Good News for Texas Voters

from: the American Thinker:

Thanks to the Supreme Court, the new Texas voter ID law was in effect when early voting began in the 2014 midterm. The court upheld the Fifth Circuit’s stay pending appeal of an October 11, 2014 District Court injunction barring implementation of the law’s voter ID provisions. The last-minute injunction was issued by Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in an opinion whose content and timing make it smell suspiciously like the grievance industry’s race card.

[E]ven where specific discriminatory practices end, their effects persist. It takes time for those who have suffered discrimination to slowly assert their power.  Because of past discrimination and intimidation, there is a general pattern by African-Americans of not having the power to fully participate.

read more

Confirming a Ginsburg Clone

by: the Common Constitutionalist:

Recently Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight.com wrote a piece on Ruth “Buzzy” Ginsberg of the Supreme Court. He began by quoting her from an interview she gave Elle magazine published last week, were Ginsburg said, “If I resign anytime this year, [President Obama] could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see on the court.… So anybody who thinks if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, their misguided.”

Enten disagrees, saying that he believes a Ginsburg clone would in fact be confirmed today. He explains the Ginsburg flew through the “confirmation process in 1993 with 96 votes, including 41 Republicans.”

96 of 100 senators voted for the Ginsburg disaster. Pitiful! My how some things don’t change from decade to decade. The Senate then, just like now, houses mostly conformist establishment big government Republicans, most who feel they just confirm anyone the president nominates, unless it’s a Republican president.

Ginsburg was a former ACLU attorney and last I checked it isn’t nor ever has been a constitutionally conservative organization. Just knowing that, I would have voted against her. Any representative of the ACLU would automatically be disqualified, in my book. But then I’m not a learned Senator. read more

Former Supreme Wants To Change 2nd Amendment

Pro-gun advocates will likely be relieved that John Paul Stevens, 93, is now retired and no longer serving as a member of the Supreme Court. In his latest book, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution,” he argues for a slight change to the Second Amendment that would fundamentally alter its meaning.

As written by the Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution, the Second Amendment reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. read more

Dingy Harry Can Be Stopped… If We Have the Guts

 

by: the Common Constitutionalist

So Harry Reid actually did it. He finally pulled the trigger on the so-called “Nuclear Option”. And what does that mean for us – for our country? Nothing good, I’m afraid.

 

The “nuclear option” refers to the Senate’s advice and consent of a president’s nomination of cabinet heads and judges. With a single party line vote (all but three), Harry Reid has made the confirmation process much easier. It now takes but a 51 vote simple majority to confirm a nominee. It had been 60 votes.

 

Some have said, “Well at least it doesn’t include Supreme Court nominees”. That is correct. The Supreme Court is exempt from the new simple majority rule… that is until the Democrats decide they also want to include it. The only reason the Supreme Court was left out, was simply because no one on the court has claimed they are retiring. If say, Ruth “Buzzy” Ginsberg wanted to call it quits, the Supreme Court would’ve been part of the simple majority deal. You can bet on that.

 

So with that vote, the radicals in the Senate led by Reid are free to pack the lower courts, expand the courts and create new courts if they wish. What do I mean by expanding create? They can do that? Yep!

 

The United States Constitution states that, “the judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish” (Emphasis added).

 

So they can create whole new courts and expand the numbers of leftist judges on current courts to overwhelm the right. read more

Live As We Command Or Else

This one’s for the “live and let live” crowd. I guess that only applies if one is willing to “live” as the left demands:

It is a state court decision that could have national reach. In the words of Red State’s Erik Erickson, “You will be made to care.”

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Christian wedding photographer violated the state’s human rights law by refusing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony.

New Mexico Supreme Court Weighs Gay Rights, Religious Freedom

This shouldn’t be the end of the matter, said Ken Klukowski, the director for Center for Religious Liberty at the conservative Family Research Council.

“This decision would stun the framers of the U.S. Constitution, is a gross violation of the First Amendment, and should now be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court to reaffirm the basic principle that the fundamental rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion do not stop at the exit door of your local church, and instead extend to every area of a religious person’s life,” he said in a written statement. read more

United Community of America

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 

It’s funny that the left can consistently find things that are clearly not in the Constitution and discount or completely ignore those that clearly are in the document.

Decade after decade we’ve heard the constant drumbeat of the left exclaiming the separation of church and state. That it’s the law and we must take care not to co-mingle religion and the state.

I’ve read the Constitution many times and can state unequivocally that the separation of church and state is not written nor even implied in the Constitution.

What is clear, to anyone who cares to take a peek, is the separation of powers. That is as plain as the nose on my brother’s face.

Yet there doesn’t seem to be a separation any longer. There appear to be no branches of government that are separate but equal. Somewhere along the American timeline our constitutional republic has been replaced with some kind of three-class system.

But what about “we the people”? There is no “we the people”. We are merely indentured servants of the state, lower than the low.

Our federal legislative branch, the House and Senate, have become the lower or serf class. They have to answer to the parliamentarian class, the executive branch, who in turn must ultimately bow to the will of the rulers, the judicial branch.

How did we morph into such a society? Easy; from a single Supreme Court decision. It’s called judicial review and was set up long ago.

The 1803 decision of the Marshall Court in Marbury v Madison  set this country on a path to judicial tyranny.

The eventuality of that one Supreme Court decision has effectively nullified the 10th amendment , states rights and rendered individual state constitutions virtually meaningless.

Yet in the Constitution, the supreme law of the land, a review of Article III, section 2  nowhere states or implies judicial review of the Constitution.

Folks (I sound like Bill O’Reilly), the Constitution is quite simple to understand. It’s made to appear complex so that the common man feels reliant upon “scholars” to explain to us idiots what the founders “really” meant.

In fact, it was written and enacted for and by the states thus granting states most of the power. It would not have been ratified otherwise.

That is why, unlike today’s legislation, it is not at all a lengthy document. It didn’t have to be. Any power not specifically enumerated in the Constitution to the federal government reverts back to the states and thus the people. It’s really that simple.

Yet we have allowed the Supreme Court to usurp their mandated authority.

Thomas Jefferson wrote of the danger of the court in 1823: “At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for the removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the Constitution, and working its change by construction, before anyone has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employing in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all liability to account.”

There’s that word, precedent. Makes my skin crawl.

Ditto Abraham Lincoln: “We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts – not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.”

But with the recent Supreme Court decision nullifying a legally binding California state constitutional amendment on marriage, I’ve concluded that ship has sailed. 

The fix is now in and that decision marks the end of states rights and the 10th amendment. We will soon be known as the “United Community of America”, a centuries-old progressive dream come true.

Marriage in the Supreme Court

by: the Common Constitutionalist

However you feel regarding homosexual marriage, it is my contention that the United States Supreme Court has no business involving itself in such matters or in the state of Californias business.

Why does the Supreme Court feel the need to concern itself, or that the average american citizen believes it has that right? Answer: 4 liberal activist justices, which is coincidently the number needed to accept a case. States have their own rules, own constitution, their own courts and supreme courts as well as their own state judicial review.

The federal government, in my opinion, has absolutely no roll in or right to hear this case. This is a state issue. The U.S. supreme court should vacate the 9th circus court of appeals decision (as it does on a regular basis) as well as the federal district courts decision and declare that this is a matter for the state of California to decide, which it already has.

The state of California allows for popular referendum votes in order to amend the California constitution. The people of California overwhleming voted to amend their constitution via proposition 8, to state that marriage is between a man and a woman.  Because the politicians in California refused to uphold the legally binding California constitutional amendment, the left saw an opportunity to usurp the state constitution.  I’m not certain, but I would guess that the politicians in California took an oath to defend and protect the constitution of California. Frankly they should all be brought up on charges for failure to properly discharge their duties and removed from office. They have no right to pick and choose what they will and will not enforce.

Oh, by the way, a majority of blacks and hispanics voted in favor of proposition 8. Why are those in favor of overturning the amendment not called racists? Just asking.

What is the point in having states at all if they can’t run themselves? For that matter, why even have a state legislature, a governor, a congress, senate or president? If the United States Supreme Court is the end all and be all decision maker, why not just let them run the country? What is the point in Federalism; checks and balances.

These black robed gods are evidently infallible, except when they are. Throughout our history our supreme court has been comprised of human beings, not gods. Their have been drunks, womanizers, bigots, Klan members, etc., that sat on the bench. They are frankly as fallible as the rest of us and as Chief justice John Roberts recently demonstrated, they are just as prone to public (or some kind of) pressure as are we .

Here are just a few of the really poor decisions handed down by 9 black robed infallible gods:

Dred Scott v. Sandford 1857: All Americans of African descent were not citizens and would have no rights.

Plessy v. Ferguson 1896:   It protected racial discrimination in state laws under the “separate but equal” doctrine. It expressly upheld the right of states to force segregation upon others.

Home Building & Loan v. Blaisdell 1934: The Court created the Emergency Exceptions Doctrine, arguing that the Great Depression was so bad that government could interfere with private contracts.

 Wickard v. Filburn 1942: Roscoe Filburn was a farmer who grew wheat to feed to his livestock. The Court determined that Filburn’s self-sufficiency caused him to buy less wheat from outside suppliers. They decided this marginal impact was enough to subject him to federal regulation under the Commerce Clause

Korematsu v. U.S. 1944: Chief Justice Hugo Black wrote for the Court that the government’s need to protect itself from spies outweighed the civil rights of Fred Korematsu and other innocent Americans of Japanese ancestry allowing the internment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.

 Bennis v. Michigan 1996: Tina Bennis and her husband owned a car, in which Tina’s husband engaged the services of a prostitute. The State of Michigan seized the car as a public nuisance. The Supreme Court determined that the government could take Tina Bennis’ property, without due process or appeal, even though she didn’t know that her property was being used this way.

Kelo v. New London 2005: the  High Court extended the governments ability to seize private property under eminent domain, even when the only public purpose was to enrich the city’s treasury.This decision afforded a government the right to take anyone’s private property if it feels that someone else can make better use of it.

As I said; this is not a case for the U.S. Supreme Court and is not a 14th Amendment issue if you know anything about the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1868 specifically to demand that freed blacks, post Civil War, are citizens, period, and as such are afforded the same constitutional rights as whites. It has nothing at all to do with homosexual marriage or any other kind of marriage.

The Court should just say that this is a 10th Amendment issue and be done with it.

Does the 10th amendment, states rights, mean nothing anymore? I thought the left was all about diversity. Does not the 10th amendment tippify diversity?

As many in California have done for a number of reasons, those who do not accept California law are welcome to vote with their feet and move to a more amenable state. But, of course that is not the lefts way, is it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Court Lightweights Challenge the Champ

Scalia, Kagan, and Sotomayor Slug it Out over ‘Voting Rights Act’

It’s about time. We’ve needed a battle over ideology on the Supreme Court that the public gets to read about. The 1965 discriminatory Voting Rights Act is being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Who would ever question such an Act? I mean, voting rights is the staple of our Republic.

Moreover, to question the legitimacy of the Voting Rights Act puts you in the same company as the KKK. At least that’s what Michael Moore maintains. Here’s what Justice Scalia said:

“I don’t think there is anything to be gained by any senator to vote against continuation of this act. They are going to lose votes if they do not reenact the Voting Rights Act. Even the name of it is wonderful — the Voting Rights Act. Who is going to vote against that in the future?”

What many people do not know is that the Voting Rights Act is not equal in the way it is applied. Not every state is under the Act’s jurisdictional demands. So here we have a law designed to stop discrimination, and yet the Act itself is discriminatory. Continue Reading

More Light on Obamacare Ruling

More Scorn for Chief Justice Roberts as Details of Switch Leak

As Breitbart News suggested last week, it appears Chief Justice John Roberts did, in fact, switch his vote on the Obamacare decision under pressure from President Barack Obama, the Democrats, and the mainstream media. John Fund at National Review has more details today–including evidence about a bizarre address by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Judiciary Committee, that singled out Roberts himself:

Indeed, Senator Patrick Leahy (Vt., D.) , the chair of the Judiciary Committee, suddenly took to the floor on May 14 and directly addressed Roberts, urging him in harshly partisan tones to uphold Obamacare and maintain “the proper role of the judicial branch.”

Stewart Baker, a partner at the Washington law firm Steptoe & Johnson, writes at the Volokh Conspiracy that he found the whole campaign against Roberts weird and unusual, given that the justices’ conference vote on Obamacare had been held six weeks earlier. Why “would the chair of the Judiciary Committee risk the appearance of trying to harshly strong-arm the Court when his remarks wouldn’t make the slightest difference?” he asks. “The Leahy speech reads like it was written for an audience of one. It offers flattery and it offers threats, all of them personalized to appeal to Chief Justice Roberts alone.”

Fund adds that the White House likely benefited from leaks at the Court, and almost certainly knew of Roberts’s switch–just as it almost certainly knew of the initial vote to throw out the individual mandate in March:

The week before the Supreme Court announced its decision, the White House was clearly hinting to many in the media and on Capitol Hill that they expected a 5–4 opinion that would hinge on the taxing-power issue. Did someone leak? Sunday on Face the Nation, Jan Crawford of CBS News said that two reliable

Gimme Five Up Top!

sources told her that Roberts originally voted, in late March, with the four conservative justices to invalidate the individual mandate. According to Crawford, Roberts suddenly changed sides some six weeks later and then resisted “a month-long desperate campaign by the conservative justices to bring him back to the fold.”

I’ve learned from my own sources that after voting to invalidate the mandate, the chief did express some skepticism about joining the four conservatives in throwing out the whole law. At the justices’ conference, there was discussion about accepting the Obama administration’s argument, which was that, if the individual mandate was removed, the provisions governing community rating and guaranteed issue of insurance would have to go too but that the rest of the law might stand. The chief justice was equivocal, though, in his views on that point.

The more the public learns about Roberts’s decision, the more people are likely to hate it. Fund notes that even David Brooks of the New York Times agrees that Roberts “had to get to a certain result, and he was going to find a way by hook or by crook.” It’s a conclusion that aptly expresses how Obamacare was conceived, how it was passed, and now how it has been upheld by one of the worst decisions in recent years.

Common Constitutionalist note: I contend that Justice Sonia Sotomayor was placed on the court expressly for the Obamacare vote and that Justice Elaina Kagan is the leak. In my opinion, it’s common knowledge regarding the wise Latina. I have no proof regarding Kagan, but she is a Obama sycophant, and ran in the same academic circles from her time in Chicago, even hiring the radical friend of Obama, Cass Sunstein.

Unlimited Power to Tax

A Short History of Congress’s Power to Tax

The Supreme Court has long distinguished the regulatory from the taxing power.

By PAUL MORENO

In 1935, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins was fretting about finding a constitutional basis for the Social Security Act. Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone advised her, “The taxing power, my dear, the taxing power. You can do anything under the taxing power.”

In his ObamaCare opinion, NFIB v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts gave Congress the same advice—just enact regulatory legislation and tack on a financial penalty, as in failure to comply with the individual insurance mandate. So how did the power to tax under the Constitution become unbounded?

The first enumerated power that the Constitution grants to Congress is the “power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” The text indicates that the taxing power is not plenary (full & complete in every respect), but can be used only for defined ends and objects—since a comma, not a semicolon, separated the clauses on means (taxes) and ends (debts, defense, welfare)

Editorial board member Joe Rago on how Chief Justice John Roberts’s rewrite of ObamaCare weakens the Constitution’s federalist structure.

This punctuation was no small matter. In 1798, Pennsylvania Rep. Albert Gallatin said that fellow Pennsylvania Rep. Gouverneur Morris, chairman of the Committee on Style at the Constitutional Convention, had smuggled in the semicolon in order to make Congress’s taxing power limitless, but that the alert Roger Sherman had the comma restored. The altered punctuation, Gallatin said, would have turned “words [that] had originally been inserted in the Constitution as a limitation to the power of levying taxes” into “a distinct power.” Thirty years later, Virginia Rep. Mark Alexander accused Secretary of State John Quincy Adams of doing the same thing after Congress instructed the administration to print copies of the Constitution.

The punctuation debate simply reinforced James Madison’s point in Federalist No. 41 that Congress could tax and spend only for those objects enumerated, primarily in Article I, Section 8.

Congress enacted very few taxes up to the end of the Civil War, and none that was a pretext for regulating things that the Constitution gave it no power to regulate. True, the purpose of tariffs was to protect domestic industry from foreign competition, not raise revenue. But the Constitution grants Congress a plenary power to regulate commerce with other nations.

Congress also enacted a tax to destroy state bank notes in 1866, but this could be seen as a “necessary and proper” means to stop the states from usurping Congress’s monetary or currency power. It was upheld in Veazie Bank v. Fenno (1869).

The first unabashed use of the taxing power for regulatory purposes came when Congress enacted a tax on “oleomargarine” in 1886. Dairy farmers tried to drive this cheaper butter substitute from the market but could only get Congress to adopt a mild tax, based on the claim that margarine was often artificially colored and fraudulently sold as butter. President Grover Cleveland reluctantly signed the bill, saying that if he were convinced the revenue aspect was simply a pretext “to destroy . . . one industry of our people for the protection and benefit of another,” he would have vetoed it.

Congress imposed another tax on margarine in 1902, which the Supreme Court upheld (U.S. v. McCray, 1904). Three justices dissented, but without writing an opinion.

Then, in 1914, Congress imposed taxes on druggists’ sales of opiates as a way to regulate their use. Five years later, in U.S. v. Doremus , the Supreme Court upheld the levy under Congress’s express power to impose excise taxes.

Then, in 1922, the court rejected Congress’s attempt to prohibit child labor by imposing a tax on companies that employed children. An earlier attempt to accomplish this, by prohibiting the interstate shipment of goods made by child labor, was struck down as unconstitutional—since it was understood since the earliest days of the republic that Congress had the power to regulate commerce but not manufacturing. “A Court must be blind not to see that the so-called tax is imposed to stop the employment of children within the age limits prescribed,” Chief Justice William Howard Taft wrote in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. “Its prohibitory and regulatory effect and purpose are palpable.” Even liberal justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis D. Brandeis concurred in Taft’s opinion.

Things came to a head in the New Deal, when Congress imposed a tax on food and fiber processors and used those tax dollars to provide benefits to farmers. Though in U.S. v. Butler (1936) the court adopted a more expansive view of the taxing power—allowing Congress to tax and spend for the “general welfare” beyond the powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution—it still held the ends had to be “general” and not transfer payments from one group to another. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt threatened to “pack” the Supreme Court in 1937, it accepted such transfer payments in Mulford v. Smith (1939), so long as the taxes were paid into the general treasury and not earmarked for farmers.

And now, in 2012, Justice Roberts has confirmed that there are no limits to regulatory taxation as long as the revenue is deposited in the U.S. Treasury.

Are there any other limits? Article I, Section 2 says that “direct taxes shall be apportioned among the states” according to population. This is repeated in Article I, Section 9, which says that “no capitation, or other direct tax, shall be laid,” unless apportioned.

The Supreme Court struck down income taxes in 1895 (Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.), on the ground that they were “direct” taxes but not apportioned by population. Apportioning an income tax would defeat the purpose of the relatively poorer Southern and Western states, who wanted the relatively richer states of the Northeast to pay the bulk of the tax. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the power to tax incomes without apportionment.

Other direct taxes should presumably have to be apportioned according to the Constitution. Justice Roberts quickly dismissed the notion that the individual mandate penalty-tax is not a direct tax “under this Court’s precedents.” To any sentient adult, it looks like a “capitation” or head tax, imposed upon individuals directly. Unfortunately, having plenty of other reasons to object to ObamaCare, the four dissenting justices in NFIB v. Sebelius did not explore this point.

Some conservatives have cheered that part of Justice Roberts’s decision that limits Congress’s Commerce Clause power. But an unlimited taxing power is equally dangerous to constitutional government.

Mr. Moreno is a professor of history at Hillsdale College and the author of “The American State from the Civil War to the New Deal,” forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.