Friday, June 29, 2012

SCOTUS Got it Wrong… Again

Yesterday the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a ruling which basically said that the government has unlimited powers in the area of taxation and that Obamacare, as it has come to be called, doesn’t violate the constitution.  The judges who sit on the highest court of the land are supposed to be the most educated and well versed legal minds dedicated to sorting out the fine points of legislation to determine the constitutionality merits of each.  Let me say this now and get it out of the way, “What a Crock!”

The black robed members of the court are too smart for their own good; looking into the complexities of each piece of legislation while ignoring the most basic aspects of them.  All anyone need do is look at the Preamble of the Constitution and use it as a litmus test of any bill before them to determine whether or not they need to look further.  America was designed to work under the premise that government is responsible to the people who created it, that its laws would reflect the driving forces which compelled our declaring independence and yet this most important aspect of self governance has been ignored so often as to make responsible citizens more concerned about the welfare of individual liberty with each passing day.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defenc(s)e, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

There it is; a simple and concise purpose for anything which involves the governments relationship with “We The People” and all that follows, the nuts and bolts or as recorded, “separation of powers”, need only satisfy this grand intent. 

“The Preamble to the United States Constitution is a brief introductory statement of the Constitution’s fundamental purposes and guiding principles. It states in general terms, and courts have referred to it as reliable evidence of, the Founding Father’s intentions regarding the Constitution's meaning and what they hoped the Constitution would achieve.”

Now before you get yourself all worked up, I’m well aware that the Preamble of the Constitution has never been used to determine the legitimacy of any piece of legislation; at least not according to what has been historically done. 

“The Preamble serves solely as an introduction, and does not assign powers to the federal government, nor does it provide specific limitations on government action. Due to the Preamble’s limited nature, no court has ever used it as a decisive factor in case adjudication, except as regards frivolous litigation.” (emphasis added)

“Ay, there’s the rub”, as Shakespeare might have put it.  Hamlet was at that moment considering death as a way out, contemplating perfection as found only on the other side of mortality’s veil.  If only life were closer to that which our Creator had intended, “Ay, there’s the rub”.

The Blessings of Liberty (Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness) are, after all, a Dream; but a dream worth striving for as we seek to achieve what no other people have had the opportunity to achieve due to imperfect and/or corrupted governments.  Those who took up the challenge to establish the foundations of America were men looking for a more perfect union than what they had experienced in Europe.  Isn’t that our Great Experiment in self governance and the purpose of our founding documents, “to insure domestic Tranquility”?

Then what in the hell have these robed wonders been doing with our government?  They sure as hell haven’t been insuring domestic Tranquility!  They haven’t thought about the consequences of legislation which attacks an individual’s life, liberty or pursuit of happiness; no, not by a long shot.  These black robed pontificators are too busy checking on the fine print and have missed reading the HEADLINES. 

The Preamble of the Constitution is the headline announcing the very purpose of government and how to accomplish the preservation of individual liberty as was intended from the beginning.  Those who founded this nation paid for their Dream in blood which cries out from the grave, “What have you done with that which has been given you?”  Thomas Jefferson had a pretty good idea when he wrote:

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?” (Works 8:404; P.P.N.S., p.141)

This glimpse at the Proper Role of Government, as related to us by Ezra Taft Benson used terms which a person of average intelligence could understand.

“Starting at the foundation of the pyramid, let us first consider the origin of those freedoms we have come to know are human rights. There are only two possible sources. Rights are either God-given as part of the Divine Plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. Reason, necessity, tradition and religious convictions all lead me to accept the divine origin of these rights. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government. I, for one, shall never accept that premise. As the French political economist, Frederick Bastiat, phrased it so succinctly, "Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place." (The Law, p.6)”


“Since God created man with certain unalienable rights, and man, in turn, created government to help secure and safeguard those rights, it follows that man is superior to the creature which he created. Man is superior to government and should remain master over it, not the other way around. Even the non-believer can appreciate the logic of this relationship.”

I’ll include one last foundational thought from Bastiat before explaining how the Supreme Court has been deaf, dumb and blind to their assigned task of preserving domestic tranquility.

“Each of us has a natural right – from God – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but and extension of our faculties?” (The Law, p.6)

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled that our government had unlimited powers to tax, that Obamacare is nothing more than a necessary revenue tool to provide for the common needs of a nation’s stated goal of providing health care.  In so doing they ignored the most basic of rights, property rights.  Government has never had unlimited powers to confiscate an individual’s property and must justify at each step of the way a reasoned and lawful use for any money required of its citizens. 

Social Justice, isn’t that the term used today for latching onto one individual’s property or efforts to obtain property and then redistributing that property to someone who has not earned it? 

Property confiscation, by and individual or through the use of government by force or threat of force violates God’s commandment concerning theft as well as coveting that which your neighbor has and yet our nation was built upon these eternal principles.  Our government’s Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches have abandoned their charge to protect each individual citizen’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to such a degree as to make our current government nearly unrecognizable from that which our Founding Fathers established for domestic tranquility.

“The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision against Kelo (Kelo v New London) and her neighbors sparked a nation-wide backlash against eminent domain abuse, leading eight state supreme courts and 43 state legislatures to strengthen protections for property rights.” 

The Kelo ruling may have destroyed the reality of property ownership as our Founding Fathers had intended irrepealably as the Supreme Court found in favor of the “collective” over an individual’s rights.  Now include all other forms of confiscatory government action through regulatory mandates or taxes which enable entitlement programs, to include Obamacare, and the picture of a nation founded on sound principles of private property becomes nothing more than fragmented memories.

This my friend is an acknowledgement that we no longer live in a constitutional republic; rather, we are in transformative times paving the way to pure socialism; individual rights are only brought up when it’s convenient for the purposes of expanding the powers of government.  We now are being encouraged to move “Forward” to complete the transformation.

And so it is with Obamacare, the Supreme Court has ruled that government has an unlimited power to tax its citizens, as if they were subjects rather than citizens, to do with as the government pleased.  We now live in a collective socialistic society where government decides which individuals deserve the fruits of another’s labor.  Individual property rights have essentially been done away with.  

“The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part. The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause,” (Chief Justice) Roberts wrote. “That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”

“Roberts stressed that the decision does not speak to the merits of the law. “We do not consider whether the act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the nation's elected leaders,” he said.”

Justice Roberts may as easily have said, “We don’t need no stinkin’ Preamble to the Constitution to remind us of our stewardship to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.  Let the next election decide if we are going to be responsible; we’re doing the best we can with our blind folds on.”

We now live in a collective socialistic society where government decides which individuals deserve entitlements and equates such injustices with other common interests such as national defense.   Individual property rights have essentially been done away with.  Government can establish any program deemed appropriate and fund it through taxation regardless of the damage done to the nation’s ability to sustain such programs; passing excessive debt onto future generations and robbing even them of their right to private property.

Never mind our Founding Father’s thoughtfully constructed Preamble to the Constitution which instructs government representatives to, “Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”; the Supreme Court doesn’t need to refer to these fundamental purposes when ruling on important cases.   History has proven the Preamble is simply a useless paragraph placed in front of some other words on an antique piece of parchment, a flexible document which has outlived its usefulness. 


williatf said...

Actually, SCOTUS Got it Right....

I'd much rather have legislation decided by the legislative branch, by elected representatives of the people; rather than at the judicial branch by unelected officials.

Congress does have unlimited power to tax (see US Constitution Amendment XVI).

Obama has just been saddled with the biggest tax increase in world history. If that doesn't motivate you to go to the polls and elect different officials, then you're a Democrat.

Todd Williams

T. F. Stern said...

Todd, It was never intended for our government to use the taxes which are collected to be used to redistribute wealth from those who earned it to those who simply wanted a free ride; this is what has happened. I often have suggested that those who are on the public dole be restricted from voting for at least two years until they are off the dole. By doing this folks running for office would stop pandering for the vote from those on the dole and restore sanity by seeking to impress those who pay those taxes rather than those who suck the life out of this nation. As it stands those who supposedly represent the people actually represent several layers of fraud and corruption in order to continue their careers. History is repeating itself as we have already pasted the top end of the prosperity cycle and have moved well along toward chaos.

If the judicial branch would stick to evaluating the legality of legislation by holding it up to the constitutional limits placed on government by that set of rule, then we would all be better off; but that is not the case any more is it? These folks have set themselves up as activists in almost every aspect and by doing so have upset the balance sought for in our founding.

My vote will be for a return to conservative values and those who have shown a track record of acting in those interests.

T. F. Stern said...

Wow, a new word I created, pasted; the past tense of past. Would that make it future past tense or just poor on the fly editing.

David said...

While I think, from what I've read of it so far (link to the SCOTUS' pdf of the Roberts text on NFIB v Sebelius at twc) that Roberts' reasoning is very uneven, even at times seeming contradictory, but still well within the last 50-70 years of SCOTUS decisions' philosophically... except for the few bright spots. Randy Barnett (one of the lawyers arguing the NFIB's case) views it as a mixed blessing--and a (very) narrow "win" for constitutionality, even with the nonsense ruling on the mandate--for pretty much the reasons I outlined on my blog.

*shrugs* It's now up to those of us with more working brain cells than a garden slug and better morals than a rabid mink to work, work, work to turn out votes for liberty resulting in a Senate and House packed with congresscritters who know they'd BETTER repeal the thing (and reverse other "Obamanations"), as well as votes for The Romney Android who has at least pledged to work for repeal of Obumacare (and whose programmers know he will DEFINITELY be a one-termer if he does not).

MathewK said...

It's quite clear that your elites do see it as a flexible document which has outlived its usefulness.

I'm starting to wonder what the point of the supreme court is now, if they won't be a check on presidential and congressional overreach and abuse.