Skip to comments.Unlimited Government
Posted on 12/16/2005 9:27:47 AM PST by Marxbites
Unlimited Government By Christopher DeMuth
It was typical summertime in Washington last Julytemperature in the 90s, humidity in the 80syet the living was anything but easy. President Bush announced on prime-time television his nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court, and Congress and the entire capital city sprang briskly into action........
Thus began another national debate over the contemporary meaning of our Constitutionconducted over the airwaves and Internet and in the op-ed pages, culminating in Senate hearings in September where Judge Roberts was lectured and quizzed on Supreme Court case law by senators reciting from cue cards...........
Thomas Jefferson played the pivotal role in choosing the site for our national capital, and selected what was essentially a malarial swamp. He had been in Paris when the Constitution was drafted, and he was not much impressed by its parchment provisions for limited government. Soanticipating the old dictum that no mans life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session Jefferson added a climatologic backstop. Long, miserable summers were to serve as a natural deterrent to the growth of our national apparatus.
Leaving the Constitution out in the cold
It worked beautifully for more than a century. Legislators, lobbyists, and executive officials fled the capital en masse most summers, right through the late 1920swhen air conditioning was introduced. With the deployment of that subversive technology, there began a notable expansion of the federal leviathan..........
(Excerpt) Read more at taemag.com ...
The Barrett Report ............... DORGAN, that sleaze boy, is a major senatorial bum and sits on the side of 'Gorelick's Wall'.
This country is past tense............... if this dweeb, Dorgan, isn't taken to the woodshed.................... and hung.................. or at least beaten silly.
And the recitation of Constitution-trashing and abandoning duplicity by the Harriet Meiers-run White House Counsel's office...that GWB blithely signed off on...is absolutely damning.
We truly dodged a bullet when her candidacy was annhilated.
Dorgan, Durbin, Leaky, Smirker, Ted the olympic swimmer, what's the diff??? They are all crybaby power mongerers selling socialism for votes!!!!
Miers? I too was gratified to see her go and Alito take her place. Why does W always want to compromise with Dems? Or was Miers' nomination to have an ace-in-the-hole should Dems regain the House who are droolingly anxious to impeach?
Norquist says we can cut Govt by 50% in a generation - what a day for liberty that would be !!!!
Ben Stein's co-author.
I really shared the frustration of the author when he said this:
A telling illustration of the current practice is the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002—where a genuine First Amendment debate seemed to be brewing within and between the Bush administration and the Congress, only to fizzle out. As a candidate, George W. Bush agreed that Presidents have a duty to veto bills they regard as un-Constitutional, and said that he would veto the then-gestating McCain-Feingold bill because of its infringements on political speech. Then, shortly after arriving at the White House, he sent the Senate a statement urging that campaign finance reforms should protect the rights of “individuals to participate in democracy” and “citizen groups to engage in issue advocacy.” The statement added that if the courts found any provision of such a reform to be un-Constitutional, the entire law should fall.
But when McCain-Feingold passed in 2002, it contained even greater restrictions on individual speech and group issue-advocacy than earlier versions of the bill, and lacked any provision to invalidate the full law if parts proved un-Constitutional. Whereupon President Bush, under intense political pressure following six years of Congressional deliberation on the bill, signed it into law anyway—while noting his “serious Constitutional concerns” and his expectation that “the courts will resolve these legitimate legal questions.”
When the law was challenged in court, however, the Department of Justice did not oppose the speech-limiting provisions the President said he objected to, but rather defended them based on extrapolations of Supreme Court precedents. With its way thus paved, the Court agreed with “the Government” and held the regulations to be Constitutional—noting for good measure its own “proper deference to Congress’s ability to weigh competing Constitutional interests in an area in which it enjoys particular expertise.”
Most of the recent instances of Presidents signing bills while raising Constitutional objections involve provisions that, unlike McCain-Feingold, encroach on the President’s own Constitutional prerogatives. For example, an increasing number of appropriations bills include provisions requiring Administration officials to provide reports or legislative recommendations directly to Congress without going through the President, or even putting Congressional committees directly in the loop of program administration. In cases such as these, the President can enforce the Constitution himself—in effect nullifying just the provisions he objects to—by directing that the provisions be ignored or treated as merely advisory, and leaving it to Congress to decide how to deal with such “illegal” activity.
COMMENT: This is the kind of 'forked-tongue' behavior by the White House which has been so galling. And put the conservatives on a hair-trigger when Meiers was nominated. We already had her number, so to speak...with another devestating example being the Affirmative Action issues with the Michigan Law School...it was Meier's who sabotaged the Justice Dept. case.
I would not be surprised if the intellectual duplicity and hypocrisy...and Meiers over-ruling key conservative constitutional positions... led directly to Ted Olson's leaving the Solicitor General's Office.