few lawyers betray any understanding of the fundamental and wholly one-sided transformation of our legal system from a constitutionally-limited, common-law based republic to a post-constitutional administrative state.Details
(Dedicated to Gabby)
A couple weeks ago, I was texting with my daughter, getting caught up on what was going on in our lives, when she mentioned being on grand jury duty. The discussion inevitably, with a Tenther for a Dad, went to jury nullification. I felt like a failure as a parent when she told me that she was not familiar with the concept. It was then that I knew I had to work hard to make up for lost time.
There are many things that are important to discuss with your kids if you are a parent. Some of them are things that, if you don’t talk to them, I can guarantee someone else will, such as drugs. I have to confess, I tried to find a link to an old PSA from when I was a teen, but had no luck. Other things, if you don’t talk to your kids, there’s a good possibility no one will. Ronald Reagan, in his farewell address spoke of a new patriotism, and urged the youth of America:
All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ‘em know and nail ‘em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.
Jury nullification fits into that latter category. Better late than never, I explained how the jury has the right not only to decide based on the facts of the case, but based on the law itself and whether or not that law is just and/or constitutional. I then proceeded to share with her some of the history of jury nullification, from William Penn’s trial in 17th Century England to the NJ Weedman case last year. As I explained the cases, I was told that was, “interesting.” I replied, “And empowering as well.”Details
It seems we have reached a new point of inversion.
Are we at a point where references to the Constitution are now censored by the public education system? The curriculum has long been compromised with Constitutional half-truths, but are we now censoring student’s speeches that reflect on the Constitution? Is it too controversial, or just too obviously true, to allow a valedictorian to point out that the federal government is trampling rights?
According to reports, a North Texas valedictorian’s microphone was recently shut off mid-speech when his speech varied from the submitted script. The speech varied and “…he was talking about getting constitutional rights getting taken away from him.” the microphone was cut off. In fairness to the school, there was a policy in place that microphones would be shut off if the speech went off-script.
However, this trend to micromanage the speech of those that have earned the highest academic position available is problematic. What prompts the school to implement such authoritarian measures of censorship of a valedictorian’s speech? Who’s speech is it anyway? Why did this valedictorian feel the need to remove references to the Constitution in the draft submitted to the school censors?Details
Benjamin Franklin said, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” I think that we can all agree that education is paramount to a successful society and that it would behoove us to create a system that promotes and accelerates. However, how do we ensure that our children are best educated?
There is a new program on the block that is getting snapped up by schools around the country called the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). In Arizona the AIMS test has been struck out and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has taken its place which uses the CCSSI platform. As of right now the teachers have been getting trained of how to teach a CCSSI based classroom. Next Governor Brewer must sign AZ HB2047 to allow the PARCC test be the new standardized test for Arizona. The third phase is for the PARCC test scores to be shared with the federal and other state governments to continue to standardize the test. AZ HB2563 requires the AZ State Board to enforce the PARCC testing. Neither HB2047 or HB2563 have been signed into law but Governor Brewer’s aide Matthew Benson stated, “At the heart of Common Core is the notion of implementing more stringent internationally benchmarked standards. She is 100 percent supportive of the concept.”
If we can encourage our politicians to vote NAY on HB2047 and HB2563, we’ve effectively stopped the Phase II of the implementation of the Common Core.
Debra Goodwin here at TAC has written a good overview of CCSSI and why it is bad in her article called Common Core: An Attack on Freedom and What to Do About it. Columnist Michelle Malkin wrote, “For decades, collectivist agitators in our schools have chipped away at academic excellence in the name of fairness, diversity and social justice. Progressive reformers denounced Western civilization requirements, the Founding Fathers and the Great Books as racist. They attacked traditional grammar classes as irrelevant in modern life. They deemed ability grouping of students (tracking) bad for self-esteem. They replaced time-tested rote techniques and standard algorithms with fuzzy math, inventive spelling and multi-cultural claptrap.”Details
Last week the Rooney-Blansten amendment requiring the federal Common Core curriculum to devote equal time to Republican presidents was narrowly defeated in the U.S. Senate, despite a RealClearPolitics poll showing 87.8921% of the public supported the idea.
I’m a libertarian who writes frequently for the Tenth Amendment Center, and years ago I donated to the Cato Institute. But despite these impeccable credentials, I support a yeasty view of the Constitution and believe it politically expedient to pass federal legislation that ensures Republican politicians receive the same favorable treatment as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in any national civics curriculum approved by the federal Department of Education.
Anti-federal supremacists need to refine their priorities, with an eye to keeping moderate Republicans in office. The focus on “federal involvement in education” is wrong-headed and counter-productive, and overlooks the legislatively-mandated benefit (explicitly affirmed in Rooney-Blansten) of having all public schools teach no fewer than 15 positive things each about Richard Nixon, the two Bushes, and even failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.Details
There has been a growing number of states recently looking to pass laws that nullify overreaching federal intrusions on Second Amendment rights with Alabama being one of the latest states looking to protect the natural rights of its citizens. Alabama Senate Bill 43 is called the ‘Firearms Freedom Act’ and it intends to ‘exempt from…Details
Have you ever read an article that you were not sure what stance the author takes on the subject but presents both sides of the argument at once? I had the distinguished experience recently when I was reading the article titled “Sheriffs, State Lawmakers Push Back on Gun Control” on the Newsmax website (see: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Gun-Control-Pushback/2013/01/17/id/471825). It was a little confusing until I got about half way through it and read a quote by Sam Kamin.
Sam is a constitutional law professor at the University of Denver. One would think that if someone was a law professor that they would actually know and understand the law. Or in this case, a constitutional law professor – who should then know and understand the constitution. It is highly unfortunate when people like Sam misspeak about a subject. Their title gives them some credibility so people think what they say is true because they are supposedly an “expert”. But, when they make a mistake it is still a mistake.
The Supremacy Clause of Article VI, Clause 2 reads:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
Sam makes the comment that state legislatures can pass any laws they want but that the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution makes such actions unconstitutional. He further states that when there is a conflict between state and federal law, the federal government is supreme. Nothing could be farther from the truth. His blanket statement implies that the state laws are not necessary and state governments are not necessary because the federal government and its laws are supreme.Details
At a time when the Republican establishment is doing everything they can to alienate their constituents, and nullification measures are getting introduced around the country, it becomes more important than ever to step up and put our best foot forward when presenting our ideas to citizens desperately looking for a way to fight back against unjust federal power. Luckily, we have a shining example to follow in constitutional attorney KrisAnne Hall who gave an eloquent defense of ObamaCare nullification at the Florida Senate Select Committee on Monday, December 3rd.
“Some claim that [ObamaCare] must be submitted to as law of the land since the Supreme Court made its declaration from on high. This admits that we are not a Republic of sovereign states, but a monarchy. The supremacy clause declares the Constitution to be supreme, not the federal government,” Hall said in her stirring repudiation of the bill.Details
It is probably fair to say no President, First Lady, or candidate for said office has ever left a campaign event, state dinner or probably any meal in general saying, “Gee, I wish I’d had more to eat.” Yet none before the Obamas entered 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have claimed the authority to tell us what they want us to eat, while they eat what they want. Plenty of kids across these 50 States have probably said that with increasing frequency in response to new federal mandates regarding school lunches.
While our First Lady is able to enjoy her favorite pizza, children in a Kansas school have made a video in protest. Other students have said the portrayal is accurate, with students claiming they are still hungry throughout the rest of the school day. There is so much wrong with this situation, it almost encompasses all the problems facing the Tenther movement today.
First, the school administrator interviewed said the solution in the past has been to make adjustments to the school lunches when there were complaints, but the new federal “laws” left him with his hands tied. A word to that administrator personally, RESIGN! Your primary responsibility is the well being of the students in your school. You ought to know better than the people in Congress, the White House and the untold numbers of executive agencies trying to appear significant by churning out new rules. You should even know better than the nine self-proclaimed demigods on the Supreme Court. Show some spine and make the adjustments without their permission. You want input on improving school food? Go to your community first.Details