Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bill of Rights Gone Wrong

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

That is all well and good, but that is not the end of the story. Let's take the constitution in pieces. Today, let's talk about the Bill of Rights. The first ten amendments are commonly referred to as the "Bill of Rights ." The following are the Bill of Rights:

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

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.



Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791.

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.





Amendment 3 - Quartering of Soldiers. Ratified 12/15/1791.

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.





Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure.Ratified 12/15/1791.

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.





Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

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 offense 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





Amendment 6 - Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses. Ratified 12/15/1791.

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 defence.





Amendment 7 - Trial by Jury in Civil Cases. Ratified 12/15/1791.

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.





Amendment 8 - Cruel and Unusual Punishment. Ratified 12/15/1791.

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





Amendment 9 - Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791.

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





Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791.

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.




Amendments 1-9 traditionally get the press and number 10, well number 10 has been minimized beginning with Abraham Lincoln. Nonetheless, this is a very powerful Amendment that "we the people" have been asleep at the wheel in ignoring.

What the Tenth Amendment says is this; the power granted to the federal government is limited and all other powers are bestowed to the states or the people. The powers granted to the federal government are listed in the first three articles of the Constitution.

There is nowhere in the constitution giving the Federal Government the right to regulate what kind of car you drive, how you manage your health care, giving our TARP funds to Banks, or car makers, or then refusing repayment of said funds and insisting upon shares of common stock instead.

If the Federal Government does want these powers, and we know the current crop of folks in DC do, they have a process by which they can grab the powers. It is called the amendment process. Our Constitution has been amended 27 times, and thus it is possible to do so. However the process is a hard one, as it should be. Of course all branches grab power on a near constant basis, and "we the people" do nothing to stop them.

The time to put and end the great power grab is now. Tyranny has a foothold in our great republic. Only your liberty and freedom are at stake.

As for me, give me liberty, or give me death.

Patrick Henry

6 comments:

  1. Great topic. My question is, who is doing the enforcing and/or oversite of the Bill of Rights? I find it amazing at how many people blamed Bush for the state of the country. Apparantly no one paid attention during Social Studies class. The President is a figure head that was elected by a democracy. He can ONLY IMPLEMENT and EXECUTE laws. He does not create or make the laws that he was blamed for. Obama also cannot create or make laws. Just as a quick refresher course let look at how our Govt is "supposed" to work.

    Three Branches of Government

    The Constitution created three separate branches of government. Each branch has its own powers and areas of influence. At the same time, the Constitution created a system of checks and balances that ensured no one branch would reign supreme. The three branches are:

    · Legislative Branch - This branch consists of the Congress which is responsible for making the federal laws. Congress consists of two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    · Executive Branch - The Executive power lies with the President of the United States who is given the job of executing, enforcing, and administering the laws and government. The Bureaucracy is part of the Executive Branch.

    · Judicial Branch - The judicial power of the United States is vested in the Supreme Court and the federal courts. Their job is to interpret and apply US laws through cases brought before them. Another important power of the Supreme Court is that of Judicial Review whereby they can rule laws unconstitutional

    Separation of Powers - As stated previously, the US Government is divided into three branches so that no one branch has all the power. Each branch has its own purpose: to make the laws, execute the laws, and interpret the laws.

    Checks and Balances - In order to further protect the citizens, the constitution set up a system of checks and balances. Basically, each branch of government has a certain number of checks it can use to ensure the other branches do not become too powerful. For example, the president can veto legislation, the Supreme Court can declare acts of Congress unconstitutional, and the Senate must approve treaties and presidential appointments.

    What we have today is a lack of competence in our government to enact the powers that they have inherited. No one seems to be using the check and balances to reign in the power hungry or the just plain ignorant. By failing to provide the necessary checks and balances our Bill or Rights which shoud be seen as LAW has become more so "rules or guideline" that people choose to manipulate to their advantage. We don't need govenment. We just need to police the government that we have.

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  2. The main issue as I see it is that the Legislative a the Executive branches are in collusion to allow them to advance their agreed upon radical agenda.

    The President does not have the power to tell the banks they can not repay the loans and that the government wants shares of common stock instead. Nonetheless, that sure as heck is the message that has been delivered. I assume it is up to the banks to bring suit against the government to block this from happening and to allow the banks to pay back the loans. Let's hope they do this sooner rather than later or the Supreme court balance may have shifted to the left.

    The other issue is activist judges who essentially rule based on their personal beliefs rather make judgments based upon rule of law. This then sets precedence into the record which future judges follow in making their decisions. How do we address that issue?

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  3. Could we maybe kneecap them with a Louisville slugger?

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  4. Violence is definitely the answer.

    Or maybe you could practice what you are preaching and follow the legal steps to correct it. That means: a) identify a problem b) build your case c) take it to court. An excellent recent example of this is the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. Rather than whine and bitch online, Heller went to court to preserve his second amendment rights and he won.

    So if you really feel that your rights are being infringed upon or that a government entity is breaking the law, take it to court. It is not only your right, but also your civic duty. If everyone just complains, nothing will ever get done.

    Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

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  5. Yo, JD, take a chill pill dude. You need to recognize sarcasm/levity when you read it. My comment was meant to underscore the frustration of trying to do exactly as you suggested, bringing sound, rational, logical cases, based on the rule of law, and having them decided by jurists who feel more inclined to rule using their political bias or emotion, rather than following the rule of law, e.g., the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, or which is sometimes referred to as the "9th CIRCUS Court of Appeals." When you watch cases being decided by these clowns, kinda makes you want to search for that hunk of white ash and go find some judicial patellae.

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  6. The problem does not lie within the President that we elect, it lies within the Legislative Branch. In order for the ideas, that we the people have elected our presidents for, to possibly help our country come out of this hole that we are in, the House of Represenatives and the Senate need to come together with open minds and the willingness of seeing another's point of view or opinion into consideration.

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