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Death in a Courtly Manner
Special to FreeRepublic ^ | 5 March 2005 | John Armor (Congressman Billybob)

Posted on 03/03/2005 10:26:13 AM PST by Congressman Billybob

The Supreme Court has murdered the Constitution. It was a subtle murder with no blood visible. We know they did it because they left a coded confession, in the form of what appears to be a legal decision. Like many crime scenes, this one is deceptive, at first.

It looks like the Court simply decided the case of Roper v. Simmons, the juvenile death penalty case from Missouri. But a little C.S.I. investigation reveals the truth.

There are two deaths in this matter. The first was a woman who was kidnaped from her home by Christopher Simmons. He told his friends in advance what he was going to do. He “bound her with duct tape and electrical wire, and threw her off a bridge alive and conscious.” He also told his friends that they couldn’t get the death penalty because they were juveniles. Street-savvy Christopher was “seven months shy of his 18th birthday when he murdered Shirley Crook”

When this case arrived in the Supreme Court, nineteen states including Missouri, had laws permitting the death penalty for defendants younger than 18 years old. Defendants, though their appointed counsel, could argue youth, inability, bad circumstances. But the ultimate decision rested with the jury. On the facts of this case, there is little doubt why the jury decided that Mr. Simmons was an appropriate candidate for death.

But the Supreme Court spared Mr. Simmons. It also spared at the same time Lee Malveaux (the 17-year-old “Beltway sniper” who terrorized the Washington area a few years ago). The Supreme Court decided that the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment” included the death penalty for juveniles. Of course, that Amendment meant no such thing when it was written.

And, but there’s this little, tiny, problem with this decision. Just 15 years ago, the Court decided that the juvenile death penalty WAS constitutional. Furthermore, the Court did not even reverse its prior decision in patting Mr. Simmons on his tousled head today and sending him on his way. Now this sounds like the classic mystery – the subject is dead, but all the doors and windows are locked.

So how did five Justices of the Court accomplish this feat?

Well, in the last 15 years the meaning of the Constitution changed, don’t you see? And how was that magically accomplished?

First of all, there was nearly unanimous agreement of world’s other nations that juveniles should not be subject to the death penalty. (No mention was made of the fact that in many of these nations young children are turned into soldiers, or worked to death, or starved, or raped and discarded like trash.) The Court referred to a U.N. Treaty, which the US not only did not ratify, the US Senate passed a resolution stating why it would not ratify the treaty.

But mostly, the Court claimed that a new “consensus” was reached among the states. Where did it find this consensus? Four states decided to eliminate the death penalty for juveniles. Add those states to those which have no death penalty whatsoever (which of course has nothing to do with the tender youth of juveniles), and voila!, it is a consensus that only the keen eyes of certain Justices can perceive.

There IS a consensus process in the Constitution. In Article V it says in English so plain that even a senile Justice should be able to read it, that two-thirds of each House of Congress, followed by three-fourths of the state legislatures, are what it takes to amend the Constitution. Nowhere in that document is there the slightest suggestion that a bare majority of the Justices can substitute for the House, the Senate, and the state legislatures.

In short, the Court just killed the Constitution. No longer does the Constitution remain firm, and binding on everyone including the Court, until the people choose to amend it. Nope, it’s in the hands of the Court now, and it means no more or less than what any five Justices can agree to.

So, we have a corpse. Lying on the floor with a around its neck is the 216-year-old Constitution of the United States. We know that nine Justices of the Supreme Court were in the room when the victim died. They had motive, they had opportunity. And five of them stated in their “confession” that the Constitution had it coming.

I’d say the answer is pretty clear. Book ‘em, Dano.

About the Author: John Armor is a First Amendment attorney and author who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: articlev; beltwaysniper; consensus; deathpenalty; juveniles; missouri; ropervsimmons; supremecourt
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Again, the subject is hot on FR and the column is ready early. So here 'tis. I think ya'll will appreciate this.

John / Billybob

1 posted on 03/03/2005 10:26:15 AM PST by Congressman Billybob
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To: Congressman Billybob

A couple of typos: Malvo was the suspect's name.

And this seems to be missing a word:
"Lying on the floor with a [missing word] around its neck is the 216-year-old Constitution"


2 posted on 03/03/2005 10:28:46 AM PST by hchutch (A pro-artificial turf, pro-designated hitter baseball fan.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Since these black robed thugs think the constitution is a "living" document meaning,it means whatever we say it means,and they look to cherry-pick international law to fir their radical neo-marxist outlook,then if they ignore the Constitution what`s stopping anyone from ignoring their opinion ?

It is only an opinion,mine woul be just as valid.Even more so since it would reflect the original intent of the Constitution.


3 posted on 03/03/2005 10:33:03 AM PST by Para-Ord.45
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To: hchutch

bump


4 posted on 03/03/2005 10:34:06 AM PST by opus86
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Congressman Billybob

Good read John. Thanks.


6 posted on 03/03/2005 10:39:30 AM PST by bikepacker67 ("Donovan McNabb... I can't HEAR YOU" < / Who's your Mommy>)
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To: Congressman Billybob

I'm guessing the defense will claim it wasn't murder, really, but euthanasia.

That sickly old thing had been wasting away for years. We just couldn't stand seeing the old girl suffer any more.
Had to put it out of its misery.

The as yet unanswered question is, since the sherrif has no balls, will the citizens form a posse or just grumble a little and go back to sleep.


7 posted on 03/03/2005 10:46:34 AM PST by the gillman@blacklagoon.com
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To: Congressman Billybob
The idiotic Supreme Court "justices" that invalidated the death penalty for teen-aged murderers should be impeached immediately.

They have put themselves in the impossible position of being in favor of only taking INNOCENT life.

8 posted on 03/03/2005 10:46:36 AM PST by nightdriver
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To: Congressman Billybob
Always a pleasure to read your writing, John- crosslinked here:

 Men(ace) in Black? SCOTUS goes Rogue...

9 posted on 03/03/2005 10:48:44 AM PST by backhoe (-30-)
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To: Congressman Billybob

thank you, sir!


10 posted on 03/03/2005 10:50:04 AM PST by King Prout (Remember John Adam!)
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To: Congressman Billybob
And five of them stated in their “confession” that the Constitution had it coming.

That's what hurts the most.

11 posted on 03/03/2005 10:55:59 AM PST by elbucko (A Feral Republican)
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read later


12 posted on 03/03/2005 11:00:34 AM PST by prairiebreeze (Blogs have a strangle hold on the MSM. The MSM is kicking out the windshield.)
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To: hchutch; All
You were the first of several to catch the error in the last paragraph. Thank you. Here's the note that's already gone to my publishers:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My cadre of 1,000 proof readers found an error, as usual. In the last paragraph I was in the process of changing the murder weapon (like playing Clue). I took out the old weapon but failed to insert the new one. It should read, "...the Constitution, with a silk scarf wrapped around its neck...."

Classier way to die, doncha know?

John
13 posted on 03/03/2005 11:00:55 AM PST by Congressman Billybob ("The truth is out there." Yep, it's on the Internet, but it takes digging, and common sense.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Make sure you get the sniper's name spelled right, too.


14 posted on 03/03/2005 11:02:52 AM PST by hchutch (A pro-artificial turf, pro-designated hitter baseball fan.)
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To: hchutch

It's just the 'french' version.

:0)


15 posted on 03/03/2005 11:57:07 AM PST by Bigh4u2
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To: Congressman Billybob

If you get the chance, read Scalia's dissent in this decision. Slices the majority to ribbons, or as I call them, the mushy moderate middle.


16 posted on 03/03/2005 12:12:04 PM PST by Right Cal Gal (Armed, Female and Southern!)
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To: Right Cal Gal
I read most of the majority decision and all of Scalia's dissent before writing my column. That is a particularly harsh dissent by him, and I've read all of his work.

Billybob
17 posted on 03/03/2005 12:19:18 PM PST by Congressman Billybob ("The truth is out there." Yep, it's on the Internet, but it takes digging, and common sense.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
And, but there’s this little, tiny, problem with this decision.

Found that in there. Nice read, though.

18 posted on 03/03/2005 12:20:50 PM PST by MileHi
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To: Congressman Billybob

Considering that he's a believer in enumerated powers and a nonbeliever in legislating from the bench, this whole idea of "U.S. get in line with the rest of the world" must have enraged him.

In another forum, I re-read the facts of the Simmons case. I will relish what happens to this charming little sociopath when he is released from solitary and into the general prison population.


19 posted on 03/03/2005 12:41:29 PM PST by Right Cal Gal (Armed, Female and Southern!)
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To: Congressman Billybob; XJarhead
Time to have Congress add six more Justices to SCOTUS and then have the President pack the court with six Scalia clones.

The really scary part is that Justice Sandra Dee O'Connor isn't against looking to other countries for guidance; she just wanted more evidence of the national consensus. So there are really six out of nine who are ready to follow European Law now -- ironic since they will likely not permit even a display of the X Commandments which actually are part of our legal and moral heritage.

SCOTUS has been avoiding the plain language of the Constitution for decades, but at least in the past they hid their dirty work behind penumbras and eminations. Now they just act like a mugger in broad daylight, as they have dropped any pretense of restraint.

Frankly, this decision is effectively a judicial coup d'etat. The only mystery remaining about our Republic is if it has a Chiquita label on it or not. We may still have a Congress and a President, but we have Nine El Presidentes for Life now.

20 posted on 03/03/2005 2:43:35 PM PST by You Dirty Rats (Mindless BushBot)
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To: hchutch
Malvo was the suspect's name.

Actually, Malvo is no longer the suspect's name.

Malvo is now the convicted murder's name.

21 posted on 03/03/2005 2:52:56 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Impeachment, nullification, interposition, and the use of Article III, Sec. 2 of the Constitution all need to be considered.

We need to hold these officials accountable through impeachment, recall, nullification, interposition and arrest where necessary.

I am so seek of this endless deference to judicial tyranny. The nebulous references to "growing national consensus" and citations of "international law" are just too much to countenance. What does it take to make 5 of these justices cognizant of the fact that their authority to preside originates in the US CONSTITUTION?

When oh when will some elected executive officer in some state or federal capacity, in fulfilling his constitutional duty to honestly interpet the constitution (federal or state) just disregard the unconstitutional rulings of any court and dare the legislature to impeach him for it? When will some legislature impeach just ONE judge for an unconstitutional ruling?

To say that the courts have the final word on the constitutionality of a law NO MATTER WHAT THEY RULE is to say that the system of checks and balances envisioned by the founders does not exist any more.

Alan Keyes gave the best summation of this issue that I've heard yet. He said that every branch of government has a duty to honestly interpret the constitution. If the president honestly feels the courts make an unconstitutional and lawless ruling, then the president should disregard that ruling and refuse to enforce the provisions that he felt were blatantly unconstitutional. If the Congress felt the president was wrong in this decision, then it was their duty to impeach him for it. If the electorate felt that the Congress was wrong for impeaching the president or the failure to impeach him, they can remove them at the next election, as well as the president for any presidential actions that they considered wrongful. Congress can and should impeach federal judges for blatently unconstitutional rulings that manufacture law.

Lest anyone consider this formula has a recipe for chaos, then I submit to you there is no chaos worse than an unchecked oligarchic Judiciary. We are not living under the rule of law when judges make law up to suit their whims has they engage in objective based adjudication.


22 posted on 03/03/2005 6:27:42 PM PST by DMZFrank
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To: Congressman Billybob

Good article, and extremely informative. Thanks


23 posted on 03/03/2005 6:31:59 PM PST by Happygal (liberalism - a narrow tribal outlook largely founded on class prejudice)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Thank you for a terrific thread. I posted elsewhere my desire for a discussion of real action to be taken to rid ourselves of those who refuse to abide by OUR Constitution and laws, and instead, make decisions and take action based on extranational desires or mores. We have declined from a Constitutional Republic to a nearly pure oligarchy, wearing thinly veiled black robes of international socialocracy. These senile omnipotents behind this (and other) decision should be impeached for failure to uphold and comply with the Constitution, and Congress should take immediate action to return Constitutional powers to Congress and the States. In addition, there should be a lifetime term limit imposed on all federal judicial appointments.
I personally hold our educational facilities, and the educators in particular,responsible for the extreme ignorance of the U.S. populace relative to our Constitution and why it was instituted.
I further hold our elected officials at all levels responsible for failing/refusing to fulfill their individual and collective responsibilities in upholding and protecting our Constitution from the directed attacks seeking to destroy it.
Perhaps it is time to form a new political party, to renew our Constitution as the law of the land, if we cant instill some sense and courage into our present Congressional members.


24 posted on 03/03/2005 7:36:51 PM PST by uremus
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To: Congressman Billybob; kristinn; Doctor Raoul
John!!

That new paper in DC... The Examiner.. they are right of center, not as much as the Times but do you think they would carry your column? website.. www.dcexaminer. com or is that .net?


Kritsinn, Dr. Raoul... ain't it about time you guys gave us a report on the new paper???
25 posted on 03/03/2005 7:41:09 PM PST by GeronL (Condi will not be mistaken for a cleaning lady)
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To: Congressman Billybob; GeneralHavoc; Conservative Goddess

Bravo!

You're my favorite cybercongressman.

Ping!


26 posted on 03/03/2005 7:50:34 PM PST by Badray (Quinn's First Law -- Liberalism ALWAYS generates the exact opposite of its stated intent., I'll als)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Congressman Billybob, YOU should be on the Supreme Court!


27 posted on 03/03/2005 8:01:55 PM PST by PGalt
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To: Congressman Billybob

Congressman Billybob, Thank God we freepers are in your District!


28 posted on 03/03/2005 8:38:49 PM PST by BellStar (Pray for our heroes...)
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To: Congressman Billybob
The Supreme Court has murdered the Constitution.

I love this line! Great stuff and great article. I enjoyed the read. Chris

29 posted on 03/03/2005 8:42:06 PM PST by writer33 ("In Defense of Liberty," a political thriller, being released in March)
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To: Badray
Thank you. But sad to say, I am the only "cyberCongressman" since I invented the word. I did that back when I invented the (More er Less) Honorable Billybob, and Felicity Fahrquar.

Billybob
30 posted on 03/03/2005 8:42:10 PM PST by Congressman Billybob ("The truth is out there." Yep, it's on the Internet, but it takes digging, and common sense.)
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To: Badray; Congressman Billybob; GeneralHavoc
Thanks for the ping Badray......

The Supremes seem to have mastered the "about face" maneuver. In the mid-eighties (if memory serves), the Supremes, in Bowers v. Hardwick, correctly determined that the regulation of homosexual behavior was the purview of the states....however, in Lawrence v. Texas, a short 20 years later, with many of the same justices sitting on the court, the Supremes determined that homosexual sodomy was a protected constitutional right. Go figure. I guess the constitution "lived and breathed" and changed during that time. Heaven only knows what they might next find in the Penumbras of the emanations of the preludes and Quaaludes to the Bill of Rights.

So much for the "least dangerous branch."
31 posted on 03/03/2005 8:57:01 PM PST by Conservative Goddess (Veritas vos Liberabit, in Vino, Veritas....QED, Vino vos Liberabit)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Well, being as you are the only one, being my favorite is better than being my least favorite. ;-)


32 posted on 03/03/2005 10:58:06 PM PST by Badray (Quinn's First Law -- Liberalism ALWAYS generates the exact opposite of its stated intent.)
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To: Conservative Goddess

If memory serves me correctly, the Supremes have reversed themselves nearly 130 times in the last 40 or 50 years.

I guess that there is no such thing as 'settled law.'


33 posted on 03/03/2005 11:00:50 PM PST by Badray (Quinn's First Law -- Liberalism ALWAYS generates the exact opposite of its stated intent.)
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To: Badray
This was even worse than a reversal by the Supreme Court. The majority here did NOT reverse its prior decision 15 years ago that said states could apply the death penalty to certain juveniles.

Instead, five Justices of the Court decided that the Constitution ITSELF had changed in that 15 years. So now, the Eighth Amendment itself meant the opposite of what it meant in that prior case. This is what makes this one of the most dishonest and unprincipled decisions the Court has ever entered. IMHO.

Billybob

34 posted on 03/04/2005 5:55:43 AM PST by Congressman Billybob ("The truth is out there." Yep, it's on the Internet, but it takes digging, and common sense.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

WOW!

It sounds like they are pleading for tar and feathers.

I haven't had time to look into it further to realize the significance of the what goes on behind the scenes. Your intimate knowledge of the system is invaluable. Thanks for that info.

Now, where do I go to find the proper temperature for tar? hmmm


35 posted on 03/04/2005 8:00:48 AM PST by Badray (Quinn's First Law -- Liberalism ALWAYS generates the exact opposite of its stated intent.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Great article, but there's something that's been bothering me about this. I haven't actually read the decision so maybe I'm way off base but since the convicted killer in the Misouri case actually was over 18 when the death sentence was handed down, would his actual age at the time the crime was committed really be a factor since the death penalty is not just based on the act, but on the defendant's state including his demeanor at the trial and during the penalty phase?

After all, a finding of guilt is one part of the process, sentencing is another.

In any event, the criminal would be much older than 18 when the execution is carried out.

Finally, if someone under the age of eighteen has not mentally matured enough to fully understand the ramifications of murder (or know right from wrong), how can an adolescent seek an abortion?

36 posted on 03/04/2005 5:50:16 PM PST by par4
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To: par4
Your first question: the critical date is the crime, how old was the defendant when he committed the murder? No later date for trial, sentence, etc., has any relevance.

Your second question: Justice Scalia made exactly that point in his Dissent. The American Psychiatric Association put in "expert" evidence that people younger than 18 did not have full "maturity" to appreciate the nature of their conduct. However, in a case concerning abortion for underage girls without parental notification, the Association put in "expert" evidence that was the exact opposite, saying that these underage people were sufficiently mature for the that decision.

Billybob
37 posted on 03/04/2005 5:58:38 PM PST by Congressman Billybob ("The truth is out there." Yep, it's on the Internet, but it takes digging, and common sense.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
I defer to your legal expertise, but that begs the question: Why should a defendant / convicted criminal have the right to present arguments after conviction in order to affect their sentence? After all, remorse comes after the guilty verdict; I would think that knowing that death is on the table would seem a strong incentive to repent, ergo how can a convicted killer beg for mercy after the fact? Is remorse relevent if it comes at a later date (or with age and wisdom)?

As to my second question and Justice Scalia's Dissent, I'd like to say that great minds think alike, but more likely it's a case of a blind squirrel finding an acorn now and then. Thanks for the consideration.

38 posted on 03/04/2005 7:26:44 PM PST by par4
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To: par4
Everyone in every court who is subject to the death penalty is allowed by law to make whatever arguments they and/or their counsel think may cause the decision-maker (in this case the jury) to decide not to impose the death penalty. Most recently, arguments like these were covered ad nausium in the Scott Peterson case.

Such defendants almost never express remorse. That would be an admission that they committed the crime, and would undercut the interminable appeals that these people routinely engage in. Presence or absence of remorse had nothing to do with the Simmons case in the Supreme Court.

Bottom line: five of the Justices of the Court violated their oaths of office by savaging the Constitution.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column, "Death in a Courtly Manner"

39 posted on 03/04/2005 7:34:13 PM PST by Congressman Billybob ("The truth is out there." Yep, it's on the Internet, but it takes digging, and common sense.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Not being schooled in the law, I defer to your much greater experience and education. I was speaking from the point of a layman who looks at the law from a logical standpoint, sort of outside the system.

Perhaps we should have engineers and mathemeticians sit on the courts, after all if A = B and B = C, the A = C. When the Constitution says Congress Shall make no law, then no law can be made (res ipsa loquiter?) Latin was a long time ago.

Thanks for the information. I always enjoy and learn from your weekly writings.

40 posted on 03/04/2005 8:22:07 PM PST by par4
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To: par4
I began my checkered career in math and engineering. There is a near parallel between those pursuits, and the law. In the first two pursuits, the conclusion follows logically from the premises, and all must be valid. The law makes one change.

In law, the premise may be absurd, or impossible. But all that follows from the premise much be logical. For instance: assume the premise that the sun rises at noon in New York in June. Then the correct answer to the question, when is lunchtime, is 6 p.m. LOL.

Once you get over the pesky idea that truth exists, law becomes a piece of cake to those trained in engineering.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column, "Death in a Courtly Manner"

41 posted on 03/04/2005 8:43:44 PM PST by Congressman Billybob ("The truth is out there." Yep, it's on the Internet, but it takes digging, and common sense.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
I think that I understand, therefore it's time for a cocktail.

Always a pleasure sir. Regards...

42 posted on 03/04/2005 8:53:40 PM PST by par4
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To: DMZFrank; Congressman Billybob

What you've said.


43 posted on 03/04/2005 9:02:29 PM PST by GopherIt
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To: the gillman@blacklagoon.com
The as yet unanswered question is, since the sherrif has no balls, will the citizens form a posse or just grumble a little and go back to sleep.

I vote we posse up and go after them.

When the civil disobedience comes and everyone is running around asking, "WHY?", remember this decision and the sodomy decision and the millions of criminal aliens that have so easily waltzed into our country.

Folks are getting fed up!

44 posted on 03/05/2005 9:18:08 AM PST by upchuck ("If our nation be destroyed, it would be from the judiciary." ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: the gillman@blacklagoon.com
will the citizens form a posse or just grumble a little and go back to sleep.

My prediction....just grumble a little and go back to sleep.

45 posted on 03/05/2005 11:06:30 AM PST by itsahoot (There are some things more painful than the truth, but I can't think of them.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

When I read that comment about the opinons of other nations, I thought I must be reading the Declaration of Independence.

Then I realized that indeed I was reading exactly that: the Supreme Court's declaration of independence from the constraints of precedent, legislation and the Constitution.


46 posted on 03/05/2005 1:25:59 PM PST by John Valentine
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To: hchutch

The missing word is probably "noose"


47 posted on 03/06/2005 2:33:51 PM PST by Grendel9
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To: Para-Ord.45
and they look to cherry-pick international law

yeah, why aren't they kowtowing to some of the harsher things found in international, but not american, law? such as a much abbreviated "due process"? at least you would think these yokels would be consistent.

48 posted on 03/06/2005 11:45:17 PM PST by The Red Zone
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To: Congressman Billybob

Slam dunk, Congressman Billybob!


49 posted on 03/07/2005 11:30:17 PM PST by Bogolyubski
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To: Congressman Billybob

I sent you a congratulatory email. Bump for later.


50 posted on 03/08/2005 7:05:18 AM PST by Bluegrass Federalist
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