Skip to comments.Can Obama Conquer the Supreme Court
Posted on 04/08/2012 8:08:08 AM PDT by Kaslin
Quick – can you guess who I’m describing here?
He campaigned against financial mismanagement, and the “harsh realities” of global capitalism. He pledged during his campaign to end corruption in both the government and the private sector.
After being elected President, he claimed that he had “inherited” the worst economic situation in recent history and then went about consolidating his power. Once privately-owned enterprises were “restructured” into government owned entities, some even organized into workers’ cooperatives.
Unemployment remained painfully high, even as the much-celebrated “reform” measures were being implemented. As private sector workers suffered with worsening economic conditions, government employees enjoyed the comforts of steady work and benefits while the President and other policy makers sought increasing control over the nation’s privately-owned wealth.
Does this seem like a description of the Obama Presidency? Certainly this depicts, at least in part, what we’ve experienced in the U.S. since the earliest days of Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign.
But - believe it or not - this is actually a description of the ascendency of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. In fact, you could call this a “textbook case.” I’ve paraphrased a bit for the sake of column space, but this description of Chavez appears in “International Business: Competing In The Global Marketplace,” a text book currently used among M.B.A. students at many of America’s top graduate business schools.
Chavez became the democratically elected President of Venezuela in 1998, a decade before Barack Obama was elected to be our President. And the reason Chavez has been able to morph in to a dictator – he has successfully seized control over privately owned banks, tv stations, farms and gold holdings, to name a few items – and the reason he is still in power today, is because the first thing he did after taking office in 1999 was to substantively change his country’s constitution and re-arrange the nation’s judiciary.
The fact that one man could so quickly seize control of the entire country of Venezuela, probably speaks to some relative weaknesses in that nation’s constitution. And the fact that no U.S. President – not even Barack Obama – has seized this type of control over America, speaks to the relative strengths of both our U.S. Constitution itself, and the separation of powers among our three branches of government that are stipulated by our Constitution.
With so much of our individual liberty resting on the foundation of the U.S. Constitution – and yet with most of human history having been littered with not-so-benevolent dictators like Chavez – we should both expect that powerful leaders will want to overreach in to our lives, and be vigilant to call fowl when they do. Unfortunately, it seems that most Americans are shocked by President Barack Obama’s contemptuous remarks about the Supreme Court last week, as the court review his signature “healthcare reform” law. Worse still, it seems that very few Americans recognize the President’s behavior is problematic.
Of course, President Obama is not the first White House occupant to desire more power than the Constitution allows. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, angered when the Supreme Court overturned some of his “new deal” (read “big government”) programs that he believed were unquestionably necessary to save the country, famously began maligning the Justices of the Supreme Court, publicly labeling them the “9 Old Men.” And as a means of overcoming the “separation of powers” obstacle, he proposed to “reform” that old, antiquated Supreme Court system by adding up to six new justices – justices that he could select and appoint!
Of course, FDR didn’t get his way. The Congress rejected his court reform legislative proposal, and the American people took a dim view of Roosevelt trying to circumvent the Constitution.
But that was the America of 1937. Today, it’s not difficult to imagine that President Obama could curry the favor of millions of Americans, if he chose to campaign against the Justices who may vote to overturn his all-important “Obamacare” law.
Who would stand with Obama in this type of Constitution-bending effort? Start with the entire AFL-CIO. Then add the entire “occupy” movement, and the burgeoning “99% Spring” uprising, and the prevailing powers of the Democrat Party. Put them all together, and you’ve got a critical mass of Americans who neither care nor understand a wit about history, “limited government,” the U.S Constitution, or the Separation of Powers. They want “stuff” – “free” healthcare, education, or whatever – and they want raw power in Washington to deliver that stuff, and to do so by whatever means.
“9 old men.” That pejorative description wouldn’t apply with the makeup of today’s Supreme Court. But we should all prepare for President Obama to take direct aim at, say, 5 or 6 “old” white men – men who are too strictly adhering to an old Constitution that was written by old white men – should the Supreme Court dare to think differently about the President’s healthcare reform law. And the President’s party won’t dare to question this tactic. But who will?
DHS ordering 450,000,000 rounds of handgun ammo over a five year contract does not seem out of line.
216,000 employees amounts to about 400 rounds per year, per employee. I would hope they would use up more than that on the practice range. I do.
I don't think the department should exist at all, but in light of the fact they do, these numbers don't really cause me any alarm as they do not seem unreasonable.
Obama would not have done this if he thought that Obamacare was going to be upheld. The good news is that he seems to be backing down.
A more important point is that whoever is elected President in 2012 will be making Supreme Court appointments. Four of the justices will be over 70 y/o and two of them will be from the conservative, Constitutionalist faction.
The writer's concluding premise seems to be that, unlike 1937, citizens of 2012 might be open to a frontal attack on what the Framers of the Constitution believed to be an essential branch of their government--the Supreme Court.
In order to understand why that might be so, we might review how so-called "progressives" have worked diligently over the past several decades, since 1937, to "change" "the People's" concept of their Constitution. Before this president, or anyone else, attempts such an attack on the Founders' chosen branch for judicial review, citizens might want to examine the danger to their freedom such a dictatorial position presents.
A commonly-used ruse has been deliberate misrepresentations by prominent jurists and law school professors of the Constitution's own provisions for amendment contained in Article V.
This "People's" Constitution--intended to be the people's "chain" (Jefferson) to bind representatives in government--never was intended to be "changed" except by a laborious process involving "the People" themselves.
Using the phrase "a living constitution," "progressives" superimpose their own wishes by claiming, as now-Justicee Sotamayor did at Duke, that "appeals courts are where policy is made," or that Her thinking likely stems from having been schooled in the "living constitution" theory.
A 1980's essay by Dr. Walter Bern is quoted, with permission below. Dr. Bern recounts the history of the "living constitution" idea and exposes some of the myths and fallacies associated with it, while, at the same time, citing the Founders' insistence upon the Constitution's own prescribed method of amendment requiring "the People's" assent and participation.
"Until the people have, by some solemn and authoritative act, annulled or changed the established form, it is binding upon them collectively, as well as individually; and no presumption or even knowledge of their sentiments, can warrant their representatives [the executive, judiciary, or legislature]; in a departure from it prior to such an act." - Alexander Hamilton
In the first of the eighty-five "Federalist Papers," Alexander Hamilton emphasized that:
The Framers knew that the passage of time would surely disclose imperfections or inadequacies in the Constitution, but these were to be repaired or remedied by formal amendment, not by legislative action or judicial construction (or reconstruction). Hamilton (in The Federalist No. 78) was emphatic about this:
The Congress, unlike the British Parliament, was not given final authority over the Constitution, which partly explains why the judicial authority was lodged in a separate and independent branch of government. In Britain the supreme judicial authority is exercised by a committee of the House of Lords, which is appropriate in a system of parliamentary supremacy, but, although it was suggested they do so, the Framers refused to follow the British example.
The American system is one of constitutional supremacy, which means that sovereignty resides in the people, not in the King-in-Parliament; and the idea that the Constitution may be changed by an act of the legislature--even an act subsequently authorized by the judiciary--is simply incompatible with the natural right of the people to determine how (and even whether) they shall be governed.
Unlike in Britain where, formally at least, the queen rules by the grace of God (Dei gratia regina), American government rests on the consent of the people; and, according to natural right, the consent must be given formally. In fact, it must be given in a written compact entered into by the people. Here is Madison on the compacts underlying American government:
Neither civil society (or as Madison puts it, "the people in their social state') nor government exists by nature. By nature everyone is sovereign with respect to himself, free to do whatever in his judgment is necessary to preserve his own life - or, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, everyone is endowed by nature with the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of a happiness that he defines for himself. Civil society is an artificial person (constituted by the first of the compacts), and it is civil society that institutes and empowers government. So it was that they became "the People of the United States" in 1776 and, in 1787-88, WE, THE PEOPLE ordained and established "this Constitution for the United States of America."
In this formal compact THE PEOPLE specified the terms and conditions under which "ourselves and posterity," would be governed: granting some powers and withholding others, and organizing the powers granted with a view to preventing their misuse by the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches alike. WE THE PEOPLE were authorized by natural right to do this, and were authorized to act on behalf of posterity only insofar as the rights of posterity to change those terms and conditions were respected. This was accomplished in Article V of the Constitution, the amending article, which prescribed the forms to be followed when exercising that power in the future.
The Framers had designed a constitutional structure for a government which would be limited by that structure - by the distribution of power into distinct departments, a system of legislative balances and checks, an independent judiciary, a system of representation, and an enlargement of the orbit "within which such systems are to revolve" And to the judges they assigned the duty, as "faithful guardians of the Constitution," to preserve the integrity of the structure, for it is by the structure (more than by "parchment barriers") that the government is limited. It would he only a slight exaggeration to say that, in the judgment of the Founders, the Constitution would "live" as long as that structure was preserved.
The Enduring American Constitution
Now, almost 200 years later, one can read Hamilton's words in Federalist No. 1 and conclude that, under some conditions, some "societies of men" are capable of "establishing good government," but that most are not. This is not for lack of trying; on the contrary, constitutions are being written all the time - of some 164 countries in the world, all but a small handful (seven by the latest count) have written constitutions - but most of them are not long-lived.
In September 1983, the American Enterprise Institute sponsored an international conference on constitution writing at the Supreme Court of the United States; some twenty-odd countries were represented. With the exception of the Americans, the persons present had themselves played a role - in some cases a major role - in the writing of their countries' constitutions, most of them written since 1970. Only the constitution of the French Fifth Republic predated 1970; and the Nigerian, so ably discussed and defended at the 1983 conference by one of its own Framers, had subsequently been subverted, much as the four previous French republican constitutions had been subverted. It would seem that many peoples are experienced in the writing of constitutions, but only a few of them - conspicuous among these the people of America - have an experience of stable constitutional government. In that sense, we surely have "a living Constitution." That is not, however, the sense in which the term is ordinarily used in the literature of constitutional law as shall be explored herein.
Treating The Constitution As
MANY more offsets....
If the very highest military does not see that Obama fails e-verify, has used multiple socials security numbers, is now using a SS# from a man born in 1890, and has posted more than one flat out FORGERY, then they are brain dead or COMPLICIT!
When did ignoring usurpation, FORGERY, and identity theft, become part of the military code of honor and the oath to defend the Constitution?
Where is the evidence that these very highest military peacefully and legally asked congress or the courts to clarify with certifiable evidence that Obama is a natural born citizen or even a citizen at all?
When did any of the highest military hold a press conference to resign because they could not serve under a man who was very like a usurper?
Is ignoring usurpation, forgery, and identity theft now commonly taught in our military colleges?
Is this how the highest military watches the back of those brave and honorable men and women serving under them?
Why doesn't lightning strike when these perfumed princes when they return the salute of the brave man women serving under them and greet the families of the fallen and grievously maimed servicemen and women?
No. Amending the Constitution is, by its original design, very difficult. That's why Roosevelt, rather than proposing a Constitutional Amendment, sought to solve his "problem" by having Congress pass ordinary legislation permitting a Supreme Court of up to fifteen justices. The number of justices on the Supreme Court is not fixed (currently at nine) by the Constitution, but rather is specified by statute. In fact, the SCOTUS began with only five justices, later increased to seven, and then to nine - all by legislation.
The point is that Obama could legally urge Congress to increase the size of the SCOTUS without the need for a Constitutional amendment. However, with the Congress as it currently is, such a proposal would, thankfully, face certain defeat. So chances are slim that he would repeat Roosevelt's mistake.
You are telling me that is DOES NOT require at least 3/4 of the states to ratify an amendment?
And that's why I'll be voting for whoever the Republican nominee turns out to be. ABO!!!
More relevant precedent: “[The Supreme Court] has made [its] decision; now let [it] enforce it!” - President Andrew Jackson
The 400 rounds per employee might sound reasonable at first but then when you consider that many if not most DHS employees are in support roles such as secretaries, janitors, mailroom clerks, and who knows how many other categores, the number per armed employee goes up drastically.
Secondly, is it necessary to fire hollow points at the practice range? What are the targets made of? Kevlar? What's wrong with good old cardboard?
There is no question about it. If he wins a second term he will negate the Supreme Court, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the freedoms of all (free at this time) Americans.
Up to now, the GOP has ALLOWED all to happen due to their timid and politically correct ways.
The “glue” that will seal the papers on our country’s demise will be the selection for Romney to represent the Republicans and will ensure the safety of Obama’s reelection.
If, by sheer accident, Romney wins, we will have Obama “light” and the Democrats will rule with impunity for the next 4 years.
It’s a lose-lose situation for the American patriots and conservatives, all being staunch supporters of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
It is important to know and understand what the Constitution does and does not say. Not nearly enough people do.
I'm glad you include me in your posts.
2008 recount? Did you mean the 2000 recount (Bush v. Gore)? I don't recall any recount of importance in 2008 in Florida, certainly none that was national news.
Yep! A typo. I did mean 2000.
You are absolutely correct when you say that it requires 3/4 of the state legislatures to ratify an amendment.
But what I was saying is that, legally, Congress could expand the size of the Supreme Court to more than the current nine justices by ordinary legislation (simple majorities of both houses). Thus, theoretically, Obama could wrest effective control of the SCOTUS without any need for the Constitutional amendment process. But fortunately, there is just about zero chance of that happening with the current Congress. Thus, by the amazing prescience of the Founding Fathers and their structure of checks and balances, Obama is spinning his wheels in the quicksand on this one.
...or if he wasn't sure and thought he could intimidate the fence sitters.
As it stands now, the guess here is that the individual mandate will go down 5-4, barring any last-minute shifts.
"Up to now, the GOP has ALLOWED all to happen due to their timid and politically correct ways."
True that there is no question about it DH, but the Constitution has been circumvented since Justice Roberts administered the oath of office. The GOP wasn't timid, they were complicit. The Obama/McCaskill bill, S.2678, to make McCain eligible, the Children of Military Families Natural Born Citizen Act in February 2008 didn't pass, and wouldn't have survived judicial review if it had. The successor act by Democrats, Senate Resolution 511, April 2008, provided talking points for legislators and the media, but has no legal force. The principle at the core of SR511 was stated by former Judge Michael Chertoff, and agreed to by every US Senator.
My assumption and my understanding is that if you are born of American parents, you are naturally a natural-born American citizen, Chertoff replied. That is mine, too, said Leahy.
The law, avoided by every pundit, every legislator, and ever judge remains on paper in our archives, at least for the moment, having citations to it scrubbed from Google and Justia by Obama operatives. It is unarguable, which is why there are many surreptitious Obama operatives who continue to lament forged “COLB”s, patently fictitious social security numbers and selective service documents. Obama can simply deny having authorized those documents. He can't, and has not, claim to satisfy Article II Section 1. He has honestly told us he is a naturalized citizen, but the media and ignorance protect him. He said “I am a native-born citizen of the US.” A “native-born” citizen is a citizen naturalized by having been born on our sovereign soil. Every anchor baby, born to illegal immigrants, is a “native-born citizen of the US.” Here is the Supreme Court clarification of the common-law definition of Article II natural born citizenship. Remember, definitions used in the Constitution were all based upon the common-law and common language of our framers.
“The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”
Minor v. Happersett, 88 US 163 (1875), as quoted above is precedent. There can only be one case defining “held” precedent. We are not honoring the Constitution while Obama is in the White House. Both parties had their reasons. Had the Republicans not accepted the quid-pro-quo, never performing their obligation to vet Obama, Hillary would be running for her second term in 2012. McCain was vetted and never found eligible; the Senate in SR511 said, in effect, “We think our framers would have amended the Constitution had they known McCain would be running, and Washington would not have rescinded the 1790 Nationality Act, which was the last action to attempt to expand the definition of natural born citizenship.”
This definition does not change. The media hope you, like changing the channel, will tire of the truth, since this law isn't being honored, respected, or protected. They are probably correct. When the the dictatorship of the proletariat decides that the 1st Amendment is also inconvenient, they may be sorry. There need only be one network, one organization reciting the edicts of government.
As for why hollow points, why not train with your duty ammo when you can get someone else to foot the bill? Have you ever heard of a government entity spending other people's money wisely?
Many of the CCW classes around here require a 200 round qualification. 1,000 practice rounds a year per person would be easy to attain, especially if they were free.
Alexander Hamilton, who was grandfathered, shared something with our President. He was eighteen when he immigrated to New York to attend Kings College (Columbia). He established himself in his new abode by marrying the daughter of a local magnate. His plan for the constitution which he submitted to the Convention, sank like a stone, because he had no feelings for the differences between the former colonies and new states. He supported the Constitution simply out of expedience. He always remained a stranger to the mainland, a bit like Napoleon, another islander who used unsettling time to make his fortune. Were it not for John Adams,Hamilton would have gone to war with France, and made us the allies of the British.
Obama has no deeper roots in this country.Like Hamilton and Napoleon, he is an adventurer, and therefore dangerous.