At the National Constitution Center, you will find rare copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. These are the three most important documents in American history. But why are they important, and what are their similarities and differences? And how did each document, in turn, influence the next in America’s ongoing quest for liberty and equality?
A stunning change happened overnight in Ferguson, Missouri after the government took a different approach to people’s civil liberties in the area. Gone were the SWAT trucks and snipers. Gone were the riot shields and militaristic outfits. Gone was the hostility. And guess what? Gone was the violence.
On his official .gov page, Cantor outlined a new batch of “Recent Examples of the Executive Branch Refusing to Faithfully Execute the Law” under the heading “The Imperial Presidency.” He’s been keeping tabs on this since October of 2012, when he first issued a list of more than 40 separate examples “of the breakdown of the rule of law” under Obama.
A balanced budget amendment would impose the fiscal discipline required to constrain federal spending, but would not require a reduction in federal spending. A balanced budget would only require that spending as a share of national income be gradually reduced to the historic level of revenue as a share of national income, something less than 20 percent. A balanced budget would be accompanied by restoration in economic growth and a sustainable fiscal policy.
President Obama famously has a pen and a phone. And if he had the same powers that Hugo Chavez had, that would be all he would need to impose Hugo Chavez’s programs on America, unilaterally by decree. President Obama is telling us by his words, and his actions, that he thinks he has at least some of those powers. He is telling us by his words and his actions that he will not obey the law, and follow the Constitution he is sworn to uphold by his Presidential Oath of Office. That is the Constitutional Crisis presently facing America.
It is unfortunate that there is nothing new in the President’s agenda for 2014. His speech was wrapped in the worn out rhetoric of class warfare and populism. It included the income inequality through re-distributive means, such as minimum wage laws and extending unemployment benefits. These do not improve the structural growth of middle class wage earners. All they do is reduce the number of available jobs and increase unemployment rates. There is no meaningful discussion of reforming Obamacare to make it a viable healthcare system that provides "affordable" and quality healthcare to Americans.
With a number of States now considering bills to thwart the implementation of Obamacare or legislation to turn off resources like water and power to National Security Agency facilities around the country, a number of political commentators are weighing in.
If Congress takes seriously the idea that there needs to be an advocate of privacy, trying to protect the public from the intrusion of the government’s massive sweep of telephone data in search of terrorists, it will not find a ready answer in the Constitution on the legality of such a move. And, it appears, Congress will also run directly into significant opposition from within the federal courts themselves, whose leaders see no real need for such an office.
A New York Times report on the imprisonment of a journalist may have underplayed how chilling the case is... On Monday I highlighted the case of Roger Shuler, an Alabama blogger currently under indefinite detention in a state prison after refusing to remove items from his blog in adherence to an injunction ruling. His detention is a striking abrogation of First Amendment protections.
On Tuesday, Citizens United announced a campaign to raise awareness about a proposed Constitutional amendment that would prohibit members of Congress from exempting themselves from federal laws. H.J. Resolution 55, sponsored by Congressmen Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Matt Salmon (R-AZ), has been introduced in order to stop the sort of abuses attendant on the passage of Obamacare, in which members of Congress crafted waiver language carving them out of laws they meant to prescribe on everyone else.
One of the biggest political changes that 2011 brought — in large part due to the tea parties and their effect on the 2010 election — is the centrality of the Constitution to our public discourse. Lawmakers and citizens no longer consider simply whether a given bill or policy proposal is a good idea but whether it is constitutional. “Where does the government get the power to do that?” is often critics’ rallying cry.
A former Delaware County public defender has filed a civil rights suit against the county in federal court, claiming he was wrongly terminated from his position for failing to encourage defendants to take plea bargains.