Federal Serfdom and Food Freedom

“Lawmaker wants to criminalize enforcing federal food law!”

That’s the headline of a recent KSL article (with an exclamation point added in for emphasis) regarding a bill that will be considered in the upcoming 2012 legislative session. Sponsored by Utah Senator Casey Anderson and originally drafted by the Utah Tenth Amendment Center, this bill is simple: it upholds the Constitution.

It does so by clarifying the difference between intrastate and interstate commerce; the latter is a power delegated to the federal government, but states constitutionally retain the authority over intrastate commerce—items which are exchanged only within the state. This bill does for agriculture what was done for guns in 2010.

But rather than leading out with any substantive, principled information, KSL’s article focuses on one provision of the bill which would penalize agents of the state government for enforcing unconstitutional federal regulations on intrastate commerce. They claim that the criminalization would be for federal law, but legislative mandates which violate the Constitution are not in fact laws, and should not be treated as such. Thus, the bill upholds the Constitution by prohibiting agents of the state government from enforcing policies which run afoul of its provisions.

The Utah Democratic Chair eagerly jumped into the fray, commenting that “this is… another example of Republican Legislators who are out of touch with Utah common sense values.” It is unclear to which values Mr. Dabakis is referring, but to the extent that Utahns believe in the Constitution, liberty, and limited government, this bill is in harmony, and not out of touch, with those values.


NDAA Obliterates Large Portions of The Bill of Rights

The Republican Presidential Primaries have obscured the President’s late December signing of the most damaging law to the Bill of Rights in my lifetime.  Known as the National Defense Authorization Act the over 600 page, $662 billion law “would require the military to hold suspected terrorists linked to Al Qaeda or its affiliates, even those captured on U. S. soil, indefinitely” and without trial, on the say so of the military through the President alone.  Moreover, even Americans could be removed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba against their will and deprived of their constitutional rights.  In my commentary on this law in early December (see “New Bill Damages Bill of Rights and Could Target Americans for Military Detention,” LibertyUnderFire.org), I noted that the law gave no protection from a revolving definition of terrorism to anti-government, perhaps even Tea Partiers or Occupy Wall Street folks.

The threat of potential incarceration without recourse to a lawyer, judge and trial is very serious.  The military performing police duty, heretofore rendered by civil authorities, is unconscionable in a free society.  Our only hope was a promised Presidential veto which did not happen.  Therefore, what follows are details on how the new law emasculates the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the U.S. Constitution and Amendments 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the Bill of Rights.

The Writ of Habeas Corpus found in Article I, Section 9 recognized that some day war might exist on our soil and that the accused had rights that might have to be momentarily delayed until recognized civilian authority could reasonably attend to them.  It allowed this delay in only two circumstances “when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Section 9 is a list of powers specifically denied Congress; nor were they given to the President in Article II.  This strongly suggests no federal role outside these two parameters in the delay of justice—certainly no military role.  The removal of any civilian role and the carting off of U.S. citizens to a foreign country without benefit of judge or jury obliterates this right.