Making a Mockery of the Bill of Rights

If ever one needed a cogent example of why relying on the federal government to comply with the constitution and protect the liberties of the people is hopeless, the senate just gave one. Robert Wenzel reports over at his EconomicPolicyJournal that in a 79 to 12 vote, the senate rejected an amendment to the Foreign…

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How Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson Destroyed Constitutional Freedom

“The radical change in the relationship of the federal government to individual Americans was ratcheted up greatly in the Progressive Era,” argues Judge Andrew Napolitano in his new book, Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom.

The first decades of the 20th century saw an assault on individual liberties that was both unconstitutional and unprecedented in American history. From crackdowns on freedom of speech to the seizures of vast swaths of land, Judge Napolitano shows how the policies of two presidents from opposing parties laid the groundwork for a century of ever-expanding federal power.

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Nullify Term Limits?

Term limits are one of most popular political issues of the day.  Most think of achieving this with a Constitutional Amendment, but there is another way: with  nullification.

Before 1995, states were legislating term limits.  Then in Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779,(1995) in a 5 to 4 split decision, the Supreme Court ruled term limits unconstitutional. Their reasoning was that since the U.S. Constitution imposed some qualifications on Congress people, such as age restrictions and citizen requirements. The states could not legislate additional requirements.

In a well reasoned and clear statement for federalism, Clarence Thomas dissented with, “It is ironic that the Court bases today’s decision on the right of the people to ‘choose whom they please to govern them’.” Under our Constitution, there is only one State whose people have the right to ‘choose whom they please’ to represent Arkansas in Congress… Nothing in the Constitution deprives the people of each State of the power to prescribe eligibility requirements for the candidates who seek to represent them in Congress. The Constitution is simply silent on this question. And where the Constitution is silent, it raises no bar to action by the States or the people.”

Justice Thomas is correct. There is no real Constitutional basis for this split Supreme Court ruling. It is the ruling on the whims and political view of five lawyers.  At the end of this Blog are states that still have federal term limits in their laws and/or constitution. As best I can determine, these states still have these statutes on the record. If the governor or Secretary of State deems that in Inc. v. Thornton, the U.S Supreme Court does not have the authority to make their ruling, then they could prevent these multi-term federal politicians from appearing on the ballot. A grass roots effort in these states might persuade one of them to do this.

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