Let’s Get to Work!

by Eric Dalton

For those of us who have long recognized the virtues, advantages, and strengths of federalism and strong adherence to the 10th Amendment, it has seemed like we have been shouting into the wind, desperate to be heard.

We recognized early on that the predations of the federal government and the lust for power of DC politicians and bureaucrats could only be restrained by states acting as sovereigns asserting their Constitutional prerogatives rather than acting as mere administrative units of the federal government.

Given birth by the aggressive overreach of the Obama administration and the Democrats through the cram down of Obamacare, the TEA Party ignited a resurgent interest in our Constitution and the check that the states can provide against federal power.

The interest in the Constitution as a restraint on the federal, central, government has led to a slow rediscovery of the much maligned 10th Amendment and the concept of federalism. The intensifying interest in the 10th is driven by an almost panicked desire to stop an insatiable and rapacious federal government that is devouring more and more of our liberties.

Perhaps if the GOP in DC had some semblance of a spine and an interest in protecting us from the socialists that have take over the Democrat party the 10th Amendment wouldn’t be experiencing a rebirth, but unfortunately we know we can’t count on those in DC to look out for us. Perhaps we will look back one day and see that the aggressiveness of the Social-Democrats and the weakness and fecklessness of the GOP were the spark that lit the fire of liberty that saved our republic.

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We Aren’t Dismayed.

A statement prepared for the Oklahoma Rally for Healthcare Independence on July 7, 2012

Last week, the Supreme Court sent shockwaves across the country when it upheld the insurance mandate in the federal health care act. Many Americans counted on the Court to strike down ObamaCare. They were certain the justices would ride in on white horses and save them from a federal government claiming the authority to regulate some of the most personal decisions they will ever make – how to handle their own health. Lo and behold, the black-robed demigods admitted the feds can’t regulate activity that hasn’t happened yet. But with masterfully executed verbal gymnastics, Justice Roberts found a safe haven for this federal power. Tax it! In essence, the Supreme Court said “If you do not participate we will tax you for doing nothing. We will tax you for refusing to obey us. We will tax you into action!”

Many hopeful Americans reacted with shock and surprise. That quickly turned to dismay.

At the Tenth Amendment Center, we were neither shocked, nor are we dismayed.

For six years, we’ve been telling anybody who would listen that Washington D.C. will never solve the problems of America. Washington D.C. IS the problem! And we simply can’t rely on the federal government to limit its own power. Counting on the Supreme Court to rein in an overreaching Congress set on imposing a one-size-fits-all health care system on 300 million Americans was as naïve as expecting an Oklahoma Sooner player to fairly referee a game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Now some folks are hoping Mitt Romney will come in and save the day. He’s going to “repeal and replace.” He hasn’t explained exactly what replace means, but we can tell you exactly what it means: the federal government continues to butt into our lives!

No thanks!

Ladies and gentlemen, you won’t find solutions in Washington D.C. They are right here in Oklahoma City!

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Bill O’Reilly is no Constitutional Scholar

From The O’Reilly Factor, email segment for July 5:

“Bill, you keep asking what the Republicans have to replace Obamacare. Under the Constitution, there is no role for the Federal government in healthcare.”
–Felicia

O’Reilly:
“That’s not true, Felicia. The opening paragraph of the Constitution says the welfare of the people must be promoted. A just healthcare system comes under that banner.”

I couldn’t resist answering this.

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Montana Supreme Court’s “History” Turns Out To Be Weak

The Montana Supreme Court won praise for its recitation of history in its recent corporate finance case, Western Tradition Partnership v. Attorney General (later called American Tradition Partnership v. Bulloch).

But that was before anyone bothered to check the court’s version of history.

Earlier this year, five of the seven state justices held that Montana’s “unique” history of corporate electoral corruption and domination gave Montana government the “compelling governmental interest” needed to abridge First Amendment rights—a compelling interest not present in other states. The justices therefore refused to apply the U.S. Supreme Court’sCitizens United decision, which normally protects the right of associations to campaign independently for and against candidates. Instead, the Montana court upheld a state statute censoring corporate campaign speech.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed on legal grounds.

But neither the U.S. Supreme Court nor anyone else seem to have questioned the Montana tribunal’s historical claims. A large portion of my professional work is as a legal historian. Earlier this year, I undertook an extensive library fact-check of the court’s claims. I summarized some (although not all) of my conclusions in a published paper. What I learned was that, in the phrase of one writer who reviewed my findings, the Montana Supreme Court had been guilty of promulgating “junk history.”

Here’s a quick summary of my principal findings—some previously unpublished:

First, while claiming that incidents of corporate campaign corruption were once widespread in Montana, the court cited only two events, both over 100 years old. Both turn out to be irrelevant to the claim that Montana has a unique history of corporate electoral corruption. One was the alleged bribery of a pair of district court judges, which had absolutely nothing to do with campaigns or elections. The incident was never proved, and it’s not even clear that corporate money was involved.

The other was a candidate’s bribery of state legislators in a 1899 (!) U.S. Senate election. The U.S. Senate committee report on the incident described only bribery by individuals, not by corporations. The episode did not involve independent expenditures and was not unique to Montana, since similar episodes throughout the country soon led to adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment.

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