Archive for the Constitution Category

Dividing The Divided Supreme Court In A Divided Country (October 3, 2016)

Posted in Constitution, Elections, First Monday In October, Immanentizing The Eschaton, Presidency, Supreme Court on October 3, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Divide the Court.  The Court is already quasi-formally divided, yet they meet in joint session.  The country is already divided.  Formally divide the Court in two.”

J          “So we simply acknowledge the divide in the country and divide the country and the Court in twain.  That is where we are heading.  That is our destiny.” 

K          “There is talk of dividing the Ninth Circuit which, if it is done, is always along geographic lines.  The Supreme Court is divided along easily demarcated ideological lines and adequately defined geographic lines.  The four Red Catholic Republican Institutionalist Boys should propound the law in the Red States.  The four Blue ‘Jewish’ Democratic Individualist ‘Girls’ should propound the law in the Blue States.”

J          “One Great Decision.  Two utopias.  I like it.”

K          “What is truly promising is that neither side would be forced to undertake and endure a great constitutional convention; that prospect is terrifying.  Each team could have a mimeographed copy of the same Constitution.  And then each team could continue to reach opposite results.”

. . .

J          “That would allow everyone in the two Americas to immanentize the Eschaton everywhere at the same time.”

K          “Not exactly.  One team would allow everyone in Blue America to immanentize the Eschaton and the other team would not allow anyone in Red America to immanentize the Eschaton.”

J          “Exactly.  Toward a more perfect division.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary for the last half dozen years in the Category “First Monday In October”, “Boycott Red America (January 3, 2005)”, “Immanentize The Eschaton: Move To Sunny Somalia (December 20, 2010)” and “Immanentize The Eschaton.  Say What? (August 22, 2016).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The Election is all about the Court

We are selecting one of the two Courts not one of the two court jesters

With liberty and justice for some

natural born Citizen; Natural Born Killers (March 7, 2016)

Posted in Constitution, Democrats, Elections, Judges, Judicial Arrogance, Judiciary, Originalism, Presidency, Republicans, Supreme Court on March 7, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “An individual who is not a ‘natural born Citizen’ such as John McCain and Ted Cruz is not eligible to be President or Vice President of the United States.  The ‘Originalist’ interpretation of the phrase ‘natural born Citizen’ in the U.S. Constitution is clear and unassailable.”

J          “To honor Scalia’s passing and continue its practice of intervening in elections, the Supreme Court should invoke its inherent jurisdiction and enter an injunction enjoining Ted Cruz from running.  For the good of the cause.  And the Constitution.”

K          “Indeed.  Certainement.  Post haste.  He professes to be an honorable man.  And also one of the original ‘Originalists’.  He would surely concur.”

. . .

J          “Many clear thinking individuals now maintain that those born in the United States and those born elsewhere who meet legal requirements meet the contemporary understanding of citizenship at birth.” 

K          “That is the perspective of the see-me, feel-me, touch-me; I’m-okay, you’re-okay; peace, love and Woodstock; tune-in, turn-on, tune-out; get-down, get-funky; if-it-feels-good, do-it school of jurisprudence.”

J          “Yup.”

K          “Kinda makes sense.”

J          “Does.”

. . .

K          “The boys debating with the one who is not a ‘natural born Citizen’ are behaving like ‘Natural Born Killers’.”

J          “So in the one who is not a ‘natural born Citizen’.”    

. . .

[See the discussion at http://www.vox.com/2016/2/18/11058038/ted-cruz-court and https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ted-cruz-is-not-eligible-to-be-president/2016/01/12/1484a7d0-b7af-11e5-99f3-184bc379b12d_story.html?tid=pm_opinions_pop_b.]

[See the discussion at http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/02/29/antonin-scalia-looking-backward.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Fukushima Daiichi

Marital Musings (December 22, 2014)

Posted in Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Constitution, Courts, Economics, Gold Standard, Kleptocracy, Movie Reference, Radio, Russia, Silver Standard, Society, Sports, Supreme Court on December 28, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

H1        “So she said we had to set aside some time for a conversation.  I knew it would get bad.”

H2        “You don’t get to say anything.”

H1        “Except when spoken to.  So she said she had to confess that she was thinking about someone else while we were in medias res.  And she said that she was now happy to have gotten if off her chest.  I said that was fine.  She could be thinking about Mr. Magoo if it will get us through the night.  From my perspective, if I can handle the kitchen remodel, junior can get braces.  But it ended up not being fine.  I should have been upset.  She was upset that I was not upset.  I was beginning to get sort of upset that she was upset that I was not upset.”

H2        “Nothing about Gina Lollobrigida.”

H1        “She would have exercised the proviso ‘til death do us part’ and parted with me.”

. . .

H2        “She asked if I noticed that she had put on weight.  I had not noticed, so I told her that I had not noticed.  I am thinking that I get 100 points for candor and honesty and being a great guy and for being a little oblivious.  Maybe an MVP award and a hall pass.”

H1        “And she was upset that you were not upset.  And it was Katie bar the door with Katie showing you the door.”

H2        “I didn’t get a pass.  I told her that once she made the cut and was on the team, things like that did not really matter.”

H1        “And she parsed every phrase.”

H2        “‘Made the cut’ and ‘on the team’ are two separate concepts.  Saying that it is like two wrestlers who make weight and then each go off and have bacon cheeseburgers did not assuage her anxiety.”

. . .

H1        “We conversed with a counselor who opined about psychological affairs versus physical affairs and provided few insights to address our financial affairs.”

H2        “Do you think he was safe?”

H1        “She is sure that we only talk about sex.”

H2        “Safe by a mile.  Replay is clear.”

. . .

[See the latest sophistry from the Supreme Court that vitiates the Fourth Amendment.  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-604_ec8f.pdf.  An illegal stop is an illegal stop and not a legal stop.]

[See the commentary at “Henrietta And Henry O, Two Young Lovers: The Contemporary Gift Of The Magi (December 27, 2010).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“Honey, would you rather I were making love to him using your name, or making love to you using his name?”  Annie Savoy, Bull Durham (1988)

Russian Exceptionalism > or = or < American Nationalism

The COMEX is instituting trading collars for the sale of gold and silver.  And the answer to Will Shortz’ “Sunday Puzzle” seeking the correct anagram for “Comex” is . . . “Fraud.”

Cell Phones: Supreme Court Celebrates “Terrorism-Free Month” With Unanimous Proclamation On Privacy (June 30, 2014)

Posted in Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Constitution, Supreme Court, Technology, Terrorism-Free Month - June on June 30, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

L          “At core, the Supreme Court really confessed that all nine of them in fact have cell phones, too.”

M          “Thank goodness that the Founding Fathers anticipated the emergence of cell phones.  That seems to be what animated Scalia, Alito and Thomas.”

. . .

L          “If, pray tell, a cop detained a Justice of the Supreme Court, the computer check of the vehicle license plate or a quick review of his or her Supreme Court identification card would summon an immediate apology from the police for the delay and inconvenience.”

M          “A cop would see the Supreme Court parking sticker on the bumper and arrest his or her activities.”

L          “Supreme Court Justices are immune from prosecution.”

M          “Yet their kids have cell phones and may not be afforded the same immunity.”

. . .

L          “Roberts’ opinion is an insightful commentary on the ubiquity of the cell phone and its pervasiveness in our lives.  The ‘smarty pants phones’ are the repositories of our mind and soul.”

M          “The kids in particular are transfixed by these fixtures that could be affixed to them with pop rivets.”

. . .

M          “You could craft a novel using just cell phone records and, for good measure, credit and debit card statements.  Grocery receipts, book purchases and movie rentals are a telescope and microscope into one’s internal hard drive.  The reader would need to participate actively in reading between the lines, discerning the interstices and supplementing the silences, yet the effort would be rewarded.”

L          “I stumbled on my January, 2011 credit card statement and relived the previous month just reviewing line item entries.  Who, what, when, where and, with some imagination, why.”

M          “There are no secrets today.”

. . .

L          “The Court and public officials should error, if it is an error, on the side of privacy.”

M          “A warrant really is not much to ask.”

L          “Nine to nothing is something.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Get a warrant, please.

Justice Roberts knows more about cell phone telephony than your honor student . . . or your dog.

June – Celebrate Terrorism-Free Month (June 2, 2014)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Constitution, First Amendment, Journalism, Newspapers, Press/Media, Race, Sports, Terrorism, Voting on June 2, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “We need to celebrate one Terrorism-Free Month a year.  June is a fitting time.”

2          “And it is a short month.  If it does not work, we can go back to being terrorized 24/7/365 without missing a beating.”

1          “If a month is too much commitment, perhaps we could celebrate Terrorism-Free Day every leap year.  For old time’s sake”

2          “For old timers who remember a different time.  If we are always terrorized, we are always too crippled to think clearly and to act purposefully.”

1          “We are forced always to be afraid of our shadow, even in the dark.”

2          “Especially in the dark.”

. . .

1          During the hiatus from terror, the Fourth Amendment should be adopted in all the land.  And the Third Amendment that protects against quartering troops in one’s home should also quarantine the government from entering one’s home, taking one’s data and invading one’s privacy. 

. . .

1          “However, the fear and terror is deep and rational and debilitating.  Too many folks are afraid of losing a job and too many are afraid of never getting another one, too many are afraid of not receiving health care, too many are afraid of not having a pension, too many are afraid of losing the house, too many are afraid of the future.”

2          “Too many are afraid of the present in this age of induced fear and uncertainty.”

1          “With good reason.”

. . .

[A nod to the Tewaaraton recipients and the awards committee.  http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2014/05/30/317352946/brothers-who-have-shared-the-spotlight-now-share-an-historic-first.]

[The Supremes are still setting the political agenda.  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/us/james-risen-faces-jail-time-for-refusing-to-identify-a-confidential-source.html?hp&_r=0 and http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/us/politics/supreme-court-to-hear-challenge-to-alabama-redistricting.html.]

[Challenging economic serfdom in a Blue State city.  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/us/seattle-approves-15-minimum-wage-setting-a-new-standard-for-big-cities.html?hp%5B/embed.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Happy Terrorism-Free Month

Terrorism is so overrated.

The only thing we have to fear is fear and a whole bunch of other uncertainties.

Bulk Collection Of Telephony Data. Again. (December 16, 2013)

Posted in Book Reference, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Constitution, Courts, Due Process, First Amendment, FISA, Journalism, Judicial Arrogance, Law, Newspapers, O'Bama, Politics, Press/Media, Privacy, Republican Federal Judge Syndrome on December 16, 2013 by e-commentary.org

. . .

L1        “You never know what a Monday will bring.  A federal judge ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephony records likely violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

L2        “You did not hear the word ‘telephony’ in polite parlance two dozen years ago.  The courts must now address the interplay of law with technology far more sophisticated than a pair of soup cans and a string.”

L1        “Most federal judges were ‘Arts and Crafts’ majors in college who may understand Tennyson but really do not understand technology.  Listen to the techs who install IT systems in the state and federal courts.  Some of these judges are still looking for the rotary dial.”

L2        “The government’s reliance on a case from the prehistoric days of telephony – way back in 1979 – is proof positive that the issue must be addressed anew in light of the new technology today.”

L1        “They will need to refer more often to Newton’s Telecom Dictionary than to Black’s Law Dictionary.  That will be fun.”                  

. . .

L1        “Within a fortnight of the Democrats’ decision to require the Senate to ‘advise and consent’ and vote on O’Bama’s appointments to places such as the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, the decision will have consequences.  One or more of the new appointees could be assigned to the reviewing tribunal.  If there is en banc review of the three panel decision, there are now more Democrats than Republicans.”

L2        “But will the Democrats defer to their benefactor?  Is there another Republican appellate court judge who may be a fan of the Constitution rather than unchecked federal intrusion?  And we always have the five Supremes who will get to chime in.” 

L1        “Who just don’t get it.  They do not even want to admit that the NSA exists.”

. . .

L1        “Judge Leon (Bush II) overcame the always pernicious ‘Republican Federal Judge Syndrome’ that almost always plagues Republican appointees.  Yet the judge once again displays the occupational hazard of these imperial federal judges.  His opinion is snarky, arrogant, condescending, intemperate, and sloppy.  The screed deserves a B+ for intuiting basic truth, a C- for style and an F for arrogance.”

L2        “When you are going to be courageous, you must be flawless.”

L1        “There are more than a few good women and men who are concerned that collecting the metadata is constitutional and may prevent a great catastrophe.”

L2        “But in the final analysis, there is the Constitution.” 

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” titled USA PATRIOT ACT (April 4, 2005), Less Government Regulation Series: Google (Nov. 30, 2009), Boycott Facebook? (August 2, 2010), Brave 1984 Farm: The Best Of All Possible Worlds (March 19, 2012) and Hero or Traitor? (June 10, 2013) and I Spy, You Spy, They Spy (October 28, 2013).]

[See the “e-ssays” titled Judicial Activism: Rogue Republican Judges (January 28, 2013), The Paradox Of The Republican Federal Judge: Republican Federal Judge Syndrome (September 23, 2013) and Past Time: Exercising The “New Clear Option” (November 25, 2013).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Free Edward Snowden

Pardon Edward Snowden

Bestow a Presidential Medal of Freedom on Edward Snowden

Quash the sub poena issued to James Risen

Free the Press

In a dozen plus years and without a debate or a vote, technology has deprived us of privacy.  With little debate and many hasty votes, Congress has deprived us of privacy at every opportunity.  We as a society should create a rebuttable presumption in favor of privacy even if it appears to sacrifice security.  Our personal insecurities are actually creating greater national insecurity. 

The People’s Amendment: The “Contract With America” (April 29, 2013)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Balanced Budget Amendment, Coffee Party USA, Conflicts of Interest, Congress, Constitution, Immanentizing The Eschaton, Political Parties, Tea Party, Term Limits on April 29, 2013 by e-commentary.org

. . .

X          “What do Republicans and Democrats agree on?”

Y          “Nothing.”

X          “What do Republicans and Democrats disagree on?”

Y          “Everything.”

. . .

X          “There you go.  The People’s Amendment:  ‘If a law applies to the people, it applies to Congress; if an exception or exemption applies to Congress, it excepts and exempts the people.’  One simple commutative rule enshrined in a constitutional amendment.  Genius is always obvious and simple.”

Y          “And the provision applies equally to Republicans and Democrats.”

X          “Indubitably.  Courts could easily interpret it without all the arrogant activism and ideological warfare that characterizes the courts today.  Every tax payer has standing to enforce the People’s Amendment in court.  Individual Congresspersons and Senators who vote for legislation that violates the PA are held personally liable for the attorney’s fees of the tax payer who succeeds in enforcing the PA and a small percentage of the public damages.  Each representative’s self-interest is enlisted to provide for and protect the public interest.”

. . .

Y          “While you are at it, add a simple term limits provision.  Six two-year terms in the House and two six-year terms in the Senate are balanced and fair.  The provision applies equally to Republicans and Democrats.”    

. . .

X / Y  “However, a balanced budget amendment is hollow and shallow.  Congress can balance the budget without a balanced budget amendment if Congress wants to balance the budget.  Congress can circumvent a balanced budget amendment if Congress wants to circumvent a balanced budget amendment.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” titled The “Contract with America”; The Congressional Reform Act of 2010 (March 29, 2010), Term Limits (May 14, 2007) and Bringing Balance To The Balanced Budget Amendment Debate (July 18, 2011).]

[For an argument that John McCain and Lindsey Graham should not be considered “enemy combatants,” see the “e-ssay” titled Republicans are Enemy Combatants? (May 10, 2010).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

A Democrat for The People’s Amendment

A Republican for The People’s Amendment

An Independent for The People’s Amendment

A Libertarian for The People’s Amendment

A Green for The People’s Amendment

A Tea Partier for The People’s Amendment

A Coffee Partier for The People’s Amendment

A Partier for The People’s Amendment

My honor student supports The People’s Amendment

My average student supports The People’s Amendment

My below average student opposes The People’s Amendment

My dog supports The People’s Amendment

A sniper for The People’s Amendment

An LBGT for The People’s Amendment

A mom for The People’s Amendment

A dad for The People’s Amendment

A viscountess for The People’s Amendment

A Fan of Fred (Hayek) for The People’s Amendment

A visiting adjunct professor at the Barack Hussein O’Bama II School of Government at the University of Chicago for The People’s Amendment