Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court of the United States’

John Paul Stevens, U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Former Associate Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens, explained the changing definition of “originalism” on the October 18, 2011 episode of Charlie Rose (starting at 4:04):

Originalism actually is described in different ways in different times. And some people think it refers to the original intent of the people who drafted either a statute or a constitutional provision. But I think more and more, in recent years, those who describe themselves as originalists and not focused on the intent of the draftsmen, but rather then on intent of the reader or the community in which the law is enacted or distributed.

He went on to say that Justice Scalia is in the latter camp.

The particular view of originalism that is taken can be very significant in reaching decisions on certain issues. For example, the Founders were clear that the Bill of Rights only intended to apply to the federal government and not the several States. Yet, it may be that it was the expectation of some in the Union that it should also apply to their particular state as well.

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Gov. Jesse Ventura (Ref-MN)

From my analysis, the judge acted in accordance with the law in throwing the case out, correctly ruling that Ventura had no standing, because the court had no jurisdiction to hear the case.

That is constitutional, since Congress has the power to create and abolish any federal courts below the Supreme Court that it wants (Article I, Section 8, clause 9 of the Constitution), and set the rules of judicial proceedings thereof, and they put jurisdiction in these cases in the Circuits Court of Appeals.

Even though the TSA searches are unconstitutional, in violation the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches, there is the separate constitutional issue of whether a particular court has the jurisdiction to hear the case, and in Ventura’s case, I think the judge rightly ruled that it didn’t.

This is an educational opportunity for those who say that the Constitution is the greatest document ever written by man, since it is also the document that lawfully allows Congress to keep American citizens from individually challenging the constitutionality of TSA searches. The Constitution only gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over cases involving ambassadors and where one of the parties is a State, so the only constitutional way to put a stop to these TSA searches, barring an explicit constitutional amendment, is for Congress to change the law, or for one or more of the States to successfully challenge it in the Supreme Court.

But just because the Supreme Court has jurisdiction doesn’t mean it is obliged to hear the case. It likely won’t, just like it didn’t hear the cases concerning President Obama’s eligibility for president, so again, the ball falls back in the people’s court in putting pressure on Congress.

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The western front of the United States Capitol...

We do what we want now, the Constitution be damned!

The proof that the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution doesn’t allow the federal government to ban the manufacture or sale of anything within the several States lies in the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1919 and repealed in 1933.

It stated, in part:

1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

If the federal government had the power to ban the manufacture or sale of alcohol within the several States, then why would it require an amendment to the Constitution be passed in order to do so? The answer is that it didn’t have that power prior to the 18th Amendment, and hasn’t since the amendment was repealed in 1933.

It is completely outrageous for the federal government to claim that it has the constitutional authority to ban the manufacture and sale of marijuana, for example, as it has claimed most notably in the case of California’s challenge.

While you were told, and are still told, that it was a bunch of partisan Republican Supreme Court Justices who were representing the wealthy interests in striking down many of President Franklin Roosevelt’s initiatives, the reality is, they were defenders of the Constitution in striking down Social Security and unconstitutional expansions of the interstate commerce clause, until they were ultimately outnumbered, and the unlawful was made lawful.

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Mug shot of Conrad Black.

Former newspaper baron Conrad Black, a Canadian citizen up until his appointment to the British House of Lords, used his Canadian National Post newspaper to repeatedly make Canadians feel inferior to Americans.

He got upset with former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who officially nixed his chances to become a British Lord, saying he was upholding the law.

However, even if done for partisan purposes, had Black been an American citizen holding a position in federal, state or municipal office, it wouldn’t have even been a question whether he could serve in the British House of Lords. Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution states:

no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.

If Black still thinks Canada is more socialist than the United States as he did in 2001 when he claimed that, “Canada was turning into a Third World dump run by raving socialists,” then the joke’s on him, and he needs to spend more time in Canada than in a U.S. jail, since Canada has since been ranked as more economically free than the United States by the conservative Heritage Foundation in 2010 and 2011.

Fellow neocon President George W. Bush didn’t come to his rescue in granting him a pardon or commutation of his sentence, despite granting a commutation to convicted neocon perjurer, Scooter Libby, Chief of Staff to VP Dick Cheney.

While the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently ordered a review of his case, a lower court followed up by deciding that he serve an additional 13 months in U.S. jail, and this June 28 article indicates that he’s readying for war against the U.S. justice system.

Perhaps his intimate experience with U.S. federal government will make him more circumspect about his past rhetoric about Canada.

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Supreme Court of Canada building

On a recent radio program, in comparing the liberties of Americans to the residents of other countries, the host said Canadians have no “right” to an attorney.

I agree with that, and the same applies in the United States, and all across the world.

There’s no right to an attorney, since a right doesn’t require the consent of others, and a right to an attorney implies the forced labour of attorneys.

However, even if talking about the privilege of an attorney, the 2010 Supreme Court of Canada’s decision specifically related to no “right” to have an attorney present when being interviewed by police. The Court recognizes the right of a suspect to remain silent, and so as long as they do, the “right” to an attorney in questioning isn’t relevant.

While Canada may currently have less of a protection on that front, the Supeme Court of Canada hasn’t ruled like the U.S. Supreme Court has recently ruled 8-1, that Americans can have their doors busted down without a warrant if police suspect evidence of a crime is being destroyed.

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The Supreme Court of the United States. Washin...

First off, I fully disclose that I was born in Canada to non-American parents, and therefore am not qualified to be President, and I am willing to prove my credentials with a long-form birth certificate, unlike the current sitting President of the United States.

Contrary to the popular notion that the Founding Fathers were most concerned about an overreaching judiciary, all one needs to do is look at the Constitution that 39 of them signed to see that the qualifications for, and limitations on, the judicial branch, are the most narrow of the three branches of government.

Unlike the President of the United States, Supreme Court Justices aren’t required to be a natural born citizens. Nor for that matter, from a plain reading of the Constitution, are they even required to be U.S. citizens.

While the Constitution clearly places citizenship, residency, and age requirements on Representatives and Senators, no such requirements are specified for Supreme Court Justices.

Nor does the Constitution specify any maximum or minimum number of  Supreme Court Justices, unlike Representatives and Senators.

As one of your Supreme Court Justices, I swear to uphold all of the Constitution, and not just the parts I want to uphold, unlike most candidates for office in the United States.

For insight into my judicial philosophy, please check the archives of my site.

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My email to Pastor David Whitney of the Institute on the Constitution after his June 9, 2010 appearance on Radio Liberty with Dr. Stan Monteith:

Pastor Whitney,

I heard your very educational presentation of the Fifth Amendment on today’s show with Dr. Stan.

You said that you read an opinion by Justice Scalia, who you say has written many good opinions in keeping with the Constitution, and that in it, he argued that Grand Juries are independent of the three branches of government.

You later said that those Justices who found in favor of the city of New London in Kelo v. New London (2005), finding that private property could be taken for non-public use, should be impeached for violating their oath to uphold the Constitution, specifically the Fifth Amendment in this case. I agree wholeheartedly with you on that.

Now, consider the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), where Justice Scalia upheld President Bush’s denial of the writ of habeas corpus to Mr. Hamdan.

Article I Section 9 of the Constitution includes:

“The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”

Given that:
1) The Constitution grants powers to, and limits powers of, the federal and state governments;
2) The privilege in question makes no mention of applying only to U.S. citizens, nor does the Bill of Rights;
3) There was no rebellion or invasion at the time;
4) Congress didn’t suspend the writ of habeas corpus through that provision;
5) The President takes a constitutional oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”;
6) Justice Scalia is a self-avowed “originalist;”

Do you agree that Justice Scalia should be impeached for his decision in that case, as you argued for those Justices who found in favor of the city of New London?


Jason Erb

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