I recently heard, yet again, that the U.S. Constitution only applies to the federal government and not to the states, and that each state has it’s own Constitution it must follow. And that got me thinking: What does the Constitution say about that? Continue reading “Does the U.S. Constitution Apply to the States?”
As I read this article all I could think was “better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.” The one thing this article does prove is Ryan Cooper’s utter ignorance about what the Constitution actually says, the reasons why our Founding Fathers wrote it that way, and the history of our country. Continue reading “Better to keep your mouth shut and thought a fool?”
For the last few weeks the media has been in a frenzy discussing the proposed tax reform bill moving its way through Congress. The Senate has worked long days lasting late into the next morning to pass a bill which should be, if we had even a basic understanding of our Constitution, a complete waste of time.
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 7
I’ve seen quite a debate, especially amongst the “firearms crowd”, regarding the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017”, or as it’s commonly called, “National Reciprocity”. As a firearm owner with a concealed carry permit who frequently travels between states, I find this whole situation quite vexing. It’s bad enough that each state has it’s own rules about where and how I may be allowed to carry, but which states will recognize what licenses is confusing enough that multiple books and websites exist to help a gun owner keep track. Add to that the fact that some states have notorious reputations for giving little credence to federal laws regarding the interstate transportation of firearms and I can see why people would desire this type of legislation. The question is: Does Congress have the constitutional authority to tell states what documents they must accept from other states?
There are actually two constitutional clauses we need to look at: The “full faith and credit” and the “privileges and immunities” clauses. Lets start with the later. Continue reading “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017”
Every time there’s a new Supreme Court vacancy we hear talk about judges having a lifetime appointment. But is that what the Constitution says? In short: No.
The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour,
So, if federal judges hold office during good behavior, who defines “good behavior”? Congress. The House of Representatives determines who to impeach and the Senate tries the impeachment. Are there standards for judging good behavior? Continue reading “How Long is a Federal Judge’s Term?”
As long as I can remember, I’ve been told we have three co-equal branches of government in Washington. Since I was taught it in government-run schools, I’ve heard it espoused from journalists, politicians, and just about everyone else when the topic comes up. But is that true? Continue reading “Do we have three co-equal branches of government?”
There’s been a fair amount of talk lately about states banning travel to other states because of their laws, which states like New York and California deem discriminatory. I’m not here to discuss whether these travel bans are wise or legal in their own states, but whether they are constitutional.
The key fact often overlooked in many of the reports I’ve read and heard is that these are bans on state funded travel. I’ve heard some say this ban is unconstitutional because is violates the Privileges and Immunities clause of Article IV, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. The Privileges and Immunities clause states:
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
United States Constitution, Article IV, Section 2
The logic seems to be that the right to travel to another state, what our Founding Fathers referred to as the right of expatriation, is a fundamental privilege, and that denying travel for any reason is a violation of the privileges of a citizen of the state. Now if a state were to ban it’s citizens from travel to another state, that would be a violation, but is that what these state travel bans are doing? When I read the acts of New York and California what I found was not a blanket ban on travel to other states, but a ban on state funded travel to other states. As a sovereign entity, the people of each state have the right through their elected representatives to determine what their money will be spent on. If the people of New York and California do not want their tax-payer funds to pay for travel to other states because of a perceived discrimination, that is their right. And if the people of those states think their representatives went too far in issuing their travel bans, it is up to them to contact their representatives to express their opinion and then decide in the next election if they are representing the people of their state well. In short, the travel bans are not a violation of the privileges and immunities clause, but the call by citizens of other states to overturn them is a violation of state sovereignty.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the joke, “How can you tell when a politician is lying?” The answer, of course, is: “When their lips are moving!” While this is a sad commentary on the state of politics in the 21st century, it’s an even sadder commentary on the state of our society! What does it say about us that we hire people to represent us who we know are lying to us? What does it say about Americans that those who lie the best keep their jobs the longest? If these people represent us, what does their character say about us as a nation? Just as in colonial times, more often than not our government represents the worst of our natures, not the best. If there is a problem in Washington it is ultimately our fault. If that is the bad news, the good news is that it means we can fix it. However, it will take a long time and probably not the path you expected.
My wife ran across an interesting article yesterday and asked if I’d write about it. So here goes.
Now I rarely agree with Gov. Cuomo, and he’s certainly made more than his fair share of mistakes in the quotes in this article, but in this case he is correct: The Second Amendment Guarantee Act, as proposed by Congressman Collins (NY-27), is plainly unconstitutional and should be opposed by all fifty states and their citizens alike.
While the text of the bill was not available at the time I was writing this, what Rep. Collins proposes not only violates Article I, Section 8’s “general welfare” clause, but it violates both the 2nd and 10th Amendments as well.