Monday, January 10, 2011

On Reading the Constituion

Daniel Greenfield: Who Needs the Constitution Anyway? 

The Democratic left insists that we don't need a document to protect our rights, because they'll protect us. Our rights just get in the way of them being able to offer us sweet juicy entitlements and preventing us from shooting ourselves in the head, or getting sick or doing the other stupid things that we do when the smothering blanket of the Nanny State isn't completely covering our heads like a socialist burqa. Where the Constitution held that we need to be protected from government, the Democratic left insists that we need to be protected from ourselves. And anyone who disagrees is obviously shilling for the big corporations. You know the ones whose health insurance we're now obligated to buy, by an unconstitutional law passed to protect us from ourselves. (link)

From The Washington Times: Liberal distaste for the Constitution 

Today, Lincoln's vision of reverence for the laws is needed more by the government than by the people. The point of reading the Constitution on the floor of Congress is to remind those who tread the marbled halls of power that they are not philosopher kings sent to Washington to give life to their every pet theory, every caprice, every whim. If the United States is to survive as a free nation, the government must return to first principles.(link)

Charles Krauthammer: Constitutionalism 

What originalism is to jurisprudence, constitutionalism is to governance: a call for restraint rooted in constitutional text. Constitutionalism as a political philosophy represents a reformed, self-regulating conservatism that bases its call for minimalist government - for reining in the willfulness of presidents and legislatures - in the words and meaning of the Constitution.

Hence that highly symbolic moment on Thursday when the 112th House of Representatives opened with a reading of the Constitution. Remarkably, this had never been done before - perhaps because it had never been so needed. The reading reflected the feeling, expressed powerfully in the last election, that we had moved far, especially the past two years, from a government constitutionally limited by its enumerated powers to a government constrained only by its perception of social need. (link)

Read the Constitution

If you have not recently read the Constitution, I encourage you to read it. Below are some excerpts. The first excerpt  is the first ten amendments which is the Bill of Rights. Everyone should know this, but if you forgot it, please note  that rights are not grants from the government but restrictions on government. Amendment number 10 is no doubt the most often ignored of the Bill of Rights. Amendment 10 is a major restriction on the power of the State.
1.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

2.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

3.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

4.The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

5.No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation

6.In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense

7.In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law

8.Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted

9.The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

10.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
Another excerpt which captures the essence of the Constitution is Section 8, Clearly Congress does not have the authority to do whatever it may wish, whatever may even reflect the popular will, or whatever may seem like a good idea. The powers of Congress are limited and specific and enumerated.
The Congress shall have the power 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; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States

2.To borrow money on the credit of the United States

3.To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes

4.To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States

5.To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures

6.To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States

7.To establish post-offices and post-roads

8.To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries

9.To constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme court

10.To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations

11.To declare war, grant letters of marquee and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water

12.To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years

13.To provide and maintain a navy

14.To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces

15.To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions

16.To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress

17.To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings: And,

18.To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof

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  1. "Lincoln's reverence for the laws"??!!? Are you serious??!!?

  2. Rod, I must agree with Rich. Lincoln was the biggest perverter of the Constitution in American history along with Marshall, FDR, Teddy, Bush, Obama, and Hamilton.

    PLEASE OH PLEASE revise your first paragraph.

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