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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Another Judicial Outrage!

In yet another painful example of judicial overreach, last week a federal judge imperiously ruled against Oklahoma's constitutional amendment which defines marriage as between a man and woman.

Folks, this has nothing to do with one's personal feelings about how marriage should be defined. It is about the Rule of Law, the Constitution itself, and co-equality between the States and the central government.

My humble advice to Oklahomans is to dust off the 9th and 10th Amendments to the US Constitution and to summarily nullify this outrageously lawless ruling.

       9th Amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be 
                                   construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

     10th Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution
                                   nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States 
                                   respectively, or to the people.

Never once did our Founders grant federal judges constitutional authority to override/veto/nullify a State Constitutional Amendment which fully comports with the Constitution of the United States. And in this case, like marijuana and a whole host of other matters, defining marriage is strictly a matter for the State and the citizens of that State to decide and not the federal government--and most certainly NOT an unelected, unaccountable, black-robed judicial oligarch, an agent of the overreaching federal Leviathan!

The Founders purposely limited the federal government to those powers specifically enumerated in Article 1 Sec 8 and no others. Per the 10th Amendment, all other powers, whether expressed or implied, were vested in the States or the people. PERIOD. FULLSTOP.

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”
James Madison

Folks, this isn't rocket science. The Founders were crystal-clear on this point. Achieving co-equality between the States and the federal government was of paramount importance to the them, this to prevent what is currently happening, that being federal usurpation of State authority.

And, of course, those who cluelessly view this judge's ruling as perfectly legitimate and falling within the full authority of the judiciary speciously and inanely point to the oft-misinterpreted Supremacy Clause to justify their claim that federal law overrides State law. So, AGAIN, let's draw their undivided attention to these intellectual giants to the actual wording of the Supremacy Clause:

     Article VI, para 2 (Supremacy Clause): This Constitution, and the Laws of the United
     States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be
     made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and
     judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of
     any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

So, what words do these obfuscators and snake oil types routinely and conveniently omit? Yup! You got it. And by omitting those crucial words one can easily conclude that the central government IS the supreme law of the land. And, of course, that's utterly preposterous.

The Supremacy Clause stipulates that the federal government, of which the judiciary is a part, is supreme, but ONLY within its constitutional sphere of authority. In those myriad undefined areas of authority the federal government has ZERO authority and the States are, in fact, supreme. What this means is that the CONSTITUTION--and neither an act by the federal government or the States--is the supreme Law of the Land.

A judge's brazenly overriding a State referendum of its citizens in a matter which clearly falls outside the purview of the federal government (Art 1 Sec) but, rather, falls within the clear purview of State authority is nothing short of tyrannical; thus, the ruling should be rendered null and void of no legal effect within the sovereign confines of the State of Oklahoma.

As stewards of the Constitution and the liberty of its citizens, Oklahoma should unhesitatingly NULLIFY the ruling. That's what Oklahoma should do. But, will they do it? NOT until they dust off the 10th Amendment, get a spine, some constitutional principle and assert their sovereign authority.

And we all wonder why this country is in meltdown mode?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Catharsis Alert: Immigrant vs Illegal Alien

This week, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said she was "insulted" that "illegal immigrant" was equated to criminality.

Well, that quickly brought my blood to a bubbly boil, and convinced me that now is as good a time as any to finally get this off my chest by bringing a modicum of clarity to this scramble of immigration terms--not only for Sonia, but everyone else as well. So, here goes...

A retired Associate Director for Immigration and Refugee Services, and a USCIS board-certified Immigration Counselor for 22 years, from the beginning of the open-borders debate I've been both vexed and annoyed by the widespread muddling of the textbook meaning of the term immigrant.

For the most part, I have concluded that this muddling has been intentional and has been perpetuated by the Left for the sole purpose of advancing its open-border political agenda. Objectively, there is no other reasonable explanation.

Not surprisingly, the MSM and many clueless folks on the Right as well have either deliberately or unwittingly adopted the paradoxical and misleading use of the term "illegal immigrant" which both adds to the confusion and serves to unfairly legitimize the status of an "illegal alien", aka "undocumented alien", or to de-legitimize the status of immigrants.

The short of it is this: by definition, an immigrant is a legal entrant. He or she was properly inspected and entered the country legally; thus, from a legal standpoint, describing a person as an "illegal immigrant" is self-contradictory for it erroneously describes an immigrant as illegal. To be clear, an entrant is either legal or illegal, i.e. an illegal alien/undocumented alien OR an immigrant. It is impossible to be both illegal AND an immigrant.

FYI: Those formally granted refugee or asylee status, a non-immigrant visa (tourist, working, etc), or immigrant status (family reunification case) are, of course, legal entrants. They were inspected by US authorities (i.e. documented), granted that legal status and permitted to enter the country legally. And only if a refugee, asylee, non-immigrant (visa holder) or immigrant violates the terms of his/her admission, e.g. overstaying one's visa or committing a serious crime, will his/her status revert to that of illegal/removable/deportable.

And this: from a sociological--not legal--standpoint, all persons who enter the country may be correctly described as "migrants" or, loosely, as "immigrants". But, just as all citizens are not natural-born citizens, not all migrants/immigrants are legal entrants.

Obviously, the use of term "illegal immigrant" merely adds a patina of legitimacy to an illegal alien's/illegal entrant's/undocumented alien's status. And, of course, that is the tendentious political purpose of many dishonest political hacks and word police on the Left, many of whom should know better.

So, please keep this differentiation in mind the next time you hear someone using the asinine term "illegal immigrant". Call 'em on it.

We are a proud nation of immigrants--NOT illegal aliens, overs-stayers, undocumented aliens, illegal entrants.  Pass it on!

And for the insulted and woefully misinformed Justice Sotomayor, you have the following immigration descriptors to rely upon to define an entrant into the United States: either an illegal alien, undocumented alien, illegal entrant OR legal entrant, legal non-immigrant, immigrant. Confusingly mixing and matching to accommodate your "feelings" or political predisposition is irresponsible, ignorant and shamelessly self-serving. Of more importance, it badly depreciates your credibility as a Supreme Court Justice.

There! That's it. Gee, I'm feeling better already...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Stopping Executive Lawlessness: A "No-Confidence" Vote or "Censure"

Gen. Paul Vallely of Stand Up America US, who is also helping to spearhead "Operation American Spring" beginning May 16th in DC, has suggested that to counter Obama's imperious overreaching that Congress should tender a vote of "no-confidence" against him.

Alternatively, a person on another conservative site recommended that the House censure Obama. For me at least, "censure" seems more impactful, more significant than merely a vote of no-confidence. So, perhaps censure is the better route to take.

In any event, I researched the matter of censure and found that while the process is, per intra- congressional rules, limited to members of Congress, in 1834 Pres. Andrew Jackson was censured by the Whig-dominated Senate. When the Democrats reclaimed the Senate in 1837, the censure was officially expunged from the records, suggesting to me that censure is of no small consequence to the parties affected. The net legal effect of the Jackson censure was nil; however, from a public relations standpoint, the evidence suggests it was, indeed, impactful.

It is interesting to note that to avoid the disgrace of impeachment, Pres. Clinton actually agreed with his Democratic supporters to accept being censured in lieu of the historical embarrassment of impeachment. Net effect: he was impeached anyway, only the second president, Andrew Johnson being the other in 1868, to have endured this shame. Neither, of course, was convicted and removed from office.

Censure is a formal public reprimand/rebuke for an infraction or violation. It appears nowhere in the Constitution and is, as said, an internal creation of Congress intended to deal with its own members--not sitting presidents, et. al. government officials.

That said, for those who opt to censure Obama, the precedent is there. The question is which poison would have the greater impact on public opinion and support for the president. A no-confidence vote or censure? I would say censure. It certainly can't hurt, and might actually further diminish Obama's credibility as Chief Executive and substantively impair his ability to govern or to otherwise perpetrate more unbridled mischief against the Republic, the Constitution and the American people.

My view is that to stem what appears to be a veritable flood of federal usurpations, we should commit to a multitude of remedies. As said, we can, after all, walk and chew gum at the same time. While censure is certainly a compelling action to take, we must also think in terms of what will actually stop this Progressive tyranny cold.  The obvious answer is, of course, State Nullification of all federal actions (legislation/court rulings/bureaucratic regulations/executives orders) which do not comport with the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land.

Realistically, all peaceful remedies should be on the table and vigorously acted upon until such time that constitutional order is restored, the doctrine of separation of powers is fully practiced, and co-equality of the States with the Federal Government is achieved.

Going forward, the most compelling remedial grassroots action we should all get solidly behind is, of course, "Operation American Spring" which will be launched in earnest on May 16th. I urge readers to check it out on the Patriots for America site. You have the option of participating in the protracted occupation or volunteering your services and talents in support of the operation.

Finally and very importantly, if all of these peaceful remedies fail to achieve our constitutional goals, then ALL other remedies sanctioned by our Founders and "natural law" must necessarily be relied upon by the American people. Let the Founders ALWAYS be our guide.

Postscript: Earlier this week, Mark Levin called on Congress to boycott Obama's State of the Union address this month. Boycott, censure, State Nullification. An unbeatable combination! 

10th Amendment: The Commonsense Remedy to Federal Tyranny

Though I've carefully listened to and read his explanations, I remain utterly flummoxed by Mark Levin's implacable opposition to a States' right to invoke its 10th Amendment constitutional authority to defend its citizens from federal usurpations.

Having carefully researched our Founders' intentions with respect to the 9th and 10th Amendments, the notion that States are not permitted to defend their authority and their citizens from federal encroachments and outright lawlessness flies in the face of original intent and commonsense.

Dubbed by Thomas Jefferson the "rightful remedy" to federal usurpation, the meaning of the 10th Amendment is crystal-clear as to what a State's power is in this federal compact. "The powers not delegated [by the States/People] to the United States [the federal government] by the Constitution [Art 1 Sec 8], nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Thus, any powers not specifically delegated to the central government by the Constitution are vested in the States and/or the People AND, similarly, any power not specifically prohibited to the States by the Constitution is vested in the States. Doesn't get clearer than that.

As for the grossly and often deliberately misinterpreted Supremacy Clause, carefully note that the Constitution, of the which the 9th and 10th Amendments are a part, is the Supreme Law of the land--NOT the Supreme Court or any other branch of the federal government, and, of course, most certainly not the States. (If, as many on the left irresponsibly proclaim, the feds are the supreme law of the land, then why have a Constitution at all? Why bother buttressing the notion that we are a republic? In all matters of law, let's simply submit to the central authority and be done with this republican charade.)

Note the carefully crafted wording of the Supremacy Clause (Art VI, Para 2): "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States WHICH SHALL BE MADE IN PURSUANCE THEREOF, and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding." Thus, the Supremacy Clause renders federal authority supreme ONLY insofar as the power exercised is within its clearly defined enumerated powers (Art 1 Sec 8). Please carefully re-read that provision. Commit it to memory. And never again permit a modern liberal, jurist or any other authoritarian to deliberately misinterpret or misquote this constitutional provision in order to advance his or her political agenda. Don't let them get away with it--ever!

Also, despite Mr. Levin's mystifying assertion to the contrary, objective research clearly demonstrates that James Madison, "father of the Constitution", did not debunk nullification. Not ever! In truth, Madison took exception not to nullification, but to South Carolina's assertion in 1832 that a State's nullifying a particular federal act/law would stand unless 3/4 of the States voted against that nullifying act. And, of course, that assertion is most certainly in error. That said, in his Notes on Nullification Madison did somewhat temper his enthusiasm for nullification, asserting that while nullification is "a natural right" and is "extra-constitutional" that, as a last resort, it should be invoked but only when there is "insupportable oppression." Clearly concerned about the viability of the union at the time he didn't define what constituted "insupportable oppression", leaving that definition to the individual States themselves. But, again, even in his twilight years when he was genuinely concerned about the union breaking up he did not delegitimatize the nullification remedy at all. In short, on this score Mr. Levin is dead wrong!

And this is also well-worth remembering: like nullification and a whole host of other residual powers not specifically enumerated as State powers or specifically prohibited to the States, secession too is NOT prohibited to the States by the Supreme Law of the Land, that being the CONSTITUTION.

I realize that the confusion--deliberate, inadvertent or otherwise--on this subject stems from a terribly misguided and revisionist education or political predilection which advances a nationalist and/or statist philosophy and viewpoint, but the Constitution means what it says, and not what some would like it to mean.

In a nutshell, what all this means is that State nullification of executive orders, federal laws, Supreme Court rulings and bureaucratic regulations which do not comport with the supreme Law of the Land, that being the Constitution, is, hands down, THE wisest, most credible and most effective remedy. 

Finally, though we've been conditioned to believe that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter on all matters of law, for God's sake read the Constitution, the applicable Federalist Papers and Ratifying documents. It will then become abundantly clear that We the People are the final arbiters of what is and what is not constitutional--not the Supreme Court! And not one of our Founders would take exception to that foundational assertion.

     "To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very
       dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an 
       oligarchy."--Thomas Jefferson

Tragically, most States are populated by politicians who are ignorant of the Constitution or who reside in States which have been bought off and intimidated by federal largess. And while there has been an extraordinary level of nullification sweeping the country of late, much more needs to be done by the States to restore their co-equality with the central government, failing which the remedy lies clearly on the shoulders of We the People. Will we opt for peaceful nullification or something else too awful to contemplate?

Finally, despite all the preceding revisionist case law and gratuitous political-driven interpretations of the Constitution, we've got to get this right! Let the ratified Constitution ALWAYS be our guide!

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, .liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State." --James Madison, Federalist No. 45