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.
Illegals elect and effect Senators today as a result of the 17th Ammendment...
The Census which divides the federal handout pie directly relates to the 'count' which prior to the 17th Senators were not effected by -they could care less about the demands of the mobs in regard to the States they served.
“I dont want power given to states, I want power given to the people”
The people have their power, in the House of Representatives and in their respective State legislatures.
You obviously put a lot of thought into a rather poor argument. A quick check would have let you see that the 16th and 17th amendments were enacted in just a little over two months from each other. And while its stated intent was anything but a federalism argument, its effects on federalism was catastrophic.
Legal expert federal judge Jay Bybee wrote in the Northwestern University Law Review that the Amendment has led to the gradual “slide into ignominy” of state legislatures, with the lack of a state-based check on Congress allowing the Federal government to supersede states.
“Politics, like nature, abhorred a vacuum, so senators felt the pressure to do something, namely enact laws. Once senators were no longer accountable to and constrained by state legislatures, the maximizing function for senators was unrestrained; senators almost always found in their own interest to procure federal legislation, even to the detriment of state control of traditional state functions.”
James Christian Ure, writing in the South Texas Law Review agreed, saying that not only are senators now free to ignore the needs of their state, “they have incentive to use their advice-and-consent powers to install Supreme Court justices who are inclined to increase federal power at the expense of state sovereignty.”
Donald J. Kochan, for an article in the Albany Law Review, analyzed the effect of the Seventeenth Amendment on Supreme Court decisions over the constitutionality of state legislation. He found a “statistically significant difference” in the number of cases holding state legislation unconstitutional before and after the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment, with the number of holdings of unconstitutionality increasing sixfold.
So, while the stated purpose of the 17th Amendment was “greater democracy”, its true result is a bloated and overpowering federal government. Not a good bargain.
No thanks fellas, I’ll choose my own Senators rather than have other politicians choose them.
Idiotic position by Liljenquist given that the Utah legislature would be certain to REELECT HATCH OVER HIM. Doy!
And no one aside from a few rocket scientists on the internet cares about this “issue”. Kooky ideas cost you more votes than you gain.
And state legislators. DOY!
While I agree that the idea would never pass, it is because it would be blocked steadfastly in the senate. They like being free agents, and hate the idea of having to even pretend to watch out for the interests of their state.
I cite the example of John McCain, whose closest thing to a home state is Virginia (though I’ve heard several Virginians disavow him), whose only real connection with Arizona is his wife, a wealthy beer heiress, who buys his seat in the “rotten borough” of Arizona, hopelessly outspending (and viciously smearing) any Arizonan who challenges him.
As a senator, he does nothing for Arizona, and is entirely a federal government animal, chasing his own RINO ambitions. And the only thing Arizona can do is wait for him to be scraped out of his seat when he goes the way, and pray no other hyper-wealthy person buys the seat after him.
So since the 17th Amendment is here to stay, there is even a proposal to in effect, by constitutional amendment, to create a new body, a judicial body, that gives the states at least a little say in the direction of the country.
This idea is for the creation of a “Second Court of the United States”, directly underneath the Supreme Court, but populated with 100 *state* appointed judges. Not a federal court, it does *not* determine if cases are constitutional. Instead, it is a “jurisdictional” court, to determine if a case should be federal, or if it should be returned to the state of origin for decision.
Its only other responsibility is to have original jurisdiction in all lawsuits between the federal government and the states, meaning that the states, not federal judges, would get first crack at such lawsuits.
So what does this accomplish?
1) It replicates the original function of the US senate as a representative of the individual states. So the senators get to keep their free agency, but the states again get a say in how the federal government is run.
2) Each year, America’s 3,600 federal judges send through the appellate courts an enormous number of cases, many of which represent a huge federal assumption of state power. At the federal circuit court level, some 8,000 cases are appealed to the SCOTUS, which can hear only a few dozen, a gigantic bottleneck. So the vast majority are stuck with the circuit court decision, for better or worse, often worse.
With the creation of the 2nd Court, if the SCOTUS refused a case, it would *first* be returned to the 2nd court, which could choose to return it to the states, taking it entirely out of federal hands. And only if they decided that it was indeed a federal issue, would it be returned to the circuit courts for *their* previous decision about its constitutionality.
3) The Obama administration, and presidencies before it, use the Justice Department to harass by lawsuit states that are disobedient to the federal government. It is intolerably expensive for the states to fight such lawsuits in each case having to go up the chain of federal courts, though it can only really be resolved by the SCOTUS. First their state district court, then a panel of their federal appeals court, then the entire appeals court “en banc”, and finally the SCOTUS. If the SCOTUS decides it can hear the case.
A 2nd Court, however, would first let the individual states decide who is right and who is wrong. This is important, as a clear majority of states, or more so, a 2/3rds or even 3/4ths majority of the states, would have a resounding impact on the SCOTUS. In effect, it *could* act as a “safe” version of a constitutional convention. Yet it would still give the SCOTUS a final say as a last check on the process.
Importantly, such lawsuits go both ways, so the states could sue the federal government in front of the other states, to protect both their interests and the interests of their citizens.
So, the bottom line is that a 2nd Court would even go beyond the abolition of the 17th Amendments, and take on federal usurpation of power by all three branches at the same time, but in a gradual manner. In the long term, restoring the balance between the federalism and anti-federalism argument.
Psst...Illegals elect and effect political officials in EVERY popularly elected legislative body, ESPECIALLY in the House of Representatives (read about how Loretta Sanchez won her seat). Going by your logic, the "solution" would be to have politicians appoint ALL our officials for us (the President would have to be appointed by Congress too, since JFK stole Texas thanks to illegal alien votes for example, and don't get started on the '96 Clinton/Gore amnesty). How about we just repealing motor-voter laws, passing laws to require photo ID to vote, and taking care of other idiotic loopholes that are really the result of illegal aliens voting in our elections? Or are seriously going to argue that illegally alien vote fraud is only a problem in the U.S. Senate elections?
>> they could care less about the demands of the mobs in regard to the States they served. <<
Yeah yeah yeah.... if only the Mass. state legislature were allowed to appoint some Democrat hack to Ted Kennedy's seat without those annoying little "mob rule" (a.k.a. the citizens of the state speaking up and electing someone who actually listens to them, things would be soooooooo much better in America.
You guys who constantly whine about how things would be soooooooooo much better if politicians appointed our Senate for us use the same logic as the dopes who wants a single-payer health care system. EVERYWHERE else in the world where it's been tried, the system never works and results in a failed bureaucracy, but you insist that's only because they had the "wrong people" in charge and live in your fantasy world that honest, honorable "statesmen" would make sure to do the right thing here.
While I agree the idea would never pass, I don't think it would get a majority (or even come close to getting a majority) of votes in the U.S. House, either. And that includes whether the House is controlled by Republicans or Democrats. The Congressmen are up for re-election every 2 years and wouldn't want their opponent running campaign ads saying "Joe Dunn says he wants to empower you... but Joe Dunn tried to take away your power to vote out Washington politicians. Maybe it's time you voted out HIM while you still can. Vote Mark Smith on November 2nd"
What's surprising is the 17th passed in the first place, given that it's an amendment and needs to be ratified by the states. That means not only did U.S. Senators agree to give up their cushy appointed jobs, but state legislatures actually agreed to take away their OWN power! They must have really been shamed into passing that due to some major scandals. They've been trying to have elected members in the UK House of Lords for decades and the Lords always block it. Can't say I blame them, I'd love having a lifetime government job and not being accountable to my constituents. I just thank God I live in America where we don't have royalty and "birthright" mentality.
That is an illusion. Your state will have no say in it at all. The national commie Dem money will elect the senator of THEIR choice.
The Founders foresaw this. They were smarter than you or me.
You have an embarrasingly poor understanding of the US Constitution and what the Founding Fathers intended. I suggest you study up on the matter. The 17th Amendment was a terrible idea and it should be repealed.
Yep. The people were seduced by the promise of "democracy", not realizing that the national democracy of the House needed a counterbalance of states' power in the Senate. Without that counterbalance, the states have NO direct stake in the federal government.
With obvious consequences.
Apparently, you are just as ignorant as Impy.
Please read Federalist #62, #63, and #68.
Popular election of the upper body of the legislature has decoupled it from the interests of the states. It is INCOMPATIBLE with the Founders' vision.
They were smarter than we are, guys.
"History tells us that there were no long lived republics that did not have a senate. Only Sparta, Rome, and Carthage fit that characteristic of having a senate and a long life. This demonstrates that it is necessary to have some institution that will blend stability with liberty.
Having this second body dissimilar from another will protect the people better than having the whole legislative trust in the hands of one body of men who may betray the people. Returning to the main question of whether the senate will transform itself into a tyrannical aristocracy, he gives several examples of senates designed similarly to the federal proposal that have shown no such tendency. The first is Maryland with a senate very much like the federal senate. Then the British example where the senate instead of being elected for six years is actually an hereditary assembly of opulent nobles and the house is elected for seven years by a small portion of the population. Here we should have seen the aristocratic usurpation and tyranny but instead the senate has barely been able to defend itself against the encroachments of the house elected by the people. "
See, the Founders took their examples from systems that WORKED. The ancient republics, as well as the structures inside the states themselves, provided information on how governments actually BEHAVED.
Again, those guys were WAY smarter than us. The 17th is an abomination.
> I just thank God I live in America where we don’t have
> royalty and “birthright” mentality.
Except among the Washington elite, such as John Kerry, the Bush family, Al Gore, etc. ad nauseum.
A good cue to such people is that they really like the French legal system, Code Civil, instead of the nasty old egalitarian Common Law system.
Apparently, you’re ignorant to some of the realities of life.
If direct election of US Senators was still left to the state legislatures, there would be no way a Republican like Mark Kirk or Scott Brown would ever get elected from deep, deep “Blue” states.
Granted, those two are RINOs, but they are a Hell of a lot better than the complete, total Marxists that either the IL or MA legislatures would elect.
You guys? I am just stating my opinion -if you do not like; oh well. You want to talk about whining -take look in the mirror
By the way, your arguments suck and I can see why you feel the need to personally attack those who disagree with them.
You don't choose your Senators. The unions and Goldman Sachs choose them for you. Like with Obama and Romney you get to choose a tool which has already been preordained. Election Day is just kabuki.