Been There; Done That

Speaking of nullification, it was interesting to read a few items of Pre-Revolutionary writings.   They are:

1.         The Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions of 1765; and

2.         The Declaratory Act of 1766.

Responding to the Stamp Act, Virginia’s House of Burgesses, at the motion of a bold, radical, new member named Patrick Henry, passed a series of five resolutions, which were adopted to protest Britain’s levy of taxes directly on the Colonists.  The fifth resolution was repealed the following day, when more conservative members of the House were present to argue against it.

The Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions stated as follows:

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Exporting Torture Continues

According to Wikipedia, the internet encyclopedia, “the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) runs a global abduction and internment operation of suspected terrorists, known as ‘extraordinary rendition,’ which since 2001 has captured an estimated 3,000 people and transported them around the world persons have undergone torture by the receiving states….” (“Extraordinary Rendition by the United States,” Wikipedia). George W. Bush has been credited for having descended to the lowest shades of humanity for this practice. Can you imagine the Founding Fathers consenting to such hedonistic levels?

In 2004 the Justice Department outlined, in a 20-page once top-secret memo, the process of “rendition” after the detainee is kidnapped. “The process starts with ‘capture shock.’ The detainee is … shackled, and deprived of sight and sound through the use of blindfolds, earmuffs and hoods” during flight and is also “stripped naked and shaved” and “a series of pictures are taken of him while nude.” Once in a “black prison” the detainee is subjected to “nudity, sleep deprivation and dietary manipulation” considered standard preparatory steps if operated by the CIA (New CIA Docs Detail Brutal “Extraordinary Rendition” Process, by Scott Horton, Special to the Huffington Post, 8 Aug 09. Accessed Jan 2, 2010).

Black sites are secret prisons in other countries ran by the CIA purposely outside the legal jurisdiction of the United States for the intent of allowing the U.S. Government to do as it wishes with those accused of terrorism without benefit of any defense or contrary evidence. It also allows for the government’s plausible denial. After years of such, and much leakage regarding the black projects, the European Union (EU) adopted a report on February 14, 2007 stating that “the CIA operated 1,245 flights and that it was not possible to contradict evidence or suggestions that secret detention centres were operated in Poland and Romania” (“EU Endorses Damning Report on CIA,” BBC, February 14, 2007). President George W. Bush also finally admitted the existence of CIA operated secret prisons in a speech made Sept. 6, 2006 covered by BBC News (Bush Admits to CIA Secret Prisons, BBC News 2006-09-07. See speech, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5321606.stm).

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The Basis for Judicial Review

The tenth amendment does not conflict with the supremacy clause but simply duplicates it. It says that states and the people have all the powers that are not prohibited by the constitution itself which sets up the constitution as the supreme law of the land. Any law passed by the federal government is invalid by default since it can’t take away any power from the people or the states since the tenth amendment states that only the constitution can prohibit those particular powers and if the ‘powers not delegated’ didn’t exist every federal law would be unconstitutional.

The tenth allows for one exception to this rule which is powers delegated to the federal government since the constitutional supremacy that the tenth amendment confirms only exist for powers not delegated to the federal government. Any law passed using powers not delegated to the federal government is superseded by the constitution’s supreme authority since the tenth amendment only refers powers not delegated to the federal government.

This also establishes a basis for why laws are unconstitutional since laws made by the powers of the federal government can’t be invalidated by the constitution’s supreme authority because laws made with powers not given to it are second to the constitution’s authority. The tenth amendment then says that those particular things that those laws attempt to prohibit that have been made outside of the property delegated powers of the federal government can only be prohibited by the constitution itself.

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