Skip to comments.Utah's Liljenquist Pledges to Work to Repeal NDAA and 17th Amendment
Posted on 04/25/2012 4:09:49 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Candidate for Senate Dan Liljenquist (left) pledged to The New American that should he be elected to the U.S. Senate he will offer legislation explicitly repealing the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
In a press conference held on April 24 at 2:00 p.m. (MDT), the former Utah State Senator and current GOP challenger to six-term Senator Orrin Hatch described the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA as an overreach and a violation of the Bill of Rights. He said that had he been in office when Congress voted to pass the NDAA he would have been a no vote.
Later in the interview, in a surprising answer to a question, Liljenquist informed The New American that he supports the repeal of the 17th Amendment. Regarding , Liljenquist explained his opposition to tthe popular election of the U.S. Senate that was effected by the ratification of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution:
There is a disconnect between the state legislatures and the state delegations in Washington, D.C. I commit that if I ever lose the support of the Utah State Legislature, I will come home and not return to Washington, he continued.
The candidate is correct in his view of the proper relationship between state government and federal Senate as established by our Founders in the Constitution. History is on Liljenquists side, as well.
Edmund Randolph, Governor of Virginia and representative of that state at the Constitutional Convention, said that the object of the particular mode of electing Senators was to control the democratic branch. Recognizing the terrors historically accompanying any government with even a slight tincture of democracy, Randolph admonished that a firmness and independence may be the more necessary in this branch, as it ought to guard the Constitution against encroachments of the Executive who will be apt to form combinations with the demagogues of the popular branch.
James Madison, known appropriately as the Father of the Constitution, said that the use of the Senate is to consist in its proceeding with more coolness, with more system, and more wisdom than the popular branch and to protect the people against the transient impressions in which they themselves might be led.
During the debates on the matter in the Convention, Luther Martin of Maryland said it plainly: The Senate is to represent the states. Finally, Roger Sherman, an influential delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, wrote in a letter to John Adams: The senators, being dependent on [state legislatures] for reelection, will be vigilant in supporting their rights against infringement by the legislative or executive of the United States.
With Shermans assessment in mind, is it reasonable to regard the abolition of this check on the legislative and executive branches of the central government as a purposeful tactic of the enemies of our Constitution? That is to say, with the artillery of state legislatures silenced by the 17th Amendment, the ability of the legislative and executive branches to collude in the usurpation of power would be significantly increased. Indeed, the combination of demagogues in the executive and legislative branches has formed and has thrived in the post-17th Amendment electoral environment.
In his comments, Liljenquist displayed a remarkable and noteworthy comprehension of other fundamental aspects of federalism, as well. In response to a question from The New American regarding his interpretation of the Tenth Amendment, enumerated powers, and the right of states to be self-governing, Liljenquist answered in a frank and well-informed manner that should please all supporters of the Constitution in the Beehive State.
Im a Tenth Amendment guy and a states rights guy, Liljenquist proclaimed. I will work to remove power from the federal government and return power to the states, he added.
As a former member of the Utah State Senate, Liljenquist knows from whence he speaks. With regard to Washingtons usurpation of power, Liljenquist laments that state legislators are forced to beg for their lives from the federal government just for the right to govern their states. We have lost our way and have allowed Congress and the Courts to use the Commerce Clause to centralize government power in Washington, Liljenquist remarked.
On the issues page of his campaigns official website, Liljenquist takes a decidedly state-centered tack with regard to several key national issues.
Under Entitlements, Liljenquist writes that if we are going to have a welfare program at all, it should be administered at a state level.
Regarding education, Liljenquist states that there is no role for the federal government in education.
And, as one might expect from a Republican senatorial candidate from the west where the federal government has unconstitutionally seized control of vast swaths of land, Liljenquist promises that should he be elected to serve in Washington, he will strongly promote measures to give Utah and other states not only control over [their] land, but also the ability to develop [their] own natural resources.
In an article published online this week by The New American, Thomas Eddlem recounts the story of Liljenquists success in the Utah Republican Convention to force Orrin Hatch into a primary race, the first time Hatch has faced such a challenge since elected to his current seat in 1976. Eddlem writes:
Six-term incumbent Utah Senator Orrin Hatch ... will face a primary opponent for the first time since he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976, after the Utah GOP convention narrowly failed Saturday to give him the 60 percent super-majority needed to avoid a primary. The 78-year-old Senator came up just 31 votes short of avoiding a primary, and will face former state Senator Dan Liljenquist in the primary.
Hatch received 59.2 percent of delegate vote to Liljenquist's 40.8 percent, on the second ballot, the Utah-based Deseret News reported April 21. Candidates need 60 percent of the vote to win the party nomination outright. Eight other candidates did not advance after the first ballot.
For his part, Hatch packaged the obvious setback as a success in disguise. After the convention, Hatch told the Salt Lake Tribune: "Were going to win it. He is reported by the Salt Lake City daily to have called the vote causing the primary a tremendous victory.
"Were pretty darn happy about what did happen. It sent a message. It says that this tough old bird isnt someone you can just trample on, Hatch added.
While there is much for constitutionalists to celebrate in the candidacy of Dan Liljenquist and his challenge to the GOP Establishment that has voted consistently to perpetuate corporate welfare and to pass one after the other measure consolidating all power in the hands of the plutocrats on the Potomac, there are a few issues where Liljenquist could yet benefit from a more dedicated study of the Constitution.
His stances on the Balanced Budget Amendment (hes for it), Cut, Cap and Balance (he describes himself as a vocal supporter of it), and immigration (he advocates for the use of the E-Verify system) are inconsistent with his commitment to adhere to the enumerated powers of the Constitution. The Constitution grants no power to the federal government to act in any one of these areas, thus that power is reserved by the states and the people.
Utah voters head to the polls on June 26 to vote in their states primary elections.
I don’t want power given to states, I want power given to the people
THAT is a Republican I could support.
“His stances on the Balanced Budget Amendment (hes for it), Cut, Cap and Balance (he describes himself as a vocal supporter of it), and immigration (he advocates for the use of the E-Verify system) are inconsistent with his commitment to adhere to the enumerated powers of the Constitution. The Constitution grants no power to the federal government to act in any one of these areas, thus that power is reserved by the states and the people.”
Silly argument. (1) If it’s an AMENDMENT, then it’s in the constitution. (2) Cutting and balancing the budget is an inherent part of the budgeting process. Congress is authorized to spend money. Therefore, it can cut the spending and balance it. (3) Finally, controlling immigration is part of sovereignty. I don’t see how the author thinks the US has no business controlling immigration into the United States.
I do hope that Dan Liljenquist manages to win this. We need more like him in the U.S. Senate.
I bitterly oppose the repeal of the 17th. That would prevent the election of Republicans in states with heavy and reliable Democrat legislative majorities for perpetuity, and those that would elect Republicans would likely be establishment type RINOs.
It’s a lousy idea, but it won’t pass. On the whole, Liljenquist is a great candidate, this unfortunate error aside.
The Founders knew that one house had to be chosen by the states, not in popular election, in order to have wisdom and deliberation in lawmaking.
The 17th short-circuits that, and makes a Senator just another election whore, but with a 6-year term, that allows him to do a lot more damage before he is thrown out.
I may have to move to Utah just to vote for him.
So, do you oppose taking power away from FedGov, just because it can't be immediately transferred to the people?
Wake up. Every function that has been devolved to the states (e.g., gun legislation) has resulted in more freedom for the people. The Founders intended government to be closer to the people. The several states are surely closer to the people than an all-powerful central government.
I agree with him.
Did Hatch vote in favor of the NDAA?
I take it you’ll support Mr. Hatch then?
(I currently oppose repealing the 17th Amendment until we get rid of the disease known as fleebagging Democrats. I do support Mr. Liljenquist, however.)
It wouldn’t surprise me if he did.
Nope, Hatch needs to retire. 36 years is long enough (frankly, for probably 90-95% of the Senate, 6 years is too long).
That is far less of a problem, as long as those Democrats represent the Democrat legislature in their individual states.
The disaster that was the 17th Amendment did two terrible things. First it made senators responsible to no one, if they could just fool the public or buy the election once each six years. Since it was passed, senators just utterly ignore their home states and think of themselves as independent agents, or much worse, “federal” representatives, or even today “international” representatives. They act like Robin Williams in his role as King of the Moon.
The other terrible thing was a side effect of this. By not having to answer to their states, the states were eliminated as the gateway to direct federal involvement in the lives of individual citizens. If a bureaucrat wants to involve himself in your life today, he can, and your state cannot prevent him from doing so, or even act as a buffer.
As such, the 17th Amendment was the enabling act of the 16th Amendment, The Income Tax, *and* the 18th Amendment, Prohibition, and all the federal prohibition-style laws created ever since.
Were Republican state legislatures responsible for appointing Republican senators, a LOT of RINOs would get the boot, because RINOs have not just made it a habit of sticking it to conservatives, but to their own states as well.
Giving power to the states indirectly and directly gives power to the people. Among other constitutional balances of power, the power of the federal government, the state governments, and the people are supposed to form a balance.
If the states abuse their people, the 14th Amendment allows the federal government to intervene to protect them. But if the federal government wants to abuse the people, the 17th Amendment takes away the power of the states to protect the people from the feds.
Put another way, compare what your state demands of you to what the federal government demands of you. If the primary government you deal with is that of your state, you have more freedom and liberty than if you must obey the feds, whose demands are endless.
Amenm GeronL! I get tired of freepers telling us the "conservative" position is to repeat talking points used by pro-slavery Democrats from the 1860s. The RATs and mainstream media must love that stuff, they can keep pretending our side is the one that promoted slavery and use it to turn voters away from the GOP in states with horrible state governments in both parties. I don't want "states" to have more power, I want individuals to have more power.
>> Wake up. Every function that has been devolved to the states (e.g., gun legislation) has resulted in more freedom for the people. <<
Really? News to those of us in Illinois and many other states. Every power the federal government has granted my state government has resulted in more tyranny over the lives of Illinois citizes and corruption for state bureucrats. If you can think of any time they've given me "more freedom" when my state government had exclusive jurisdiction over an issue, please let me know. The freedom to keep and bear arms is BECAUSE its guranteed by federal law, not because states are given the "right" to do whatever they want with gun legislation (if states were given that "right", at least a dozen or so liberal states would pass laws to immediately ban private ownership of guns. Deep down, you "states rights" Conservatives know this, that's why you'd never want the 2nd amendment repealed and"send it back to the states")
>> I bitterly oppose the repeal of the 17th. That would prevent the election of Republicans in states with heavy and reliable Democrat legislative majorities for perpetuity, and those that would elect Republicans would likely be establishment type RINOs. Its a lousy idea, but it wont pass. On the whole, Liljenquist is a great candidate, this unfortunate error aside. <<
I agree it will never pass, but the fact is a bunch of self-described "conservatives" keep trying to elect candidates who will insist on pushing this stuff. It's going to embarrass our side when they do, and that is a legitimate reason to give pause about Liljenquist.
After reading the FR aritlce about his views, I can say of his world outlook is quite different from mine. As Impy noted, many of these "you hate the Constitution if you don't agree with me" types overlap, so the people screaming about how the citizens electing Senators is evil are the also ones telling us that democracy is bad (that any "consevative" is offended by the idea that we the people are the ultimate source of the federal goverment's authority is distrurbing to me), amendments banning abortion are terrible, gay marriage enacted at the state level by activist judges is "just fine", anyone that doesn't have two natural born U.S. citizen parents is ineligible for federal office (and you love Obama if you disagree with their premise, etc.), etc., etc.
My experience is alot of these "conservatives" have gravitated to quacks like Ron Paul and Donald Trump. The recent thread on Justin Amash having a RINOish record was a good example too, he was touted by some tea-party groups as some wonderful "constitutional" conservative when he ran. Walter Jones Jr. is another fine example. These kinds of conservatives will cross over to help the RATs accomplish their goals on numerous issues, claiming they're doing it for some noble constitutional reason that the rest of us ignorant masses just don't "get" because we're not enlightened like them. You know, same kind of condescending attitude we get from the liberal elite.
I'm NOT saying Hatch is better, he's been there for decades too long and has grown squishy. If the choice was Hatch or Liljenquist, I'd hold my nose for Liljenquist just because Hatch needs to go. All I'm saying is I'm getting a bad vibe from this guy and his supporters, so I'd keep a close eye on him before jumping to applaud Liljenquist as a rising conservative star. Remember next time, I warned freepers...
Of course. After passing the 17th amendment, those rascally popularly elected Senators immediately got into their time machine and traveled backwards in time two years earlier to convince the state-legislative appointed Senators to pass the 16th amendment and enact an income tax! Obviously, due to the fact all state-legislature appointed Senators and infallible and noble politicians committed to the best interests of their states, they NEVER would have DARED enact an income tax if not the evil time-traveling popularly elected Senators from the future making them do so.
Likewise, the passage of the 17th amendment is also directly responsible for World War I, the sinking of the titanic, the trail of tears, the assassination of James A. Garfield, bleeding kansas, Dred Scott, Aaron Burr killing Alexander Hamilton, the stamp act, and of course, the Black Death in medieval Europe.
Never underestimate the evil that the 17th amendment can wrought due to the abilities of popularity elected Senators to time-travel back to events that happened BEFORE the amendment was passed.
I agree with your analysis -cases in point, the repeal of DADT, the passage of Health Care Reform, NCLB, the Department of Education, Voter Rights Act, etcetera -ALL squeaky wheel, knee jerk, or special interest group populist initiatives that did not give States a seat at the table to craft and add input into.