Threats to the Constitution

This section is about general concerns about the violation of the U.S. Constitution.  The Constitution seems to be routinely ignored now, even by those at the uppermost levels of our government who have sworn to uphold it.

Recently, extremists on the political left have begun to engage in mocking derision * of the people who point out that most of the 21st Century activities of the federal government are unconstitutional, i.e., they are illegal.  The Constitution will become irrelevant if its violations are consistently ignored.  It may already be too late.

It is probably impossible to expect the return to strictly Constitutional government in our lifetimes, because Americans by and large are comfortable with the status quo.  But strictly speaking, there is nothing in the Constitution that authorizes direct payments to individuals, or the exploration of other planets, or the prosecution of any crime other than counterfeiting, piracy or treason.  Anything outside of the "enumerated powers" of the federal government is supposed to be left up to the states, or to the people.  In other words, if General Electric wants to waste money on a trip to Mars, that's okay, because G.E. isn't taking money out of our paychecks.

Read the Constitution for yourself.  [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

Many people who have not read it for themselves would be surprised to learn that "separation of church and state" is nowhere to be found in the Constitution.  Nor is the word "immigration".  Nor is there anything about the federal funding for education.  Nor is there any provision for emergency management, for example, cleaning up after a hurricane.  Nor is there anything that would authorize our government to fix other countries' problems, for example, AIDS in Africa.*  All those activities, according to the Constitution, are to be left to the states, private companies, churches, charities, and individual citizens.

Most recently, there is a massive push toward socialized medicine in the United States.  There is nothing at all in the Constitution that would authorize the federal government to take over the medical industry, or to require us to buy health insurance.  People might tend to think that such a move is legal, since the government has just recently taken over General Motors and Chrysler, but those takeovers were illegal, too.

With the newspapers in decline, there may be some temptation to accept "help" from the federal government.  But that is an obvious threat to the First Amendment (isn't it?) and that topic is discussed here.

Related topics on nearby pages

The Nationalization of GM and Chrysler -- unprecedented and unconstitutional.

Obama's so-called czars -- blatantly unconstitutional.

The So-Called Stimulus Bill -- clearly unconstitutional.

The Wall Street Bailout of 2008 -- obviously unconstitutional.

So-called Campaign Finance Reform is unconstitutional.

So-called Affirmative Action is unconstitutional.

Socialized medicine is unconstitutional.

Gun control is unconstitutional.

Social Security is unconstitutional.

I have my doubts about the USA Patriot Act.

It's Time to Scrap NASA because nothing NASA does is authorized by the Constitution.

Poverty and Dependency in America -- Poverty is not the federal government's problem.

Medicare, Medicaid, and Prescription Drug Benefits



This is Why Liberty Dies.  In our nation, we have built a rather impressive framework to restrain the government: our Constitution.  Though it has been interpreted into meaninglessness, in many ways, it is still given lip service and is still the ultimate law of the land.  However, there is one glaring hole that is currently being exploited to make an end-run around its remaining provisions:  the rise of the Federal Bureaucracy.

Houston Demands Oversight Of Sermons.  Officials with the city of Houston, Texas, who are defending a controversial ordinance that would allow men to use women's restrooms now have demanded to see the sermons preached by several area pastors.  The recent move came in a subpoena from the city to pastors for copies of their sermons and other communications in the city's legal defense of a "non-discrimination" measure that allows "gender-confused" people to use public restrooms designated for the opposite sex.  A lawsuit challenging Houston's move alleges the city violated its own charter in its adoption of the Equal Rights Ordinance, which in May designated homosexuals and transgender persons as a protected class.

Even in Houston, Texas, You Will Be Made to Care.  Houston, TX is not thought of as a bastion of liberalism, but it has gone quite rapidly off the deep end.  Earlier this year, Houston's City Council voted on non-discrimination legislation that provides equal protection to the entire swath of the BLTGCZQDLMAO alphabet silliness.  In short, if a guy decides he's a girl and wants to go hang out in the girl's bathroom, it is a-okay in Houston, or it would be except the law will not be enforced pending a court challenge.

Big Brother in Texas: Houston Demands Pastors Turn Over Sermon Notes, Private Communications.  After decades of warnings on the right about liberal politicians threatening religious liberty, a Democratic mayor in Texas is now subpoenaing pastors to turn over their sermons.  Houston city officials are demanding that city pastors opposed to Houston's "Bathroom Bill" — "a law that allows members of the opposite sex into each other's restrooms" — turn over sermon notes and "communications with church members" to ascertain which pastors have (or haven't) "opposed or criticized the city."

City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons.  The [C]ity of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city's first openly lesbian mayor.  And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.  "The city's subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented," Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Christina Holcomb said in a statement.  "The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions."

Wanted: An attorney general committed to the Constitution.  It is no secret that the Obama administration has demonstrated questionable commitment to the rule of law.  It has undermined the separation of powers by disregarding congressional enactments while pushing executive power far beyond its constitutional boundaries.  It has further undermined limited government by disregarding federalism and pushing Washington-knows-best legislation that far exceeds anything the Founding Fathers could have conceived.

Leading Dem Insider: Save America, Scrap The Constitution.  Harry Reid is a determined radical, intent on limiting freedom, overturning American traditions, and remaking our institutions in the name of crushing the opposition and empowering the left.  His attempt to amend the First Amendment to curb free speech is a natural extension of his obliteration of longstanding Senate rules that promote deliberation and minority input.  But Reid seems almost moderate by left-wing Democrat standards.  Take Donna Brazile, vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee for voter registration and participation.  For her, eviscerating the First Amendment is small potatoes; she wants to scrap the entire U.S. Constitution.

Targeting the Constitution.  It is now well known that the IRS targeted tea party organizations.  What is less well known, but perhaps even more scandalous, is that the IRS also targeted those who would educate their fellow citizens about the United States Constitution. [...] Grass-roots organizations around the country, such as the Linchpins of Liberty (Tennessee), the Spirit of Freedom Institute (Wyoming), and the Constitutional Organization of Liberty (Pennsylvania), allege that they were singled out for special scrutiny at least in part for their work in constitutional education.  There may have been many more.

GOP blocks Democrats' push to rewrite First Amendment campaign spending.  A Democratic election year push to amend the Constitution and roll back campaign-spending free speech rights ran out of steam Thursday [9/11/2014] and fell victim to a Senate filibuster.  Holding the vote, even in defeat, was a major political goal for Democrats during the two-week session of Congress.  They hope the fight will help them rally their base ahead of November's elections, arguing that changing the Constitution is needed to prevent wealthy conservatives from improperly influencing elections.

Ted Cruz: 'Saturday Night Live' Skits Illegal Under New Campaign Finance Proposal.  A new proposal for campaign finance reform would make Saturday Night Live's political skits illegal, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has warned.  The Senate is debating a proposal to add a constitutional amendment allowing Congress reverse a 2010 Supreme Court decision and restore limits on corporate campaign spending.  Republicans say the proposal, put forward by Dems, is an attack on free speech.

New York's 'shut up' rule.  Keep quiet.  That's the message being sent by New York State Board of Elections, which disregarded the First Amendment to enact new "emergency regulations" on political speech that could become permanent at the end of this month.  Intended to regulate spending by independent groups during campaign season, the regulations are so expansive that almost anyone, citizen or organization, hoping to have their say on any issue could find themselves in bureaucratic dire straits.

The Constitution Lives in Ferguson.  [Scroll down]  Liberals can't stand the Constitution.  No less than Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg advised Egyptians caught in the chaos of a dictatorship that "I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a Constitution in the year 2012."  Former Justice John Paul Stevens has written a book titled Six Amendments:  How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, in which, as noted by Richard Wolf in USA Today Stevens would "reduce gun violence, abolish the death penalty, restrict political campaign spending, limit states' independence and make Congress more competitive and less combative."  And, of course, there is that now much cited 2001 radio interview with State Senator Obama in which he complains that "the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties."

Federalizing the police:
FBI to hit Chicago streets to combat gangs.  [Michael Sneed] has learned that the feds plan to dispatch 65 FBI agents to the streets in high-crime areas on the South and West Sides in an all-out battle against gang crime.  The 65 feds are part of a group of 100 Chicago agents already assigned to curb gang and violent crimes.  "This is a new tactic the FBI is using in fighting crime," an FBI spokeswoman said, "by working in a concentrated area and a concentrated time on the street — although the FBI has been working hand in hand and day in and day out with the police department."

FEC chairman warns book publishers at risk of regulation at heated meeting.  The Republican chairman of the Federal Election Commission warned Wednesday [7/23/2014] that his agency colleagues could try to regulate book publishers, during a heated session over a forthcoming book by GOP Rep. Paul Ryan.  During the meeting, the FEC declined to definitively spare book publishers from the reach of campaign finance rules.  This triggered a clash between Republican and Democratic members, with Chairman Lee Goodman warning that the deadlock could represent a "chill" for constitutional free-press rights.

FEC chair warns of chilling regulations, book ban on conservative publishers.  The chairman of the Federal Election Commission today blasted Democratic colleagues opposed to his effort to protect conservative media after they imposed rules on the publisher of Rep. Paul Ryan's new book, opening the door to future book regulations — or even a ban.

Justice Kennedy says Constitution 'flawed document'.  Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wasn't out to make news when he addressed the annual conference of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and devoted most of his 50-minute speech to the Magna Carta, which turns 800 years old in 2015.  But Kennedy did let on that he doesn't belong to the school of Constitution-worshipers who base their legal doctrines on what they glean to be the original, literal meaning of every word and phrase in the nation's founding document.

Forty-six Democrat Senators Want to Change our Laws Strictly for Politics.  In a bare-faced political move, forty-six elected Democrats in our United States Senate; that's eighty-seven percent of all Democrats, are willing to make a change to our most predominant, most revered and oldest established legal document, the United States Constitution, all for their desire for more political power in our government.  These self-loathing discriminators, just for personal gain, would change the most important document in the American arsenal of judicial decrees, destroying any and all credence in the minds of the American people.  They would ban free speech for Americans if they chose not to like it.  No political discourse would ever reach our newspapers or airwaves if those Democrats chose to block it.  Two sides to every political discussion would be gone forever if banned by our Constitution as the Democrats are successful in their banning efforts.

Obama executive actions seen as threat to Constitution.  A prominent law professor and avowed supporter of the Obama White House will tell the House on Wednesday that the president has created one of the biggest constitutional crises in the country's history and will endorse House Republicans' effort to sue to rein him in.  Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University, will say President Obama is trampling the founders' vision for the country in his push to circumvent Congress, and he will demand Republicans and Democrats alike forget their party labels to unify against this White House's power grab.

Senate Democrats look to rewrite First Amendment in fight to limit campaign cash.  Saying the foundations of democracy are threatened, Senate Democrats took the first step Tuesday [6/3/2014] to rewrite the First Amendment, holding a hearing to rally support for their proposed constitutional change that would give government the power to ban all spending on political campaigns.  The effort drew vows of resistance from Republicans, who harangued Democrats for abandoning free speech rights for political gain.  Republican lawmakers said the solution was for Democrats to improve their arguments, not to silence their critics in an assault on fundamental freedoms.

ACLU Rejects Amendment to Corral Campaign Spending.  Democrats pushing for a constitutional amendment that would give government the authority to regulate political spending by outside groups will do so without one traditional ally at their side.

Democrats Try to Repeal First Amendment.  Today [6/3/2014] in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Democrats held a hearing on Tom Udall's proposal to gut the First Amendment by allowing Congress to prohibit or restrict participation in political campaigns.  The Democrats like to say that the amendment would reverse the effect of the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases, but in fact it goes much farther than that.  The amendment, which is favored by Harry Reid and most Senate Democrats, would give Congress unprecedented power to limit debate on public issues in the context of elections.  You really have to read the proposed amendment to understand how radical it is.

VA hospital hides Jesus behind curtain.  Some folks in Iron Mountain became infuriated earlier this month when they discovered that statues of Jesus and Mary, along with a cross and altar, were hidden behind a curtain in the chapel of the VA hospital there.  The chapel still has stained glass windows, though for how long is unclear.  A VA hospital spokesman told me they are still trying to figure out what to do with the windows.  The decision to hide the religious icons came after the National Chaplain Center conducted an on-site inspection and determined the hospital's chapel was not in compliance with government regulations.
[Emphasis added.]

Sign Regulations and the Threat to Free Speech.  In 2006, auto shop owner Wayne Weatherbee decided to expand his business by purchasing a vacant lot that had once held another auto shop dating back to the 1940s.  But zoning officials in the city of Clermont, Florida, determined that Weatherbee's plans for the lot clashed with the city's aesthetic agenda and zoning regulations, so they asked him to first obtain a special permit before doing what he wanted with his own property.  Rather than apply for said permit, Weatherbee posted a dozen signs on his lot criticizing city officials, including the city manager and chief of police.

Harry Reid's Crusade Against the Koch Brothers Threatens Your Free Speech.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised the Senate will take up a proposed constitutional amendment this year that would radically alter the First Amendment.  The Senate resolution would allow Congress to limit fundraising and spending on election campaigns and independent political speech.  Reid and others insist restricting the amount of money that may be raised and spent on political speech is not the same as limiting speech.  That's like saying that limiting the amount of newsprint a newspaper can buy does not limit its speech.

Woman issued citation by authorities for Facebook comment.  Christine Adamski said she was surprised last week when she received a citation in the mail for a comment she made on Facebook, but she also knew immediately she wasn't going to pay it.  Adamski, 25, opened the $50 ticket from the Will County Forest Preserve District last week and read the letter alleging she had used a dog park without a proper permit.  The citation arrived at her Bolingbrook home with a letter explaining the ticket, an application for a dog park permit as well as a copy of her social media post "admitting her guilt."  "I laughed," Adamski said Thursday.  "I was like, this is totally untrue.  Obviously I'm not going to pay this."

Let's uphold (and honor!) the Constitution.  Some would say that the Constitution has already been twisted beyond recognition by activist judges, congressional chicanery and tyrannical presidents, but I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt here, and affirm that the genius of the Founders still holds our nation together despite the best efforts of our worst citizens to draw us apart.  You can all provide your own examples of laws that have been passed by the Congress, affirmed by the courts and executed by the president, which on their face would be self-evidently unconstitutional were it possible for such decisions to be based on the plain words of the Constitution rather than the convenience and connivance of our governors.

Ted Cruz: Democratic Senators Want to 'Repeal the First Amendment'.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told attendees at a Family Research Council pastors retreat that Senate Democrats want to limit free speech through amending the Constitution.  "When you think it can't get any worse, it does," Cruz said at the FRC's Watchmen on the Wall 2014 event in Washington, D.C. on Thursday [5/22/2014].  "This year, I'm sorry to tell you, the United States Senate is going to be voting on a constitutional amendment to repeal the First Amendment."  Calling these "perilous, perilous times," Cruz said Senate Democrats have said they are ready to vote on the amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 19 — "an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections."

First Amendment's worst enemies are in nation's capital.  [Scroll down]  The Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard reported Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee Goodman's warning that "there are impulses in the government every day to second-guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers."  There have already been several proposals before the FEC to regulate conservative media outlets, Goodman said.  The proposals were defeated, but only because the FEC is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.  The Democrats voted for the proposals.

FEC chairman warns agency's desire to regulate media 'alive and well'.  The chairman of the Federal Election Commission warned Wednesday that officials at the agency want to start regulating the media, despite a longstanding congressional ban on doing so.  "The impulse to regulate the media within the FEC is alive and well," Chairman Lee E. Goodman told FoxNews.com in an interview.  Goodman pointed to several recent decisions and developments that stoke concerns about the commission — which is supposed to regulate money in federal elections — sticking its nose in the affairs of the press.

FEC chair warns that conservative media like Drudge Report and Sean Hannity face regulation — like PACs.  Government officials, reacting to the growing voice of conservative news outlets, especially on the internet, are angling to curtail the media's exemption from federal election laws governing political organizations, a potentially chilling intervention that the chairman of the Federal Election Commission is vowing to fight.  "I think that there are impulses in the government every day to second guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers," warned Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee E. Goodman in an interview.  "The right has begun to break the left's media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and internet communications," he added.

FEC Chairman Warns Conservative Media Could Be Regulated Like PACs.  As conservative media grows, the head of the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) is warning that he thinks liberals will look for ways to regulate conservative news outlets just like they do political PACs.  Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee E. Goodman is vowing to fight back against such regulations by putting a stop to efforts to undermine the media's exemptions from federal election laws.

FEC chair warns that conservative media like Drudge Report and Sean Hannity face regulation — like PACs.  Government officials, reacting to the growing voice of conservative news outlets, especially on the internet, are angling to curtail the media's exemption from federal election laws governing political organizations, a potentially chilling intervention that the chairman of the Federal Election Commission is vowing to fight.

Supreme Court: Pennsylvania cops no longer need a warrant to search citizens' vehicles.  Pennsylvania police officers no longer need a warrant to search a citizen's vehicle, according to a recent state Supreme Court opinion.  The high court's opinion, released Tuesday [4/29/2014], is being called a drastic change in citizens' rights and police powers.  Previously, citizens could refuse an officer's request to search a vehicle.  In most cases, the officer would then need a warrant — signed by a judge — to conduct the search.  That's no longer the case, according to the opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery.  The ruling, passed on a 4-2 vote, was made in regard to an appeal from a 2010 vehicle stop in Philadelphia.

Breathtaking Finding.  Fifty-five percent of likely voter respondents tell Rasmussen that the federals should review political ads and candidates' statements and punish those who make inaccurate statements about their opponents.  (We'd need a new agency, call it the Ministry of Political Truth, to oversee this brave new government power.  Perhaps it could be headquartered in Benghazi.)  I would comment on this, except that it leaves me speechless.

Suit Against SAFE Act Claims it Allows 'Warrantless' Police Searches.  The registry process of New York's SAFE Act allows for warrantless police searches into gun owners' homes, a violation of the Fourth Amendment, according to plaintiffs of a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court Eastern District.  The law firm representing plaintiff Gabriel Razzano argues the registry process is "essentially secret and results in a mandatory, warrantless Penal Law 400 gun removal visit from police."  "The entire purpose of the registry is a sham to permit intrusions into a person's home on consent without a warrant for a 'gun removal,'" La Reddola, Lester and Associates said in a release.  "The entire registry and database seek to justify warrantless police searches, which my client and I now believe to be the real purpose of the SAFE Act."

Burlington voters opt to give up gun rights, gut state preemption.  Three City of Burlington resolutions were passed by voters Tuesday, Vermont's WPTZ News Channel 5 reported this morning.  The measures are now headed to the state legislature, where it will be decided if municipalities will be given the power to override state preemption protections.  Voters chose to allow authorities to seize firearms at domestic investigations (Yes: 5,579 / No: 2,066), ban firearms from establishments that serve liquor (Yes: 5,194 / No: 2,517), and require firearms in the home to be locked up (Yes: 4,351 / No: 2,971) in an election that marks the latest battle in a long campaign being waged between "progressive" Burlington Council members working with Gun Sense Vermont, and the Vermont Federation of Sportmen's Clubs.

Our Shredded Constitution, Part I: Free Exercise of Religion.  Too many Americans today do not ask whether government defends our rights; instead, they ask, why government should allow Americans to exercise their rights.  The result has been a complete shredding of American rights altogether.  The Bill of Rights is now a relic of what it once represented, a Swiss cheese of liberty.

Obama's Trifecta.  In its violations of the First Amendment, the Obama administration has consistently relied upon self-serving definitions of press, religion, and political speech.  Holder justified violating Rosen's press freedom on the grounds that he somehow wasn't acting as a legitimate member of the press.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has arrogated to herself the right to determine what is and what is not a "religion."  She claims the HHS mandate doesn't violate religious freedom since groups that serve the public aren't religious according to her criteria.  She declared at the time of the mandate's release that only purely sectarian groups are deemed religious under Obamacare and thus worthy of an exemption.  The Federal Election Commission plays the same game on what constitutes political speech, defining the concept ever more narrowly to justify restrictions on ordinary participation.

Harvard writer: Free speech threatens liberalism and must be destroyed.  If this Harvard University student got her way, free speech on campus would be abolished and professors with dissenting views fired, because radical leftism is the only permissible political philosophy and the First Amendment is a barrier preventing modern colleges from fulfilling their proper role as indoctrination camps.  Her name is Sandra Korn.  She is a senior at Harvard and columnist for the Harvard Crimson.  In a recent column, Korn unambiguously insisted that the university should stop guaranteeing professors and students the right to hold controversial views and pursue research that challenges liberalism.

The FCC Can Have My Pen and My Microphone When They Pry Them From My Cold, Dead Hands.  While it looks like the FCC has at least temporarily backed down from their threats of putting monitors into newsrooms, we haven't seen the last of it.  This has been a dream of liberals for a long time.  "According to the research design presented to the FCC by a government contractor named Social Solutions International Inc.," writes RealClearPolitics, "it wasn't just television stations, either:  Internet news organizations and newspapers were to be included in this information sweep, as if that were actually in the FCC's purview."

More about the FCC.

The FCC Plan To Police The Newsrooms.  The FCC has cooked up a plan to place "researchers" in U.S. newsrooms, supposedly to learn all about how editorial decisions are made.  Any questions as to why the U.S. is falling in the free press rankings?

President Obama Is Giving Conservatives All The Tools They Need To Transform The Country.  As any civics class teacher knows, the way American government is supposed to work according to the U.S. Constitution is that Congress makes laws, and then the executive branch executes them (that's why it's called the executive branch).  It can't decide what provisions it wants to enforce or not.  The reason for that is pretty obvious:  if the executive branch can decide willy-nilly to enforce or not enforce whatever legislative provisions it wants, it is, in effect — and in reality — enacting its own legislation.

The Left's War on the Free Press.  As anyone who has been paying attention knows, the left isn't terribly fond of the free press because the free press makes the narrative harder to control.  That's why you end up with "thought leaders" like Paul Krugman bemoaning the fact that his preferred narrative is "up for argument."  Krugman's lament is benign in comparison to a pair of other complaints aired this weekend.

Treaties Don't Trump the Constitution.  Can the President and Senate invest the federal government with new powers not enumerated in the U.S. Constitution simply by signing and ratifying a treaty?  Can the treaty power be used to override the Tenth Amendment and render it a dead letter?  Those issues will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on November 5, 2013, in the case of Bond v. United States.

Ted Cruz criticizes DOJ for arguing international treaty can trump the Constitution.  Justice Department attorneys are advancing an argument at the Supreme Court that could allow the government to invoke international treaties as a legal basis for policies such as gun control that conflict with the U.S. Constitution, according to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.  Their argument is that a law implementing an international treaty signed by the U.S. allows the federal government to prosecute a criminal case that would normally be handled by state or local authorities.  That is a dangerous argument, according to Cruz.

Exclusive: Feds confiscate investigative reporter's confidential files during raid.  A veteran Washington D.C. investigative journalist says the Department of Homeland Security confiscated a stack of her confidential files during a raid of her home in August — leading her to fear that a number of her sources inside the federal government have now been exposed.

Silencing dissent by SWATing messengers of truth.  [Scroll down]  Ms. Hudson is now speaking out because of what the agents of this Gestapo-like tactic took from her home.  While the search warrant was limited to any alleged guns on the premises — again — stemming from a quarter-century old incident reportedly involving her husband, their reach well exceeded their authority.  What was taken from the home of Audrey Hudson was more valuable than any gun.  What was taken from Audrey Hudson, in addition to her freedoms as an American citizen and a Pulitzer Prize nominee for her journalistic prowess, were her pages of notes and names of sources inside and outside of government who had confidentially provided her information over the years.

Checking Your Kids' School Assignments.  Have you checked your kids' school assignments lately?  You might be shocked if you do.  Sixth-grade children in a history class in the Bryant School District in Arkansas (whose website brags that the district "has embraced" Common Core standards) were assigned a project to update the U.S. Bill of Rights because it is "outdated."  They were instructed to "prioritize, revise, omit two and add two amendments."

Houston, We Have a Problem.  The Senate, at the behest of the White House, is now working on a bill to allow the president to raise the debt ceiling on his own — granting powers to the president that are specifically reserved to the House of Representatives by the Constitution.  This is not a small matter.  This is a Republic, not an Autocracy.

The U.S. Constitution has no Teeth.  As the Obama Administration works around the Constitution and performs thousands of acts that are in direct defiance of constitutional law and established legislative practice, the emerging issue is that it does not appear to be a crime to defy the Constitution.  The U.S. Code, the list of Federal laws, has many laws that can be used in Federal court to take employers to court, for example, for discriminating against minorities, or violating the voting rights act.  But with regard to purely Constitutional issues, such as the First Amendment violations of the IRS, there doesn't seem to be any teeth in the Constitution.  There is no codified way to fight these abuses.

Freedom of the Press is now an Entitlement?  Diane Feinstein and a few other well meaning Senators are in the process of defining who qualifies for 1st Amendment rights, or privileges as she put it, as the Senate Judiciary Committee attempts to iron out a "shield law for reporters or journalists" from having to divulge their sources.  This rush for an immediate fix regarding the press has nothing to do with a recent scandal in which the NSA ran rough shod over individual rights or private records and which the Justice Department claimed to have no knowledge; no there's no connection, move along.

Senate Panel OKs Measure Defining a Journalist.  A Senate panel on Thursday approved a measure defining a journalist, which had been an obstacle to broader media shield legislation designed to protect reporters and the news media from having to reveal their sources.

There Ought To Be No Law.  As I've written elsewhere, under the guise of "protection," the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party is moving toward its real goal of licensing journalists and creating an American version of Britain's Official Secrets Act.  The Senate bill has nothing to do with protecting journalists, and everything to do with the Government Class protecting itself from those who would expose its activities.  Having successfully co-opted what used to be the national media — so much so that there is now a veritable revolving door between Washington and old-media institutions — Congress now seeks to shut down via exclusion all those who do not toe the party line.

Who's a journalist?  The bill is supposed to protect journalists by defining who get the protection accorded to the Fourth Estate.  I get that.  But it's not up to the government to define who is, and who is not, a journalist, especially in an era when "reporting" covers everything from being a beat jocket at a paper to being a guy who records something on his cellphone and distributes the news via YouTube.

Enacting the Liberty Amendments.  Without getting into the detail of the potential disputes over the procedures for an Article V convention, it is certain that, even if two thirds of the States were to call for a convention, it would be tied up in litigation for years.  And if it was ever able to convene, it would likely turn out to be the largest convocation of leftist law professors ever assembled, who would dominate the media coverage and assure that no amendments would issue which would accomplish anything sought by constitutional conservatives.

Sen. Feinstein Threatens Press Freedom.  [Scroll down]  Someone is lying, and of the two sides, the government has a much worse track record.  [Senator Dianne] Feinstein would only protect the anonymous sources of what she would call "real journalists," those being paid by an "established news organization."  The law would still have had direct bearing on the James Rosen case, and that of homophonic New York Times reporter James Risen.  But Feinstein would exclude bloggers, an entirely arbitrary, meritless distinction.

Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin Wants Government to Decide Who Qualifies as a Real Journalist.  What qualifies as "legitimate journalism" or a "news website" in Durbin's mind?  Anyone can tweet something that constitutes news and the broadcast of which can be deemed journalism.  Tweets of ordinary citizens molested by the TSA have become news stories.  As we've seen repeatedly over the past several decades, so-called journalists can bury stories harmful to powerful politicians or pet causes.

No right to silence.  Monday's decision scales back the Miranda decision.  Not only can your words be used against you, but the Supreme Court says your silence can be, as well.  Genovevo Salinas found this out after he was questioned by Houston police regarding the 1992 murder of two brothers.

Goodbye 5th Amendment? Supremes rule silence can be used in court.  In a 5-4 decision regarding Salinas v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a potential defendant's silence can be used against them during police interviews prior to arrest and reading of Miranda rights.  In 1992, Genovevo Salinas voluntarily entered a Houston police station to discuss the murder of two brothers, Juan and Hector Garza.  He complied with officer's questions, but when asked whether shotgun casings would match his firearm, he fell silent.  Texas prosecutors convinced jurors that his silence was an admission of guilt.

Americans who cherish freedom must push back against government surveillance.  On Thursday, I held a news conference announcing my intent to pursue legal action against the federal government for infringing on Americans' Fourth Amendment rights.  The National Security Agency's collection of Verizon's client data probably only scratches the surface.  A court order that allows the government to obtain a billion records a day and does not name an individual target is clearly beyond the scope of the Fourth Amendment, which states clearly that warrants must be specific to the person and the place.

NSA out of control: We the people at fault.  Today, the front page of every major national news website is featuring reactions to Glenn Greenwald's explosive report on the FISA court order that "requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries."  That means that the government is collecting information on every call made on Verizon's service, regardless of probable cause or any suspicion that the parties have committed a crime.  The Fourth Amendment was written specifically to prohibit this activity by the government.  But they're doing it, unapologetically.

More about domestic surveillance.

The U.S. Constitution.  America is a country that bases its political system on three equally important governing bodies:  the legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicial branch.  This arrangement comes directly from the U.S. Constitution.  The U.S. Constitution has been the supreme law of the U.S. since September 17, 1787.  This was eleven years after the U.S. got its independence from England.

Durbin wonders: Does [the] First Amendment apply to bloggers, Twitter?  Thanks to the Obama administration's attacks on the Associated Press and its representation in federal court that Fox News' James Rosen is a spy for asking questions, one has to wonder whether the First Amendment applies to anyone in the Age of Hope and Change.

Glenn Beck: If Police Get Drones, 'The 2nd Amendment Is Absolutely Dead'.  Senator Rand Paul's media tour following his "misunderestimated" statements on drones brought him to Glenn Beck's radio show Friday, where the two men discussed the prospects of a terrifying future where police cars have "robotic firing arms" that take down criminals with the push of a button.  If that ever happens, Beck told Paul, "the Second Amendment is absolutely dead."

Mayor Bloomberg's Personal Reading Of Constitution.  New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that in light of the Boston Marathon bombing, our interpretation of the Constitution will "have to change."  Americans should be appalled at such a statement.

Michael Bloomberg's creepy authoritarianism.  So, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes that the public's interpretation of the Constitution must evolve in the face of terror attacks such as the one in Boston.  "You're going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days," the man explained, "and our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change."  Of course he thinks they do.  That's why we have constitutions — so they can be changed in tumultuous times.

Bloomberg wants you to give up liberty to acquire a little temporary safety — with no guarantees.
Bloomberg Says Interpretation of Constitution Will 'Have to Change' After Boston Bombing.  In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday [4/22/2013] the country's interpretation of the Constitution will "have to change" to allow for greater security to stave off future attacks.  "The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry," Mr. Bloomberg said during a press conference in Midtown.  "But we live in a complex world where you're going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will.  And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change."

That Pesky Constitution.  It wasn't too terribly long ago that talk of dismantling this country's most sacred document would get you labeled a crackpot.  But now?  Well, it's apparently fine.  Never mind that lawyers are sworn to uphold the Constitution.

A direct threat to the 1st and 10th Amendments:
Law would fire sheriffs for defying gun control measures.  Supporters of the 380 sheriffs in 15 states who so far have vowed to defy new state and federal gun control laws claim that legislation is starting to pop up around the nation to fire any state elected or appointed law enforcement official who doesn't obey federal orders.  The first effort emerged in Texas.  Legislation proposed by Dallas Democratic Rep. Yvonne Davis would remove any sheriff or law enforcement officer who refuses to enforce state or federal laws.  What's more, it would remove any elected or appointed law enforcement officer for simply stating or signing any document stating that they will not obey federal orders.

Appeals Court Curbs Border Agents' Carte Blanche Power to Search Your Gadgets.  A federal appeals court for the first time ruled Friday [3/8/2013] that U.S. border agents do not have carte blanche authority to search the cellphones, tablets and laptops of travelers entering the country  — a "watershed" decision in the court's own terms and one at odds with the policies of the President Barack Obama administration.

9th Circuit Appeals Court: 4th Amendment Applies At The Border.  For many years we've written about how troubling it is that Homeland Security agents are able to search the contents of electronic devices, such as computers and phones at the border, without any reason.  The 4th Amendment only allows reasonable searches, usually with a warrant.  But the general argument has long been that, when you're at the border, you're not in the country and the 4th Amendment doesn't apply.

WA Dems Sponsor Bill Allowing Police to Search Gun owners' Homes.  In a mistake that probably wasn't a mistake, a Washington state bill sponsored by liberal Democrats contained a little-noticed provision that would have called for the police to have the right to search private citizens' home once per year if they own certain types of guns.

What Our Society Has Become.  The United States Constitution, and its concepts of limited government, State sovereignty, liberty, and a political system governed by the people is being tossed aside as nothing more than an archaic obstacle to progress.  Federalized, our schools have become indoctrination centers that spit out compliant citizens hailing that central government is the new god of the new age.  Television programs, all the way down to the cute little yellow feathered Street for toddlers, reinforces the mental programming of the youngsters, and the news media and entertainment industry reinforce the teachings not only for the children, but to ensure the proper re-education of the older folks that might still remember what America was like when it was still truly free.

20 Reasons America Is Becoming An Increasingly Nonfunctional Society.  [#16]  Our entire society is based on a Constitution that is being systematically ignored, distorted, and treated as optional by the populace, our politicians, and even the judges who are sworn to enforce it.

Congress has a Constitution problem — many don't understand document.  Under rules that the new Republican majority put into place, each House member introducing a bill must cite specific parts of the Constitution that they think grant Congress the authority to take the action they are proposing.  The first year's worth of action was less than inspiring for adherents of the founding document:  Many lawmakers ignored the rule, while others sliced and diced the clauses to justify what they were trying to do.  One thumbed his nose at the exercise altogether, saying it's up to the courts, not Congress, to determine what is constitutional.

Dangerous Times.  When the media openly question the right of Tea Parties to exist, they are telling us they really want single-party rule.  That's why they want to abolish the free political opposition.  They are political control freaks, totally contrary to American history and tradition.  That is why they want to dump the US Constitution.

Dispensing with the Constitution.  It was Alexander Hamilton, writing in Federalist 69, who explained that an American president must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."  The "take care" clause in the Constitution that he was defending is a cornerstone of the Founders' vision of limited and divided government.  It was one of the many bulwarks against tyranny that were built into the remarkable structure that has ensured our freedom over the past two-and-a-half centuries.  In that structure, a president may only refuse to enforce a law if it is plainly unconstitutional, a power that is as antique as it is rarely employed.

Trying to nudge the Constitution out of place.  Will 2013 come to be known as the year of presidential decree?  The year the president ignored Congress, changed the rules of government, and put into place whatever policies he saw fit? [...] During his first term, President Obama issued executive orders in lieu of laws passed by Congress, signed executive agreements with foreign countries in lieu of treaties ratified by the Senate, and formulated burdensome regulations with little legislative justification.

Cruz: Liberals Should Be Concerned About An "Imperial" And "Nixonian" President.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tells Sean Hannity that President Obama has "drunk the kool-aid" and believes he can do nothing wrong since he got reelected. [...] Cruz also tells Hannity that disregarding the constraints of the Constitution is a "pattern" with Obama and that it's only going to get worse in a second term.

Left's Desire To Weaken Constitution Endangers American Freedom.  During the debate over ObamaCare — a massive, budget-busting entitlement funded with money our country doesn't have — former New Jersey Judge Andrew Napolitano pointedly challenged then-U.S. Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., regarding the constitutionality of this socialized medicine monstrosity.  Clyburn's response?  "There's nothing in the Constitution that says the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do," he said.  Therein lies the root of our problem.

Who Would Dare Veto the Sandy Bill?  In the late 19th century we had a president empowered by the same Constitution we have now, who felt its limitations mattered.  Today's politicians, judges, academia and mainstream media are unashamed to openly defy the Constitution, circumvent it, or declare it outdated and irrelevant — while at the same time seeking to publicly shame those who strive to adhere to it, or at the very least hesitate to spend what our treasury doesn't hold.

White House 'blocks use of pictures of Malia and Sasha Obama on the beach'.  Paparazzi shots of Malia and Sasha Obama have been blocked by the White House after a photographer reportedly stumbled across the girls on a public beach in Hawaii. [...] Secret service agents, who were accompanying the girls on their walk, immediately approached the photographer and asked for identification.  They allowed the man to keep his camera but gave him a stern warning to stop photographing the first daughters.

An Appeal for Dictatorship Comes Out of the Closet at the New York Times.  True to form, the New York Times saw out 2012 by publishing another apology for dictatorship.  In his op-ed, Louis Michael Seidman — Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University — argues that the Constitution should be abandoned.  The suggestion is so preposterous that it is tempting to dismiss the article altogether, but to do so would be to miss some very revealing implications.  The article is not so much a suggestion of constitutional reform as an open call for dictatorship.

The Editor says...
Rather than abandoning the Constitution, let's abandon the New York Times.

Vanity Fair: Second Amendment 'Must Be Removed from the Constitution'.  On January 2, Vanity Fair ran an all-out attack on the constitution, the 2nd Amendment, and common sense in a column by Kurt Eichenwald titled, "Let's Repeal the Second Amendment."  Eichenwald's approach consists of attacking the NRA, arguing that gun owners avoid discussing more gun control by saying they don't want to "politicize" shootings, and taking the standard progressive position that there wasn't really a right to keep and bear arms until Justice Antonin Scalia created one in recent Supreme Court decisions.

Unmitigated propaganda in the New York Times:
Let's Give Up on the Constitution.  As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is.

The Editor says...
The writer of the article immediately above is identified by the New York Times as "a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University," which tells us a lot about the potential for anti-American indoctrination at Georgetown.  He never gets around to his alternatives to the Constitution, but apparently he would prefer that the America-hating Marxist, Barack H. Obama, be pronounced America's not-so-benevolent dictator, bypassing the ballot box.  The whole article sounds like sedition to me.

Subverting the Constitution.  Louis Michael Seidman, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University, is no fringe figure.  He is a pillar of the left wing legal establishment, graduate of Harvard Law, former clerk for Thurgood Marshall, and notable figure in the Leftist "critical legal theory" movement. [...] Seidman has taken to the pages of the daily bible of the progressive establishment, the New York Times, to lend respectability to a movement to subvert the Constitution, and turn to an undefined system which inevitably means the loss of our safeguards against tyranny.  All expressed in superficially reassuring prose.

Hey! Let's have a 'Burn the Constitution Day!'  I don't believe the Constitution is holy writ nor do I think that the Founders had all the answers for today's America.  But all public officials and members of the military swear fealty to our founding document for a reason; it is the most visible, the most tangible representation of our sovereignty as a nation.  We don't have kings, or castles, or ancient ruins to which we can point and say our sovereignty lies within.  It is the Constitution that unites us as a people.  And positing the notion that we should just throw it away is outrageously stupid and disquietingly radical.

Georgetown Law professor: Scrap 'archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil' Constitution.  Georgetown Law professor Louis Michael Seidman writes that the time has come to scrap the Constitution.  In an op-ed published in the New York Times Monday, Seidman, a constitutional law professor, claimed that the nation's foundational document is the real impediment to progress and solutions to America's troubles.

Give Up On The Constitution? The Political Left Already Has.  For many, the Constitution is the barrier that blocks government from trampling a free people.  Yet many on the political left see it as a hurdle to their ambitions.  Consider the constitutional law professor who wants to kill it.

Dem Rep. Hank Johnson: Amend Constitution to Restrict Freedom of Speech.  Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) says, "corporations control the patterns of thinking" in the United States and that the Bill of Rights to the Constitution should be amended so that the government is given the power to restrict freedom of speech.  "We need a constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to control the so-called free speech rights of corporations," said Johnson.

Obama's DOJ Can't Say Criticizing Religion Will Remain Legal.  [A recent exchange], between Representative Trent Franks and Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, occurred in late July, but is particularly relevant today.  Representatvie Franks tries to extract an assurance from Perez that the Obama administration will not push a proposal to criminalize speech "against any religion."  He has a tough time doing so.

DoJ Civil Rights Division chief can't commit to protecting free speech.  Via Eliana Johnson and Michael Totten, the question that Rep. Trent Franks asked Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez in July shouldn't be very difficult to answer — especially for the man who heads up the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and who swore to uphold the Constitution when taking that job. [...] If you read the First Amendment, the answer is simple.  Perez, however, does a two-minute dodge while Franks asks it four times.

On Bourbon Street, party but don't preach at night.  The ordinance passed in October bans spreading "any social, political or religious message between the hours of sunset and sunrise."  City officials say it's a public safety measure to keep people moving at night along the crowded, raunchy strip.  During the Southern Decadence festival over Labor Day weekend, a group of nearly 10 street preachers were arrested.

We Don't Need No Stinking Warrant: The Disturbing, Unchecked Rise of the Administrative Subpoena.  Meet the administrative subpoena:  With a federal official's signature, banks, hospitals, bookstores, telecommunications companies and even utilities and internet service providers — virtually all businesses — are required to hand over sensitive data on individuals or corporations, as long as a government agent declares the information is relevant to an investigation.  Via a wide range of laws, Congress has authorized the government to bypass the Fourth Amendment — the constitutional guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that requires a probable-cause warrant signed by a judge.

Obama, Holder Sledgehammer the First Amendment.  [Scroll down]  Gallup has every First Amendment right that other media outlets have.  It will be interesting to see if any other media organizations side against Obama's apparent heavy-handed attempt to stifle Gallup's voice.

DOJ Official Won't Say Whether Justice Department Would 'Criminalize Speech against Any Religion'.  Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas Perez refused to say Thursday whether the Justice Department would ever "entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion."  During a House subcommittee hearing examining fairness in voting rights enforcement, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, referenced an article detailing a meeting between top Justice Department officials and Islamist advocates, where the advocates reportedly lobbied officials for "a legal declaration that U.S. citizens' criticism of Islam constitutes racial discrimination."

Chuck Schumer: There Should Be Limits to the First Amendment.  While debating the DISCLOSE Act last night [7/17/2012] on the Senate floor, New York Senator Chuck Schumer called for restrictions on the First Amendment, citing other laws and regulations already in place in the United States that do so.

Dislike soda bans? Then restore the Constitution.  The debates surrounding this question, and other constitutional issues like executive privileges and orders, are instructive.  Not only have Americans learned more about the Constitution, we've discovered that many lawmakers neither understand nor respect the document they're sworn to uphold.  Even worse, we have leaders intent on fundamentally transforming the relationship between the citizen and government in a manner the Constitution doesn't allow.  By allowing these politicians to create and impose solutions better left to sovereign states and individuals, we permit their government-driven agenda to trump our liberties and their Leviathan government to limit our choices and make our decisions.  This is not the fulfillment of our Founder's dream — it's their nightmare.

Constitution 101.  The Republican Study Committee (RSC) analyzes the constitutional statements for every bill and joint resolution introduced and sends out a weekly email highlighting the "most questionable."  Last week, it selected Rep. Andre Carson, Indiana Democrat, for justifying his bill to authorize the president to award a gold medal on behalf of Congress to boxer Muhammad Ali by citing irrelevant constitutional clauses, including the one giving Congress the right to set its governing rules and expel members.

Jim McGovern's War on the Constitution.  It is hard to overstate how radical and dangerous the People's Rights Amendment would be.  It would overturn Citizens United, all right — along with much of the freedom Americans have always taken for granted.  All of them would lose their constitutional rights, including freedom of speech and of the press, if US Rep. Jim McGovern's "People's Rights Amendment" were adopted.

Obama Policies Are Clearing a Path for a Dictator.  Podesta's Center for American Progress in their definitive essay, The Power of the President, Recommendations to Advance Progressive Change subtly outlines a virtual blueprint for a U.S. Presidency that rules by fiat, ignoring the laws of the nation.  Their reasoning is that Congress has failed to act, but that is nothing more than an excuse to circumvent our Constitution.  With obfuscating language, it says that the President should use the powers he has to ignore Congress and the confines of the Constitution.  It outlines a plan for an extremely powerful Executive Branch.

Keep the First Amendment.  The phrase "stunning development" is used far too often in our politics, but here is an item that can be described in no other way:  Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats, frustrated by the fact that the Bill of Rights interferes with their desire to muzzle their political opponents, have proposed to repeal the First Amendment.  That is precisely what the so-called People's Rights Amendment would do.

Shredding the Constitution.  The Obama administration has expanded its executive branch powers under a comprehensive czar system and myriad executive orders.  Meanwhile, Congress quietly passes questionable legislation with the potential to limit personal freedoms — and U.S. agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), engage in activities that raise serious concerns about constitutional violations.  Even local law enforcement officials have become increasingly intrusive and hostile to civil liberties.

What If the Government Rejects the Constitution?  What if the government regards the Constitution as merely a guideline to be referred to from time to time, or a myth to be foisted upon the voters, but not as a historic delegation of power that lawfully limits the federal government?  What if Congress knows that most of what it regulates puts it outside the confines of the Constitution, but it does whatever it can get away with?  What if the feds don't think that the Constitution was written to keep them off the people's backs?  What if there's no substantial difference between the two major political parties?

Central Radio Company
Norfolk, Virginia Attempts To Silence Free Speech.  Something terrible is underway in Norfolk, Virginia, that should disturb all Americans who value property rights and free speech.  Central Radio Company, which first opened 78 years ago and has been at its current location of 1083 West 39th Street for 50 years, is currently under siege.  First officials at the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority attempted to seize their property in order to transfer it to Old Dominion University, which currently has no specific site development plan for Central Radio's property.  The owners of the company, Bob Wilson and Kelly Dickinson, rightfully objected to the eminent domain proceedings.  They then commissioned a 375-square-foot banner (left) and hung it on their building to protest the taking.

Pushed out and shut up: 78-year-old business fights back against eminent domain, censorship.  One business's eminent domain nightmare has also turned into a case about protection under the First Amendment.  Central Radio Company, a small business in Norfolk, Va., may soon become a victim of eminent domain, but in the meantime it has also been ordered to remove a giant banner protesting the impending seizure.

Sign code as a weapon.  A drearily familiar dialectic is on display here:  Government is behaving badly in order to silence protests of other bad behavior.  It is violating the Constitution's First Amendment, stifling speech about its violation of the Fifth Amendment, as it was properly construed until 2005.

Constitutional Convention Can Not Be Controlled.  A [Constitutional Convention] has no oversight or rules other than those made by the actual participating delegates themselves.  There are no rules for selecting delegates.  Once a [Constitutional Convention] is called for by the legal number of states, as laid out in Article V of the Constitution, It is the duty of Congress to call for one.  Period.  That's as far as it goes.

Is the CIA in your kitchen?  The war on drugs has regrettably weakened the intended protections of the Fourth Amendment, and the Patriot Act — which permits federal agents to write their own search warrants — has dealt it a serious blow.  That act, which has not yet been ruled upon by the Supreme Court, fortunately has not yet animated the Supreme Court's privacy jurisprudence.  Last year, the court invalidated the police use of warrantless heat-seeking devices aimed at the home, and it will probably soon invalidate the warrantless use of GPS devices secretly planted by cops in cars. ... Relying on the Patriot Act, federal agents have written their own search warrants just like the British soldiers did [in the 18th century].  They have done this more than 250,000 times since 2001.

Oust Obama.  Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta recently gave congressional testimony saying that the United States no longer needs the approval or consent of Congress before launching a major military offensive.  In particular, Mr. Panetta — to the amazement of Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican — argued that the administration needs only "international permission" to engage in war.  In other words, Mr. Panetta stressed that international approval from the United Nations or NATO trumps the sovereign authority of Congress.

Congress Passes Bill Severely Curtailing First Amendment Liberties.  A bill has just passed the House and the Senate that criminalizes protests anywhere near the presence of a designated government official.  On Monday [2/27/2012], the U.S. House of Representatives voted nearly unanimously (388-3) in favor of H.R. 347, the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011.  As part of this legislation, Congress expressly forbids trespass onto the grounds of the White House.  Many likely believe that such a law already existed and they are right.  The controversial aspect of this bill's restatement of that statute is that it expands the scope of the federal government's authority to bring charges against those deemed trespassers at any location placed provisionally under the jurisdiction of the Secret Service.  The present state of the law prosecutes White House trespassers under a local Washington, D.C. ordinance.  Prior to this latest federal action, violation of this ordinance was a misdemeanor.

Protests Near Secret Service Protected Folk Effectively Outlawed.  In case you question the value of having a Justin Amash or a Ron Paul in the House of Representatives, they were two of only three votes against H.R. 347, the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011." ... Although [Secret Service] protection isn't extended to just everybody, making it a federal offense to even accidently disrupt an event attended by a person with such status essentially crushes whatever currently remains of the right to assemble and peacefully protest.

Boxer: Insurance rights trumps religious rights.  Senator Boxer warned yesterday [2/14/2012] that if the HHS contraception mandate was repealed it would set a dangerous precedence of religious rights trumping the right to be insured.

Wash Post Journalist: 'Maybe the Founders Were Wrong' to Guarantee Free Exercise of ReligionWashington Post political writer Melinda Henneberger shockingly stated, Wednesday [2/8/2012], that "maybe the Founders were wrong" to guarantee religious liberty.  Henneberger appeared on Hardball to discuss the Obama administration's decision to force the Catholic Church to provide birth control in health care.

The Gospel According to Obama:  [Scroll down]  Our quaint Constitution grants special autonomy to religious institutions.  Accordingly, it would be a mockery of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment if, for example, the Catholic Church were required by law to freely provide such "health-care services" (in secularist parlance) as contraception, sterilization, and pharmacological abortion — to which Catholicism is doctrinally opposed as a grave contravention of its teachings about the sanctity of life.  Ah.  But there would be no such Free Exercise violation if the institutions so mandated are deemed, by regulatory fiat, not religious.

End of the Constitution: Obamacare birth-control mandate would defeat the First Amendment.  Mr. Obama is not simply an inept, liberal president in the mold of Jimmy Carter.  He is an ideological revolutionary who seeks to sweep away traditional America.  The American war of independence did not just overthrow British imperial domination.  The Founders forged something almost unique in history: a nation devoted to individual liberty, Christian civilization and federalism.  The rule of men was replaced by the rule of law.  The linchpin was constitutional government based on the separation of powers and checks and balances.  The American system is entirely predicated on the Constitution.  Once the Constitution becomes meaningless or just an inconvenient piece of paper, the American experiment is over.  The republic is dead.

Mark Levin: We're Living In A Post-Constitutional America.  We are not a representative republic really in the true sense anymore.  We have this massive administrative state with, you know, hundreds of thousands if not several million bureaucrats who are making laws and issuing them every day, 80,000 pages last year.  So that's not a representative republic.

Obama Wins Georgia Ballot Challenge.  [Scroll down]  Opponents of the controversial birthright citizenship practice should also take note, since Judge Malihi's opinion further entrenches the notion that every baby born on U.S. soil, regardless of the citizenship or domicile of its parents (presumably even an "anchor baby" or "birth tourist" baby) is a "natural born" citizen.

New York's Long-Distance Body Scanners Challenge 4th Amendment.  The NYPD, sometimes referred to as the world's "seventh largest army" with 35,000 uniformed officers, already does a brisk business frisking potential suspects, with little pushback.  In the first quarter of last year, 161,000 New Yorkers were stopped and interrogated, with more than nine out of 10 of them found to be innocent.  And there are cameras already in place everywhere:  in Manhattan alone there are more than 2,000 surveillance cameras watching for alleged miscreants.

Mark Levin: You Cannot Have This EPA and a Constitution.  "The purpose of the Constitution is to have a limited central government where the sovereignty remains with the individual and the people and the states," said Levin.  "The purpose of utopianism is the opposite of all that.  It's a relative handful of masterminds and their massive army of bureaucrats and their experts advising them from the colleges and so forth on how to run society.  "You cannot have an EPA and a Constitution at the same time doing what this EPA is doing," Levin told CNSNews.com.  "You cannot have an NLRB deciding who gets to work where, how, and when, and at the same time follow the Constitution," he said.

Obama's naked thuggery.  After all these years it took a great constitutional scholar who had spent a life cloistered in academia and street work to utterly rape our most cherished Constitution.  This business of bypassing the Senate to pick "recess" appointments to positions most Americans have never heard of may seem trivial.  It is anything but.  What Barack Obama has done has been to disembowel the U.S. Senate and shred the most carefully worded document in the history of civilized society.

Oops, she did it again.  Nancy Pelosi is "glad" that President Obama ignored the Advice and Consent requirement of the Constitution on his recent appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the new bureaucratic beast, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Ms. Pelosi has shown her contempt for the Constitution before.  When asked where in the Constitution she found the power to pass Obamacare, Pelosi said, "Are you serious?"  President Obama shows a similar contempt about whether the Constitution constrains him.

Obama's Standing Army of Regulators among Us.  The Third Amendment, prohibiting the quartering of government troops in peacetime in private homes, seems irrelevant in modern times.  Yet how is the intrusion of government regulators into every corner of our lives substantively different from quartering troops in our homes without our consent?  While Americans have clashed in sharp debate over taxation from the very beginning, government regulation has, oddly enough, escaped scrutiny.  Yet regulators' destruction of a vibrant economy by strangling industry and commerce while depriving owners of their private property rights is as toxic and pervasive as taxation.

Is the Supreme Court a Constitution-free zone?  On January 11, 2008, police arrested 80 protesters at the Supreme Court.  Why is the Supreme Court — of all places — off limits to protest? ... The Constitution protects the right to peaceful protests.  The Supreme Court exists to protect the Constitution.  Banning protests at the Supreme Court is at best a mixed signal; at worse, hypocrisy.

Dont Hold Your Breath for a 28th Amendment.  With no fanfare, the country in August quietly passed a peculiar milestone:  The 14,746th day since Congress last proposed a successful amendment to the Constitution, officially becoming the second-longest such dry spell in history and raising questions about when, if ever, the next amendment will pass.

What Will Happen When the People Realize that the Constitution Is No More?  Dishonest, manipulative, agenda-consumed politicians who hold power will not easily surrender that power.  Today, an overwhelmingly "progressive" mainstream media feed progressive politicians' lies as truth directly to the people, thereby reinforcing the lies, giving the lies credibility in the minds of a mostly gullible electorate.  The education establishment distorts school curricula and softens the brains of the young, creating sponges eager to soak up the media-reinforced political untruths.  But when the growing awareness of this nastiness reaches a critical mass, just what kind of ugly revolt will America be in for?

What Constitutionalism Means.  The Supreme Court has amended the Constitution hundreds of times, in ways large and small, by reinterpreting its provisions, almost always to serve progressive ends.  American constitutional law now includes restrictions on police procedure, regulations on permissible school-discipline policies, minute if unpredictable edicts about the proper placement of municipal displays involving religion, and rights to solicit and perform abortion at any stage of pregnancy.  In each case, Americans had spent decades living under the relevant constitutional provisions without anyone's imagining that they commanded what the Court now says they command.

OC Couple Threatened With $500-Per-Meeting Fines For Home Bible Study.  An Orange County couple has been ordered to stop holding a Bible study in their home on the grounds that the meeting violates a city ordinance as a "church" and not as a private gathering.  Homeowners Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, of San Juan Capistrano, were fined $300 earlier this month for holding what city officials called "a regular gathering of more than three people".  That type of meeting would require a conditional use permit as defined by the city, according to Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), the couple's legal representation.

On the Rule of Law.  Freedom is lost by degrees, and the deepest erosions usually take place during times of economic hardship, when those who favor expanding the sphere of government abuse a crisis to persuade free citizens that they should trade in a little of their liberty for empty promises of greater economic security.

The foreign-born candidate.  Can a foreign-born citizen run for president?  The Federal Election Commission thinks so.  Earlier this month, commission members agreed that Abdul K. Hassan, a Guyana-born naturalized U.S. citizen, could qualify as a presidential candidate.  In an advisory opinion, the commission concluded that Mr. Hassan may be considered a candidate and could solicit funds to support his campaign.  However, he would be ineligible for federal matching funds.

Bearing No Faith or Allegiance to the Constitution.  Too many members of Congress regard the Constitution as an obstacle, not as a sacrosanct document they must support and defend.  They bear little faith, and less allegiance, to its directives.  The Constitution, now a "living" document, has devolved into a legislative and bureaucratic playground where anything goes.

Is the new "Super Congress" Constitutional?  A number of constitutionalists have warned that the new "Super Congress" — technically a joint committee of Congress — may be unconstitutional.  The new entity will be created out of the Obama-Boehner debt limit deal.  "It smells," Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) told Fox News August 1.  "I just don't understand why Congress is so willing to give up its responsibilities to 12 people.... It's a reflection that they don't have answers."

An obvious violation of the First Amendment:
Cartoonist Faces Prosecution for Videos Mocking Police.  In Washington, a cartoonist is possibly facing jail time for a series of animated Internet videos that mock police officers.  The cartoonist, who goes by the name Mr. Fiddlesticks, is being investigated for alleged "cyberstalking," a crime in Washington.

Busting Posse Comitatus: Military Cops Arrest Civilians in Florida City.  In Homestead, Florida, Posse Comitatus is dead.  The Air Force now responds to civilian crime in the small city, population around 30,000.  "Here at Homestead Air Reserve Base we have the Crime Stop hotline that allows anyone either on base or off the installation to anonymously report a crime," explains the Homestead Air Reserve Base website.

What is Liberty, That We May Defend It?  Is American Liberty under attack?  Perhaps more so than any time since the Revolution. ... The Constitution is displayed as an elaborate, ancient joke.  Politicians present themselves as gods, above error, who dismiss dissent as if it were the babble of infants.  Between irrational new laws, and the government's refusal to enforce common sense rules, Americans feel trapped and betrayed by increasingly tyrannical leaders.

Dallas turns to extortion to preserve petty sign ordinance.  If the government can dictate what you can put in your own window, there's no limit to what it can do. ... [A Dallas] ordinance specifies that no sign may appear in the upper two-thirds portion of any window or glass door.  In the space that remains, signage may not take up more than 15 percent of the available window space.  The ordinance carefully carves out an exemption for artistic and political speech.  So a gigantic "Vote Obama" sign is acceptable, but one that states "20 percent off on Wednesdays" is not.

FCC report finds serious shortage in local reporting.  Newspapers have seen a sharp drop in revenue because of the weakening economy and a shift by advertisers to free or cheaper alternatives on the Internet.

The Editor says...
That may or may not be the whole truth of the matter, but even if it is, that's not the government's problem.

Dangerous precedent for press.  A little more than a week ago, Vice President Joe Biden traveled to fundraisers in two battleground-state cities, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.  Neither stop included the White House press corps; requests by local media to cover the events were denied by the vice president's press office.

The Indiana Supreme Court Guts the Fourth Amendment.  A ruling by the state of Indiana's Supreme Court last Thursday [5/12/2011] in Barnes vs. Indiana has seemingly vacated the Constitution's Fourth Amendment provision against unreasonable search and seizure.  The case involved a domestic dispute and the Court ruled 3-2 that police can force their way into a person's home without a warrant if they deem such entry is necessary.

Everybody Out Of The Pool.  If the mainstream media had any gumption at all, they would vigorously protest the strange, new self-appointed arbiter of "fair" press coverage as an implicit threat to their own capacity to cover the news fairly.  What the White House has done by telling the Boston Herald it can no longer send a pool reporter to cover local campaign events on behalf of the media is another baby step toward state control of the media, using the carrot of access against the stick of exile.

Court: No right to resist illegal cop entry into home.  Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday [5/12/2011] that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.  In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

Supreme Court gives police a new entryway into homes.  The Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision in a Kentucky case, says police officers who loudly knock on a door in search of illegal drugs and then hear sounds suggesting evidence is being destroyed may break down the door and enter without a search warrant.

Department of Pre-Crime.  Moral of this story:  If you hear the cops at the door, quietly get off the john, and whatever you do, don't flush.  Read the whole account of the case, which ought to get your blood boiling.

Indiana Sheriff: If We Need to Conduct Random House to House Searches We Will.  According to Newton County Sheriff, Don Hartman Sr., random house to house searches are now possible and could be helpful following the Barnes v. State of Indiana Supreme Court ruling issued on May 12th, 2011.  When asked three separate times due to the astounding callousness as it relates to trampling the inherent natural rights of Americans, he emphatically indicated that he would use random house to house checks, adding he felt people will welcome random searches if it means capturing a criminal.

Giving too much license to cops.  A series of recent court rulings, including one this week from the US Supreme Court, appear to erode one of our bedrock defenses against the arbitrary, abusive power of the state.  At risk:  the Fourth Amendment guarantee to all American citizens of the right to be "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."

Home Insecurity.  While the U.S. Supreme Court said police may force their way into a home to prevent the destruction of evidence, the Indiana Supreme Court, in a less noticed decision issued the week before, said police may force their way into a home for any reason or no reason at all.  Although the victim of an illegal search can challenge it in court after the fact, three of the five justices agreed, "there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers."  They thereby nullified a principle of common law that is centuries old, arguably dating back to the Magna Carta.

US Police State Begins Exponential Expansion.  The recent Indiana Supreme Court ruling against the US Constitution, rendering the Fourth Amendment null and void in that State by patently leftist activist judges, is only the latest unconscionable step in a series of actions designed to unravel each and every portion of the Bill of Rights.  It is also one of the latest actions designed to compliment and enhance the already jack-booted Obama police State march into our States, our cities and homes.

Rally held in protest of 'unlawful police entry' ruling by Indiana Supreme Court.  Protesters showed up on the south steps of the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday [5/25/2011], to rally against a controversial ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court.  The ruling, which allows police to enter your home without a warrant, sparked threatening emails and phone calls from those angry with the court's decision.

High court urged to rethink ruling on resisting police.  A group of 71 state lawmakers is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to reconsider a ruling that says people don't have the right to resist police officers who enter their homes illegally.

Rep. Bob Hasegawa wants to tax newspapers based upon content.  Rep. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, ... has introduced an amendment to a bill that would result in differing rates of taxation for newspapers based upon their editorial content.  This is a stupid and patently unconstitutional bit of legislative foolishness, and Hasegawa should be so ashamed of himself that he should resign in disgrace.

Hasegawa wants to tax newspapers based on their editorial content?  [Scroll down]  I don't see much difference between those two approaches to media criticism and that of the Obama administration's attempts through the FCC to "help" newspapers and "quality journalism" survive in the digital era because what always follows federal assistance is federal control.

Obama's ineligibility:  The oath of office for US President is unique.  No other Federal official is required to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.  The President is the custodian of the Constitution, the fundamental laws governing our country. ... Obama, in his first act as President, dishonored the oath of office by accepting a position for which he was not eligible.  It was not a demonstration of "preserve, protect and defend", but more likely an initial step towards radically transforming the country by undermining the foundation upon which it is based.  Without the Constitution, there is no linchpin for the rule of law and the enforcement of law becomes an arbitrary tool of the state.  It is a recipe for tyranny.

Were Americans set up by the press and then scammed by the Congress?  In April 2008, it appears that a political deal was struck between the Democrats and Republicans that would provide cover for both McCain and Obama on the issue of eligibility.  That would also explain the continuing conspiracy of silence by our political elite.  Because SR 511 has no force of law, Congress protected itself from legal consequences, but by political fiat they could do a "quick and dirty" amendment to the Constitution.  My fellow Americans ... we've been had.

The Patent Bill is Unconstitutional.  The biggest issue for many new members of Congress and tea partiers is trying to hold the federal government within its constitutional limits.  Unfortunately, the House now seems poised to pass a law in direct violation of the Constitution.  One of the most valuable individual rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution is the right of "inventors" to own "the exclusive right" to their "discoveries" for "limited times."  This right was set forth in Article I, Section 8, years before the rights to freedom of speech and religion were added.

Another Democrat That Hates the US Constitution.  Making it easier every day to assert that Democrats hate the U.S. Constitution, once again we find a Democrat in Congress expressing disgust with the law of the land.  This time extremist, left-wing Democrat Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D, CA) was heard complaining to a lefty radio host that many of her new colleagues are just too ... concerned with whether or not the actions of Congress are Constitutional.

Congresswoman Feigns Southern Accent to Deride Tea Party Lawmakers.  A Democratic congresswoman, frustrated with her interactions with a new class of Tea Party-backed conservative lawmakers, mocked them this week by talking in a Southern accent and referring to them as "Moe," during an interview on nationally syndicated radio show.  Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., told liberal host Stephanie Miller that every time she tries approaching one of the 87 freshman lawmakers in an effort to build relationships, they're always complaining about something being unconstitutional.

Breyer's Baloney:  Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, plugging his book "Making Our Democracy Work," says the Constitution should be adapted to modern times.  Sorry, your honor, that's not how our republic works.

WA Democrat: 'I'm Tired of Reading the Constitution and All the Silly Things'.  Be proud, Washington's 7th congressional district, as your congressman, Jim McDermott, expresses his exasperation of "silly stuff" like "reading the Constitution."

Tennessee bill lists Shariah as felony.  Tennessee is considering making it a felony to follow some versions of the Islamic code known as Shariah, the most severe measure yet put forth by a national movement whose members believe extremist Muslims want Shariah to supersede the Constitution.

The Vanishing Constitution.  The federal government has increasingly assumed unlimited powers and acted against the will of the people.  When they can't legislate, they regulate.  The attitude is:  We know you don't want it, but we are going to force it on you anyway.  Who are you to know what is best for you?  You are just a pesky voter.  We are entitled to discount what you say because you cannot possibly grasp our progressive agenda.  Progressives began the gradual erosion of constitutional principles around the beginning of the 20th century.  The goal?  To impose their superior wisdom on the rest of us.  The way progressives measure progress is by moving up from the vision of the founding fathers.  But the Constitution gets in the way with its restrictions on the arbitrary powers of government.  So it must be bypassed.

A Warning About Things to Come.  Have you seen the television pictures of the tens of thousands of demonstrators at the Wisconsin State Capitol who are protesting proposed budget cuts for state employees?  If so, you've had an advance peek at the sort of demonstrations that will take place if state legislatures are foolish enough to pass resolutions asking Congress to call a national convention to consider amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

How Should We Interpret the Constitution?  The Constitution is plainly written.  It was intended to be easy to understand.  The Constitution is also short.  Why do we need a process for interpreting the Constitution?  If we have such a process for divining the meaning of the Constitution, why should that process be secret deliberations of nine judges who are effectively unaccountable to the people?  The issue, after ObamaCare, has become more than academic.

The "Judicial Activism" Ploy.  The new definition of "judicial activism" defines it as declaring laws unconstitutional.  It is a simpler, easily quantifiable definition.  You don't need to ask whether Congress exceeded its authority under the Constitution.  That key question can be sidestepped by simply calling the judge a "judicial activist."  A judge who lets politicians do whatever they want to, whether or not it violates the Constitution, never has to worry about being called a judicial activist by the left or by most of the media.  But the rest of us have to worry about what is going to happen to this country if politicians can get away with ignoring the Constitution.

Florida Bar vs. Free Press.  According to Mark A. Adams, writing for The Daily Censored, a news blog affiliated with Project Censored, "The Florida Bar has proposed a new rule to eliminate coverage of court proceedings by citizen journalists."  Outstanding investigative journalism by Adams has uncovered this proposed rule which would allow only an employee of a "traditional media outlet" or an official court reporter to bring audio or video recording equipment into a court room.  Not even a laptop computer would escape this infringement of free speech.

Durbin:  Obama Administration Should Enforce Obamacare Anyway.  Following a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the constitutionality of the new health care law, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told CNSNews.com that the Obama administration should continue enforcing the health care law despite federal judge Roger Vinson's ruling that it is unconstitutional.

More about the various legal challenges and court decisions opposing Obamacare.

7 Non-Political Differences Between Liberals and Conservatives:  Conservatives believe that we need to try to interpret the Constitution in the way that the Founders intended it to be read and if we want to change it, then we need to pass a Constitutional Amendment.  Liberals believe in a "living Constitution," which is functionally no different than believing in no Constitution at all.

Preserving States' Rights and the Constitution.  It is a grim fact of history that strong central governments have gone hand in hand with horror.  Nazis, very quickly, essentially ended the system of strong state governments in Germany.  The Soviet Union was also ruled with an iron hand from Moscow, and the destruction of whole peoples followed its central policies.  The closer people are to the elected officials governing them, the more freedom flourishes.  The more remote the government, the less citizens feel like equals and the more they seem like cattle.  That is why the Founding Fathers considered states' rights as absolutely indispensable to the purposes of our nation.

Why States Must Nullify Unconstitutional Acts of Congress.  The U.S. Constitution, which created the federal government, permits Congress to make laws only on those few objects which are listed in the Constitution.  The objects on which Congress has authority to make laws applicable throughout our Country are itemized at Art. I, Sec. 8, clauses 1-16 (and in a few of the Amendments).  Since the Federalist Papers are the most authoritative commentary on the true meaning of the Constitution, let us see what those Papers say about the extent of Congress' legislative powers.

The Hate Speech Inquisition.  There isn't a shred of evidence that deranged Tucson massacre suspect Jared Loughner ever listened to talk radio or cared about illegal immigration.  Indeed, after 300 exhaustive interviews, the feds "remain stumped" about his motives, according to Tuesday's Washington Post.  But that hasn't stopped a coalition of power-grabbing politicians, progressive activists and open-borders lobbyists from plying their quack cure for the American body politic:  government-sponsored speech suppression.

Mourning in America.  [Scroll down]  The timing of the [Tucson] tragedy fell right into the left's area of expertise:  Exploiting a crisis for political leverage by blaming it on the opposition, particularly those like Sarah Palin and conservative radio commentators who are perceived as threats to the very survival of liberalism.  In addition to blame, their strategy is always to work toward shredding the U.S. Constitution, in this instance to stomp on the first and second amendments by seeking to limit the free speech of conservatives and to take away the right to own a gun.

We Don't Fetishize the Constitution; We Dread Tyranny.  What we recognize is that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  That is, what it says must be followed, until the text is amended or a new basic law enacted.  Because a Constitution that is not knowable, a Constitution that is twisty-stretchy and dictated by the needs of the moment, is no Constitution at all.  When the law becomes whatever the current ruling clique decrees, then we have taken the first step (and middle, and last) on the road to serfdom.

Another Stupid Idea from the Donkey Side of the Aisle:  Should someone send Rep. Robert Brady a copy of the First Amendment?  According to The Hill, the Democratic lawmaker "plans to introduce legislation that would make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress."

U.S. Congressman Slanders the Constitution.  For more than 200 years, Americans have revered the Constitution as the law of the land, but the GOP and tea party heralding of the document in recent months — and the planned recitation on the House floor Thursday — have caused some Democrats to worry that the charter is being misconstrued as the immutable word of God.  "They are reading it like a sacred text," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the outgoing chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights and civil liberties, who has studied and memorized the Constitution with talmudic intensity.

The Constitutional Hypocrisy of the Left.  The fact is that the Democratic Party and the political Left in this country use the Constitution as nothing less than an instrument of pure demagoguery.  When it suits them to cite it, they do; when it suits them to ignore it, they do; and when neither alternative suits them, they invent phrases out of whole cloth (e.g., "separation of church and state," "jury of one's peers," "freedom of expression," "right to privacy") that exist nowhere in the Constitution and invest these phrases with constitutional authority.

Read it again, John.  I thought it was a good idea for the Constitution to be read aloud on the floor of the House of Representatives as that body kicked off its new session. ... But what seemed like a good idea turned out to be a great one.  For instead of good naturedly going along with the exercise, or suffering in silence, a number of leftists publicly displayed their lack of comfort with, if not contempt for, the Constitution.  Thus, the public received its clearest indication to date that the left regards the words of the Constitution as an impediment to its agenda.

Liberal distaste for the Constitution.  The Constitution was read at the opening of the new session of the House of Representatives yesterday [1/5/2011].  What was most remarkable about this was the almost hysterical opposition from congressional Democrats and left-wing commentators.  In what should have been a united celebration of the nation's foundation document in a period of partisan rancor, liberals instead reinforced the view that they are profoundly uncomfortable with the essential truths underlying American freedom.

Constitution stands for underlying values, principles.  I salute the Republicans of the 112th Congress for their initiative to restore the U.S. Constitution to its legitimate place of prominence in our public discourse.  Reading it aloud at Congress' opening session and requiring members to cite constitutional authority when introducing new legislation are great ideas.  It will help highlight that the real debate is about the underlying defining principles of our nation that the Constitution exists to protect.

Is the Constitution Senile?  The congressional Republicans' decision to read the Constitution aloud on the floor of Congress has forced some Constitution-contemptuous liberals further out of the closet, which is an instructive development to behold. ... Liberals will mock conservatives for their stodgy nationalism and their fealty to a document that is more than 200 years old.  But their arrogance and mockery just serve to confirm their disrespect for our founding institutions.

Congress Rediscovers the Constitution.  The House Republican majority has said it will require members to cite the specific authority for any bill they introduce.

America's Timeless Constitution.  In an interview last Thursday on MSNBC, Post blogger Ezra Klein complained that "the text" of the U.S. Constitution "is confusing because it was written more than 100 years ago and what people believe it says differs from person to person and differs depending on what they want to get done."  He also claimed, without challenge from the MSNBC host, that the Constitution "has no binding power on anything."

Bill of Rights a forgotten document.  According to a survey conducted earlier this month for the Bill of Rights Institute by Harris Interactive, for example, nearly half of the American people — some 42 percent — believe that the communist phrase "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" is part of one of the more important documents in American history.  Through ignorance and forgotten history, Karl Marx has morphed into James Madison in the mind of the American people.  Other aspects of the survey are equally disconcerting, though not necessarily surprising.  Fifty-five percent do not realize that education is not a First Amendment right; despite no such guarantee anywhere in either the Bill of Rights or the body of the original Constitution.

2010: The Year They Came for the Constitution.  [Scroll down]  Time after time, when asked about the constitutionality of their congressional machinations, Democrat legends had a never-ending outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease.  No human being could possibly ascertain whether a bill could be considered constitutional if he or she had never even read the bill.  Yet, over and over again, Democrat Congress members were caught on tape saying exactly that — that they had not even read the bills they were voting on.  This despicable lackadaisical attitude on the part of our lawmakers came into perfect focus the day a giddy-with-power Nancy Pelosi met with reporters just after she had performed the legislative-blitzkrieg passage of ObamaCare.  Still flush with the thrill of pyrrhic victory, Speaker Pelosi was asked whether the bill, especially the individual mandate, was constitutional.  Her response will be remembered in constitutional infamy:  "Are you serious?  Are you serious?"

Messing With Texas:  The federal agency declares Texas unfit to regulate its own greenhouse gas emissions and seizes control of the permitting process.  Jobs, states' rights and the 2012 presidential election are all involved.

Obamacare's unbridled bullying power must end.  Authority to enforce the law is inherent in police powers.  Enforcement means investigations into violations of law.  Given Obamacare's "unbridled" police powers, it would be a historic, massive expansion of government authority to investigate or audit businesses and households.  The power to investigate is the power to bully and deprive people of rights, which is why government investigations are subject to the Fourth Amendment.  Protections under the Fourth Amendment, however, have eroded as Congress expanded use of its powers to regulate interstate commerce.

Political End Runs.  The Constitution of the United States begins with the words "We the people."  But neither the Constitution nor "we the people" will mean anything if politicians and judges can continue to do end runs around both.  Bills passed too fast for anyone to read them are blatant examples of these end runs. ... The Constitution cannot protect us unless we protect the Constitution, by voting out those who promote end runs around it.

The Constitution keeps getting in the way of the left's agenda.  On December 13, 2010, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson signed a Memorandum Opinion declaring unconstitutional a key provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 — better known as ObamaCare. ... The core issue examined by Judge Hudson was whether or not Congress has the power to regulate — and tax — a citizen's decision not to participate in interstate commerce, to wit, the purchase of insurance.  Judge Henry correctly points out in his decision that no reported case from any federal appellate court in history has extended the Commerce Clause to include the regulation of a person's decision not to purchase a product — notwithstanding its effect on interstate commerce.

Constitutional Health Care.  The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights were not written and ratified by the states for the purpose of allowing congressmen free rein to control every aspect of our daily lives.  They were written for the opposite purpose of leaving Americans free.  ObamaCare flagrantly violates that principle.

Rep. Bachmann: Tax Bill Violates Article 1, Section 7 of U.S. Constitution.  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told CNS News that the tax bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday [12/15/2010] violates the U.S. Constitution.  "Article 1, section 7 says that all revenue bills originate in the House and that is our province and, of course, this originated in the Senate," she told CNS News in an interview Wednesday [12/15/2010] on Capitol Hill.

TSA New Enemies List.  The TSA's policy is simply to ignore and overrule the Fourth Amendment, and to resort to brute force.  This is what it regularly tells travelers who question the policy.  It and the DHS will sooner or later decide to ignore and overrule the First Amendment, or freedom of speech.  It can claim that my writing — or anyone else's writing, no matter how calmly or emotionally composed — has caused others to oppose or "disrupt" the TSA's policies.  Whether the actions of those so inspired or so persuaded are criminal in nature, or lawful actions taken under the mantle of the Fourth Amendment, is irrelevant.  The threat implied in that directive is there are certain individuals and organizations that must sooner or later be silenced.

Another Victory for Islamic Jihad Courtesy of the TSA.  [TSA] security procedures are egalitarian in nature and treat all travelers as suspects — except Muslims.  One could even make an argument that the TSA is also violating the Fifth Amendment, without even affording Americans the benefit of a grand jury.  Suspicion of having committed a crime necessarily implies a possible indictment.  But who are one's judges?  Rent-a-cops.  This is not the horrible death that jihadists wish upon infidels, but it is the next best thing.

ObamaCare overreach.  Federal District Court Judge Henry Hudson's ruling yesterday that Congress can't compel Americans to buy health insurance ought to be required reading for Congress members.  They take an oath to uphold the US Constitution, but most members are ignorant of what the document says and routinely enact laws without giving the Constitution a moment's thought.

Resolution to be introduced demanding all legislation cite Constitutional authorization.  New Jersey Republican Rep. Scott Garrett plans to introduce a resolution in the House of Representatives Tuesday [12/7/2010] that would require all legislation to cite an enumerated power in the Constitution that grants authority for the bill's mandate.  Garrett, founder and chairman of the House Constitution Caucus, told The Daily Caller that the resolution is the direct result of the American people's expressed desire for Congress to return to its Constitutional roots.

Leasing Your Life From The State.  The right to own property is actually one of the most intellectually challenging aspects of our Constitutional system, as evidenced by how easily people are willing to abandon the defense of that right for others.  There is towering public outrage at the merest suggestion of compromised First Amendment rights for millionaire actors or musicians, but nary a peep at the idea those same millionaires don't have the right to pass their full estates — built with already-taxed earnings — along to their children.  You don't "own" anything that can be taken away from you when you're no longer alive to defend it.

Power Corrupts.  From the passage of ObamaCare to the offensive TSA screenings, this country's citizens have seen the Constitution trampled upon with little to no acknowledgment that such actions would have caused our forefathers to board a ship to a far-off land in search of liberty and freedom.

FCC Commissioner Calls For Greater Regulation of News Media.  In a Wednesday [12/1/2010] interview on BBC World News America, liberal FCC Commissioner Michael Copps told correspondent Katty Kay:  "I think American media has a bad case of substance abuse right now.... we are going to be pretty close to denying our citizens the essential news and information that they need to have in order to make intelligent decisions about the future direction of their country."

FCC proposal to regulate news draws fire.  Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) pushed back on Monday [12/6/2010] against a contention by a Democratic FCC commissioner that the government should create new regulations to promote diversity in news programming.  Barton was reacting to a proposal made last week by FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who in a speech suggested that broadcasters be subject to a new "public values test" every four years.

A Tyrant's Thinking.  A member of the Federal Communications Commission appears to want Washington in control of broadcast news.  What a shame that people with such ideas are placed in positions of power.

Why the TSA pat-downs and body scans are unconstitutional.  In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, only 32 percent of respondents said they objected to the full-body scans, although 50 percent were opposed to the pat-downs offered as an alternative.  That means opponents of the new measures will have to shift their efforts from the airports to the courts.  One advocacy group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, has already filed a lawsuit, calling the body scanners unconstitutional.  Could this challenge succeed?

U.S. Airports a "Constitutional Twilight Zone".  Much of the opposition to airport body scanners invokes the Constitution; one company is even selling pasties emblazoned with the Fourth Amendment to protect passengers' dignity while passing through scanners.  But the Fourth Amendment, along with most of the Constitution, does not apply in the airport the same way it does in most public spaces.  U.S. airports are a Constitutional "twilight zone" — the rights you have in the outside morph once you step inside the terminal, and it has been this way long before September 11.

Stopping Judicial Imperialism.  If judges are going to act like politicians, then they should be voted out like politicians.  Results of the recent elections showed that growing numbers of Americans are fed up with "public servants" who act as if they are public masters.  This went beyond the usual objections to particular policies.  It was the fact that policies were crammed down our throats, whether we liked them or not. In fact, laws were passed so fast that nobody had time to read them.  Whether these policies were good, bad, or indifferent, the way they were imposed represented a more fundamental threat to the very principles of a self-governing people established by the Constitution of the United States.  Arrogant politicians who do this are dismantling the Constitution piecemeal — which is to say, they are dismantling America.

The U.S. Constitution:  An Agreement by States.  Initially, it must be stated that if there were no Constitution, there would be no United States and, for that matter, no federal government.  The several states at the time of the drafting of the Constitution were each as separate and sovereign as France, Poland, or Germany today.  Recognizing that by virtue of their small size and common borders, there were efficiencies to be realized in such areas as Postal Service, post roads, common defense, border control, international relations, and commerce between and among the states, they entered into a partnership — a business arrangement, if you will — to provide those services necessary to the common protection and promotion of the betterment (the general welfare) of the states as a group and individually.  The partnership agreement is better known by its title:  The United States Constitution.

TSA 'Strip and Grope': Meet the Fourth Amendment.  [Scroll down]  Do these sorts of things violate our rights to be secure in our persons against unreasonable searches?  No act of Congress gave TSA agents the power to do these things; the Congress delegated various powers to the TSA and the TSA developed the procedures, evidently with no little or no adult supervision and even less consideration given to the Fourth Amendment.  It appears that substantial discretion is left to low-level TSA employees in deciding what is "reasonable" — substantially more than is left to more "ordinary" and often better-trained law enforcement officers in deciding whether there is reasonable cause to think that a crime has been or is being committed.

More about the TSA's abusive and invasive searches.

De Facto Shariah Law in America.  Is the United States today a de facto shariah state?  A close look at recent events points to some alarming conclusions about the tenets of shariah law taking hold in our once-proud constitutional republic and the unwitting, unequal application of existing U.S. laws.  The result is that when it comes to religious expression, Muslims now enjoy more freedom of religion and speech under our Bill of Rights than non-Muslims.  Equal protection under the laws of our country holds for Muslims far better than for non-Muslims.  Several recent examples illustrate this point.

Elasticity always has its limits.
NPR is unconstitutional.  Much has been said lately about the Commerce Clause in regards to Obamacare.  What about the Commerce Clause in relation to NPR?  Undoubtably, if NPR's funding is constitutionally justified, it's done using the Commerce Clause with an assist from the "Elastic" Clause.  Everything's done that way.  The founders might as well have taken Article 1, Section 8 and said:  "Congress can do whatever."  But they didn't.  The Commerce Clause states that Congress has the power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States," not to get involved in private business.

Full spending ahead.  [Scroll down]  If the Constitution doesn't say the Congress or President can do it, then they can't!  Unfortunately for us — for We the People — this amendment is utterly ignored by the government it is supposed to restrain.  So, dear citizen, please take a look at Section 8 of Article I of the U.S. Constitution.  It's not hard to do so.  The section runs to less than a page of printed material.

Barack Obama Is No James Madison.  Unfortunately, the ideal of a federal government limited by enumerated powers has eroded, slowly at first but gaining speed and momentum over the years, especially the last two.  Thus, when a reporter for CNSNews asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last September if the Constitution allowed the federal government to require everyone to have health insurance or pay a fine, her response was, "Are you serious?  Are you serious?"  That's why we need a Constitution Day now more than ever!

Our Contemptible Congress.  Rep. Phil Hare, D-Ill., responding to a question during a town hall meeting, said he's "not worried about the Constitution."  That was in response to a question about the constitutionality of Obamacare.  He told his constituents that the Constitution guaranteed each of us "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  Of course, our Constitution guarantees no such thing.  The expression "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is found in our Declaration of Independence.

War On Citizenship.  A U.S. Court of Appeals has invalidated an Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to vote in state and federal elections.  Not only our borders but our voting booths are wide open.

Silencing the Opposition.  The Obama administration has been itching for a way to control the flow of information for almost a year, and multiple approaches have been tried.  But all of these approaches have run into the same snag:  the First Amendment.  President Obama began by creating his own Ministry of Truth, headed up by Cass Sunstein...

Honor the Constitution's limits.  Today's 223rd anniversary of the promulgation of the U.S. Constitution occurs as Americans increasingly insist the federal government honor constitutional limits on federal power.  The backlash against overweening government is boiling over in the Tea Party movement, town-hall meetings, demonstrations on the National Mall and in polling data.

A Party of 'No' Means 'Yes' to Liberty.  Progressives denounce conservative Republicans as the "Party of No," as if they were ignorant and thoughtless. ... It is true that the Bill of Rights of the Constitution denominates a number of significant matters which the federal government is not allowed to control.  Thank Goodness!  Therein lay our freedoms, all of which are positive!  Conservative Republicans are derided by progressives for saying "no" to their liberal/socialistic agenda without offering alternatives.  The Conservative reply should be, "Thank you very much!  We say "YES!" to our Constitutional directives!

Dismantling America.  It is no coincidence that those who imagine themselves so much wiser and nobler than the rest of us should be in the forefront of those who seek to erode Constitutional restrictions on the arbitrary powers of government.  How can our betters impose their superior wisdom and virtue on us, when the Constitution gets in the way at every turn, with all its provisions to safeguard a system based on a self-governing people?  To get their way, the elites must erode or dismantle the Constitution, bit by bit, in one way or another.

Abridging Too Far.  Philadelphia is charging bloggers $300 for a "privilege" license.  In the city where the Declaration of Independence was adopted and the Constitution signed, a right has become a privilege.  The scheme went virtually unreported until the Philadelphia City Paper ran a story last week noting that the city requires privilege licenses for any business engaged in what local tax attorney Michael Mandale terms "activity for profit."

Taking back the Constitution piece by piece.  Improvements [to the Constitution] have come in the form of amendments that accomplished the abolition of slavery and giving women the right to vote.  Those were both long overdue by the time they passed.  But there have also been mistakes made in the amendment process, including the prohibition of alcohol and the decision to turn senators into panderers by making them directly electable by the people instead of through the choice of each state's legislature.  With more than a hundred years of monkey-wrenching the prime law of the land through "progressive" court decisions, there is also lots of damage to undo that is based on "precedent" rather than the plain language of the Constitution.

America's Slipping Grasp on Self-Governance.  The accelerating pace of America's deconstitutionalization is no coincidence.  Over time, the political attacks on our system have become more brazen, while built-in protections have been torn down.  We are now in the precarious position of meeting our tyranny's strongest push with freedom's weakest defense (institutionally speaking).  We face a tough road to recapture our vanishing right to self-government.

Taking Back Our Constitution.  Americans, the Constitution of the United States of America doesn't belong to us anymore.  We have let our guard down one too many times with regard to our constitutional responsibilities, rights, and liberties, and now elected politicians control the document. ... It took a long time for Congress and the government to amass these powers that they have taken from us, and they certainly won't relinquish them as easily as we gave them up.  But with unflinching purpose, we must begin to take the Constitution back, as well as reimpose limits on congressional powers, for the sake of future Americans.

Government 'for the people' turned upside down.  Abraham Lincoln closed his powerful Gettysburg Address during the Civil War by calling for a new resolve "that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."  But today, 147 years after Lincoln spoke, the nation is struggling with another identity crisis:  Our federal government is growing excessively large, tax-hungry, intrusive, and overbearing, contrary to the desires of most "of the people" and contrary to the basic limited-government principles written into the U.S. Constitution.

Abolishing the First Amendment.  Last week, the House of Representatives passed the dishonestly named DISCLOSE Act after weeks of backroom dealings and closed-door meetings.  The bill, which aggressively attempts to limit the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans, was brought to a floor vote after a 45-page amendment was dropped into it the previous evening in the Rules Committee.  For a bill supposedly aimed at disclosure, the process by which it was passed was anything but transparent.

The Tenth Amendment Protects Our Liberty.  The Tenth Amendment embodied a revolutionary concept.  Written just a few years after we had won our independence from Britain, the Constitution fundamentally changed the relationship between people and government.  For millennia, the source of power and authority had always been kings and government, and rights were seen as gifts by grace from the Monarch.  The Constitution inverted that understanding, with sovereignty beginning in the American people — beginning with We the People — and power given to government only to a limited degree.

Second attack on the First Amendment.  Democrats are committed to attacking our First Amendment rights by passing a bill that will limit freedom of speech for groups with whom they disagree. ... The most troubling aspect of this is that the Democrats are fully aware that this legislation will not hold up to the scrutiny of the Supreme Court but, if passed, would have major implications on the upcoming elections because the court probably would not address the issue before November.  This Saul Alinsky-type approach is obvious:  Its goal is to take away our rights as Americans.

To Save the Constitution, Liberals Must First Destroy It.  Although Ray Bradbury's dystopic world of Fahrenheit 451 book banning has not yet become reality, that day may arrive sooner rather than later in view of the Obama administration's rush to control not only physical property such as banks, auto manufacturers, hospitals, drug companies and the like, but also intellectual real estate such as thoughts and ideas.

Constitution of No.  When a reporter asked House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) during a press conference last year where the Constitution granted Congress the authority to enact an individual health-insurance mandate, she answered, "Are you serious?  Are you serious?"  Speaker Pelosi then dismissed the question and moved on to the next reporter.  This exchange illustrates the way "yes we can" liberals treat the Constitution:  They simply ignore it when it gets in the way of their big-government bailouts and takeovers.

Free Speech:  Use It or Lose It.  Recently, independent journalism and blogging have come under attack on multiple fronts.  Congress is considering a new DISCLOSE Act that could force bloggers to file reports with the government stating whether their political speech was coordinated with efforts by corporations or labor unions — whereas traditional news media such as newspapers, magazines, and TV/radio would be exempt.

Health Care Statists on the March.  The American Medical Association's top journal publishes an article calling for startling change to our medical and political system.  Not content with passage of recent health care reform, doctors Samuel Sessions and Allan Detsky suggest that US citizens ignore the literal meaning of the Constitution.  This would allow health reformers to transform the US medical system with fewer roadblocks.

Pity the Constitution.  To the century-old debate about whether the Constitution is "living" or static, we may now add yet another argument, an even more woeful assault on the founding document of our country. ... There's a perfectly reasonable devolution from an established Constitution to a living Constitution to a populist legal system.  The question becomes, if the Constitution is "living," who's breathing life into it?  And with what intentions?

Which political party wants to take away your right to own a gun?
Ohio Democratic Party unsuccessfully tries to get gun records.  The Ohio Democratic Party tried unsuccessfully this week to get information on all people licensed to carry concealed weapons in the Buckeye State.  The state party sent letters to Ohio's 88 sheriffs requesting the names and addresses of permit holders and the dates the licenses were issued.  Ohio has about 211,000 permit holders.

How Did We Get There?  [Scroll down]  Today, it is estimated that two-thirds to three-fourths of federal government expenditures do not have a foundation in its enumerated powers, and nearly all of the regulatory agencies are without any Constitutional foundation.  How did we get there? ... The Tea Party has made a start on the reclamation effort.  It seems to recognize that every dollar spent by the federal government is extracted under threat of imprisonment from one of our fellow citizens.  The journey back to liberty will be long, and it will be difficult.

Michigan Considers Law to License Journalists.  A Michigan lawmaker wants to license reporters to ensure they're credible and vet them for "good moral character."  Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers.

Why not License Politicians Seeking Public Office?.  State Senator Bruce Patterson of Michigan recently rocked the journalism trade with a proposal that would establish a state licensing board for journalists. ... Although Patterson's legislative proposal is not likely to become law any where soon, his reasoning and logic could give rise to another terrific idea:  Why not license politicians seeking public office?

Senate to vote on Obama's power grab.  On Thursday, the Senate will vote on S.J.Res.26, a resolution to block EPA from usurping powers never delegated to it by Congress.  Failure means allowing EPA to go forward, apparently in flagrant violation of our constitutional traditions simply because too many in Congress desire, but can't bear to take responsibility for, more of the Obama agenda.

Lay claim to Constitution — or lose it?  One of the most worrisome social trends today is that many Americans no longer claim ownership of the Constitution.  Every time I write about some constitutional issue, I inevitably hear from some smug liberal scoffing at how "Frank the Constitutional Scholar" knows more than the judges and congressmen who reign in Washington.  Apparently we are supposed to be comfortable with the idea of letting President Obama, Harry Reid and the judges they appoint and confirm tell us what the Constitution means.

Bloggers Beware — They're Coming After You!.  Just when you thought it was safe to start expressing your right to free speech, Democrats in Congress are gearing up for a vote on a new piece of legislation to blatantly undermine the First Amendment.  Known as the DISCLOSE Act (HR 5175), this bill — written by the head of the Democrats' congressional campaign committee — is their response to the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

It's the Constitution that's Radicalizing Our Politicians.  [Scroll down]  Before the passage of the 17th Amendment, members of the Senate were chosen by state legislatures to be the agents of those sovereign governments in Washington, D.C., much like ambassadors today at the United Nations.  While a member of the House would represent the intemperate passions of the people as citizens, a senator would represent the very different interests of the people's state governments.  The interests of the two bodies were purposefully not aligned — their constituencies were different.  The 17th Amendment allowed for the direct election of senators by the citizens of each state.  What the U.S. had prior to 1913 was a bicameral legislature competing bill-by-bill for the direction and scope of the federal government.  Now that both representatives and senators have an identical interest (pandering to the citizenry), Congress is one herd of cattle in two pens.

Constitution in decline.  It's time to reform our administrative state.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was right when she said Congress would have to "pass the health care bill so you can find out what's in it."  That's because the health care bill, like most major laws passed by Congress over the past hundred years, isn't really a law.  Rather, Obamacare is a series of assignments to bureaucrats in the Department of Health and Human Services.  It is emblematic of what scholars call the administrative state, where legislative, executive and judicial powers are delegated to unaccountable experts sequestered in a fourth branch of government.

Seven Reasons Government Has Become Completely Dysfunctional in America.  [Scroll down]  Why do you think we so seldom pass constitutional amendments any more?  In all honesty, it's because Congress and even many of the judges in our court system pay so little attention to the Constitution that they just do anything they want.  That's the biggest reason why our government does so many things slowly, stupidly, and inefficiently:  it's because our system of government was supposed to preclude the government from doing those things in the first place.

Saving Guam from Capsizing All in a Day's Work for U.S. Congressmen.  If anything, the Constitution has been nothing but a menace to politicians.  Because of it, we're currently stuck with democracy.  Thus the morons who make up America actually have power, which is why politicians can't just ignore them and do their important work.  Luckily, as more and more of the economy is controlled by the government and thus politicians, democracy can do less and less damage to the politicians' plans.  Thus this disconnect will become less and less relevant, as citizens will lack the power to do anything with their inane objections.

Congress Has Become an Institution of the Useless.  With the approval rating of the current congressional gaggle hovering somewhere in the single digits, one has to ask:  Can't we do better than this for $174,000 a year and the best benefits package in America?  It takes one's breath away to see the blatant disregard so many of our senators and representatives have for the very Constitution they have sworn to defend.

What kind of nation have we become?  The issue is whether the politicians have violated their oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.  If they have, is anyone going to enforce the law and prosecute these people for this crime?

The States Must Rise Again.  The Constitution is the contract the American people have with one another, and enumerated in it are the rights and responsibilities of all those party to it.  But it has one serious flaw.  It only works if you actually abide by it.

Should Obama Be Impeached?  Obama is purposely undermining the US Constitution.  In doing so, his actions make unstable every institution and office below the presidency, since the Constitution is the foundation of every government power and official decision.

Meet Your Lords and Masters.  There was a time in this country when the government of the United States followed the Constitution and had greatly limited powers.  Today, the Constitution is largely ignored and our Congress can do almost anything it wants — and it does just that.

Government can't force people to buy insurance they don't want.  It is not part of my job as Colorado Attorney General to tell our Congressional delegation how best to reform the nation's health care system.  And I don't see it as my role to opine whether the Patient Protection and Affordability Health Care Act is good public policy.  It is my job however, to defend states' rights and the constitutional rights of Colorado citizens when the federal government oversteps its bounds.

Who owns you?  The risk of 'unlimited submission'.  Thanks to the "judgment" of Congress that it can "create" new rights "ex nihili" (out of nothing) — namely the peculiar right to be forced to buy health insurance — the states, and the individual citizens therein, have fallen under the "dominion, absolute and unlimited," of the federal government.  You will not find anything like this power of Congress in the Constitution, which is why more than a dozen state attorneys general have already filed suits to block the health-care bill from taking effect.

ObamaCare and the Constitution :  The constitutional challenges to ObamaCare have come quickly, and the media are portraying them mostly as hopeless gestures — the political equivalent of Civil War re-enactors.  Discussion over:  You lost, deal with it.  The press corps never dismissed the legal challenges to the war on terror so easily...

Tell Us The Total.  One of the many reasons why so many North Carolinians opposed the ObamaCare legislation is that the process that yielded it was full of backroom deals, prevarication, and confusion.  A republican form of government requires both clarity and transparency on the part of public officials, to whom voters have granted the coercive power of government only grudgingly, with important restrictions and reservations.  You may have seen a list of these restrictions and reservations.  It's colloquially known as the United States Constitution.

The Looting of America:  [Scroll down]  Our enemies aren't necessarily Democrats, and our salvation doesn't automatically reside with Republicans.  Our enemy is corruption, and both parties have a demonstrated spectacular lust for it.  That corruption is enabled by the enormous power concentrated in our oversized, unconstitutional federal government.  Our only hope is fielding and electing candidates determined to drive the federal beast back into its constitutional cage.  The "Roman holiday" is over.  Either we turn away from our porn, drugs, and games and restore our republic, or we board the cattle cars to the gulag.

The Interstate Commerce Clause and the Kitchen Sink:  Despite what liberals want you to believe, the Constitution actually gives very few powers to the federal government; and if that power is not specifically spelled out, it was meant to go to the states.  Let's dispense with the supremacy clause.  Democrats are insisting that federal law always trumps state law when there is a conflict.  (Apparently, that doesn't apply in Chicago when the issue is the 2nd Amendment, however).

Congress and the incredible shrinking Constitution.  The House of Representatives [voted] on the SENATE health-care bill, which is illegal.  The Constitution mandates that "all Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills."  What happened in this case is that the Senate took an unrelated bill that originated in the House, amended it by completely removing the previous provisions and then substituting 2,400 pages of bureaucracy-creating, money-stealing, rights-restricting health-care reform.  This is a blatant end run around the Constitution, and means that Congress can do anything it wants.

The Originalist Perspective.  Written constitutionalism implies that those who make, interpret, and enforce the law ought to be guided by the meaning of the United States Constitution — the supreme law of the land — as it was originally written.  This view came to be seriously eroded over the course of the last century with the rise of the theory of the Constitution as a "living document" with no fixed meaning, subject to changing interpretations according to the spirit of the times.

The Meaning Of The Constitution.  Part of the reason for the Constitution's enduring strength is that it is the complement of the Declaration of Independence.  The Declaration provided the philosophical basis for a government that exercises legitimate power by "the consent of the governed," and it defined the conditions of a free people, whose rights and liberty are derived from their Creator.  The Constitution delineated the structure of government and the rules for its operation, consistent with the creed of human liberty proclaimed in the Declaration.

Rules Committee meeting descends into chaos.  At the House Rules Committee meeting, Democrats desperate to pass their national health care plan are running into the barrier of basic civics. ... I just talked with a Republican rules expert, and it appears that there is nothing in the rules of the House that will prevent Democrats from scheduling the vote for the amendments package before the vote on the Senate bill itself — that is, voting to amend the law before it becomes law.

Pence:  Dems 'So Desperate' to Pass Health Care They'll 'Trample Upon The Constitution'.  Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said Thursday [3/18/2010] that the Democrats' plan to pass the Senate health care bill without a formal vote in the House goes against "our system of government" and shows that Democrats are willing to "trample upon the Constitution itself."

Turning America Into a Banana Republic.  America was a democratic constitutional republic, governed by the rule of law, a beacon of liberty to the entire world.  But no more.  After just one year of Barack Obama's fundamental change, aided by the far left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco, and the easily confused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, America has been transformed from a Constitutional Republic into a Banana Republic.

The Wisdom of Conservatism:  [Thomas Jefferson] favored the kind of government that was established by the U.S. Constitution, the kind of government that was intended to protect individual freedom and to secure peace.  However, over the last hundred years, the government has morphed into a limitless monster swallowing up individual freedom, encouraging irresponsibility, restricting economic growth and creating terrible problems in its wake.

Obama vs. the 10th Amendment.  Not surprisingly, a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released last Friday [2/26/2010] revealed that 56 percent of Americans think the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to their rights and freedoms.  Particularly apropos here is the feds' health care violation of the 10th Amendment, which is part of our Bill of Rights and was ratified Dec. 15, 1791.  The amendment says, "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."

The Constitution:  Another Victim of Obamacare.  Reports have come out today [3/12/2010] that the Parliamentarian has not ruled that the President must sign a law before it is considered a law for reconciliation purposes.  First, they came up with a strategy to get Obamacare passed in the House without the House ever voting on the bill, now they have come up with a strategy and a ruling to get the Obamacare bill to qualify as law without the President signing the law.

The Left's Great Motivator:  The Constitution was established to protect individual rights and liberties against a coercive government.  Indeed, it protects the very smallest minority in this country:  the individual. ... However, the leftist ideologue dismisses the Constitution's original intent and meaning, as it constrains the leftist's pursuit of ideological supremacy.  To confiscate a person's property, redistribute wealth, restrict free speech, or force a person to purchase a product would violate the very principle the Constitution was established upon.

Obama, the Scourge of the Constitution.  Barack Obama taught a University of Chicago Law School course on the U.S. Constitution. ... Presumably, he knows something about the Constitution, but that has not prevented him from ignoring parts of it that he finds inconvenient and undermining others.

Privacy.  In a hearing at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in an effort to overturn a lower court ruling, the Administration argued that a cell phone user has no expectation of privacy therefore the government can subpoena any and all cell phone records at any time for virtually any reason without the need for search warrant issued by a judge. ... Is the real motive to spy on US citizens?  On the surface it certainly appears so.

Police push for warrantless searches of cell phones.  This is an important legal question that remains unresolved:  as our gadgets store more and more information about us, including our appointments, correspondence, and personal photos and videos, what rules should police investigators be required to follow?  The Obama administration and many local prosecutors' answer is that warrantless searches are perfectly constitutional during arrests.

Conservative Leaders Against the Unconstitutional Individual Mandate.  Mandating that individuals must obtain health insurance, and imposing any penalty — civil or criminal — on any private citizen for not purchasing health insurance is not authorized by any provision of the U.S. Constitution.  As such, it is unconstitutional, and should not survive a court challenge on that issue.  Supporters of the legislation have incorrectly contended that the legal justification for the mandate is authorized by the Commerce Clause, the General Welfare Clause, or the Taxing and Spending Clause.  Given that this mandate provision is essential to Obamacare; its unconstitutionality renders the entire program untenable.

The Editor says...
Don't get too confident that the Supreme Court will naturally find Obamacare to be unconstitutional, especially if he can put another couple of leftists on the court before this question comes up.  Remember, President George W. Bush signed "campaign finance reform"* into law assuming the Supreme Court would throw it out, and of course, they didn't, and we're stuck with it.

The Constitutional Crisis and the Security Crisis.  [Scroll down]  First, there is the matter of the ongoing constitutional crisis that, as al-Qaeda's attempted Christmas Day attack amply demonstrates, is now endangering our nation.  The Constitution gives the political branches plenary responsibility for the conduct of war. The conduct of war includes the detention, trial, or release of enemy combatants. The federal courts have no role except the one they have usurped.  This brazen power grab flouts the bedrock constitutional separation of powers, and the political branches do not have to abide it.  Indeed, as national defense is their chief responsibility, it is their duty not to abide it.

Reid Bill Says Future Congresses Cannot Repeal Parts of Reid Bill.  Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) pointed out some rather astounding language in the Senate health care bill during floor remarks tonight.  First, he noted that there are a number of changes to Senate rules in the bill — and it's supposed to take a 2/3 vote to change the rules.  And then he pointed out that the Reid bill declares on page 1020 that the Independent Medicare Advisory Board cannot be repealed by future Congresses. ... The Democrats aren't playing by the rules; they may be violating the Constitution.

Richard Epstein:  The Reid Bill Is Blatantly Unconstitutional.  At PointOfLaw.com, the distinguished University of Chicago constitutional scholar Richard Epstein provides a painstaking, withering analysis of the healthcare legislation wending its way through the Senate.  He concludes that it is clearly unconstitutional.  The essay is lengthy and, in places, complex; but it is brilliantly done, accessible, and compelling.

Why the Reid Bill is Unconstitutional.  Senator Orrin Hatch has long urged that the legislation is unconstitutional for its overreaching on individual choice.  This paper focuses on the constitutional question in the ratemaking context, by comparison to analogous regulations in the context of public-utility regulation.

Health Care Not In Constitution.  Sen. Dianne Feinstein says it comes under the Commerce Clause. Rep. Steny Hoyer says it's mandated by the "general welfare" clause.  Despite liberal wishes, health care is not a right.  The "living Constitution" that Democrats and their court appointees have given us may be the death of our freedoms.  Their constitution adapts to the times and serves the whims of the elitists.  The Constitution is supposed to limit government powers.  It does not allow government to do anything it feels like doing.

Constitutionally, the next time.  Thanks in great part to the new, alternative and social media, people are talking and writing about the Constitution — certainly more than I've seen in my lifetime.

A Minority View:  Constitutional Contempt.  At Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Oct. 29th press conference, a CNS News reporter asked, "Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?"  Speaker Pelosi responded, "Are you serious?  Are you serious?"  The reporter said, "Yes, yes, I am."  Not responding further, Pelosi shook her head and took a question from another reporter.

[Dispensing] with the Constitution?  Much has been made recently of the unconstitutionality of federal health care reform, especially a government-run system (the "public option") that could devolve into a "single-payer" system.  The main objection is that the federal government has no authority to operate a health care system.  Indeed, the 9th and 10th Amendments forbid it, according to Larrey Anderson of American Thinker.

Freedom or slavery?  You make the call.  Health-care reform?  Let's call it what it is — theft.  Or if you prefer, "redistribution of wealth."  The problem is, no matter what you call it, too many Americans are in favor of requisitioning money from other Americans to pay for the health care of strangers.  And they don't care if it is legal or not.  That's because most Americans have not bothered to educate themselves about the principles on which our country was founded, nor about the rocks on which it will founder if it abandons those principles.

What our founders couldn't foresee.  This once-great nation is coming apart at the seams. ... This wonderful system has survived the rough and tough tumble of political discourse for more than two hundred years.  It survived because, despite their differences, the vast majority of Americans were in absolute agreement about the purpose and goals of the government created by the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. ... [But now,] Only a handful of Americans are aware of these enumerated powers, or where to find them.  Today, the federal government is as dictatorial as King George ever was...

Filibustering to Preserve the Constitution.  There is no question that [David] Hamilton, a former fundraiser for ACORN and board member of the ACLU, is a radical.  He has plainly said that judges have the right to amend the Constitution by writing "a series of footnotes to the Constitution."  Hamilton believes judges have the ability to make the law and has demonstrated his determination to implement his own views on social issues instead of following the precedents of the Supreme Court.  He was chastised by the Seventh Circuit for refusing for seven years to allow Indiana to implement an informed consent abortion law despite the Supreme Court's approval of such laws.  Even the ABA rated him as "not qualified" when he was first proposed for a federal district court judgeship.

Can the 10th Amendment save us?  Does the U.S. Constitution stand for anything in an era of government excess?  Can that founding document, which is supposed to restrain the power and reach of a centralized federal government, slow down the juggernaut of czars, health insurance overhaul and anything else this administration and Congress wish to do that is not in the Constitution?

Sen. Hatch Questions Constitutionality of Obamacare.  Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who has served in the Senate for 33 years and is a longtime member of the Judiciary Committee, told CNSNews.com that he does not believe the Democrats' health-care reform plan is constitutionally justifiable, noting that if the federal government can force Americans to buy health insurance "then there is literally nothing the federal government can't force us to do."

You Might Be a Constitutionalist if...  [#1]  You might be a Constitutionalist if you believe that every congressman, senator, President, and Supreme Court justice is required to obey the U.S. Constitution.  [#2]  You might be a Constitutionalist if you believe that before the United States invades and occupies another country, Congress must first declare war.  [#3]  You might be a Constitutionalist if you believe the federal government should live within its means, like everyone else is forced to do.

Pelosi Rebuffs Constitutional Question.  [Judge Andrew] Napolitano says Congress has conveniently forgotten that the federal government was granted specific enumerated powers, limited by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.  The power to regulate interstate commerce was intended to keep regular the trade between states and eliminate unfair in-state advantages.  Stretching the interpretation of interstate commerce regulation that Pelosi and others are attempting to do, and applying it to a very intimate matter like health care is far beyond the scope of the Commerce Clause.

No Health Care in the Constitution.  Notice that the Constitution doesn't say the "general welfare of the citizens of the United States."  It says "general Welfare of the United States."  This clause only gives the Congress the power to raise money to defend the country and pay for the day-to-day operations of the government.  It says nothing at all about building bridges to nowhere, or paving bike paths, or spending money on any other kind of pork barrel project — including health care.

Nor does the Constitution authorize the exploration of other planets.

Silencing Voices for School Choice.  President Obama isn't taking kindly to a television ad that criticizes his opposition to a popular scholarship program for poor children, and his administration wants the ad pulled.  Former D.C. Councilmember Kevin Chavous of D.C. Children First said October 16 that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder had recently approached him and told him to kill the ad.

Where does the Constitution Authorize Congress to Order Americans to Buy Health Insurance?  [Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick] Leahy, whose committee is responsible for vetting Supreme Court nominees, was asked by CNSNews.com where in the Constitution Congress is specifically granted the authority to require that every American purchase health insurance.  Leahy answered by saying that "nobody questions" Congress' authority for such an action.

Pelosi:  'Are You Serious?' When Asked About Constitutional Authority.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did not explain where Congress gets the authority to force Americans to buy health insurance, when asked by CNSNews.com, and dismissed the query with the response, "Are you serious?  Are you serious?"

In response to the same question...
Sen. Ben Nelson:  'I'm Not Going to Be Able to Answer That Question'.  Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) told CNSNews.com that because he is not a constitutional scholar he was "not going to be able to answer that question" of where specifically the Constitution authorizes Congress to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance.

Dems Shred The Constitution.  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says it's constitutional to mandate insurance coverage.  Congress, he insists, has "broad authority" to make us buy things to provide for the "general welfare."  Democrats' Alice In Wonderland interpretation of what they consider to be a "living Constitution," where words mean what they say they mean based on political considerations, gets more bizarre by the minute.

Rule of Law versus Legislative Orders.  The reason baseball games end peaceably, and players and team owners are generally satisfied with the process, whether they win or lose, is that baseball rules are known in advance.  They apply to all players.  They are fixed, and umpires don't make up rules as they go along. ... That Americans have become ruled by orders and special privileges helps explain all the lobbyists, money, and graft in Washington.  We've moved away from a government with limited powers, as our Founders envisioned, to one with awesome powers.

The Education of Congressman Hoyer.  Congress is moving closer to enacting a law requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance.  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says that this is "like paying taxes."  He's right about that.  But Hoyer made this statement as part of an effort to justify the health-care mandate on constitutional grounds.  Here he indicates that he doesn't understand the Constitution that he took an oath to support.  When asked what power the Constitution gives to Congress to enact this legislation, Hoyer claimed that it came from the Constitution's "general welfare" clause.

Do Not Blame Barack.  [Scroll down]  When I hear the [tea party] protesters complain about the violation of the Constitution, I have to wonder we [sic] they've been.  Did they miss the activist 1947 "separation of church and state ruling"?  Have they learned about FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society?  Don't they realize that the federal government long ago exceeded its constitutional bounds?  Where is the constitutional mandate for Uncle Scam to involve itself in and/or fund housing, food stamps, farm subsidies, Medicaid, global-warming research, mass transit, and school sports programs?

Mandatory Insurance Is Unconstitutional.  Federal legislation requiring that every American have health insurance is part of all the major health-care reform plans now being considered in Washington.  Such a mandate, however, would expand the federal government's authority over individual Americans to an unprecedented degree.  It is also profoundly unconstitutional.

Czarist Washington.  The Framers of the Constitution knew that the document founding our democracy must be the anchor of liberty and the blueprint for its preservation. Wisely, they provided a balance of powers to ensure that no individual and no single arm of government could ever wield unchecked authority against the American people.

Did someone mention President Obama's czars?

Health-Care Reform and the Constitution.  Last week, I asked South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, where in the Constitution it authorizes the federal government to regulate the delivery of health care.  He replied:  "There's nothing in the Constitution that says that the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do."  Then he shot back:  "How about [you] show me where in the Constitution it prohibits the federal government from doing this?"  Rep. Clyburn, like many of his colleagues, seems to have conveniently forgotten that the federal government has only specific enumerated powers.  He also seems to have overlooked the Ninth and 10th Amendments, which limit Congress's powers only to those granted in the Constitution.

Constitution Day — What Constitution?  Americans are slow to rile, but in the end it will come down to millions of them preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States, thus their freedom and liberty, by any and all means.  What we are witnessing today is nothing less than an avalanche of freedom that has been triggered by a government who has lost all allegiance to the constitutional limits on its power and a collection of traitors who have thumbed their collective noses at the consent of the governed.

The Left's new enemy:  'Tenthers'.  Some on the left see them as radical and infinitely more dangerous than the birthers. ... Who are the dastardly people who are now unhinging the left?  They are the "Tenthers," those who believe the 10th Amendment — reserving to the states and the people all powers not delegated to the federal government nor prohibited to the states — isn't dead letter.

The Editor says...
Scoff at the Constitution if you like, but you'll miss it when it's gone.

Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?  Where in the U.S. Constitution does it say the government can force people to buy health insurance?  And by what authority does it prohibit the purchasing of insurance across state lines?

The Brevity Act:  Time for a 28th Amendment.  Earlier this year, Congress passed a "Stimulus" Bill.  It was 973 pages long.  This past Friday, the House passed a "Climate Change" Bill.  It was more than 1200 pages long.  This got me wondering:  how long, exactly, is our Constitution?  How many pages did it take our country's founders to lay out the structure and functions of our Federal Government?

Congress Needs A Read-The-Bill Bill.  Lawmakers voted on the stimulus and global warming bills without having read either.  Eventually they'll vote on health care legislation that could fund unrelated items.  Time to end this systemic fraud.  The stimulus bill, signed into law less than a month after Barack Obama took office, reached 1,434 pages and will eventually cost the nation more than $1 trillion.

Bailing Out of the Constitution.  It is high time Americans heard an argument that might turn a vague national uneasiness into a vivid awareness of something going very wrong.  The argument is that the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) is unconstitutional.

It ain't America no more.  In America, school security guards don't get to revise the First Amendment to suit their whims.  Nobody does.  But that's exactly what happened at a Reston town-hall meeting sponsored by Alexandria Democratic Rep. James P. Moran last week.  Fairfax County Public School Security Officer Wesley Cheeks Jr. took it upon himself to decide that one sign — among a panoply found outside the event — crossed the line.

Is the United States of America Doomed?  America has faced grave crises previously:  the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Depression, Fascism, and Communism.  In every instance, we managed to prevail.  But with diminishing self-esteem prevalent, it is easy to be pessimistic about our prevailing again.  And yet we have ammunition in this battle that Europe lacks — such as, God-fearing people, a formidable military, guns in the closet, talk radio and of course our Constitution.

Majority believe government is doing too much.  A new Gallup poll shows that the number of people who believe government has its hand in too many areas of American life has reached its highest point in more than a decade.

Americans More Likely to Say Government Doing Too Much.  Americans are more likely today than in the recent past to believe that government is taking on too much responsibility for solving the nation's problems and is over-regulating business.  New Gallup data show that 57% of Americans say the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to businesses and individuals, and 45% say there is too much government regulation of business.  Both reflect the highest such readings in more than a decade.

Introducing the Tenth Amendment.  The question to be explored is this.  By what authority does the federal government intervene in health care?  Ah, the stumper!  This is the kind of question that reduces arguments to sputtering. ... The idea that government (whatever that is) exists to fix problems (whatever they are) is so ingrained in the common mentality that the very question of what is proper is not even considered.  Surely only cranks and constitutional fossils would ever go there!  But, of course, our founding fathers started there.

Health Care and the Ailing Constitution.  Here's the question I didn't get a chance to ask President Obama when he stopped by Montana recently.  So far as I know, no one else has asked it of him either:  "If the federal role in health care is not enumerated in the Constitution, and it isn't, then shouldn't it be reserved to the states or the people as guaranteed by the 10th Amendment?"

Charity and the good ol' Constitution.  "Where do you find in the Constitution any authority to give away the public money in charity?"  It might be a question out of today's headlines, but it isn't. ... That question was asked not of President Obama nor of Sen. Max Baucus or Rep. Nancy Pelosi, but of the less well-known Tennessee congressman, David Crockett.

Mark of the True Conservative.  As on his radio show, so in this book, [Mark] Levin is unapologetic in his indictment of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and successive generations of FDR acolytes — including LBJ and BHO — for perpetrating a "counterrevolution" against the limited government prescribed by our Constitution and for creating and expanding a welfare state that breeds dependency in the people and that — if not soon dismantled — will bankrupt our nation.

America's True Genius.  The Founding Fathers designed our Constitution so as to make it very difficult to bring about significant changes.  New legislation requires majorities in both houses of Congress followed by a presidential signature. ... This suggests the Founding Fathers were suspicious of quick and easy change.  The actual genius of America, and what makes our country unique, is precisely the opposite of change.

Has the US Run Amuck Constitutionally?  The Ninth and 10th amendments specify that the federal government may not do anything that isn't spelled out in the Constitution.  That is why, after citing 200 pages of constitutional abuses and violations by our government, Judge Andrew P. Napolitano concludes in his book "Constitutional Chaos" that the whole government has run amuck constitutionally, and we must question and be leery of its future motivations and decisions.

The easiest way to add two more Democratic Senators.
Statehood for D.C.?  The District [of Columbia] was allotted a delegate in 1970 precisely because the Constitution doesn't permit it to be given a representative.  In 1978, Congress passed a constitutional amendment to grant the District a representative and senators because a statute couldn't grant the representation.  The amendment failed when only 16 states ratified it within seven years.

Congress needs tutorial on the U.S. Constitution.  Some federal employees are griping because a new law requires them to take a 25-minute tutorial on the U.S. Constitution.  Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., … deserves our thanks for this great idea because most Americans, including public officials, are abysmally ignorant of the text and the meaning of our Constitution.  The only thing the matter with his law is that he should have required a constitutional tutorial to be taken by judges and members of Congress.

The Lincoln Legacy Revisited.  The Founding Fathers established the Constitutional Union as a voluntary agreement among the several states, subordinate to The Declaration of Independence, which never mentions the nation as a singular entity, but instead repeatedly references the states as sovereign bodies, unanimously asserting their independence.

Signing Away Our Constitution:  The Bush administration has adopted the use of the signing statement, affixed to legislation when signed into law, as a means by which the legislative power may be more fully exercised by the office of the president, despite and against the Constitution's sole delegation of this power to Congress.

No child left behind — Republican ode to socialism.  The Constitution grants no authority for the federal government to be involved in education, and for good reason:  centralizing all learning in one distant spot is a stupid, narrow, dangerous, communist idea, one which has throughout all the world's history led to despotism and slavery.  Thus our forefathers limited federal power to a few necessary objects like national defense and foreign policy, and not at all to education.

Is it permissible?  In February 1887, President Grover Cleveland, upon vetoing a bill appropriating money to aid drought-stricken farmers in Texas, said, "I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and the duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit."

Back to the Constitution.  "The Heritage Guide to the Constitution" is an essential reference book for anyone interested in our nation or in democracy in general.

Is Anything Not Interstate Commerce?  It is doubtful a single member of Congress — except Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican — truly wants a Supreme Court that is serious about the Constitution's limits on congressional power.

A living Constitution for a dying Republic:  FDR's extra-constitutional exploits opened the door for the judiciary to … read into the Constitution what was necessary to make it conform to the demands of the prevailing political will.

The issue here isn't medical marijuana, it's the Tenth Amendment.
The high cost of nuances:  The question before the Supreme Court was not whether allowing the medicinal use of marijuana was a good policy or a bad policy. The legal question was whether Congress had the authority under the Constitution to regulate something that happened entirely within the boundaries of a given state.

Watergate and the Weather Underground:  It was Nixon, after all, who (in defiance of the Constitution) created the Environmental Protection Agency.  He signed the law creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; enacted wage and price controls; expanded the size and reach of the "civil rights" enforcement bureaucracy; and in manifold other ways abetted the growth of the regulatory leviathan.  Compared to the routine crimes against the Constitution committed by Nixon by way of official policy, Watergate was little more than a series of silly pranks.

The Federal Monopoly:  Both sides in the actual Civil War were engaged in subjugation.  The South was protecting chattel slavery; the North was denying the right of secession on which this country was founded.  At the time the Constitution was adopted, several states, including Virginia and New York, ratified it on the express condition that they might withdraw from the Union at any time they deemed it in their interest to do so.

"We the People":  A Mandate or a Motto?  Article V of the Constitution provides the process by which the Constitution may be amended.  That process does not permit the judiciary to do so by issuing rulings that contradict the Constitution or by creating "constitutional" rights that do not exist in the Constitution.  When that happens, as can be seen in some of this year's Supreme Court decisions, it is a government of men and not of laws.  Consequently, "We the People" ceases to be a mandate and is reduced to a mere motto bereft of meaning.

Parting company is an option:  Every single bit of evidence shows that states have a right to secede.  There's absolutely nothing in the Constitution that prohibits secession.  What stops secession is the brute force of a mighty federal government, as witnessed by the costly War of 1861.

Support the Liberty Bill Act  and put the Constitution on our dollars.  Four years ago students from Liberty Middle School in Ashland, Virginia developed a presentation about the Constitution.  In working with the kids, their teacher, Randy Wright, had a thought:  wouldn't it be great if our dollars carried a copy of the Constitution on back?  The kids liked the idea so much they decided to push politicians at all levels to make it happen.
( http://www.libertydollarbill.org - the Liberty Bill Act web site. )

Eradicating the Constitution:  Socialism is not in desperate retreat, as falsely proclaimed by the establishment press.  On the contrary, it moves forward confidently, aggressively and, for the most part, uncontested everywhere in the world.

Nelson bill would abolish Electoral College.  Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College on Friday [6/6/2008], less than a week after the Democrats settled on how to handle delegates from Florida at their national convention.  "It's time for Congress to really give Americans the power of one-person, one-vote, instead of the political machinery selecting candidates and electing our president," Nelson said in a release announcing the amendment.

Crime Fighters vs. the Constitution.  The authors of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act did not even pretend they were exercising powers granted by the Constitution.  This week the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether they were, focusing on a provision of the 2006 law that permits civil commitment of federal prisoners deemed to be "sexually dangerous."  Such preventive detention is bad enough when states do it, since it keeps people locked up indefinitely after they have completed their sentences, based not on crimes they have committed but on crimes they might commit.  The federal version is even worse.

The Lawless State:  Sometimes the deepest changes in a political system sneak in almost unnoticed.  So it has been in the United States, which has quietly shifted from being a decentralized federal republic to being a centralized democracy. … If the Founding Fathers could see us now, they'd surely ask, "How on earth did you get yourselves into this mess?"  We've managed to do nearly everything the Constitution was designed to prevent us from doing.

None Dare Call It Fascism.  Fascism operates under the principle of "might makes right," through the exercise of raw, naked governmental police power.  In America today, the increasingly rough-shod violation of constitutional rights by government agents in the name of "protecting the environment" or the "war on drugs" is an indication of how far we are proceeding in this direction.

Let's do some detective work.  Today's White House proposes and Congress taxes and spends for anything they can muster a majority vote on.  My investigative query is:  Were the Founders and previous congressmen and presidents, who could not find constitutional authority for today's bread and circuses, just plain stupid and ignorant?

Getting back our liberties:  We all have a moral obligation to pay our share for constitutionally mandated functions of the federal government, but we have no such obligation to have Congress take the earnings of one American and give them to another American.  Forcing one American to serve the purposes of another is one way slavery can be defined.

Job security:  Americans have suffered decades of nutty decisions from the Supreme Court.  At the present time our precious American values are on the line, as arrogant judges decide for the rest of us how we should live our lives.  Now they purport to tell us how we can worship our God even though the Constitution clearly forbids their meddling.

The Price of Incremental Lawlessness:  Article X of the Bill of Rights prohibits the federal government from authority to regulate our lives in any areas other than what is specifically given the federal government by the Constitution.  Where in the Constitution is the federal government given power to regulate education, medical care, social welfare, or the private ownership of guns?

Back to Basics:  Our founding fathers gave us a Constitutional Republic.  Because of them, we were born free.  Nevertheless, we could die slaves because we have lost sight of basic truths.

A Citizen's Guide to the Constitution.  Needless to say, the roles and relationships of the people, the states, and the federal government to each other are still an issue 230 years later, and they are the subject of numerous other provisions of the Constitution that [Seth] Lipsky annotates in an equally interesting fashion.

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The Bill of Rights is Taking a Beating

You may be interested in reading The Fourth Amendment, with legal notes.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

Ministry of Truth, Obama-style.  President Obama has been agitating for the authority to criminalize political opponents since he took office.  First there was the raft of DHS reports profiling conservatives as terrorists.  Then came the push for a new fairness doctrine, subsequently refined to be achieved in diversity regulations to be imposed on local radio stations.  Following these attacks on free speech was the much debated hate crimes legislation, considered by many to be a back-door path to silencing critics of the administration.  But, while dangerous to free speech, none of these draconian policies could do as much damage as new regulatory czar Cass Sunstein's shocking proposal to ban "falsehoods" — a term left up to the Obama administration to define.  If Sunstein succeeds, free speech will be truly dead in America.

FTC has no business in media business.  There is nothing in the Constitution — zero, nada — that authorizes government to fund private news organizations, to choose "certain types of news organizations" for special tax favors, or to define what are "optimal amounts and types of journalism," most especially not including "public affairs coverage."  People in journalism had better wake up now before this funeral train for press freedom leaves the station.

Publisher Accuses Reid of 'Bullying' Nevada Newspaper.  The publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told his advertising director he wants the newspaper "out of business."

Court OKs barring religious tunes at graduation.  A divided federal appeals court on Tuesday [9/8/2009] upheld a school district's refusal to let a band play a religious piece at a high school graduation, saying the superintendent had reasonably decided to avoid a constitutional controversy by ordering a secular program.

Computers, Customs, and You.  Without a warrant, probable cause or even the faintest suspicion, US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) may decide to search your computer and all its files, your cell phone, and iPod when you return home from abroad.  It offers the usual excuse for eviscerating the Fourth Amendment:  "Our ability to inspect what is coming into the United States is central to keeping dangerous people and things from entering the country and harming the American people."  Actually, its ability to inspect is harming the American people since Customs' warrantless rummaging sends some victims to prison.

Bozell to FTC:  Keep Your Paws Out of the News Media.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced plans for a two-day workshop in December to examine the state of the news industry — which could lead to recommendations for legislation to regulate print, television, and even online media on everything from changes in anti-trust land copyright law to media tax breaks.  Some of the proposals being pushed by opinion leaders include direct government funding of media outlets...

FTC Plans to Study Journalism's Woes — and That's a Problem.  The Federal Trade Commission is scheduling public workshops on the media — two full days to examine the problems of journalism.  Please permit me to be subtle:  What a DUMB idea!!!  This is the Federal Trade Commission we're talking about.

End Run on Free Speech.  [Some] analyses treat free speech as not an inherent good but as a merely instrumental good, something justified by serving other ends — therefore something to be balanced against, and abridged to advance, other goods.  The good for which Zephyr Teachout would regulate speech is combating corruption, which, as she understands it, encompasses most of contemporary politics.  A visiting law professor at Duke, writing in the Cornell Law Review, she makes an astonishingly far-reaching argument for emancipating government from First Amendment restrictions on its powers to regulate political speech — speech about the government's composition and conduct.

The ID Passes on Pass ID.  Once again our federal government is trampling all over the U.S. Constitution, specifically the 10th Amendment, as well as sacrificing our right to privacy and our beloved belief that an individual is innocent until found guilty by a court of law.  By mandating certain criteria and information, specifically biometric information (fingerprints and digital facial recognition friendly photos), be contained on state issued drivers licenses, the federal government dictates to the states of the Republic what is to be the purview of the states and the states alone.

School prayer charges stir protests.  Students, teachers and local pastors are protesting over a court case involving a northern Florida school principal and an athletic director who are facing criminal charges and up to six months in jail over their offer of a mealtime prayer.

Against the Rulers of Darkness.  We are involved in a war. It is a war between differing political ideologies, mind-sets, and world-views. ... At its heart, it is a war between spirituality and egoism, a war between truth and falsehood, between right and wrong.  As I write this, two Florida teachers may lose their retirement benefits, and spend six months in jail for their "flagrant" violation of the First Amendment.  Their crime?  They said Grace before eating a meal, while on school grounds.

Rediscovering the 10th Amendment — Too Little, Too Late.  In describing the constant blatant assault on the Constitution, one hardly knows where to start.  The federal government runs Social Security, a 50-state Ponzi scheme that makes Bernie Madoff look like an underachiever.  What about Medicaid?  It is a federal/state program of health care for the poor.  What about the Department of Education?  It unconstitutionally involves the federal government in state-run education and comes with rules and mandates attached to the money.

Cooperate, Or Else!  In a free society, the criminal laws are supposed to be clear so that citizens will know what conduct is prohibited.  With the Hiibel ruling, the Supreme Court has created a situation where ordinary Americans cannot be sure if they are invoking their constitutionally-guaranteed rights or whether they are committing a crime.

A clear violation of the 4th amendment:
Workers coming inside to assess a home's worth.  Don't look now, but that could be the Norfolk real estate assessor at your door.  Not content with merely taking a gander at the exterior of your abode, and factoring in building permits and sales of comparable houses, Deborah Bunn and her lieutenants want to snoop around inside to determine your castle's worth.

Picking us off one at a time.  Every week, 15 women gathered at Diane Reiter's Denver home for Bible study, prayer and dinner.  There was no loud music, speeches or other noise.  Nonetheless, the Denver zoning administration served Reiter with a cease-and-desist order citing a municipal ordinance that prohibits more than one "prayer meeting" a month in a private home.

Conveniently Tightening the Noose:  State Senator Moe Keller (D-Jefferson) has introduced a bill, SB 48, that would outlaw the right of citizens to use the telephone to alert their fellows to actions taking place in the Legislature!  Unless you, the citizen, had "a prior relationship" with people being contacted, it would be illegal.  That's right, general citizen alerts are specifically verboten.

Volunteer:  Vets Hospital Taking Away Freedom of Religion, Speech.  It's a house of worship with none of the symbols.  There are no crosses or Bibles on display at the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center chapel.  Blinds cover elaborate stained glass windows.  The reason is a federal policy from the 1950s, but one volunteer says it has been taken too far.  Laud Pitt plans to hand out Christmas cards at the hospital Tuesday.  But to do it, he says, he'll have to be escorted by the chaplain.

MIT Students Gagged by Federal Court Judge.  Three students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) were ordered this morning [8/9/2008] by a federal court judge to cancel their scheduled presentation about vulnerabilities in Boston's transit fare payment system, violating their First Amendment right to discuss their important research.

Update:
Boston judge tosses MIT students' gag order.  U.S. District Judge George A. O'Toole, Jr., vacated the temporary 10-day gag order that another judge had instituted against the three MIT students who were prevented from presenting a talk on security vulnerabilities in the Boston subway's fare tickets and cards.  The judge also threw out a request by the MBTA to expand the restraining order.

Gun nonsense in Mississippi.  Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Frank Melton has received extensive criticism for his unusual approach to fighting crime.  Melton has accompanied police officers as they conduct warrantless searches of homes, cars, and individuals.  The mayor has even placed private citizens in "protective custody" without alerting the local district attorney.  They may call it "protective custody" in Jackson, but it looks more like kidnapping from where I'm sitting.

The DC Gun Ban:  Understand that residents of DC can be convicted of a felony and put in prison simply for having a gun in their home, even if they live in a very dangerous neighborhood.  The DC gun ban is no joke, and the legal challenges to the ban are not simply academic exercises.  People's lives and safety are at stake.  Gun control historically serves as a gateway to tyranny.  Tyrants from Hitler to Mao to Stalin have sought to disarm their own citizens, for the simple reason that unarmed people are easier to control.

Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border.  Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.  Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Editor says...
This is clearly a violation of the Fourth Amendment, in the absence of probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

Public Pressure Mounts Against Invasive Border Searches.  Random, invasive laptop searches and other digital privacy violations at the U.S. border are facing increasing pressure from the public and Congress.  One of the big complaints EFF and others have had is the lack of information and accountability about the intrusive examination of computer files, cell phone directories, and other private information — and the indiscriminate copying of that data — as Americans come back home from overseas.

Unsuspected travelers' laptops may be detained at border.  This rings all alarm bells (also, the words 'police state' come to mind).  I think that anyone who is considering traveling to the US should think twice before doing so.  I wonder what would happen to anyone who has the 'wrong' combination of digital data and paperwork on him ...

Now They'll Take Your Laptop.  [Scroll down slowly]  Being "randomly" wanded and frisked at an airport-security checkpoint is bad enough, but at least the inconvenience is brief.  But the new seizure policy essentially keeps law-abiding business travelers, with their entire professional lives on laptops, hostage to a government agency and prevents them from doing their jobs -- again, all without a hint of probable cause.  That's more than an annoyance:  It's official theft of your ability to make a living.

It sounds like Big Brother is waiting at the airport.



"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."



LA bans racist 'N-word'.  Los Angeles on Friday [11/09/2007] voted to ban the racist "N-word" with city councillors saying they hope the symbolic gesture will stop people from using the epithet in any context. … America's much-cherished constitutional right to free speech means anyone using the insult within Los Angeles is not committing a crime.  An identical measure has already been passed in New York.

The Editor says...
Some words are offensive to some people; some are offensive to nearly everybody.  But their use is protected by the First Amendment, even if the speaker lacks self control and common decency.

The End of "The Right to Remain Silent":  Every kid who has watched a re-run of TV cop shows knows that "you have the right to remain silent" when the police come knocking.  Except that, now, you don't.  In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District of Nevada, the Supreme Court, in one stroke, turned Justice Jackson's advice on its head, and turned generations of TV cop shows into so much false advertising.  Silence, said the Court, is not only not privileged:  it can get you thrown in jail.

Court rules home worship OK.  A federal court ruled a Florida county cannot prohibit a rabbi from holding prayer and worship services in his own home.  Rabbi Joseph Konikov of Orlando was faced with two land-use ordinance violations filed by Orange County.

[Why was that even debatable?]

"Speak English" sign ruling appealed.  A tavern owner is asking a state agency to reconsider a controversial ruling that declared as discriminatory a sign that says, "For Service Speak English." … If the ruling stands, tavern owner Tom Ullum could be ordered to remove the sign, undergo diversity training and pay for anti-discrimination advertising.

Vehicle Searches Allowed on Ferries, The Fourth Amendment Notwithstanding.  Steve Reinmuth, senior deputy attorney general, said that constitutional prohibition was preempted by an order the Coast Guard issued June 21 [2004].  Rear Adm. Jeffrey Garrett, commander of the Coast Guard's 13th District, said the order requires Washington State Ferries to comply with all federal maritime-security requirements effective July 1 — including physical inspections, if necessary.  He would not provide a copy of the order, again citing security concerns.

 Editor's Note:   This is particularly interesting.  Not only has the Coast Guard issued an order superseding the Fourth Amendment, they won't even publish the order.  How are Americans expected to obey laws that can't be made public?

A blow to the Fourth Amendment.  With one "stroke of the pen" the protection We the People have enjoyed against "unreasonable searches and seizures," which has stood for well more than two centuries, has been blue-lined into oblivion, at least in three states of the union.  Police are now free in virtually every instance, to search a person's home or office without a warrant, and without any cause to believe there is contraband therein or a reasonable belief they are in danger.

End election-law nonsense.  We're riding a camel here of destructive impingements on the First Amendment. … I say, pile on the incursions, pile on the devaluing of our rights.  Pile it all on until finally, hopefully, we can break this camel's back.

September 11th Used as Catalyst for Assault on Bill Of Rights?  "The dreadful attacks of September 11th were just the beginning of more attacks against Americans.  The horrific loss of life turned out to be the justification for both parties to annihilate the Bill of Rights," said Constitution Party National Committee Chairman Jim Clymer.

Federal aid fuels spending by states.  State and local governments have used big increases in federal aid to help cover higher spending since 2000, a move away from the tradition of using local taxes to pay for local programs.

The Editor says...
This is a blow to the 10th Amendment.  Federal money always has strings attached.  Speaking of the 10th Amendment...

Do More Cops Equal Less Crime?  [Scroll down] Leading the charge is Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., who sponsored that bill and is pushing legislation to hire another 50,000 officers, at a cost of $3.6 billion over six years, under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. … The sponsors suggest the Bush administration has abdicated its crime-fighting duties by not providing funds for additional hiring.  What they conveniently forget is that the program was supposed to be a temporary boost rather than a permanent obligation.  Local law enforcement has historically been the responsibility of cities and counties, not the federal government.

Why Ignore Supreme Court's Threat To Free Press?  Having spent years as a newspaper reporter and editor, I am proud to be called an "ink-stained wretch."  But I am mystified by the newsroom silence about a legal dagger aimed at the heart of the First Amendment and the free press.

Court Opens Door To Searches Without Warrants.  It's a groundbreaking court decision that legal experts say will affect everyone:  Police officers in Louisiana no longer need a search or arrest warrant to conduct a brief search of your home or business.  Leaders in law enforcement say it will keep officers safe, but others argue it's a privilege that could be abused.

Our Republic on the Ropes:  I join the chorus of voices condemning the assault that Congress and the Supreme Court have inflicted on the First Amendment — on our most essential, fundamental speech:  the ability to criticize our elected officials.

The Federalization of Medicine.  [Scroll down] Even though three months of surveillance produced no evidence he had sold or given away any medication, and even though he'd been prescribed the same dosages for years, the weight of the drugs alone (which, ironically, mostly contained acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol) was enough to provoke the mandatory minimum sentence.  While [Richard] Paey was in prison, officials refilled a morphine pump that he had fitted during the course of the proceedings.  That pump, paid for by the state of Florida, delivered over the course of each 48 hour period a larger dose of opioid medication than Paey had been convicted of possessing in the first place.

The Editor says...
The story above is included here because the case shows how the 9th and 10th Amendments are being routinely ignored by the federal government.

Warrants as a Security Countermeasure.  More and more, we are living in a society where we are all tracked automatically all of the time.  We can all be tracked by our cell phones.  E-ZPass tracks cars at tunnels and bridges.  [In Dallas, they're called Toll Tags.]  Security cameras record us.  Our purchases are tracked by banks and credit card companies, our telephone calls by phone companies, our Internet surfing habits by Web site operators.  The Department of Justice claims that it needs these, and other, search powers to combat terrorism.

The Liberal Assault on Freedom of Speech:  America has less freedom of speech today than it has ever had in its history.  Yet it is widely believed that it has more.

Quartered Among Us:  Through various pretexts, the military is gradually interjecting itself into domestic law enforcement in contravention of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Maryland Police Say Disabled Man Has "No Good Reason" For Handgun:  The State of Maryland has denied a physically disabled citizen a permit to carry a concealed handgun because he does not have a "good and substantial reason" to be armed.

Stories of Anguish at the Hands of Police:  Nine stories of abuse at the hands of California policemen.

State Inserts Itself Into Church Dispute:  In a highly unusual move, the Iowa Supreme Court has decided to get involved in a church-related defamation case.  At issue is the use of the phrase "spirit of Satan."

Defend your family, go to jail.  A Brooklyn man who shot and wounded an intruder while defending his family will spend three days in Rikers Island, the same jail housing the burglar who terrorized his home, because he owns an unregistered gun.

Top Ten Campus Follies of 2002:  [For example] An American University student was pinned down and handcuffed outside a Tipper Gore speech by plainclothes campus police who refused to identify themselves.  The student was charged with stealing Gore's intellectual property by videotaping her speech, which was open to the public.

The feds are drunk with their power.  Colorado is being blackmailed with its own tax dollars to lower the Blood Alcohol Content allowed while driving.

Forced Drugging Case Headed to Supreme Court:  For more than four years, Missouri dentist Charles Sell has waited in a federal prison for his trial on charges of Medicaid fraud, and the delay is attributed to the government's persistent argument that Sell is not mentally competent to stand trial unless he is forcibly drugged.

The other terrorism:  There's no real war on drugs, but it sounds and looks good.  The half-hearted attempt, the resultant crime and costs to society provide fuel for the drug-legalization crowd.

California police state:  The totalitarians are fully in control of America's largest state.  The California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 last Thursday [1/24/2002] that police in the state may search cars if a driver fails to produce a license or registration, regardless of whether the officer has a warrant.

More Injustice on the Way:  Gene Healy, a Cato Institute scholar, recently provided a thorough exploration of the unintended consequences of the new Bush-Ashcroft plan to federalize gun crimes, known as the Project Safe Neighborhoods program.  The unintended consequences of this law are frightening.

Temptation averted:  no "Lord's Prayer" at Woodbine.  Woodbine [Iowa] High School was the center of attention Sunday over whether "The Lord's Prayer" would find its way into its graduation ceremony.  In the end, the song didn't.  School officials, graduates and the community abided by a federal judge's decision to ban the song following a lawsuit by two sophomore choir members from an atheist family.

Anti-gun Rep. Waxman Tries to Boot TV Cameraman From House Hearing:  Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., tried unsuccessfully Thursday [4/18/2002] to have an accredited TV news photographer thrown out of a House subcommittee hearing.  The hearing focused on whether to limit liability lawsuits against gun makers.  Waxman, who favors gun control, insisted the cameraman was videotaping on behalf of the National Rifle Association.

Accounts of Press Censorship Surface in Washington:  At least two accounts of credentialed members of the news media being ordered not to take photographs or record videotape from public sidewalks in non-secure areas were learned of Friday.

Federal Judge Orders Ten Commandments Removed:  Threatened by fines, residents of a small town in Indiana say they were forced to remove a monument displaying the Ten Commandments from the lawn of the local courthouse, after a federal judge ruled on behalf of the state's civil liberties union.

Couple Sues to Continue Home Prayer Sessions after the local zoning board ordered them to stop holding prayer services in their home.

Sting Operations and the Separation of Powers:  To detect and prosecute laws prohibiting victimless crimes, government typically curtails civil liberties and, by standing in for a real victim, creates opportunities for abuse and corruption in sting operations.  Sometimes, prosecution of these crimes is furthered by offering various considerations to one member of the conspiracy at the expense of the others.  This would normally be called bribery and subornation of perjury and is likely illegal, although commonplace.

The Death of Talk Radio:  With Bush in the White House, talk radio gets a reprieve, but not a pardon.  The new man to watch is Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.  Concerned that no liberal answer to Rush Limbaugh has yet appeared on the national scene, Daschle and his disciples may yet attempt to return to the Bad Old Days of government control of radio talk.

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Updated October 15, 2014.

©2014 by Andrew K. Dart