More evidence the Constitution limited federal power

In my last post I showed how pre-Revolutionary colonial pamphlets espousing the American cause tend to rebut a favorite theory of some “progressive” writers—that the Constitution granted Congress nearly complete power over all activities with interstate effects.

Surprisingly, most delegates to the 1787 constitutional convention initially favored a central government nearly that powerful. They would have subordinated the states to the level of counties in England. Naturally Alexander Hamilton—“Mr. Big Government” among the Founders—took this position. But so did many of the convention’s moderates, such as James Madison and Edmund Randolph.

Under Madison’s and Randolph’s guidance, the Virginia delegation presented an initial draft for a constitution commonly known as the “Virginia Plan.” It called for a national legislature with authority “to legislate in all cases to which the separate States are incompetent, or in which the harmony of the United States may be interrupted by the exercise of individual Legislation.” The Virginia Plan similarly called for national courts that could hear any matter “which may involve the national peace and harmony.”

To be sure, even this language would not have granted the central government as much authority as the “progressives” claim for it today, since not all interstate effects result in state “incompetence” or damage interstate harmony. Nevertheless, it would have resulted in a very powerful central government.

The convention at first agreed, and adopted resolutions approving these parts of the Virginia Plan. As time wore on, however, the delegates thought better of it, and changed their minds. One reason was, no doubt, a recognition that the general public would never approve a strongly “national” constitution.

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Justifiable Nullification!

“If you connect the notion of Rights to that of personnel interest,which is the only immutable point in the human heart,then the only way to govern is through fear”. I believe that was John Adams.

And fear is the way that the federal government likes to rule,we’re all terrorist so they have to grope and man-handle you and your loved ones,new labels on cigarettes with graphic pictures on them to scare you not to smoke,the drug war has made anyone that that wants a little relief from certain aliments that  the use of marijuna helps relieve,a criminal,the new rules from the FDA,FCC,EPA are all meant to scare you into thinking that “OH MY GOD IF WE DON’T PASS THIS….”then we’re all going to died or be destitute.

B.S.!

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Sen. Rand Paul challenges TSA chief

WASHINGTON (June 22, 2011) – Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) unmasked the inane nature of the standards guiding TSA checkpoint procedures during a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee meeting Wednesday. (FULL VIDEO BELOW)

“Currently the invasive pat-down searches are random and not based on risk assessment?” Paul asked John Pistole.

Speaking typical bureaucratic gobbledygook, the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security indicated that they were, but they weren’t.

Or something.

“No, actually they are based on intelligence that we know specifically from Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the way he concealed that device. There are some random pat-downs if that’s what you’re referring to, but it is based on intelligence.”

The ridiculous nature of the response apparently wasn’t lost on Paul.

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Redefining War Downwards

cross-posted from The Beacon

So let me get this straight. Obama is not in his actions in Libya violating the War Powers Resolution, passed in 1973, because Libya doesn’t count as a war? You can’t make this stuff up. It goes without saying that if Bush had done something so brazen, Obama and many of his other left-liberal critics would have likely — and correctly — called him out on it.

Arguably, even Bush did not do anything quite so bold regarding presidential warmaking. Now, under the Constitution, I believe that the Iraq war was also unconstitutional, for Congress never formally declared the war. But the federal legislature did, at least, empower Bush through a resolution to wage war on his own terms. This was a despicable forfeiture of constitutional authority, and many have compellingly argued that Gulf War II was no less unconstitutional, despite Congress’s passage of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. Yet Obama has been even more explicit in his rejection of procedural niceties than Bush, for, after having argued that the administration’s conduct of the Libya war was legal under the sixty-day grace period afforded to the president under the War Powers Resolution, the administration switched gears and argued that operations in Libya were not bound by the 1973 Act at all. The last president to demonstrate such temerity was Clinton, in regard to Kosovo. But this is perhaps even worse, as Clinton didn’t play the American people for quite the fools as Obama is doing.

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New Jersey lawmakers to consider health care nullification

On Tuesday, Assemblywoman Alison L. McHose (R-Sussex County) introduced a bill that would render the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act null and void in in the state of New Jersey.

A4155 not only refers to the unconstitutional nature of PPACA, but also speaks to the proper role of the federal government in relation to the states:

The Legislature finds and declares that:

a. The people of the several states comprising the United States of America created the federal government to be their agent for certain enumerated purposes, and nothing more;

b. Amendment X to the United States Constitution defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people of the several states t o the federal government, and all power not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States is reserved to the states respectively, or to the people themselves;

c. The assumption of power that the federal government has made by enacting the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” interferes with the right of the people of the State of New Jersey to regulate health care as they see fit, and makes a mockery of James Madison’s assurance in Number 45 of the Federalist Papers that the “powers delegated” to the federal government are “few and defined,” while those of the states are “numerous and indefinite”; and

d. The federal act is not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violates its true meaning and intent as given by its founders and ratifiers, and is hereby declared 

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Michigan legislature considers banning TSA pat-downs

The Michigan legislature will consider a bill that would make intrusive pat-downs without probable cause at airports and other public facilities a crime.

Rep. Tom McMillin (R- Rochester Hills) introduced House Bill 4772 on June 16.  The legislation would make it a misdemeanor to “intentionally touch the clothed or unclothed breast, genitalia, buttocks, or anus of that other individual except upon reasonable cause to believe that the individual may be concealing an item that is prohibited on that public property or on that mode of public transportation.”

Anyone convicted under the law would face a $500 fine and /or 93 days in jail.

McMillin modeled the bill on similar legislation proposed by Texas Rep. David Simpson. The Texas House unanimously passed HB 1937 in May, and the bill was on track to pass the Senate when a letter from U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy threatening to shut down air travel in the Lone Star State scared Texas Senators into backing down.

But Texas will try again. On June 20, Texas Gov. Rick Perry added the Texas TSA legislation to a special legislative session.

McMillin says an incident at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport motivated him to propose legislation that would effectively end intrusive TSA pat-downs in Michigan without probable cause. Earlier this month, agents at the airport singled out a 29-year-old man with special needs for extra security screening.   Dr. David Mandy says his son has the mental capacity of a 2-year-old. But TSA agents insisted on patting Drew Mandy down, confiscating a toy hammer he carries with him.

“My son carries his ball and his hammer for security. He goes everywhere with (them),” Mandy told WJBK FOX 2 in Detroit. “He took the hammer and he tapped the wall. ‘See, it’s hard. It could be used as a weapon.’ So, Drew’s also holding the ball, and I said, ‘Well, how about the ball?’ He (said), ‘Oh, he can keep that.’”

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Fed Up! David Simpson’s Open Letter to Rick Perry

An open letter from Texas State Representative, David Simpson, to Rick Perry

An Open Letter to Governor Rick Perry
Father’s Day, June 19, 2011

The Honorable Rick Perry
Governor of the State of Texas
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Dear Governor Perry:

If you are willing, there is still time to enact legislation to protect the dignity of travelers in Texas. Egregious intrusive searches without probable cause continue every day by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Texans and indeed Americans around this nation are fed up with this out of control federal bureaucracy that has promulgated practices that violate the 4th Amendment and that treat grandmothers, the handicapped, Iraqi war veterans with prosthetic limbs, boys, girls and infants as criminal suspects—touching their private parts as a condition of travel.

You write in your book, Fed Up, that you want to “help foster a nationwide conversation about the role of government in our lives” (Fed Up, 187). I can think of no role less suitable for our federal government than that of routinely violating innocent citizens of this state and those of the entire country.

Even our state officials are being violated as they travel to conduct the business of this state. I am sure you have heard by now that last Tuesday TSA officials reached up the skirts of Representative Barbara Nash and another female member of the Texas House, touching their privates through their undergarments! And Chairman Barry Smitherman of the Public Utilities Commission told FOX News last Wednesday that he was so aggressively searched that he was “sore” for hours afterward in those same areas. On top of that, the TSA officials acknowledged that they were “punishing” him for opting out of the scanners by going through every item in his carry-on luggage one piece at a time, taking about 40 minutes to do so.

I agree with you that “we have let establishment politicians on both sides of the aisle empower Washington at the expense of states, and thus our liberty” (Fed Up, xviii). Republicans started the TSA and Democrats expanded its reach.

The establishment in Washington has shown that it cannot be trusted to run the economy. However, under your leadership Texas has stood strong despite bad federal policy because we took action in our state. The establishment in Washington has also shown that it cannot be trusted to protect the rights of our citizens as guaranteed by the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution and Article 1, Section 9 of the Texas Constitution. Now it is time for us to stand strong also for the privacy, dignity, and constitutional rights of our citizens.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to show that kind of leadership that is so needed right now—that kind of leadership that will “make Texas stronger while defending the Constitution and demonstrating the harm caused by excesses in Washington” (Fed Up, 187).

On June 8th in a public teleconference call you were asked about placing this legislation on the call and you stated that it was in your “policy shop” and that, if there were support to pass the bill in both houses, you would call the bill for the special session.

Texans overwhelmingly support this measure as I am sure your office can attest. And the Legislature is ready to pass it as soon as you call the bill:

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I’m not afraid

With an iron fist in a velvet glove
We are sheltered under the gun

In the glory game on the power change
Thy Kingdom’s will be done
And the things that we fear
Are a weapon to be held against us
-Neil Peart, Rush

I just got home from vacation. My mom and my sister live on Amelia Island, Fla., so I not only spent some time with my family, but also got in some much needed beach time – an occasional necessity for this exiled Floridian.

Our visit to the Sunshine State also provided an opportunity for a little breakthrough for my 8-year-old nephew.  With my kids frolicking in the ocean, he had the impetus to spend some extended time in the water.

You might not find an 8-year-old playing in the waves particularly unusual. But you see; my nephew generally won’t linger in the ocean for any extended amount of time.

Why?

He’s afraid of sharks.

Mind you, he’s never actually seen a shark in the wild. He doesn’t know anybody who has ever experienced a shark attack. And the odds of a shark actually attacking?  One in 11.5 million, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File.

But my nephew remains petrified of sharks none-the-less. As a result, he generally scurries to the perceived safety of the beach after mere minutes in the water.

It’s sad that a little boy would miss out on all the fun of playing in the ocean because of fear. But in truth, American society plays out my nephew’s reaction to sharks on a larger scale every day.

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