was the right that secures every other right, because it serves as a constant reminder of the sovereignty of the people.

The Anti-Federalists never understood these revolutionary implications; they seemed to believe still that governments, not the people, were the ultimate repositories of sovereignty, and that the only way to secure the rights and liberties of the people was to weaken the power of government—as if freedom existed only in the exceptions to government power. But as Madison wrote, “Energy in government is essential to that security against external and internal danger and to that prompt and salutary execution of the laws which enter into the very definition of good government.”

What limits the federal government is not a limit on its power to act, but the limited range of objects entrusted to its care—the enumerated powers of government. The powers not delegated to the federal government nor forbidden to the states in the Constitution (e.g., ex post facto laws, bills of attainder, and laws impairing the obligation of contracts) are reserved to the states. These are the police powers, which are generally described as the power to regulate the health, safety, welfare and morals of the citizens of the states.

In cases of conflict, the supremacy clause of the Constitution gives preference to the federal Constitution and laws made in pursuance of the Constitution. The supremacy clause was described by Madison as an essential improvement over the Articles of Confederation. Where there is no final authority to arbitrate disputes between the federal government and the states in this “compound Republic,” government will be paralyzed. Madison confessed, however, that the exact boundary between the powers of the federal government and the state governments will be impossible to determine in advance. The precise lines of demarcation will have to be worked out in practice. The Supreme Court—and through the supremacy clause, the state courts—will have to determine conflicts on a case by case basis.

An illustration of the difficulties of drawing clear lines between federal and state authority in our “compound Republic” is the Arizona illegal immigration bill, passed in April 2010. The law allowed police officers to verify the immigration status of any person after a valid stop or arrest if there “is a reasonable suspicion that the person is unlawfully present in the United States.” Everyone remembers the hysteria that was unleashed when the bill passed. The President called the law irresponsible, saying that it threatened “basic notions of fairness.” Others said the provision of the bill relying on “reasonable suspicion” would mandate racial profiling; and some of the more hysterical commentators even insisted that the law was tantamount to genocide. The Assistant Secretary of State felt compelled to apologize to members of a Chinese delegation visiting the United States for this egregious assault upon human rights. One can only imagine the bemused looks on the faces of the Chinese delegation.

The President ordered the Justice Department to intervene. And to the surprise of many, the Justice Department’s lawsuit did not seek to enjoin the law based on racial profiling or equal protection or due process, arguing instead that the law conflicted with the federal government’s exclusive power to regulate immigration. Perhaps someone had explained to the Attorney General that “reasonable suspicion” has been a part of our due process jurisprudence for many years. It means that a police officer can question on suspicion that is less than probable cause; reasonable suspicion, of course, must be something more than a hunch or a guess or an intuition—it must be based on articulable facts. In addition, the Supreme Court in 1975 ruled that ethnicity could be one of the factors determining reasonable suspicion. The Arizona law, in contrast, disallowed any use of ethnicity in determining whether a person could be asked about his immigration status.

In United States v. Arizona, the Federal District Court judge enjoined the operation of the law because it intruded upon the federal government’s exclusive power to regulate immigration and control foreign policy. On appeal from the District Court, one piece of evidence adduced by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the Arizona law was an unconstitutional impingement upon the federal government’s exclusive power to conduct foreign policy was the fact that the President of Mexico and the heads of several other Latin American countries had expressed severe criticisms of the bill both in the press and in amici briefs! Rarely do we encounter such humor in court opinions, however unintended the humor might be.

The Constitution, of course, does not specifically grant control over immigration to the federal government. Instead Congress has power to “establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.” Control over naturalization, however, seems to imply control over immigration—so uniform rules governing immigration would seem, by necessary implication, to fall within the scope of federal power. The real question here—although it was not addressed by the District Court or the Court of Appeals—was what power, if any, devolves upon state governments when the federal government fails to carry out its obligations. The District Court had candidly noted that the Arizona law was passed “against a backdrop of rampant illegal immigration, escalating drug and human trafficking crimes, and serious public safety concerns.” In the face of federal inaction or manifest indifference, does Arizona have the reserved power—indeed the obligation—to secure the safety of its citizens? The President’s recent remarks that the border has been secured and that it is now time to think of providing a path to citizenship for illegal aliens is, in reality, a statement of declared indifference to the people of the State of Arizona and to all the border states similarly situated. Surely those states have the constitutional right, sustained by their police powers, to protect themselves through laws that are as unobtrusive as the Arizona law. But in the District Court’s judgment, the Arizona law invoked “an inference of preemption” because it placed an “impermissible burden” on federal “resources and priorities” and inevitably “will result in the harassment of aliens.” The burden on federal resources stems from the fact that there will be an increased number of requests to verify immigration status. This increased burden will in turn force the immigration services to reallocate resources away from other priorities. Such is the logic of the District Court.

These reasons seem trivial when compared to the real and pressing dangers that Arizona faces as a result of federal inaction and indifference. Surely this is not what the Framers had in mind when they crafted the supremacy clause, while at the same time reserving to the states the essential responsibility of protecting the safety and welfare of their citizens. Madison wrote in The Federalist that “the powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” This extensive power reserved to the states should weigh heavily on preemption decisions. In this light, the Arizona law seems to have been a clear exercise of the state’s police powers, and any burden imposed on the federal government to have been incidental and insignificant.

Obamacare is another issue that tests our understanding of the Constitution and the role of limited government. In federal courts, the Obama administration has defended the bill as a legitimate exercise of Congress’ power to regulate commerce. At issue here is the individual mandate that forces individuals to purchase health care insurance and carries a penalty for failure to do so. Congress has the power to regulate commerce; but does it, as here, have the power to create commerce—i.e., to force individuals to engage in interstate commerce by purchasing health care insurance from private providers? Another way to look at the issue would be to ask whether, under the commerce clause, Congress has the power to regulate inactivity, i.e., the refusal to buy insurance. This would indeed be a novel extension of commerce clause jurisprudence and utterly impossible to square with any notion of commerce that was held by the framers of the Constitution.

In addition to the commerce clause argument, the Obama administration maintains that the individual mandate is authorized by Congress’ power to tax and spend for the general welfare. Congress’ power here is extensive. Over the years, the Court has generally deferred to Congress in determining what constitutes the general welfare. This is proper, since Congress represents the nation and what promotes the general welfare is essentially a political question. If Congress determines that a universal health care system serves the general welfare, then the courts will not interfere. The power to “lay and collect Taxes,” however, has been subject to judicial scrutiny. While Congress may tax for the purpose of raising revenue, it may not use the power of taxation for the express purpose of regulation. A tax that is merely a subterfuge for regulating activities will not be allowed, although a tax that only incidentally regulates behavior will pass constitutional muster as long as the principal purpose is raising revenues.

Madison argued that the general welfare clause was actually a limitation on the federal government. Taxes could be imposed and money spent only for the general welfare—meaning the welfare of the whole of the American people. It is true that Alexander Hamilton had a more extensive view of the general welfare clause, but throughout much of our history Madison’s view prevailed. Today, however, the idea that the general welfare clause was ever intended as a limit on the reach of government has been destroyed by the progressive architects of the welfare state.

In any case, if the individual mandate is to be defended under the general welfare clause, what the plain language of the bill calls a penalty must be regarded as a tax for the express purpose of raising revenue. If the penalty can be sold as a tax, the Obama administration argues, then Obamacare is authorized by the general welfare clause. In the Florida District Court case, the Justice Department made the wholly tendentious—not to say absurd—argument that since the IRS was charged with administering the individual mandate and collecting the penalties, this was sufficient to convert a penalty into a tax. But as Florida District Court Judge Roger Vinson remarked: “Besides the fact that President Obama confidently assured the American people that there would be no new taxes to support the medical insurance scheme, no amount of administrative indirection should be allowed to convert a penalty into a tax for raising revenue. This is not a revenue raising measure and therefore cannot be justified under the general welfare clause.”

But here is a somber thought: If, instead of using the individual mandate, Congress had relied on its general revenue-raising powers, under current Supreme Court doctrine, it is almost certain that Obamacare would be constitutional. It would be an example of Congress spending money for the general welfare.

In conclusion, the only certain method of defeating universal health care and other cases of federal overreach—as it appears that the American public desires to do—is political opposition. A political party dedicated to genuinely limited government—not small government—is an urgent political task. Whether the Tea Party is up to this task remains to be seen—but it is probably our best hope. The Tea Party will have to learn, however, that the task today is not to weaken the power of government—it is to confine the government to the exercise of its delegated powers and to restore to its full vigor the partly national, partly federal form of government that was the legacy of the Founders.






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It’s refreshing to read such clear and direct explanations of why government naturally tends to expand and try to reduce the power of citizens over time. This lust for power reminds us that relying on humanity alone for guidance and wisdom is a foolish path.. that leads to tyranny. It is particularly obvious and acutely undermining our freedoms under the Obama administration.

S&P Slashes Outlook on U.S. to ‘Negative’ Amid Soaring Debt

S&P Slashes Outlook on U.S. to ‘Negative’ Amid Soaring Debt

By Matt Egan

Published April 18, 2011

| FOXBusiness

Sounding the alarm about the country’s deep fiscal problems, Standard & Poor’s on Monday downgraded its outlook on the U.S. credit rating to “negative,” raising the likelihood the U.S. will lose its coveted ‘AAA’ rating as Washington struggles to fix its beleaguered balance sheet.

The move signals the seriousness of the debt crisis in the U.S., which at most times is considered the safest investment in the world. It is likely to increase pressure on lawmakers and the White House to bridge their wide gaps and could mark the first step to the U.S. losing the perfect credit rating that allows it to tap the capital markets at very low rates.

S&P said the negative outlook means there is a one in three chance of the U.S. losing its ‘AAA’ rating.

Wall Street was spooked by the S&P call, which marks the first time a credit ratings company has lowered its outlook on the U.S. during the current crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 200 points Monday morning, the U.S. dollar slumped against the yen and gold flirted with $1,500 a troy ounce for the first time ever. European markets, already jittery about their own debt crises in Greece and elsewhere, also tumbled.

S&P explained its rationale for cutting its outlook on the U.S. to “negative” from “stable” by citing the  nation’s “very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness.”

“We believe there is a material risk that U.S. policymakers might not reach an agreement on how to address medium- and long-term budgetary challenges by 2013; if an agreement is not reached and meaningful implementation is not begun by then, this would in our view render the U.S. fiscal profile meaningfully weaker than that of peer ‘AAA’ sovereigns,” S&P said in the statement.

At the same time, S&P has affirmed its ‘AAA’ rating on the U.S. and said the economy is “flexible and highly diversified.”

In response to the S&P move, the Treasury Department issued a statement that noted recent efforts to fix the country’s balance sheet.

“We believe S&P’s negative outlook underestimates the ability of America’s leaders to come together to address the difficult fiscal challenges facing the nation,” said Mary Miller, the assistant secretary for financial markets at the Treasury Department.

Fiscal Wake-Up Call

The downgrade by S&P comes as Washington struggles to reach a consensus on how to fix the country’s deep fiscal problems. While Republicans, led by Rep. Paul Ryan, have called for heavy cuts in government spending on entitlement programs, Democrats and President Barack Obama would prefer to tax wealth Americans due to worries about the impact of fiscal reform on Medicare.

“Standard and Poor’s is saying, ‘Wake up. You have no time to kick this down the road, this has to be addressed now,’” said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Capital Group. “Tough decisions need to be made at every level of government to get our house in order.”

Historically, America’s credit rating had been seen as untouchable and among the safest in the world. “It is backed by a strong track record of prudent and credible monetary policy, evidenced to us by its ability to support growth while containing inflationary pressures,” S&P said.

However, spending has increased dramatically in recent years and, critically, tax revenues have failed to keep up the pace.

S&P said the U.S.’s total government deficit fluctuated between 2% and 5% of gross domestic product, or GDP, from 2003 to 2008. Yet it has “ballooned” to more than 11% in 2009 and has yet to recover, S&P said.

“More than two years after the beginning of the recent crisis, U.S. policymakers have still not agreed on how to reverse recent fiscal deterioration or address longer-term fiscal pressures,” S&P credit analyst Nikola Swann said in a statement.

David Beers, global head of sovereign and international public finance ratings, said the downgrade was not related to the debate in Congress over whether or not to raise the debt ceiling, allowing the U.S. to continue to borrow more money, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Even if U.S. lawmakers bridge wide gaps and reach a deal on a way to fix the budget, S&P notes the work will not be done. Recent experiences — especially in Europe — highlight that implementation could take time, cost serious political capital and ultimately be reversed by future lawmakers.

By S&P’s baseline estimate for GDP growth near 3% annually, total government debt may reach 84% of GDP by 2013. In its rosier scenario for 4% GDP growth, total debt would still rise to nearly 80% of GDP by 2013. On the other hand, if the U.S. slips into a mild, one-year double-dip recession in 2012, net debt would surpass 90% of GDP by 2013.

“S&P’s change is warranted given the U.S. fiscal disarray. Even with the Ryan proposal, which is unlikely to pass, we have to wait 29 years to balance the budget,” said Cam Harvey, a finance professor at Duke, alluding to the Congressional Budget Office’s prediction that the budget won’t be balanced until 2040 under the Ryan plan.

Ratings Companies Running Out of Patience?

The Treasury Department did receive a heads up over the weekend from S&P about the impending bombshell, a senior Treasury official told FOX Business’s Peter Barnes.

Still, the timing of the comments from S&P have raised some eyebrows, with some saying politics may have a role.

“I think it’s politically-timed,” said Charles Geisst, a finance professor at Manhattan College. “I think that’s the motivation. I’m not quite sure that’s their business to do that — to make politically-timed statements.”

It would be nothing new though. Moody’s put some U.S. Treasuries on review for possible downgrade in 1996 during a similar budget impasse after Republicans refused to vote to increase the debt ceiling, notes Win Thin, global head of emerging markets strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.

“With no one expecting any serious progress on deficit reduction until after the 2012 election, S&P seems to be simply firing a shot across the bow to U.S. policymakers,” Thin said. “The S&P statement means that the agencies do not have unlimited patience with regards to U.S. fiscal policy and the rising debt load.”

S&P, Moody’s and Fitch have been criticized for their role in the financial crisis as they kept safe ratings on mortgage bonds that turned out to be very toxic.

“It’s certainly useful to hear this, but I just go back to Standard & Poor’s missing the boat entirely on the subprime crisis,” said Geisst. “I personally would take them seriously, but I’m not too sure everyone will because of that. They can’t spot a subprime crisis in Arizona but they sure as hell spot a budget crisis.”

The U.S. is hardly alone as ratings companies have lowered their outlooks and eventually their ratings on a slew of European countries in recent months and years, highlighted by Greece and Ireland.

In 2009 S&P downgraded the U.K.’s debt outlook to “negative” from “stable,” a move that set off a yearlong effort to slash that country’s spending.

“America’s dangerous deficits have come home to roost,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, vice chairman of the House’s Joint Economic Committee. “Standard & Poor’s is comparing our nation’s deficits and debts to our AAA peers and finding reason for concern.”

And yet, the President and the Senate choose to ignore reality- Determined to do as much damage as possible to the future of America as possible before they are booted. People.. next time, let’s use some common sense to elect “leaders”.. That assumes we don’t crash and burn in Tyranny before next elections.