Friday, September 30, 2005

Birthright Citizenship Under Attack

By Mary Lou Pickel, Eunice Moscoso - 09/29/05 - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

As President Bush opens the debate on a temporary worker program that could allow immigrant laborers to come into the United States, the issue of what happens to their children has come to the forefront.

Although revoking the birthright guarantee is not likely to be part of Congress' immigration reform agenda this fall, there are increasing signs lawmakers are thinking about altering a privilege grounded in common law and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

The proposals come in a post - 9/11 time of increasing suspicion toward illegal immigrants. Several bills have been introduced.

Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) wants to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to limit automatic citizenship at birth to children of U.S. citizens and lawful residents.

There is no intent to deny American citizens their birthright citizenship. There is simply a desire to limit the ability of the courts to use the 14th Amendment to grab totalitarian power and grant citizenship to illegal invaders.

The significant problem with this claim that the 14th amendment grants citizenship to illegal aliens is the assumption by the courts that they and only they can rule in this area. As I have noted on another thread, the idiocy of their argument is proven by the way the rule is enforced. If a legally present relative of a foreign diplomat, has a child, no citizenship is conferred. However if that person was to take an action to cease being here legally, such as giving up the diplomatic status, and simply not leaving, then the child is a citizen because the parent is here illegally. Children of parents from a foreign country here legally do not get citizenship but children of illegal aliens do. Is this insane?

The obtuse arguments used by judges in defense of this ruling do not make sense. They are based on their interpretation that illegal aliens are "subject to our laws". By their logic, everyone in the world is "subject to our laws". The reality is that we must enforce those laws with millitary or police powers or they are meaningless. Why the judges think that means that the legislature can agree to exempt those here legally from another country but not exempt those here illegally is typical of the judicial corruption that is destroying our nation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Whose Constitution Is It?

Thomas Sowell - September 14, 2005 -
With all the confusing controversies about judges and how they interpret the Constitution of the United States, we need to go back to square one and ask: Why do we pay attention to the Constitution in the first place?

There has been much hand-wringing about how or whether we can tell what the "original intent" was among those who wrote the Constitution. But the moral and legal bases for the authority of the Constitution do not rest with those who wrote it. The moral and legal authority of the Constitution comes from those who ratified it -- "we the people" -- not those who wrote it.

The justification for much that is being written, expressing frustration and anger with our courts, has never been more clearly and succinctly stated than the above. Since I started thinking about the flaws of our courts a decade ago, and especially since I started this blog earlier this year, I have been trying to explain the growing rage to many friends. I have never felt that I have hit the heart of it.

This is the heart of it. There is a need to return to the "original intent" of what I have poorly described as America's "social contract". This "original intent" of the people who "ratified it" is the basis for our "rule of law". That is our Constitution (and Bill of Rights). "We the people" know what our Constitution means. We don't need a bunch of power obsessed judges to tell us.

This is an important article. Thank you Thomas Sowell.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Justice Kennedy's New Rule of Law

By Jim Meyers and Phil Brennan - Sept. 13, 2005 -

"Kennedy's embrace of foreign law may be among the most significant developments on the court in recent years – the single biggest factor behind his evolution from a reliable conservative into the likely successor to Sandra Day O'Connor as the court's swing vote."

The use of foreign and international laws in deciding Supreme Court decisions has outraged many present and former policymakers in Washington.

"Relying upon foreign law, particularly international covenants to which the United States is not a party, is an illegitimate source of interpretation for the Constitution," former Reagan administration Attorney General Edwin Meese told NewsMax.
This is a clear violation of the oath of office taken by all Supreme Court Justices. We do not swear in our judges by making them promise to uphold the constitution and such other judicial sources as you find personally appealing. The act of relying on foreign law is so blatantly a violation of their oath, that only an attorney would have the arrogance to argue that it is reasonable.

Justice Kennedy's New Rule of Law? They call it the "rule of judges".

Why They Legislate 'From The Bench'

By Martin Mayer - September 13, 2005 - The Christian Science Monitor

President Bush, in nominating John Roberts to be chief justice of the US - along with conservative senators questioning him during his ongoing judiciary committee hearings - insists that if confirmed, Mr. Roberts will not "legislate from the bench." From within the court, Justice Antonin Scalia has complained that the common-law tradition leaves judges too free to make a decision that pleases them and then hunt up prior cases or evidence of "legislative intent" that can be interpreted to support their position.

This article expresses very clearly the problem that results from the legislative compromises when laws are passed, in an environment where judges get to "make law". The argument that the judges can "listen to the voice of Congress" presumes that congress spoke with one voice. When an element of a law is unconstitutional, and that element serves one group, striking that element disenfranchises that group. It is unjust, and ignores the compromise of legislating in a representative democracy, to change a portion of a law while leaving the rest intact. That was not done in Marbury versus Madison. The entire law was struck. Anyone who claims the power to declare a portion of a law unconstitutional, is not basing this on Marbury versus Madison, but is usurping power based on a perversion of a usurping of power.

A worthwhile read.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Is Anything Not Interstate Commerce?

By Jacob Sullum - September 9, 2005 -

Will a Supreme Court led by John Roberts find limits to Congress' power?
William Rehnquist's most important accomplishment on the Supreme Court was to restore a modicum of respect for constitutional limits on federal authority—not the limits imposed by specified individual rights but the more fundamental and potentially more consequential limits imposed by insisting that congressional acts be grounded in specifically enumerated constitutional powers. Rehnquist's signal contribution was to remind Congress, his colleagues, and the nation that a wide-ranging federal power to do good things does not exist.

It is truly interesting that the first attacks on Alberto Gonzalez were that he allowed a law that permitted an abortion without parental consent to be enforced. The hypocrisy of this position by conservatives is sad. When the courts stripped state legislatures of the power to legislate abortion, they were aghast at the "activism" it represented. For Gonzalez to ignore the state law in question would require the same activism that conservatives so decried. However to them, it would have been activism in favor of their positions, and that is what they want. I don't.

I am convinced that our nation will not survive until the courts are forced to return to their proper role under the Constitution. That means they do not "make law", but follow the rule of law.

Rhenquist was not as diligent a follower of this principle as implied in this article. He was perfectly willing to tolerate activism that enhanced court power, as long as it was not subject to legislative interference. However he was far better than most. As noted in this article, even Scalia has been willing to cede power to the legislature to expand federalism beyond its proper role, if it supports one of his pet peeves, drugs. When conservatives get so exercised about the lack of "pure" conservative credentials as those of Gonzalez, I would love to have them defend Scalia's actions in this regard.