Category Archives: Constitution
The Supreme Court’s Partisan Divide
There can be little doubt that the current Supreme Court is politically biased. When ruling on major politically polarized cases, the court is divided along party lines. One can almost guarantee the decisions of those cases. There are no longer … Continue reading
2nd Amendment – What you probably didn’t Know
To truly understand the entire context of the 2nd Amendment one must truly understand the concerns of state legislators at the time it was written by James Madison around 1789. There is a window into that time in history and the thinking that went into the writing of the Constitution and the Bill of Right through the Federalist Papers. Continue reading
2nd Amendment – Right to Bear Arms?
The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution seems rather straightforward to me: There is a purpose “Awell regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…” and there is the expressed Right “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” So why does the nation’s Supreme Court ignore the purpose of this Amendment and grant “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”? Continue reading
Children Demonstrate Against Gun Violence
Children have a powerful effect upon adults because when they speak against injustices to parents, government legislators, and local officials we are amazed at how mature they are. We always underestimate the intelligence of our youth… But when some get in front of the press and many demonstrate en masse as they are doing and shout enough is enough of this gun violence, adults start to pay attention because they put we adults to shame for failing them repeatedly after each mass shooting… I am so proud of our young children soon to be young adults. As a matter of fact, many are now of voting age and are registering to influence our legislators. They plan to make a difference in upcoming elections. Continue reading
Brexit – Does Democracy Work?
I haven’t a full grasp of the results of the Brexit (British Exit) Referendum to leave the European Union (EU). But it does seem that British voters voted to leave the European Union in part out of frustrations with their government… The lesson here is that the British did not really understand what they were voting for using a democratic process… Continue reading
Another Mass Shooting at Orlando, Fl. on June 12, 2016
The mass shooting in Orlando Florida, where 50 innocent human beings lost their lives and 53 were injured was the worst mass shooting in America’s history. It is not relevant if these human beings were innocent children in school or innocent members of the LGBT community in a nightclub, none of them deserved to have their lives shortened this way. The mass killer used a semi-automatic weapon purchased legally because… Continue reading
Domestic Terrorism at Colorado Planned Parenthood Clinic
All mass shootings and killing should go under the category of Domestic Terrorism because that is exactly what they are, largely the indiscriminate killing of many people. There have been 294 cases of Domestic Terrorism in the US this year and no Foreign Terrorist action in more than 10 years. So why are we so paranoid about Foreign Terrorism when we have many real and active terrorists in our back yards? There are still many in the media and public that simply call these acts of terrorism mass shootings. Does this distinction mean that it is a Terrorist act if people are killed en mass by a foreign person or group but a Mass Shooting if done by a domestic person or group? Continue reading
The RIGHT To Vote?
Unlike the Rights of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of freedom of religion and speech, and the right to assemble and redress grievances, the Constitution does not specifically define the Right to Vote. It does describe the process of voting but does not specifically define it as a Right. It seems the founders took the Right to Vote for granted. This ambiguity in our Constitution for such a fundamental and essential function has been a cause of much contention in recent years. Continue reading
Why America’s Obsession over Gun Rights
Another in as string of mass shootings took place on July 16th as Mohammad Abdulazeez killed five people at a Marine recruiting center and Naval Reserve in Chattanooga Tenn. Guns are so incredibly easily to acquire over the internet and elsewhere in the United States. It is the only nation where the right to bear arms is a Constitutional right. However “Every day in the U.S., an average of 289 people are shot. Eighty-six of them die: 30 are murdered, 53 kill themselves, two die accidentally, and one is shot in a police intervention, the Brady Campaign reports. Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 335,609 people died from guns … Continue reading
Separation of Church and State
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States begins with: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This was the vary first sentence in the Bill of Rights written by the original authors of the Constitution because of its importance. Many people such as the Pilgrims came here to escape religious persecution by the Church of England which was part of the British Royal Crown. The question is how important is the separation of church from state in the context of today’s world as many fundamentalist Christians want their moral and religious values legislated into law. Continue reading
Another Mass Killing this time in Charleston, S.C.
On Wednesday June 17, 2015 nine human beings were massacred by a young White gunman at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a bible study. Though this mass murder received much press coverage, gun killings are all too common in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 81,300 nonfatal injuries and 31,672 deaths every year from guns. 112,972 people are shot in this country every year with a 28% fatality rate. Continue reading
Mixing Religious Moral Values with Government
The 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States clearly states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” This is referred to as the Separation of Church from State and Freedom of Religion. Interestingly the separation of church from state is the very first Right of all rights listed in the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately some fundamentalist Christian groups still do not believe in the separation of church from state as defined in the 1st Amendment. They believe that the laws of God takes precedence over man’s laws. Continue reading
Is the U.S. Truly a Democracy or Republic?
So often we Americans refer to our nations as a Democracy. But this is not entirely true. If it were a true Democracy everyone would vote on every law and there would be no need for a legislature. The United States is closer to the true meaning of a Democratic Republic as it is a hybrid between the two concepts. Our founding fathers cleverly took the best of both concepts to devise what they hoped would be a perfect nation. To keep it honest they created three branches of government and divided the power equally among them with checks and balances to limit the power of any branch from overwhelming the others. They also devised elections to be held frequently enough to make it difficult for any one person or group of people to become too powerful. Yet over the years and centuries legislators and those in power have found workarounds in the power limitations designed by the founding fathers. Continue reading
“War Powers Act” Repeatedly Ignored by Presidents
Article I, Section Eight Clause 11 of the Constitution says that “The Congress shall have power… To declare war…” In Article II, Section 2 the Constitution says “The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States…” Clearly the authors of the Constitution intended that Congress should have the sole responsibility for declaring war and that the President would have the power to command the troop once war has been declared, a clear division of power regarding war. Over the years the presidency has gained more and more power to engage in military actions independent of Congress primarily because a single person can response quicker to military emergencies. Towards the end of the Vietnam conflict Americans had enough of police actions so Congress pass the War Powers Resolution (Act) in 1973. Continue reading
Vision for a New Nation
It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to agree that our government has strayed far from the vision our Founding Fathers had for this nation. So what can we say was the vision of our Founding Fathers? Some wanted a government that somewhat resembled British rule and others who wanted the exact opposite. The Declaration of Independence and the framing of the Constitution and Bill of Rights amendments express the consensus conclusion that the new government should have distributed powers consisting of very cleverly conceived checks and balances allowing no single person or branch of government too much power. The other consensus was that the government should promote the best overall well being of all citizens through elective representative who would do exactly that, represent the best interests of their constituents. Continue reading
Do American Juries Dispense Justice?
One major problem is that most jurors are by in large ignorant of the technicalities of law and trial procedures. Both the prosecuting and defense attorneys know this and try to use this ignorance to their advantage. They often appeal the the jury’s emotional sense rather than the legal merits of the case. It is a judge’s primary responsibility to make sure the two lawyers follow the technicalities of the law when the other attorney raises an objection. He does little to enlighten the jury of such legal technicalities leaving it to the two lawyers to spin the case in their favor. There are obviously better lawyers than others, so depending upon the ability of each lawyer a case can be won or lost based upon his or her skill at outmaneuvering the other lawyer and influencing the jury. Continue reading
Free Expression by Personal Wealth
Last week, on April 2, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in McCutcheon v. FEC that a single donor can give up to $3.6 million in one election cycle, money that political parties and other political organizations, PACs, and Super PACs can now funnel into aiding individual candidate who still have campaign limits as well as to ballot initiatives. This is a 30 fold increase over what an individual could previously contribute. I have a larger problem with large political contributions being a 1st Amendment protected free expression. Protected free expression implies expressions publicly expressed without consequence. In order to protect the expression of donations as in the 1st Amendment there must be something needing protection. Continue reading
Citizens United – Giving Corporations same Free Expression Rights as Citizens
I read the following article by Laura Bonham, a small business owner, which mirrors my sentiments upon the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United which has enshrined corporations the same “rights” as ordinary citizens in the Constitution. I don’t do … Continue reading
Freedom of Choice
Our nation was established on the principle that all men are equal and endowed with the fundamental right of freedom of choice. This is expressed in the Declaration if Independence as well as the Bill of Rights. That is what … Continue reading
Keeping Fire Arms out of the hands of More Criminals, Ex-Cons and Minors
Shocking mass killings make the big headlined. But in fact they represent an almost insignificant portion of the approximately 11,000 human beings killed by fire arms in America annual. Gang shootings, robberies, hold ups, and other crimes and accidents as will as law enforcement actions all too numerous to report or even care about are the primary sources of gun violence and deaths. Gun related crimes must be dealt with seriously and in a way to deter further gun related crimes. Continue reading