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Hat tip: The Patriot’s Pledge
I, a patriotic American, do hereby declare this to be my official request if I am killed in a ‘terrorist attack’.
Article I: War Powers
Congress must no longer abdicate its constitutional responsibility by granting open-ended war powers to the President through vague “resolutions” or “authorizations”. If a military response is warranted against another country, then Congress must formally declare war as stipulated in the Constitution. Or, if a military response is warranted against a terrorist group or organization, then Congress must formally grant Letters of Marque & Reprisal as stipulated in the Constitution.
Article II: Civil Liberties
We must not allow our constitutional rights to be undermined in the name of national security. Fear of terrorist acts is not sufficient cause to relinquish our civil liberties. Liberties such as, but not limited to, the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of the internet, Habeas corpus, and freedom from government spying on private citizens must be strictly upheld in the event of an attack.
by Michael Boldin
Hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center
March 15, 2010
“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:
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
By Ron Paul
Last week Congress voted to encourage participation in the 2010 census. I voted “No” on this resolution for the simple, obvious reason that the census- like so many government programs- has grown far beyond what the framers of our Constitution intended. The invasive nature of the current census raises serious questions about how and why government will use the collected information. It also demonstrates how the federal bureaucracy consistently encourages citizens to think of themselves in terms of groups, rather than as individual Americans. The not so subtle implication is that each group, whether ethnic, religious, social, or geographic, should speak up and demand its “fair share” of federal largesse.
Article I, section 2 of the Constitution calls for an enumeration of citizens every ten years, for the purpose of apportioning congressional seats among the various states. In other words, the census should be nothing more than a headcount. It was never intended to serve as a vehicle for gathering personal information on citizens.
But our voracious federal government thrives on collecting information. In fact, to prepare for the 2010 census state employees recorded GPS coordinates for every front door in the United States so they could locate individuals with greater accuracy! Once duly located, individuals are asked detailed questions concerning their name, address, race, home ownership, and whether they periodically spend time in prison or a nursing home – just to name a few examples.
In 1798 Thomas Jefferson secretly drafted another declaration few people know about…
by Derek Sheriff
Most Americans know that Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of “The Declaration of Independence”, the most important of all our founding documents.
Yet few of them have even heard of another document that I would say might be the second most important declaration he ever wrote: The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. He drafted them secretly while he was serving as vice president. It was written in response to the hated Alien and Sedition Acts which were passed under the Adams administration during an undeclared war with France.
The acts authorized the president to deport any resident alien considered dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States, to apprehend and deport resident aliens if their home countries were at war with the United States, and criminalized any speech which might defame Congress, the President, or bring either of them into contempt or disrepute. You could compare it to the Patriot Act, but really it was much worse. Either way, The Alien and Sedition Acts were probably Thomas Jefferson’s worst nightmare.
Some people are surprised to learn that in response to these acts, Jefferson did not hold up the First Amendment in protest. Rather he invoked the Tenth Amendment, which states that:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Essentially, he argued that by passing and enforcing the Alien and Sedition Acts, the federal government had over stepped its bounds and was exercising powers which belonged to the states.
In other words, the Alien and Sedition Acts were acts of usurpation.
How I would put the Constitution back in the Oval Office
by Ron Paul
hat tip: Lew Rockwell
March 5, 2010
Since my 2008 campaign for the presidency I have often been asked, “How would a constitutionalist president go about dismantling the welfare-warfare state and restoring a constitutional republic?” This is a very important question, because without a clear road map and set of priorities, such a president runs the risk of having his pro-freedom agenda stymied by the various vested interests that benefit from big government.
Of course, just as the welfare-warfare state was not constructed in 100 days, it could not be dismantled in the first 100 days of any presidency. While our goal is to reduce the size of the state as quickly as possible, we should always make sure our immediate proposals minimize social disruption and human suffering. Thus, we should not seek to abolish the social safety net overnight because that would harm those who have grown dependent on government-provided welfare. Instead, we would want to give individuals who have come to rely on the state time to prepare for the day when responsibility for providing aide is returned to those organizations best able to administer compassionate and effective help – churches and private charities.
Now, this need for a transition period does not apply to all types of welfare. For example, I would have no problem defunding corporate welfare programs, such as the Export-Import Bank or the TARP bank bailouts, right away. I find it difficult to muster much sympathy for the CEO’s of Lockheed Martin and Goldman Sachs.
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.
Hat tip: Liberty Maven
March 4, 2010
The wave of “Tea Party” activism and renewed interest in the Constitution in the wake of the 2008 elections has mostly been fueled by a rightfully-deserved fear of the tyranny and reckless disregard for the rule of law that the current administration has displayed. Attend a local Tea Party event and you’ll likely encounter healthy, much-needed discussions on the 10th Amendment rights of the state, the protection of the inherent rights of the individual via the 1st and 2nd Amendments, the unconstitutionality of wasteful federal programs, and even once-fringe talking points such as repealing the 17th Amendment.
Quite often, however, the Constitution is lost on many when the topic of discussion turns to foreign policy and the so-called “War on Terror.” At a recent GOP primary debate that I attended (sponsored by the local Tea Party), several candidates were asked about national security, the role of America’s foreign policy, and what to do about the rising threat of Iran. Despite drooling over their love of the Constitution for the rest of the evening, the candidates didn’t mention the founding document once in their responses to these issues. One of the candidates, in fact, could be quoted as saying “If Israel bombed Iran, I’d slap them on the back and buy them a drink.” Several other candidates pledged their allegiance to defending Israel at all costs. Another candidate responded that the goal of American foreign policy should be to “help nations” and to “pressure nations that do not comply.” All of these statements drew more cheers than boos from the crowd.
From whence springs this disconnect between so-called “constitutionalists” and their eagerness to abandon all mention of the Constitution as it relates to our world empire? Since the GOP establishment takeover of the national Tea Party – seems funny that the rugged individualism that the Tea Party movement represents would even have a national organization, doesn’t it? – it seems that most of the Tea Parties have devolved into throngs of Republican dissenters who only take issue when “the other guy” is the one shredding the Constitution, while using the Amendments, clauses, and Founders’ quotes that support their agenda.
by Marc Gallagher
hat tip: Liberty Maven
February 27th, 2010
Editor’s Note: Sometimes it’s good to listen to the other side with an open mind because perhaps they know better. This article about Ron Paul was sent to us by our neo-conservative friend, Richard Deekbag, founder of the following website (we apologize for the length of the URL):
I mean just look at the guy. Ron Paul is all skinny, old, and wrinkly. His speeches are rambling diatribes supporting the long debunked conspiracy theory known as the U.S. Constitution. Everyone knows the Constitution expired more than 100 years ago and has no place in our Conservative-Progressive-Democratic-Socialist-Liberal-Republican (ConProDemSocLibRep) society.
After all it was Ru Paul’s isolationist ideas that lead America into its darkest period following the Revolutionary War after his idiotic idols, the Founding Fathers, defeated the British occupiers. Well, they were more like friendly visitors than occupiers. Visitors that honored the American colonies by taxing them heavily and treating them like peasants.
Everyone knows by now that Ron Paul’s efforts to abolish the massively successful Federal Reserve bank is kookier than cookies. The Fed has been our savior over and over and over and over and over again over the years. If it weren’t for the Fed the so-called “Great Depression” would have been much shorter. That’s a gigantic problem because we needed it to last much longer just to prove that government regulation is the lifeblood of the economy!
Hat tip: SCOTUS blog
Posted: 26 Feb 2010
The following essay for our Race and the Supreme Court program is by Debo P. Adegbile, the Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Last term in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. One v. Holder, he argued in defense of the federal preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in a constitutional challenge before the Supreme Court.
Our Constitution, properly understood, calls for a conversation between the branches of our government about the appropriate mechanisms for enforcement of the civil rights of African Americans and other minorities. Indeed, the Reconstruction Amendments explicitly carve out a role for Congress to interpret the Constitution’s equality principles. Section Five of the Fourteenth Amendment explicitly tasks Congress with the duty “to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” This means that the Supreme Court is not the sole branch of government with an affirmative duty to determine what the Constitution means.
Congress’s use of this enforcement authority launched a vital phase of our national struggle to build a more perfect union. By the latter half of the twentieth century, Congressional exercise of its Fourteenth Amendment enforcement powers received the full blessing of a unanimous Court. In Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer, a decision upholding Congress’s Fourteenth Amendment power to abrogate the States’ sovereign immunity through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Court summarized its understanding of Congressional enforcement powers as follows: “There can be no doubt that this [Court] has sanctioned intrusions by Congress, acting under the Civil War Amendments, into the judicial, executive, and legislative spheres of autonomy previously reserved to the States.”