Tag Archives: Constitution

Every July 4 . . .

. . .  we celebrate our independence. Because 238 years ago a brave group of revolutionaries threw off a colonial power. That’s something that has happened around the world many times – both before and since. But . . .

. . . I think our greater achievement is this: for 225 years we have maintained a continuity of government (even in war), peacefully transferring power (that one’s just since Washington to Adams, so 214 years) over and over . That’s a testament to the brilliance of our constitution and our continuing respect for it. Good for us!

Please ‘splain to me

Inside the majestic building housing the Supreme Court of the United States (truly a gorgeous building), the Justices yesterday  ruled that the 35-foot buffer zone around an abortion clinic “violated protestors’ freedom of speech”. Outside that same building, the exclusion zone for protestors is 250 feet.

Just sayin’

Rep. Steve King:

“I think it’s a constitutional violation” and “We’ve never had a president with that level of audacity and that level of contempt for his own oath of office.”

House Speaker John Boehner:
“There’s a Constitution that we all take an oath to, including him!”
And then, of course, there’s this:

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) said Tuesday night he left President Obama’s State of the Union speech early after “hearing how the president is further abusing his Constitutional powers.”

“I could not bear to watch as he continued to cross the clearly-defined boundaries of the Constitutional separation of powers,” Stockman said in a press release shortly after Obama’s speech ended. “Needless to say, I am deeply disappointed in the tone and content of tonight’s address.”

Stockman said Obama was promising to “break his oath of office and begin enacting his own brand of law through executive decree.”

On the Fourth of July . . .

. . .  I choose to celebrate the continuity of our government. We’ve managed it for  237 years. That’s an achievement and a testament to the brilliance of our constitution and our continuing respect for it. So good for us. Herbunk created this a few years ago and he just reposted for 2013. Also, it may be the best morph ever.

Say no more

scaliaScalia on DOMA (passed by Congress almost 20 years ago ago by a vote of 85-14 in the Senate and 342-67 in the House):

We have no power to decide this case,” Scalia wrote. “And even if we did, we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation.

Scalia on Affirmative Action (law was extended by Congress in 2006 for 25 more years by a vote of  98-0 in the Senate and 390-33 in the House):

Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes… It’s a concern that this is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress

And jkust for the heck of it, here’s somerthig else he wrote:

DOMA is motivated by ‘bare … desire to harm’ couples in same-sex marriages

Some Constitutional rigor there, eh?

The massive NSA scoop of Verizon records (and others probably) is well timed – for us

  • UPDATE: Seems this program has been going on for years through two administrations and the authorization is renewed, almost automatically, every 90 days. Some nat’l security reporters point out that this has been reported on before and is the result of the big FISA public debate of a decade ago, but it disappeared from the public conversation. (We really need to do better than this.)

Not all things are the same: not all whistle blowers are honorable, but the tradition of revealing secret government activity to the press . . . that will always be the essential ingredient if the press is to fulfill its most important mission. Our press is charged to:

Speak truth to power

Connor Friedersdorf makes that point today:

The Unknown Patriot Who Exposed the Government’s Verizon Spy Program

In praise of whistle-blowers whose risky disclosures of official wrongdoing make the nation stronger rather than weaker . . .  “The order was marked TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN, referring to  communications-related intelligence information that may not be released to noncitizens. That would make it among the most closely held secrets  in the federal government”
This leaker is no doubt fully aware he/she has committed a crime but got the priorities exactly right. So to some unknown person – well done.

Wherein Rush ushers irony to the door . . . yet again

oliver northEveryone  is having their say about the IRS’ Lois Lerner who took the Fifth yesterday before a Congressional committee (just like that conservative icon Oliver North did). Here’s Fat Boy:

You have to be very careful in making judgments about people based on physical appearance, although I’ve gotten really good at it.

I guess we all see what we want to see when we look in the mirror. Anyway, I hear you Rush and I am being careful. I do think it through before I call anyone Fat Boy or “the morbidly-obese, four times married” . . . .  and after thinking it through, I feel I am morally entitled to toss schoolyard insults at you, because that’s what you do for a living. Good for the goose, good for the . . .

No court can rule to uphold a law that actually eliminates an assumed right

California gets it right.

LOS ANGELES – A federal appeals court panel ruled on Tuesday that a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California violated the Constitution, all but ensuring that the case will proceed to the United States Supreme Court.

I’ve a dress put away (it’s getting rather dated) to wear on the day Ed and Steve can get married. I do think 40 years is a long enough engagement, don’t you?

“This is a huge day: The United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit, which represents nine states and certain territories, has decided that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional,” said Theodore B. Olson, one of the attorneys representing the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which challenged Proposition 8. Speaking at a news conference here Tuesday morning, Mr. Olson said he was now “very confident” the Supreme Court would uphold this decision and nullify the voter initiative.

Olson is partnered with Atty. David Boise in this suit. Remember those guys? They  were the opposing counsel who argued Bush v Gore in the Supreme Court. They’re on the same side in this one. Adversaries one day, partners another day – that’s as it should be in our civic life. This suit was filed three years ago with the stated intention of taking it to the Supreme Court. So far, so good.

(Are crinolines back in style?)

That’s my Governor!

It's the right thing

and maybe my Senator – talking American. Property rights, freedom of religion, tolerance – doesn’t get more American.

AND ON THE OTHER HAND: Sen. Cornyn (R-TX), a man of modest intelligence and accomplishment (he does have great hair, let’s give him that), a man of the Party that claims it’s going steady with the Constitution and got that document wearing their class ring, is clueless about the real issues involved. He wants to bow to the thing the Founders feared most – the tyranny of the majority.