Hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center
by Rob Natelson
May 22, 2010
It is a document designed to protect our freedom by imposing law on those who wield political power. Without such law, Americans would be under the constant threat of tyranny.
The word “constitution” did not always refer to a particular document. The word is based on the Latin verb constituere, which means to arrange or decide. In its original English sense, a “constitution” was how a political system was set up. People spoke (and sometimes still speak) of the unwritten and evolving “constitutions” of Britain and of the ancient Roman republic.
As I explain in The Original Constitution, the American Founders acknowledged a huge debt to the British and Roman traditions, but they consciously rejected the British and Roman approach to constitutions. Specifically, they rejected the “evolutionary” and “unwritten” constitutional idea in favor of a written document that would lay out the rules in an clear and organized fashion.
There were only a few precedents for this approach: Sweden’s “Instrument of Government” was probably the first. Under Oliver Cromwell (1649-58), the English adopted a short-lived “Instrument of Government,” and then a short-lived “Humble Petition and Advice.” The name of the latter English constitution suggests how little those documents tempered Cromwell’s autocracy.
If you’re not overwhelmed by the temporary construction jobs they will provide, and believe in a respectable future for the state, you will picture those four gambling derricks with their money-sucking pumps working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to pull income out of Ohioans’ purses to permanently shrink Ohio’s economic and moral stature. Even Atlantic City casinos are having a hard time. Ohio casinos will suck Ohio money. Money that won’t be there for something else.
We’ve already been taken for a ride and our constitution perverted. Not a single Central Ohio county voted to have a money-sucker but we got one anyway, done by outsiders who spent a huge amount of money to get it done, with the idea they would make it the central attraction of the Arena District–a place for families and sports fans with an atmosphere that has been conscientiously built upon for several years now. It would be like putting a python in the pen with your golden retriever just to watch the fun.
Issue 2 should be voted down because it is not the issue that should be on the ballot next Tuesday. It should have been one to give Central Ohio a chance to reject a casino by changing last fall’s constitutional amendment to eliminate the Columbus location, period.
John Kasich, GOP candidate for governor, favors Issue 2, he says, because “It does not expand gambling in any way. I support Issue 2 because it permits local control of economic development in the community.”
The Associated Press 3:01 PM Thursday, April 29, 2010
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a proposed amendment by groups seeking to exclude the state from President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul should appear as a single issue on the ballot.
The Thursday decision reverses a finding by the Ohio Ballot Board, which had split the issue proposed by the Ohio Liberty Council and others into two separate ballot measures.
The court says the board abused its discretion and disregarded state law and ordered it to certify the proposed amendment.
The Liberty Council tea party group wants voters to approve the Ohio constitutional amendment that would allow the state to opt out of the health care law signed in March.
If supporters get enough petition signatures, the issue would appear on the November ballot.
Read the Ohio Supreme Court decision here. Especially (fore-)telling is paragraph 30:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
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.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
By Debbie Morgan
hat tip: TakeBackWashington.com
March 26, 2010
Watching the debate on healthcare was like having a nightmare while living in the circus. The clowns never hear those they “entertain,” yet they continue to throw nasty legislation at the public. In one of the better moments from the debate, a Representative said the bill was totally unconstitutional, as the Federal Government does not have the authority to force the public to purchase anything. In an online forum, one gentleman stated that the bill is tantamount to extortion. It is apparent that we are down to the only peaceful recourse available…Support local State Sovereignty bills; the only way to overturn the healthcare nightmare, as well as all other over-reaching federal legislation!
When the subject of the Tenth Amendment has been raised in past conversation, some have laughed and some have said, “Oh, that will never work.” Since its passage, many States have tried to invoke their Tenth Amendment rights on several occasions. The largest combined effort, before now, was during the Civil War, when eleven states sought to secede from the united States. Interestingly enough, the last time people got truly fired up about their States rights was during the Roosevelt Administration’s “New Deal.” Why do we have such a magnificent amendment to protect the states if we are not going to use it?
The February 2008 CRS Report for Congress, after quoting the Tenth Amendment, states, “While this language would appear to represent one of the most clear examples of a federalist principle in the Constitution, it has not had a significant impact in limiting federal powers. Initially, the Supreme Court interpreted the Tenth Amendment to have substantive content, so that certain ‘core’ state functions would be beyond the authority of the federal government to regulate.” Yet, in the past, as now, the Federal Government continues to take what it wants, expecting the states to bow down in servitude.
by: Michael Boldin
hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center
March 25, 2010
Governor Gary Herbert has made Utah the third state to pass the “Health Care Freedom Act” into law. House Bill 67 (HB67) was introduced by Rep. Carl Wimmer and passed the House and Senate by votes of 53-20 and 22-7, respectively.
The bill “prohibits a state agency or department from implementing federal health care reform passed by the United States Congress after March 1, 2010, unless a state agency reports to the Legislature regarding costs and impact on state reform efforts.” It authorizes the state legislature to specifically approve or deny implementation of federal health care legislation.
In short, it requires the state “to opt out of federal reform when the state determines that opting out is in the best interest of the citizens of the state.”
Governor Otter of Idaho signed similar legislation last week, and issued the following statement:
“Congress and the White House are working out their scheme for pushing through a healthcare ‘reform’ bill that has more pages than the U.S. Constitution has words. I guarantee you that not a single member of the House or Senate has a complete understanding of that legislation any more than they understood all the implications of the USA PATRIOT Act back in 2001,” Governor Otter said. “What the Idaho Health Freedom Act says is that the citizens of our state won’t be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control.”
Yesterday, Governor McDonnell signed the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act, which passed the legislature there last month.
More than 2 dozen other states are considering similar legislation or state constitutional amendments to do the same. Many legislators and governors are calling for a federal lawsuit to affirm the principles of the state laws. But some constitutional scholars, including famed legal theorist Randy Barnett, have indicated that decades of precedent from the supreme court makes such legal challenges difficult, at best.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.
by Brian Roberts
hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center
March 21, 2010
The federal government takeover of the health care industry and your loss of medical freedom only lacks a Presidential signature to become a federal law. We the people know that this cannot stand if America is to remain a free country. Keep your head up, it is time to invoke the 10th and kill this bill and the others soon to follow once and for all.
“Medicine is the keystone of the arch of socialism” and “The goal of socialism is communism.”
Thomas Jefferson said:
“Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force”
Ignore Washington D.C.
They are ignoring you, return the favor. In his speech on Saturday, Obama referred to you as “astroturf”. In political terminology that insinuates that you were paid for your phone calls and someone picked up your travel expenses and bought your dinner for your troubles. That’s one way they ignore you. Another way they ignore you is to use an unscrupulous process to pass an unconstitutional health care bill that changes the foundation of your country overnight.
“If the federal government has the exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers, warned the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions’ authors (James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, respectively), it will continue to grow – regardless of elections, the separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on government power.”
–Thomas E. Woods
The 10th Amendment Movement is an effort to push back against unconstitutional federal laws and regulations on a state level. The principle is known as “nullification,” and was advised by many prominent founders.
Current Nullification Efforts:
- 10th Amendment Resolutions
- 10th Amendment Bills
- Firearms Freedom Act
- Medical Marijuana Laws
- REAL ID
- Health Care
- Bring the Guard Home
- Constitutional Tender
- Cap and Trade
- Federal Tax Funds Act
- Sheriffs First Legislation
- Federal Gun Laws
- Regulation of Intrastate Commerce
Potential Future Efforts:
- Patriot Act
- No Child Left Behind
- State-Initiated Constitutional Amendments
History of Nullification: While the media generally portrays nullification as being solely aligned with the efforts of the nullifiers of the South and the Civil War, this is certainly false, and reeks of misinformation. Nullification has a long history in the American tradition and has been invoked in support of free speech, in opposition to war and fugitive slave laws, and more. Read more on this history here.
10th Amendment Resolutions
These non-binding resolutions, often called “state sovereignty resolutions” do no carry the force of law. Instead, they are intended to be a statement of the legislature of the state. They play an important role, however. If you owned an apartment building and had a tenant not paying rent, you wouldn’t show up with an empty truck to kick them out without first serving notice. That’s how we view these Resolutions – as serving “notice and demand” to the Federal Government to “cease and desist any and all activities outside the scope of their constitutionally-delegated powers.” Follow-up, of course, is a must.
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT 10TH AMENDMENT RESOLUTIONS
Hat tip: Tom Mullen’s Blog
by Tom Mullen
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The U.S. Constitution is widely believed to have been written to limit the powers of the federal government and protect the rights of its citizens. Inexplicably, this belief is held even by those who acknowledge that the constitutional convention was called for the express purpose of expanding the powers of the federal government, supposedly because the government under the Articles of Confederation was too weak. That this was the purpose of the convention is not a disputed fact. Nevertheless, most people who care at all about the Constitution continue to believe and promote the “Constitution as protector of rights” myth.
To the extent that the Constitution enumerates certain powers for the federal government, with all other powers assumed to be excluded, it does set some limits on government. When one includes the first ten amendments of the Constitution, it also protects certain rights. Indeed, the ninth amendment makes the very important point that the specific protections of certain rights does not in any way deny the existence of others, while the tenth amendment makes explicit the implied limitation to enumerated powers in the Constitution itself. At first glance, the so-called “Bill of Rights” seems to confine government power within an airtight bottle, rendering it incapable of becoming a violator of rights instead of protector of them.
However, this theory does not hold up well under closer examination. To begin with, the Constitution itself does not protect a single right other than habeas corpus, and that comes with a built-in exception. What the Constitution does do is grant powers, and not just to a representative body, as the Articles of Confederation did, but to three separate branches. That leaves it up to the Bill of Rights to serve the purpose of protecting our rights. Generally, those ten amendments protect our rights under extraordinary circumstances, but not under ordinary circumstances. More specifically, the Bill of Rights provides protections for the individual during situations of direct conflict with the federal government, such as when one is accused or convicted of a crime, when one is sued, on the occasion of troops being stationed in residential areas, or when one speaks out against the government or petitions it for redress of grievances.
The hearings in McDonald v. Chicago promise an unrevolutionary victory—but still an important one.
Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the big laugh line of the hour at Tuesday’s Supreme Court hearings in McDonald v. Chicago. That case’s outcome will decide whether the Second Amendment rights vindicated in 2008’s D.C. v. Heller apply to states and localities. Scalia amused the crowd by asking a question that has perplexed some legal scholars and gun activists both for and against McDonald lawyer Alan Gura’s general goal of applying Second Amendment protections to all levels of American government.
To get the joke, such as it was, you first need the background about what was at stake. The Bill of Rights was originally interpreted to bind only the federal government. The framers of the 14th Amendment intended to change that, and bind the states as well in respecting Americans’ rights. This was in 1868, when recently freed slaves had their rights to work, own property, and bear arms widely abused and unprotected by state and local governments.
The history of the 14th Amendment’s passage indicates that a certain part of the amendment was meant to bear the interpretive burden of applying—“incorporating” in the legal lingo—the Bill of Rights (and other restrictions on government power) to the states. That was the Privileges or Immunities Clause: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”