Author Archive

4th Amendment

by

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Proposed 1789, ratified 1791 as a bulk ratification of the first ten amendments, the original ten amendments, the Bill of Rights known as the peoples rights.

There are two clause:

Clause 1: Unreasonable searches and seizures (The Reasonableness Clause)

Clause 2: Warrant (Warrant Clause)

While James Madison is sighted as the author of the first draft, it is John Adams version, and his arguments for, that has resulted in its final wording.

The 4th amendment was applied to the states in a ruling by the Court in Mapp v. Ohio (1961). Although the 14th amendment has been used by the Court to assert that the Bill of Rights applied to the states.

4th_Amendment_ex

The 4th amendment is enforced by the exclusionary rule, established by Weeks v. United States (1914).

To understand the 4th amendment and finding of its way into the Bill of Rights the following are two sources: Writs of Assistance Case and The Framers’ Intent: John Adams, His Era, and the Fourth Amendment.

As Thomas K. Clancy wrote in The Framers’ Intent, “The amendment contains two grammatically independent clauses joined by the conjunction “and.” The first clause is called the Reasonableness Clause and merely specifies, without elaboration, that all searches and seizures must be reasonable. The second clause, commonly called the Warrant Clause, requires that warrants be under oath or affirmation, that the places to be searched and the persons and things to be seized must be particularly described, and that the intrusion be supported by probable cause.”

19th Amendment

by

Section I: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

Section II: “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

Became law August 26, 1920

The phrase “on account of sex” should have read “on account of gender” but in the final women were finally enfranchised to vote.

The Nineteenth Amendment’s text was drafted by Susan B. Anthony with the assistance of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

It is worth noting the battle for women’s right to cast a ballot without states restriction took some seventy years.

The work in many respects was not over by any measure when the bill was sent to the states for ratification. The struggle in some ways started a new.

Senator Smith of South Carolina opposed giving women the right to vote, he said, “because to allow it would induce “sectional anarchy.”

The Seattle University Law School said “Casting a vote is the most widely understood and discretely effective way to have one’s voice heard in American politics.”

How important is just one vote, here are some examples:

In 1645, one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England

In 1649, one vote caused Charles I of England to be executed

In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German

In 1845, one vote brought Texas into the Union

In 1868, one vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment

In 1876, one vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency of the United States

In 1923, one vote gave Adolf Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party

In 1941, one vote saved Selective Service – just weeks before Pearl harbor was attacked

In 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected by one vote per precinct

The 19th Amendment is also referred to as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. Anthony is but one notable women of the suffrage movement. Women were fighting for the vote in states across this nation. Susan B. Anthony in her famous speech “Women’s Right to Vote” (1875), argued that the words of “The Declaration of Independence” guaranteed women’s voting rights.

18th Amendment

by

Section 1: After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2: The Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3: This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.

Nebraska became the 36th state to ratify it January 16,1919. The amendment became law January 17,1920. Sixty-five percent of the country had already a self imposed prohibition.

This amendment turned out to be an oops! It would be annulled in thirteen years.

The 18th was bolstered by the Volstead Act. The law was named after Congressman Andrew J. Volstead who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee and whose job it was to sponsor the legislation. However, its author was largely Wayne Wheeler of the Anti-Saloon league.

The Act was was vetoed by President Woodrow Wilson on both constitutional and ethical grounds but overridden by Congress on the same day, October 28, 1919.

The Volstead Act’s purpose was as a mechanism for enforcement of the 18th.

15th Amendment

by

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Proposed by Congress, February 26th, 1869 and ratification achieved by February 3rd, 1870. Twenty-nine states initially ratified and seven symbolically ratified after 1870 they were
New Jersey (February 15, 1871), Delaware (February 12, 1901), Oregon (February 24, 1959), California (April 3, 1962), Maryland (May 7, 1973), Kentucky (March 18, 1976) and Tennessee (April 8, 1997).

One of the best ways to describe the need for the 15th is to consider the “dark times” of the Reconstruction Era. The so-called radical Republicans in Congress had setup some four military districts whose goals were to not only oversee the progress of reconstruction but it was the desire of Congress to ensure that the ‘Negro’ was integrated into all aspects of American society. To this end it was felt by those “radicals” in Congress that the ‘Negro’ [black male] be given the right to vote and be placed into political office, local and state government and eventually be voted into Congress.

It became clear that despite those efforts many states in the North were not interested in the ‘Negro’ voting in the North.

It would be wrong to not state that Republicans viewed this effort as building their own voting base. The ‘Negro’ would, it was believed, become the new Republicans. They in fact were already the new Republican in the South.

14th Amendment

by

Proposed by Congress June 13, 1866, ratified by July 1968. All Confederate states under reconstruction would subsequently be required to ratify before readmittance to the Union. According to the governments website “On July 28, 1868, the 14th amendment was declared, in a certificate of the Secretary of State, ratified by the necessary 28 of the 37 States, and became part of the supreme law of the land.” The Reconstruction Act 1867 laid out the framework, the rules and process’ for reunification in to the Union. The Reconstruction Amendments were a ‘must ratify’ for readmittance. The 14th amendment is one of the Reconstruction Amendments. The other amendments included in this category are the 13th and 15th amendments.

There does exist many who believe the 14th Amendment to the constitution is unconstitutional. The times of its adoption can only be described as “dark times” in this nations history. The consistent argument centers around the coercive nature inherent to the Reconstruction Amendments and as well the political shenanigans in Congress for its proposal. Some states who never seceded from the Union after ratifying withdrew ratification. There were states considered part of the Union by the deadline never ratified. However, since objections raised during its proposal and ratification process during Reconstruction it has endured. Perhaps the best report that argues against the 14th being constitutional is, There is No “Fourteenth Amendment”!, by David Lawrence, U.S. News & World Report, dated, September 27, 1957.

The debate in Congress on the 14th was lively. Congress left a trail of intent.

Borrowed from the Annenberg Institute, “the 14th Amendment limited the broad grant of citizenship to those “subject to U.S. jurisdiction.” As a result, Native Americans, who were governed by tribal law, were not guaranteed citizenship by this amendment. Many Native Americans became citizens by a variety of means such as marriage, treaties, or military service. But with the passage of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, Congress granted the rights of citizenship to all Native Americans.”

13th Amendment

by

Section 1.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.

The Civil War amendments included the 13th (1865), 14th (1868) and 15th (1870) amendments.

From the Library of Congress:
April 8, 1864 – The Senate passed the 13th Amendment (S.J. Res. 16) by a vote of 38 to 6.
June 15, 1864 – The House of Representatives initially defeated the 13th Amendment (S.J. Res. 16) by a vote of 93 in favor, 65 opposed, and 23 not voting, which is less than the two-thirds majority needed to pass a Constitutional Amendment.
January 31, 1865 – The House of Representatives passed the 13th Amendment (S.J. Res. 16) by a vote of 119 to 56.
February 1, 1865 – President Abraham Lincoln signed a Joint Resolution submitting the proposed 13th Amendment to the states.
December 18, 1865 – Secretary of State William Seward issued a statement verifying the ratification of the 13th Amendment.

Four states ratified post enactment (1865 – 1870), and 27 states were counted as have ratified. Delaware after rejecting ratified on February 12, 1901. Kentucky rejected in 1865 but ratified on, March 18, 1976. Mississippi rejected the amendment, December 4, 1865 and ratified some 148 years later in 1976 although Mississippi failed to notify the US Archivist until 2012, when the ratification finally became official. The territories, not yet granted statehood, eleven in all, could not constitutionally participate in ratification.

3rd Amendment

by

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Ratified 1791. James Madison is credited with authorship.
_____________

Tom W. Bell in an article titled, The Third Amendment: Forgotten but Not Gone wrote, “Pity the Third Amendment. The other amendments of the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights inspire public adoration and volumes of legal research. Meanwhile, the Third Amendment languishes in comparative oblivion. The scant attention that it does receive usually fails to serve it well. Lawyers twist it to fit absurd claims, the popular press subjects it to ridicule, and academics relegate it to footnotes. Is this any way to treat a member of the Bill of Rights?”

The 3rd has its roots in the English Bill of Rights of 1689. However the amendment would have made its debut in our Bill of Rights regardless of the English Bill of Rights.

2nd Amendment

by

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

____

The thousand dollar question that plagues conversation today while tighter gun control by national and states government is, “Does the Second Amendment recognizes the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms, or whether the right belongs solely to state governments and empowers each state to maintain a military force (state militia)?”

Progressives argue that the Second Amendment protects only the state’s right to an organized military—a well-regulated militia. It rejects any [all] suggestion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.

George Mason,in the Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution said “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”

Anti-federalist Richard Henry Lee (writing under the pseudonym, The Federal Farmer), wrote, “A militia when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves, and render regular troops in great measure unnecessary. The powers to form and arm the militia, to appoint their officers, and to command their services, are very important; nor ought they in a confederated republic to be lodged, solely, in any one member of the government. First, the constitution ought to secure a genuine [ ] and guard against a select militia, by providing that the militia shall always be kept well organized, armed, and disciplined, and include, according to the past and general usage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms; and that all regulations tending to render this general militia ― useless and defenseless, by establishing select corps of militia, or distinct bodies of military men, not having permament [permanent] interests and attachments in the community is to be avoided. …To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them….”

Religious Liberty of the First Amendment

by

Amendment I reads

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights.

A Patriot friend, Hugh Akston, explains that “Most people, because of the way it is written seem to believe that there are only three rights conferred in the First Amendment not six. They group the first two, the third and forth and then then the fifth and six.” What he is saying is people are choosing to ‘not’ separate the Clauses as also separates rights.

Hugh further states, ”The First Amendment is complex as it carries numerous rights to the people.The reason they are grouped together is because they are “Collective Rights” as much as “Individual Rights”.

They are also called First Freedoms: religious liberty, freedom of speech and press and assembly and petition. Here they are grouped as if three rights but one can not dismiss the Clauses contained in the First as not being “separate” rights.

According to Cornell University Legal Information Institute “The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by State governments. [1]

Authoritarian Theocratic Government is not an answer

by

We sometimes forget about how intolerant new inhabitants to the New World were to difference both in thought and behavior that strayed in anyway from collective conscious of church doctrine, authoritarian and theocratic.

The Puritans arrived in the New World in 1629. A group of Puritans, led by John Winthrop, began the Massachusetts Bay Company while still in England, then sailed to Massachusetts in 1629, taking the company charter with them.

John Winthrop’s Puritans were basically seeking religious freedom. Disillusionment in the church of England and the King drove their desire to seek a home in the New World.

To make a long historical story shorter there were different colonies of Puritans from Virginia to the area of Rhode Island. Some colonies were not as successful as others,. There existed many different variables that either allowed more success’ and failures.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was one that it can be said to prosper. The interesting story of this colony to me was the structure. It was a ‘company’ and one owned by the colony. On the flip side of the coin the colony its governing was based in the dictates of religious leaders. Strict adherence to Puritan philosophy was demanded. It was one of a collective thought. Anyone who was suspected or known to stray found themselves in a devilish predicament and in the worse situation face death. The Puritans were authoritarian and theocratic. Puritan Congregationalism was the official—and only—recognized religion.

History: Differences Settled the Old Fashion Way

by

The bickering in Washington could be worse. It is certainly not entertaining. Well for sure its different today than years gone by. In past history be it fisticuffs caneing or a duel the fights were about ones honor and pride.

Today’s politician seems not to have personal honor and certainly void of pride. Telling a lie is just spin — Washington gobbledygook is dismissed as “well that’s just politics”. Are today’s politician a more civil modern wo/man political animal? Perhaps. For sure they are boring and dishonest modern political animals.

Can you imagine today with only 17% of government actually shut down and Harry Reid and his Democrats whining over the disaster; if only House Speaker, John Boehner would walk over to the Senate floor and whop Reid over the head with the soft part of his umbrella (not even one of his golf clubs) and say “you have got to be kidding, government shutdown of 17% you call that a shutdown! Stop berating the GOP for the Democrat’s failings!”. Now that would be exciting.

“In our modern age, solving a problem by asking a dude to step outside is generally considered an immature, low class thing to do.” A quote from Man Knowledge: An Affair of Honor – The Duel.

World police goons!

by

I do believe we are being trained to a world police. A police state that can operate at will on foreign soil and yes domestically. The new force receives little bad press from the international community. Why? It is not coming under attack domestically.

There is no doubt that evil Islamist are operating throughout the world. We know they exist on our continent. They seem to be multiplying daily in numbers. Affiliations to this umbrella group or the other are blurred. Me well I just view them all as Islamist terrorist.

One less evil Islamist and the world breathes a sigh of relief. We certainly would most likely say “one less radical Islamist to worry about!”.

The fact that an evil Islamist is walking around in a country, not ours, is that an excuse for the USA to extract or use a Drone to kill?

When the USA drone kills or extracts some evil Islamic that our government says masterminded this or that or responsible for deaths of Americans its easy to say “go after the bastards Uncle Sam”.

Recently it was reported that Navy Seals were thwarted at their attempts to extract terrorist in Somalia. This was a police action. Truth is we don’t really know if they were actually Seals. Could the group been contract mercenaries hired by DOD?

Civil War: We are still paying the price . . .

by

Shelby Foote [1] in an interview with the Academy of Achievement said “This country has two great sins on its very soul. One is slavery, which we’ll never get out of our history and our conscience and everything else, the marrow of our bones. The other one is emancipation. They told four million people, “You are free. Hit the road.” Two-thirds of them couldn’t read or write. Very few of them had any trade except farming, and they went back into a sharecropper system that closely resembled peonage. I’m not saying emancipation is a sin, for God’s sakes, and I’m not saying there shouldn’t have been emancipation, but it should have been an emancipation that brought those people into society without all these handicaps on their head. And that now, my black friends, they are tremendously protective about slavery. They don’t want to hear the word. The opposite of the Jews, who are very proud of coming out of Egypt. And it was this short-circuiting, of instant emancipation, that certainly was a good thing, but it had a very bad effect on them.”

You can’t hold it for hours so how do you pee during a filibuster?

by

“This morning, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that, according to Joel Burns, who holds Sen. Davis’ former Fort Worth City Council seat, Davis was equipped with a catheter during her filibuster. When contacted to confirm, Davis’ office responded that the senator “made all necessary preparations.”

While obsessively watching state Sen. Wendy Davis’ heroic filibuster in the Texas Legislature yesterday, I couldn’t help thinking the obvious: 13 hours without peeing is a long time. Was she just holding it? Or wearing some sort of, er, contraption? (The options on such things, by the way, are many.)

For the most part, the logistics on this tend to be something politicians keep mum about. “It’s a kind of urological mystery,” Joseph Crespino, biographer of legendary filibusterer Strom Thurmond, told the BBC last year.

Time to Speak Up Against the NSA’s Mass Spying

by

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is sticking their neck out for your and my liberty and expectations of personal privacy.
Join EFF & The Stopwatching.us Coalition in DC on October 26th

I can’t attend but I can and did donate. We can also help by posting on our Facebook and Twitter page and other favorite blogs.

Now all my conservative friends don’t get your shorts in a twist because you may have issues with some organizations — we need all the help we and EFF can get on this draconian totalitarian spying.

On the weekend of October 26 — the 12th anniversary of the signing of the USA PATRIOT Act — thousands of people from across the political spectrum will unite in Washington, D.C. to take a stand against unconstitutional surveillance. Please join EFF and coalition partners for grassroots training and citizen lobbying on October 25th and a historic rally and petition delivery on October 26th.

There will be speakers, privacy experts, live music, and an opportunity to be part of the official delivery of the Stop Watching Us petition to Congress – a petition in which over a half million people have called for an end to mass, suspicionless surveillance.