SCOTUS Defending the 10th Amendment? Good Luck

That’s the message that Kevin Gutzman gave on the recent Bond decision, which ruled that an individual can sue the feds under the 10th Amendment. From 1937 to 1995, the Supreme Court did not rule a single congressional statute unconstitutional. One cannot take for granted that any constitutional provision will be respected if asserted against…


Oberstar Comes to the EDA’s Defense

When Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN) lost his bid for reelection in November, it brought to an end a congressional career that spanned nearly a half century. As a former chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Oberstar’s faith in the ability of the federal government to turn taxpayer water into wine was typical for a politician ensconced in the Washington Beltway bubble.

Oberstar reemerged this week to voice his support for legislation reauthorizing the Economic Development Administration, which is still being debated on the Senate floor. In an op-ed written for The Hill, Oberstar says that “It is disheartening to see that the agency I helped create more than 45 years ago which has had constant bipartisan support is now under unwarranted partisan attack in an economic environment when the kinds of jobs this agency helps create are needed more than ever.”

Oberstar says that it is “particularly troubling” that the EDA is receiving scrutiny after being unanimously reauthorized only three years ago. And without specifically naming him, Oberstar takes a shot at Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) for turning against the agency after having previously “supported and praised EDA investments in his home state.” Considering how rare it is for a member of Congress to admit to having made a mistake, I’d say that DeMint’s recent admission in the Wall Street Journal that he was wrong to have supported the EDA is refreshing.


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.


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.



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.


New York Considering Health Care Freedom Act

In 2009 New York had two pieces of state Senate legislation dealing with Healthcare Freedom (S-7374) and reconfirming the Sovereignty of New York (J-4716) introduced by Senator Seward and Senator Michael Nozzolio respectively. A small sliver of light in state whose Governor had accepted federal funds for early introduction of healthcare insurance exchanges in compliance…


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.


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 


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.’”