Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Concerning whether English could be made the official language of America and be constitutional, I believe there are only three ways this can be done.
1.) Through Congress's authority to make a"uniform rule of naturalization" in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.
2.) Through a constitutional amendment.
3.) Through their authority to regulate immigration, which I argue comes from Article I, Section 8, Power number 9, which states that Congress shall have the power "To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations..." (See here for further explanation on why I argue this).
Since passing a constitutional amendment making English the official language of the U.S. would be the final say on the matter, thus binding all branches of government, including the judiciary, this would be the most direct route, yet also most likely the most difficult route to take, given the difficulty of passing a constitutional amendment, either through Congress or via state conventions. Thus, I will not comment any further on the matter of amendments.
However, with regards to whether Congress can make such a law that establishes English as the official language of country, I believe Congress could find authority to make English the "primary" language of the country (but not the "official national language") in their power of making a "uniform rule of naturalization," making English classes and a final competency level in English required for the naturalization process, perhaps being measured by some kind of test like the Michigan Test or TOEFL. They might even perhaps be able to limit immigration into America to only those who speak English at a competent level, not that I would agree with such legislation.
This would be the closest Congress could get to establishing English as an official language, but I do not think Congress has authority to pass outright a law defining English as the official national language, which authority would remain either with the states themselves or to the people, via the 10th Amendment. Congress can merely make English the primary language of the nation in practice by requiring all residents hoping to be naturalized to citizenship to be competent in English or by limiting immigration to only those immigrants who can demonstrate competency in English. My opinions on such actions will remain with myself, but I think Congress could bring about an unofficial "national language" of English via these 3 means.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Thoughts on Legislation: A Proposed Amendment to the Constitution Requiring Constitutional Citation on Each Piece of Legislation
I've been doing research on the constitutionality of federal executive agencies, and from what I have found, they are constitutionally allowed to exist and be created by Congress, but their rules and regulations must be backed by Congressionally passed laws, which duly enacted laws their rules and regulations are meant to execute. But, it must also be determined whether or not the laws passed by Congress backing the rules and regulations of the federal executive agencies are constitutional.
This got me thinking about how there should be an amendment to the Constitution requiring Congress to cite constitutional authority with each law they pass, in particular, citing which particular section and clause of the Constitution they feel grants them power to make the each particular law under consideration, and if there be any case law that interprets the clause of the Constitution Congress cites as authority to pass said specific laws, and that case law is in Congress's favor, this should be provide by Congress within the law text as well, for a multiple reasons.
Benefits of such an amendment:
First, so as to provide the general lay American not schooled in the law with the reasoning and legal sanction behind the laws Congress passes so the general American may understand where in the Constitution Congress is asserting their authority to pass such a law, which would also be of benefit to the courts and attorneys of America as well.
It would also help in debate in Congress to help slim down specifically or blatantly unconstitutional laws from even being considered, debated and passed by the Congress and sent to the president. This would be another final check on the legislative branch and would help our legislators know their limited powers granted by the Constitution better so they have a better idea on and knowledge about legislation presented to and debated in Congress.
Such an amendment would in addition help save us litigation costs as well by slimming down the number of appellate and Supreme Court cases concerning unconstitutional legislation by making Congress really think about the constitutionality of the laws they present and pass, thus in theory limiting the amount of potentially unconstitutional laws coming out of Congress.
What are your thoughts? Would you support such an amendment to the Constitution? Why or why not? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts, if there be any readers (at all).
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Words of Wisdom Concerning Constitutional Principles and Principles of Liberty, Justice, and Equality Before the Law from J. Rueben Clark, Jr.
"The powers of evil today strive throughout the world to set up the State as God; we have no choice but to join the battle on the side of liberty. The new State, professing love for the people, subverts freedom in the economic field, in the field of government and law, and even in the fields of family relations and religion. The Fathers of the Constitution, with divinely bestowed wisdom, established a government of limited and delegated powers. In so doing they drew upon an Anglo-Saxon tradition of common law and rejected the idea of sovereignty developed in the Roman Civil Law tradition. The maintenance of liberty depends upon a degree of virtue in the people and their representatives. Recent innovations in the taxing power and executive power portend the approach of tyranny. The Constitution is divinely inspired. Some changes are necessary to meet new circumstances, but the great fundamentals must not be changed.
In the economic field, this earth-wide conflict has taken the form of seizing without compensation from the man who has and giving to the man who has not, of taking without price from the worker the fruits of his work, and giving to the idler who does no work. It has from its very nature become an economic, uncompensated leveling downward, not upward, of the whole mass. This is the result in every country in which it has been tried. That this result may in one country be reached by confiscatory taxation, and in another by direct seizure, is a mere matter of method. The result is the same. In some countries outright seizure and confiscation are already openly and shamelessly practiced. All is done in the name of the State, as if it were Deity as if the State, not God, gave all.
Allover the world, this new State comes into all these fields in the disguise of a protesting love and friendship for the people, whose property it means to confiscate, whose liberties it means to steal, and whose religion it means to destroy. Thus in all the history of the world has tyranny come to the people. Tyranny has always been a hypocrite, a thief and a seducer. It has always been a demon dethroning the true God, for it knows that unless it can touch the souls of men, it must itself die."
More words of wisdom from J. Rueben Clark, Jr., taken from the same source, on how tyranny and despotism and their resulting oppression have been slowly creeping into the U.S. government via Congress's tax powers, and has solidified its rule in America via the limitless (progressive) income tax, the estate tax, the capital gains tax, etc, all in the name of the relief of the poor and the running of the government.
Please be reminded, these aren't my words, but those of a former counselor to the Prophet Heber J. Grant and a former lawyer and government official, uttered way back in 1938 no less! If only America would see sense in these words and abolish those aforementioned oppressive and tyrannical taxes.
"Conscious of the inherent power for oppression and abuse of the taxing power-the evils of the taxing power lay at the base of the causes of the Revolution-aware of the principle afterwards announced by the great Chief Justice that 'the power to tax is the power to destroy,' the fathers carefully guarded the taxing power of the Federal government and expressly denied the right of the Federal government to levy direct taxes against the individual. They saw clearly that the power to tax the individual gave the power to control him, so they left this power in the states to be handled under local self , where the restraints of neighborhood and acquaintanceship might be operative. Later statesmen, through the Fourteenth Amendment, protected the citizens against their own state governments in the matter of 'equal protection of the laws.'
Then came the time, a quarter of a century ago, when the urgency for more revenue for government expenditure, disguised by the plea of better equalizing the tax burden, led to the amendment authorizing the income tax. This tax was at first light, but it grew by leaps and bounds. Always and ever, the more you feed a government, any government, the hungrier it gets, and the more it eats. Citizens who had worked through many frugal years of hardship and sacrifice, to a competence, saw in their ripening years the government come in and take a generous part of the fruits of their life-long labor, to carryon highfalutin‟ plans and schemes, and to build projects in which the government had no business to engage. This led men to try to evade this government wastage of the money they had so laboriously earned, and the government itself encouraged the effort by admitting that men were justified in finding ways of taking themselves outside the purview of the law. This is a way and spirit destructive of all integrity in the citizenry.
Under an executive ordinance power recognized by the courts, but outside I feel sure of the purview of the fathers, rules and regulations have been laid down, covering the payment of income taxes, that have varied as the need for more revenue has mounted. Sometimes these regulations have been made retroactive and citizens, who paid an honest tax at the time it was due, have been forced to pay further tax years afterward, under the impact of a threat of vicious penalties if they failed.
Inheritance taxes have also come into the field. All this has created a situation in our tax life that would enable any administration so minded to lay a heavy and unequal hand on the citizenry of the country. An administration so minded could investigate or refrain from investigating, it could make further levy or let the old levy stand, as suited its will and convenience, and in making a further levy with penalties, it could bring ruin. An administration so minded could thus bring to the citizenry a reign of terror, it could silence criticism, and it could crush all opposition. So comes tyranny in its blackest form.
Nor would the end be yet. For the governmental maw, not satiated with eating the mere incomes of the citizenry, would demand more of their goods and the next move would be a capital levy in some form. Make no mistake about this. Such has been the consistent way of all governments embarking on this course. The move to take the capital the citizens have saved will be disguised as a means of alleviating the needs of the poor, of equalizing the burdens of government, of sharing the wealth. When that comes, the conquest of the citizens will be complete; tyranny will be enthroned and rule till liberty is again brought back across many bloody fields of battle. Thus will history again repeat itself.
Our fathers knew all these approaches of tyranny. They could hear its muffled tread afar off. They left us signs and warnings to quicken our ears; they set up for us bulwarks across his path. So well did they do their work that for scores of years tyranny did not leave its lair. Human freedom, happiness, and prosperity filled the land and joy abode in the hearts of the people. We forgot that tyranny lived. Then it left its den in the night, and began stalking our liberties even as a wild beast creeps silently, through the darkness upon its victim.
The Constitution is our sole shield against this crouching beast; it is our sole weapon of defense against tyranny‟s freedom-destroying spring.
You men of money, you captains of industry, you employers of every kind, you keepers of the people‟s savings, you leaders in whatever walk of life, do not cling in the rear like slackers, justifying your act and place by the convenient and comforting assertion that by so doing you are best serving those who look to you for protection. This is false; to some it will look all too much like cowardice. No war was ever won by cravens who skulked in the rear."
J. Rueben Clark, Jr. studied law at Columbia Law School, taught law at George Washington University Law School, worked for the State Department, Ambassador to Mexico, and member of the Forst Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, counselor to President Heber J. Grant, the Prophet.
Friday, January 13, 2012
The talk is titled, "Religious Liberty Guaranteed By the Constitution—Not Mere Freedom of Belief—Where the Line Should Be Drawn—Natural Rights Must Be Protected—Danger of Special Legislation—Object of the Gathering of the Saints—Establishment of God's Kingdom—Literal Fulfillment of Prophecy—Restoration of the Christian Church—Authority of the Priesthood—Lack of Divine Authority—Proofs of the Divine Mission of the Latter-Day Saints—Plural Marriage a Religious Institution—A Bible Doctrine—Constitutional Right to Practice It"
Some memorable quotes:
"You believe it is right under some circumstances for a man to have more wives than one, and that those who thus believe are protected by the Constitution in the practice of their religion. Why should not those who believe it right to strangle, or to burn widows, have the right to practice their religion under the Constitution of the United States?” The dividing line is very simple, as truth generally is. It is very easy to be drawn. It is to be drawn in consonance with the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, and with the principles that underlie our government. In the Declaration of Independence it is laid down that there are certain rights that cannot be alienated, that are natural, that are inherent, that are not imparted by governments: they do not belong to politics, but they are inherent in the individual—the right to life, the right to liberty, the right to property, and the right to the pursuit of happiness. These rights are inalienable. They belong to every individual. They are not conferred by law. They belong to us. They are born in us. They belong to every person who breathes the breath of life. Then, an act of any individual or any government which infringes upon these natural rights is wrong in and of itself. If any individual interferes with the rights of his fellow men he may be restrained by the secular law. The right to life, and to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness, and to property belong to all individuals alike. One body of people professing one faith must not interfere with the rights of any other body of people professing another faith. The Latter-day Saints, as well as the Latter-day sinners, the Methodist as well as the Catholic, the Jew as well
as the Gentile—all people alike in this great country must be protected equally in these natural rights which belong to them.
Here, then, is where the line must be drawn. Anything that persons profess to do under the name of religion, which interferes with the rights of others is wrong, and the secular law may step in and protect the citizens and restrain or punish those people who attempt to do this under the plea of religion. If I do anything which interferes with the life, the liberty, the happiness, or the property of my neighbor, the law has a right to step in and protect my neighbor and restrain me. But if my religion—that which I believe to be true, and which I try to carry out as a part of my faith—does not interfere with human rights, does not infringe in any degree upon the rights of my fellow man, neither Congress, nor any other lawmaking power on the face of the earth, has the right to interfere with me under the Constitution of the country. I have a right to the exercise of my religion so long as it does not infringe upon the rights of other people. There is where we draw the line, and we think it is the right place. And we are standing up, not only for our own rights in this respect, but for the rights of all people upon the face of this land."
"It may be found convenient today to single out the “Mormons,” because they are unpopular, for special legislation; but in a little time some other religious body in this country may have the same inimical legislation applied to them, to bear down upon them with greater weight than it does upon us. You cannot violate a principle of truth without receiving very bad consequences. Those who attempt to do that will be sure to reap the fruit of their labors at some time or other. And when the Congress of the United States commences to move away the foundation stones of the system that the fathers of this nation built up, they are working on very dangerous ground, and the consequences thereof will not be confined to the few people against whom these measures are made. It is the duty of every patriot, of every man who loves his country, and of every woman who loves her country, to do their part in preventing the passage of such enactments as these, and in vindicating the principles and doctrines which enter into the Constitution of our beloved country. So we are standing up not only for our own rights, but for the rights of others, and this is one of the duties enjoined upon us by our Heavenly Father."
The entire talk may be found on the following link:
Now compare this last quote from Elder Penrose with that of Thomas Paine, taken from a speech given to the French National Convention in 1792:
"[h]e that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Another Unconstitutional Executive Act by Another of Our Presidents, a Former "Constitutional Scholar" No Less
"Article II, section 2 of the Constitution provides an exception to the general rule of Senate confirmation, giving the president the power "to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate," by granting temporary commissions.
Obama isn't the first president to invoke that exception where it doesn't apply, ramming through nominees that the Senate refuses to confirm. But he is the first to do it when the Senate is actually in session."
"pro forma session - A brief meeting (sometimes only several seconds) of the Senate in which no business is conducted. It is held usually to satisfy the constitutional obligation that neither chamber can adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other."
The Senate was currently in pro forma session when Obama attempted to appoint Richard Cordray to the consumer watchdog agency provided in the Dodd-Frank bill, which means they were not in recess, and thus the Recess Appointment Clause in Article II Section 2 of the Constitution does not pertain to this situation.
The radical natural law and natural rights theorist of the 19th century, Lysander Spooner, has the following to say on the right of private property in his 1855 writing, "The Law of Intellectual Property; or an Essay on Right of Authors and Inventors to a Perpetual Property in Their Ideas:"
"The Right of property is simply the right of dominion. It is the right, which one man has, as against all other men, to the exclusive control, dominion, use, and enjoyment of any particular thing. The principle of property is, that a thing belongs to one man, and not to another-mine, and thine, and his, are the terms that convey the idea of property. Others have no right to take it from him, against his will; nor to impede, nor obstruct him in the exercise of such dominion over it, as he chooses to exercise. The legal idea of property, then, is that one thing belongs to one man, and another thing to another man; and that neither of these persons have a right to any voice in the control of disposal of what belongs to the other; that each is the sole lord of what is his own; that he is its sovereign; and has a right to use, enjoy, and dispose of it, at his pleasure, without giving any account, or being under any responsibility, to others, for his manner of using, enjoying, or disposing of it. This right of property, which each man has, to what is his own, is a right, not merely against any one single individual, but it is a right against all other individuals, singly and collectively. It is a right against the whole world. The thing is his, and is not the world's. And the world must leave it alone, or it does him a wrong; commits a trespass, or a robbery, against him. It the whole world, or any one of the world, desire anything that is an individual's, they must obtain his free consent to part with it, by such inducements as they can offer him. If they can offer him no inducements, sufficient to procure his free consent to part with it, they must leave him in the quiet enjoyment of what is his own. The only limitation, which any or all others have a right to impose upon his use and disposal of it, is, that he shall not so use it as to invade, infringe, or impair the equal supremacy, dominion, and control of others, over what is their own."
Property belongs to the owner, and no one else, except of course the Creator. The Creator created all there is in the world, with His own hands, therefore everything truly belongs to him, and we are merely stewards over what the Creator has created for us and freely given to us to use and enjoy. But the Creator would never arbitrarily confiscate private property from the owners, because the Creator never goes back on His promises and gifts to mankind. Rather, it is always us, the stewards, the imperfect human beings, who voluntarily give up or loose our property via our own stupid, selfish, greedy, and often statutorily and principally unlawful actions, viz violating the rights of others. Private property rights are thus absolute, in as much as the right is considered with regards to humanity alone, except the case where the owner violates the true natural and civil rights of others. No human being may violate the rights of property of another human being, without due process of law. I will not suppose to say what the Creator, omnipotent and omniscient as He is, can or can't do, although reason can help an individual guess what the Creator will or will not do/would or would not do, based on His past, unchanging actions and His known attributes, such as justice, equality, and mercy. I therefore hazard a guess that the Creator would never arbitrarily confiscate the private property of someone, unless by due process of law. We are charged by the Creator to voluntarily take care of the poor and needy by voluntarily imparting of our substance, our property, to them. We have this moral duty, this commandment, if you will, to do so. But would the Creator confiscate our property if we did not do this? I think it all depends on whether the use of one's property would violate the rights of others, specifically when such an instance involves monopoly of property and substance by one or a few individuals, while the rest of mankind has their right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness violated because those holding the monopoly of property will not impart of their substance to the poor and needy, and the poor and needy have no other means of acquiring property through their labor and inducements to the owners because their is no other property left to acquire, given the monopoly on property by the owner(s). And even then, I think the Creator would let man dot he confiscating, via due process of law. I think this would be the only situation the Creator would ever confiscate property from the owner or would condone mankind to confiscate property from the owner, and justly so because the monopolistic owner was in violation of the rights of others in monopolizing all property and in depriving others, who have nothing, of his excess of substance. Thus, aristocracy and monarchy, where the one or the few are the owners of the realm is looked down upon as evil by the the Creator and enlightened mankind. The same goes for the many that own property to the exclusion of the few, where the rights of the few are violated in that they are physically, and possibly lawfully barred from ACQUIRING property by their own sweat and labor, physically in that all the property is owned by the many and their is nothing left for the few to acquire, and is not imparted to the few via inducements from the poor, or if inducements are not in existence, then imparting to the poor as a freewill gift by the owner. It must be remembered that even those who have absolutely nothing to offer as inducements for buying property do not have a claim on the property of others, except when their rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are violated. But the property may be justly confiscated by the governing body of the society from the owner(s) if the actions of the property owners violate the rights of others to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, including property. And such confiscation must come through due process of law. But such as case as described above concerning a monopoly on all property, both landed and personal, is so rare, so unthinkable, and has yet to happen in America, in the very least, that such is not necessary to comment on any further. Thus, society can only ever have a claim on the property of others when the owner violates the rights of others, such as life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, and is found guilty of doing so by due process of law. And even then, such property is to be distributed equally among those who have no property but are willing to labor to acquire property is property existed for them to acquire. And in America, as in the whole world, there is property enough for all of mankind to acquire by individual labor, and this will ever be so, so long as a monopolistic individual, group of individuals, or a nation has not claimed it all to the exclusion of all others.
Indeed, it seems to me that the principles found in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964) and Katzenbach v. McClung, (1964) allow the government to violate the 5th, 14th, and 9th Amendment rights, particularly the substantive due process rights of the American people in the following ways:
There is a legal doctrine called Substantive Due Process, and I believe the substantive due process rights of Americans are violated by the principals laid down in the two aforementioned Supreme Court cases and in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, where the government may force a person to dispose of his/her private property to whomever the government sees fit and whenever the government sees fit (in this case, people of different skin colors, race, age, gender, etc.), under the guise of promoting interstate commerce or protecting interstate commerce. I do not believe promoting or protecting interstate commerce is justification enough for violating the property rights of individuals, for it makes us less secure in our private property at the hands of the government, and it makes our right to acquire private property and be secure in maintaining and holding it less secure as well, again at the hands of the government. If a private individual sought to force me by coercion or duress to dispose of my private property to someone or at a time I as the owner did not see fit, even for good purposes, such as promoting or protecting interstate commerce or helping another person in need, this would be a crime and seen as immoral and illegal, theft, if you will. And if so, then why should the government be allowed to do it? If it's a crime for a private individual, it should be a crime for the government to commit the same act. Government cannot exempt itself from the laws of the land.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
A.) There are Amalickiahs (Alma 46-51)
1 And now it came to pass that, as soon as aAmalickiah had obtained the kingdom he began to binspire the hearts of the Lamanites against the people of Nephi; yea, he did appoint men to speak unto the Lamanites from their ctowers, against the Nephites.
2 And thus he did inspire their hearts against the Nephites, insomuch that in the latter end of the anineteenth year of the reign of the judges, he having accomplished his designs thus far, yea, having been made king over the Lamanites, he bsought also to creign over all the land, yea, and all the people who were in the land, the Nephites as well as the Lamanites.
3 Therefore he had accomplished his design, for he had hardened the hearts of the Lamanites and blinded their minds, and stirred them up to anger, insomuch that he had gathered together a numerous host to go to battle against the Nephites.
4 For he was determined, because of the greatness of the number of his people, to aoverpower the Nephites and to bring them into bondage.
7 ...Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit [and I might personally add, by murder (see Alma 47)]...
B.) There are Moroni's (Alma 46-63):
" 7 Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been apreparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.
8 Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small aforts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building bwalls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land.
9 And in their weakest fortifications he did place the greater number of men; and thus he did fortify and strengthen the land which was possessed by the Nephites.
10 And thus he was preparing to asupport their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of bChristians.
11 And Moroni was a astrong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect bunderstanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;
12 Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the awelfare and safety of his people.
13 Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had asworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood.
14 Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught anever to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.
15 And this was their afaith, that by so doing God would bprosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger;
16 And also, that God would make it known unto them awhither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; bnot in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.
17 Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto aMoroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the bdevil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.
18 Behold, he was a man like unto aAmmon, the son of Mosiah, yea, and even the other sons of Mosiah, yea, and also Alma and his sons, for they were all men of God.
C.) And then there are all those in between Amalickiah and Moroni, a mixture of both, containing characteristics of both men, some more like Amalickiah while others more like Moroni, yet still lukewarm and fence sitting, choosing to still indulge in the passions and evil desires of Amalickiah, not willing to give up the natural man so as to become fully like Moroni as best as one can.
Where do you stand? Which type of person are you? As for me and my house, to the best of my/our ability, I/we will serve the Lord, and be like Moroni.