Originalism and the Supreme Court’s 2013 Term

At the National Constitution Center’s “Constitution Daily” blog, Doug Kendall and Tom Donnelly (Constitutional Accountability Center): Big Battles Brewing over the Constitution’s Original Meaning.  From the introduction: For decades, debates over the Constitution divided along familiar lines. Progressives professed faith in a “living Constitution,” while conservatives claimed fidelity to originalism. In recent terms, however, this dynamic…

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South Carolina Pinball Law: Null and Void

Does nullification work?

Some argue that it does not. Sometimes they call it ineffective political posturing. Sometimes they claim we simply can’t overcome a powerful government through nullification strategies. Sometimes they don’t even have a reason; they just swear it won’t work.

But here’s the thing…it has!

First we need to understand the goal of nullification. Ultimately, we simply want to render a law unenforceable and irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if the law remains on the books. If the authorities can’t or simply won’t enforce it any more, we can claim success.

But does it really work?

Yes!

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Marco Simons on Originalism and Daimler v. Bauman

At Concurring Opinions, Marco Simons (EarthRights International) has this post on the Daimler v. Bauman case (argued at the Supreme Court 10/15):  Is There a Constitutional Right to Corporate Separateness?  Mr. Simons and I have been on opposite sides of some cases in the past, but I think there is something to his originalist argument here: The Ninth Circuit…

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Fusion Centers: Big Brother’s Infiltration Into Your Communities

Fusion CenterIn the midst of the never-ending NSA spying revelations, it is easy to lose track of all of the unconstitutional acts committed by the so-called intelligence community – and the ways that NSA spying, and mentality behind it, permeates law enforcement at all levels.

One  troubling aspect recently revealed is the fact that the feds give warrantless, illegally-collected information to local law-enforcement agencies for their investigations. This is done through something called “Special Operations Division,” and through Fusion Centers.

The Fusion Centers act as a conduit for Big Brother – they’re a place to simply receive data collected, with or without a warrant, by federal agencies like the NSA.  That information is passed on to local law enforcement and often used in day-to-day criminal investigations.

SET UP

Fusion Centers were set-up under the Bush Administration to “help keep America safe” after 9/11. The Patriot Act removed barriers that prevented the feds from sharing intelligence information with local law enforcement. This was meant to facilitate communication between agencies so decisions could be made quickly in order to “prevent another terrorist attack.”  At least that’s how it was sold. Unfortunately, this practice has been abused and focused on the whole American population – not just terror suspects.

Given the penchant the feds have for using their power to harass political opponents, these spying programs have a pernicious chilling effect on the First Amendment of the Constitution..

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Not raising the debt limit = balancing the budget

Not raising the debt limit is simply running a balanced budget.

Yes, that’s right: The President and Congress may have to balance the federal budget in the next few days! Horrors!

Let’s get some clarity here. When the federal government hits the debt limit it does NOT mean that it can’t borrow or that it can’t pay existing debts. It just means it cannot continue to run a deficit. Spending becomes limited by revenue, and existing debt may be replaced by new debt. The government just can’t add MORE debt.

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Banging the Drum for Default

Originally published at American Thinker

There’s been so much malarkey meted out by the media about the budget C.R., the government shutdown, and the debt ceiling that the average American can easily lose sight of the real issue, which is the federal debt. Even certain honest, trusted members of the media trot out “default” as though it were synonymous with not raising the debt ceiling by Oct. 17.

Actually, default is not paying the interest/principle on what one has borrowed. Current federal revenue is way more than enough to easily pay what we owe on federal notes, bills and bonds.

If the feds do indeed have enough revenue pouring in to meet their obligations, then actual default would be an act of volition, a decision by the president. The president would have decided to squander the full faith and credit of the nation. Such an action would be an impeachable offense.

The president tells us that the deficit has been cut in half. He’s right, but that’s only because it’s come down from astronomical levels. Despite having fallen, the deficit for fiscal 2013 is still far higher than any pre-Obama deficit. Indeed, the six deficits since the Democrats took over Congress in Jan. 2007 are by far the largest in history.

Two big reasons for the smaller deficit for the fiscal year that just ended are tax hikes and spending cuts; specifically, the income tax rate hikes on the wealthy, the end of the payroll tax holiday, and sequestration. But the Democrats want to end sequestration. If that were to happen with no off-setting cuts elsewhere, the deficit would be that much worse next year. (It may be worse anyway, due to the rollout of ObamaCare.) 

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“Dont Try to Bend the Spoon”

“Do not try and bend the spoon – that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth…

“There is no spoon.” – The Matrix

Don’t try to stop government from seeking power. That’s impossible. Instead, realize the truth: limited government does not exist. That means we need many governments competing and limiting each other’s power through fighting, usurpation and jockeying for tax dollars

Don’t try to bend the spoon!

In reality, most attempts to provide limited government (ie. government that does not trend towards tyranny) are very much like trying to bend the spoon.  We have to realize this truth – there is no spoon –  before we can understand the failures of the last century – failures of the conservative movement, the reform movement and before that the liberal movement.  All of these movements attempted in one way or another to give us “limited” government.

We still don’t have it.

So, with all of that brainpower seeking the key – a way to provide Americans with a stable government that does not trend towards tyranny, waste, fraud and abuse – why is it that we ended with exactly the opposite?
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Colleges Collude With NSA to Train Next Generation of Agents

For years, the National Security Agency (NSA), the major league of electronic monitoring and surveillance, has sponsored programs that try to turn high schools and colleges into their private farm system.

As the snoops explain on their website under a tab called“Opportunities for You”:

Today’s job marketplace is competitive. To get a step ahead you need to gain practical experience before you graduate. Come work with the top professionals in your field at NSA. Our internships, co-op program, scholarships, and work study programs will help you to develop and shape your career well before your studies are through.

Come on, kids. Learn how cool it is to violate the Fourth Amendment. Not only will you not be prosecuted, but you’ll be paid and get killer federal government health insurance benefits!

The NSA isn’t looking for dummies, though. They want public schools to funnel the best and brightest into the agency’s ranks.Again, from the website:

The National Security Agency’s (NSA) Gifted and Talented Program is only open to high school seniors. The program is designed for high school students who have demonstrated an aptitude for Engineering, Math and Science. This program provides a tremendous opportunity to gain valuable experience in the area of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics].

Why waste those extraordinary talents on lawful, helpful, and noble pursuits when you can come spy on your fellow citizens? Heck, play your cards right and once you’re hired you can even use our substantial surveillance resources to keep an ear on that girl you’ve had your eye on.

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