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Friday, April 21, 2017

Things Moved Slowly Back When America Was Great

The Second Congress convened in May of '75, and the folks from Mass got right down to it:

Mr. [John] Hancock produced and laid before the Congress a Letter from the provincial Congress of Massachusetts bay, together with certain resolutions formed by Sd. Congress, and a Copy of a letter, sent by Sd. Congress to their agent in England, and an address to the inhabitants of Gt.-Bn, on the late engagement between the troops under Genl. Gage, and the inhabitants of Massachusetts bay; on Wednesday 18 ult: also a number of depositions, duly attested, relative to the commencement of hostilities, all which were read...

North Carolina delegate Richard Caswell wrote his son, William:

Scarce any thing But Warlike Musick is to be heard in the Streets, there are Several Com- panies of Quakers only, and many of them beside enrolled in Other Companies promiscuously. Tis sayed they will in a few days have 3000 Men under Arms ready to defend their Liberties. They are raising Men in New York & all the Northern Governments, the Yorkers I am told by their Delegates are determined to Defend their Liberties & since the Action between the Kings Troops & the Provincials scarcely a Tory is to be found amongst them. I herewith inclose you a paper in which is a List of the Killed & Wounded of the Kings Troops, But 'tis said this is not Genuine, a Much greater Number being Actually Killed. On the side of the Bostonians 37 were Killed outright 4 are Missing & I forget The Number of Wounded I think thirty odd.

Can you believe it took Congress more than another year to declare independence?  If only Lord Dampnut had been there, he woulda negotiated a great deal, the best deal...

ntodd

April 21, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

An Island In The Pacific

Indeed, Hawaii also shouldn't be allowed to breed presidents.  And judges from the Coastal Elite States?  Also cannot rule on things.  Only people from the True Heart of America, like Oklahoma, can do shit like that.  As the Framers intended.

ntodd

April 20, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (1)

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

let no more be heard of confidence in man

A spurious TJ quotation popped up on my timeline:

The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.

But yeah, why not mash shit he said with Ayn Rand?  Slaveholding believer in liberty and selfish fucking inspiration for Paul Ryan...like chocolate and peanut butter.

ntodd

April 13, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

We See Things So Very Differently

This thing about Gorsuch and SCOTUS reminded me of the differences that have been with us since the Republic was still gestating.

ntodd

April 11, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Sunday, April 09, 2017

Enter The First Patent

On this date in 1790, it was recorded in the House and Senate (with slight variation in language) that:

[T]he Joint Committee for Enrolled Bills...reported that the Committee did, yesterday, wait on the President of the United States. and present him with the enrolled bill, entitled "An act to promote the Progress of Useful Arts," for his approbation.

Mr Washington did indeed grant his approbation to our very first patent statute the following day.  The very first patent wasn't issued until July.  According to the USPTO, it was a Vermonter named Samuel Hopkins, but somebody else asserts it was a Marylander named Samuel Hopkins.  Whatever, we finally had the recipe for potash that made America great.

ntodd

April 9, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Saturday, April 08, 2017

We had to destroy the Senate in order to save it

This is a pretty good deconstruction of how Mitch McConnell destroyed the Senate.

ntodd

April 8, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Friday, April 07, 2017

Let's Raise An Army!

In the House on this here very date, 1812:

The amendments proposed by the Senate to the bill "authorizing a detachment from the militia of the United States" were read: Whereupon,

Resolved, That this House doth concur in the said amendments of the Senate, with amendments.
...
A message from the Senate, by Mr. Otis, their Secretary:

Mr. Speaker: The Senate have passed the bill, entitled "An act in addition to the act, entitled "An act to raise an additional military force," passed January eleventh, one thousand eight hundred and twelve," which bill was passed by this House under the injunction of secrecy.

Now the War of 1812...THAT was a good war!

ntodd

April 7, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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O, The Judiciary!

On this here very date, 1789:

Ordered, That Mr. Ellsworth, Mr. Paterson, Mr. Maclay, Mr. Strong, Mr. Lee, Mr. Bassett, Mr. Few, and Mr. Wingate, be a committee, to bring in a bill for organizing the Judiciary of the United States.

Then the Framers were like, what if somebody a couple centuries from now really fucks this up?

ntodd

April 7, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Tuesday, April 04, 2017

"She's a grand old rag."

Oh, let's take a walking tour of the House process updating our Sacred Flag.  Because it's fun, dammit.  

It began on December 16, 1817:

On motion of Mr. Wendover,

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire into the expediency of altering the flag of the United States; and that they have leave to report by bill or otherwise; and,

Mr. Wendover, Mr. Mason, of Massachusetts, Mr. Newton, Mr. Ross, and Mr. Poindexter, were appointed the said committee.

Wendover reported the bill on January 6, 1818:

[T]hey have maturely considered the subject referred to them, and have adopted, substantially, the report of the committee to whom was referred the same subject at the last session of Congress, as forming a part of this report.

The committee are fully persuaded that the form selected for the American flag was truly emblematical of our origin and existence as an independent nation, and that as such, it having met the approbation and received the support of the citizens of the Union, it ought to undergo no change that would decrease its conspicuity, or tend to deprive it of its representative chnracter.

The committee, however, believe that an increase in the number of States in the Union since the flag was altered by law, sufficiently indicates the propriety of such a change in the arrangement of the flag as shall best accord with the reasons that led to its original adoption, and sufficiently point to important periods of our national history.
...
The national flag being in general use by vessels of almost every description, it appears to the committee of considerable importance to adopt some arrangement calculated to prevent in future great or expensive alterations. Under those impressions, they are led to believe no alteration could be made more emblematical of our origin and present existence, as composed of a number of independent and united States, than to reduce the stripes in the flag to the original number of thirteen, to represent the number of States then contending for and happily achieving their independence, and to increase the stars to correspond with the number of States now in the Union, and hereafter to add one star to the flag whenever a new State shall be fully admitted.

These slight alterations will, in the opinion of the committee, meet the general approbation, as well of those who may have regretted a former departure from the original flag, as of such as are solicitous to see in it a representation of every State in the Union.

The committee cannot believe that in retaining only thirteen stripes it necessarily follows they should be distinctly considered in reference to certain individual States, inasmuch as nearly all the new States were a component part of, and represented in, the original States; and inasmuch, also, as the flag is intended to signify numbers, and not local and particular sections of the Union; nor can the committee view the proposed inconsiderable addition to be made on the admission of a new State in the light of a departure from that permanency of form which ought to characterize the flag of the nation.

The committee respectfully report a bill.

They debated the numer of stripes on March 24:

The House resolved itself into a committee of the whole on the bill to alter the flag of the United States; and after some time spent therein, Mr. Speaker resumed the chair, and Mr. Desha reported the same without amendment.

The House proceeded to consider the said bill, the first section of which is as follows:

"That from and after the 4th day of July next, the flag of the United States be, thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be twenty stars, white, in a blue field."

A motion was made by Mr. Poindexter, to amend the said section by striking out the word twenty, and inserting seven; which was rejected by the House; and,

Mr. Folger moved to amend the said section by striking out twenty, and inserting thirteen; and also, to strike out the 2d section of the said bill. This motion was also rejected by the House.

Ordered, That the said bill be engrossed and read a third time, to-morrow.

Passed the House on March 25, passed the Senate on March 31, presented to President Monroe on April 3, signed into law on April 4.  Wonder how many stars will fall during Lord Dampnut's interregnum...

ntodd

April 4, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Sunday, April 02, 2017

There's A Golden Coin That Reflects The Sun

As I have noted before, I do like posting about coins, coinage statutes, and coinage tangentally to other issues.  So it's a little surprising that there doesn't appear to be anything in DM's archives about the Coinage Act of 1792, which became law on this date.  Some highlights of An Act establishing a Mint, and regulating the Coins of the United States:

Section 1. Be it enacted...That a mint for the purpose of a national coinage be, and the same is established; to be situate and carried on at the seat of the government of the United States, for the time being: And that for the well conducting of the business of the said mint, there shall be the following officers and persons, namely,–a Director, an Assayer, a Chief Coiner, an Engraver, a Treasurer.
...
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That there shall be from time to time struck and coined at the said mint, coins of gold, silver, and copper, of the following denominations, values and descriptions, viz. EAGLES—each to be of the value of ten dollars or units, and to contain two hundred and forty-seven grains and four eighths of a grain of pure, or two hundred and seventy grains of standard gold. HALF EAGLES—each to be of the value of five dollars, and to contain one hundred and twentythree grains and six eighths of a grain of pure, or one hundred and thirtyfive grains of standard gold. QUARTER EAGLES—each to be of the value of two dollars and a half dollar, and to contain sixty-one grains and seven eighths of a grain of pure, or sixty-seven grains and four eighths of a grain of standard gold. DOLLARS or UNITS—each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver. HALF DOLLARS—each to be of half the value of the dollar or unit, and to contain one hundred and eighty-five grains and ten sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or two hundred and eight grains of standard silver. QUARTER Dollars—each to be of one fourth the value of the dollar or unit, and to contain ninety-two grains and thirteen sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or one hundred and four grains of standard silver. DISMES—each to be of the value of one tenth of a dollar or unit, and to contain thirty-seven grains and two sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or fortyone grains and three fifth parts of a grain of standard silver. HALF DISMES—each to be of the value of one twentieth of a dollar, and to contain eighteen grains and nine sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or twenty grains and four fifth parts of a grain of standard silver. CENTS—each to be of the value of the one hundredth part of a dollar, and to contain eleven penny-weights of copper. HALF CENTS—each to be of the value of half a cent, and to contain five penny-weights and half a penny-weight of copper.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That, upon the said coins respectively, there shall be the following devices and legends, namely: Upon one side of each of the said coins there shall be an impression emblematic of liberty, with an inscription of the word Liberty, and the year of the coinage; and upon the reverse of each of the gold and silver coins there shall be the figure or representation of an eagle, with this inscription, “UNITED STATES of AMERICA” and upon the reverse of each of the copper coins, there shall be an inscription which shall express the denomination of the piece, namely, cent or half cent, as the case may require.
...
Sec. 16. And be it further enacted, That all the gold and silver coins which shall have been struck at, and issued from the said mint, shall be a lawful tender in all payments whatsoever...
...
Sec. 19. And be it further enacted, That if any of the gold or silver coins which shall be struck or coined at the said mint shall be debased or made worse as to the proportion of fine gold or fine silver therein contained, or shall be of less weight or value than the same ought to be pursuant to the directions of this act, through the default or with the
connivance of any of the officers or persons who shall be employed at the said mint, for the purpose of profit or gain, or otherwise with a fraudulent intent, and if any of the said officers or persons shall embezzle any of the metals which shall at any time be committed to their charge for the purpose of being coined, or any of the coins which shall be struck or coined at the said mint, every such officer or person who shall commit any or either of the said offences, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and shall suffer death.

Shorter: putting the Mint in Philly (the first federal building), creating a variety of necessary offices, establishing the silver dollar as our base monetary unit, pegging it to the Spanish silver dollar, and making our system rational and decimal (take that, Britain, with your pounds, shillings, and pence!).  Not to mention coins are now legal tender and don't fuck with the money or you will hang.  But let's take a closer look at Section 10.

On March 24, the House took up an amendment to the Senate's original bill:

In the tenth section, strike out the words, 'or representation of the head of the President of the United States for the time being, with an inscription, which shall express the initial or first letter of his Christian or first name, and his surname at length, the succession of the presidency numerically,’ and in lieu thereof, insert 'Emblematic of Liberty,' with an inscription of the word LIBERTY.

There was a little debate:

Mr. Page, in support of this motion said, that it had been a practice in Monarchies to exhibit the figures or beads of their kings upon their coins, either to hand down, in the ignorant ages in which this practice was introduced, a kind uf chronological account of their kings, or to show to whom the coin belonged. We havehave all read, that the Jews paid tribute to the Romans, by means of a coin on which was the head of their Caesar. Now as we have no occasion for this aid to history, nor any pretence to call the money of the United States the money of our Presidents, there can be no sort of necessity for adopting the idea of the Senate.

I second the motion, therefore, for the amendment proposed; and the more readily because I am certain it will be more agreeable to the citizens of the United States, to see the head of Liberty on their coin, than the heads of Presidents. However well pleased they might be with the head of the great man now their President, they may have no great reason to be pleased with some of his successors [ed. note: IKR?]; as to him, they have his busts, his pictures every where; historians are daily celebrating his fame, and Congress have voted him a monument. A further compliment they need not pay him, especially when it may be said, that no Republic has paid such a compliant to its Chief Magistrate; and when indeed it would be viewed by the world as a stamp of royalty on our coins: would wound the feelings of many friends, and gratify our enemies.

Mr. Williamson seconded the motion also, and affirmed that the Romans did not put the hi-ods of their Consuls on their money; that Julius Caesar wished to have his on the Roman coin, but only ventured to cause the figure of an elephant to be impressed thereon; that by a pun on the Carthaginian name of that animal, which sounded like the name of Ciaear, he might be said to be on the coin. He thought the amendment consistent with Republican principles, and therefore approved of it.

Mr. Livermore ridiculed, with an uncommon degree of humor, the idea that it could be of any consequence to the United States whether the head of Liberty were on their coins or not; the President was a very good emblem of Liberty; but what an emblematical figure might be, he could not tell. A ghost had been said to be in the shape of the sound of a drum, and so might Liberty for aught he knew; but how the President's head being on our coins could affect the liberty of the people, was incomprehensible to him. He hoped, therefore, that the amendment would be rejected.

Mr. Smith, of South Carolina, agreed with Mr. Livermore in opinion; adding, that the President representing the people of the United States, might with great propriety represent them on their cons. He denied that Republics did not place the images of their Chief Magistrates on their coins; and said, he was surprised that a member who so much admired the French and their new constitution, should be so averse to a practice they have established; the head of their King is by their constitution put upon their money. Besides, it was strange that for a circumstance so trivial we should lose time in debating, and risk the loss of an important bill.

The said amendment was again read, and a division of the question thereon called for...

Livermore and Smith (both Pro-Administration) lost on the presidential image question, 26-22.  Livermore was also on the losing side regarding the replacement wording, 42-6.  In both instances, one of Vermont's Representatives, Nathaniel Niles, voted Yea, and our other, Israel Smith was not listed as voting.  

The bill passed on March 26 by a vote of 32-22.  Not sure why, but both of Vermont's Representatives voted in the negative (wonder if I can suss out whether it was just because they were Anti-Administration or deeper than that). Two days later, Israel Smith reported to the House that the bill had been truly enrolled, so the Speaker signed. Couple days after that, it was presented to the president for approval.

The following month we got another act establishing copper coinage.  Besides that not much else really was tweaked statutorily for decades.  And thankfully, the only presidents we get on coins unto this day are dead ones...

ntodd

April 2, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Saturday, April 01, 2017

How Much Is A Fool Worth?

Exciting times in the Senate on this date in 1790:

Ordered, That Messrs. Ellsworth, Few, and Wingate, be a committee to state the compensation due to the members of the Senate, for the present session, to the 31st March, inclusive.

So 2 days later:

Mr. Ellsworth, on behalf of the committee appointed the let April, to state the compensation due to the members of the Senate, for the present session, reported.

"That there is due to the Senators of the United States for attendance in Congress the present session, to the 31st day of March, inclusive, and expenses of travel to Congress, as allowed by law, as follows, to wit:

  • To Mr. Bassett, ... 496½ dollars.
  • Mr. Butler, ... 796
  • Mr. Carroll, ... 186
  • Mr. Dalton, ... 612
  • Mr. Ellsworth, ... 546½
  • Mr. Elmer, ... 414
  • Mr. Few, ... 833½
  • Mr. Henry, ... 596½
    • Mr. Hawkins, ... 615
    • deduct certificate given,147
    • ... 468
  • Mr. Johnson, ... 544
  • Mr. Johnston, ... 534
  • Mr. King, ... 522
  • Mr. Langdon, ... 618
  • Mr. Maclay, ... 585
  • Mr. Morris, ... 430½
  • Mr. Paterson, ... 514½
  • Mr. Read, ... 195
  • Mr. Strong, ... 575½
  • Mr. Schuyler, ... 571½
  • Mr. Wingate, ... 616½
  • ... 10,655½dollars."

Which report being accepted, the Vice President executed the following certificate:

In Senate of the United States,
New York, the 3d day of April, 1790.

I certify, that the sums affixed to the names of the Senators, are due to them, respectively, according to law.

JOHN ADAMS.Vice President

The accounting was based upon statute approved on September 22, 1789:

[E]ach Senator shall be entitled to receive six dollars, for every day he shall attend the Senate, and shall also be allowed, at the commencement and end of every such session and meeting, six dollars for every twenty miles of the estimated distance, by the most usual road, from his place of residence to the seat of Congress; and in case any member of the Senate shall be detained by sickness on his journey to or from any such session or meeting, or after his arrival shall be unable to attend the Senate, he shall be entitled to the same daily allowance: Provided always, That no Senator shall be allowed a sum exceeding the rate of six dollars a day, from the end of one such session or meeting to the time of his taking his seat in another.

Which of course brings to mind Abraham Lincoln, Aaron Schock, and Downton Abbey...

ntodd

April 1, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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The Fools' Quorum

The Very First Congress bootstrapped a little more slowly than Lord Dampnut's Ship o' Fools, but all they were doing was setting up everything necessary for a proper Republic.  Firstly and most importantly, however:

The House met according to adjournment.

Two other members, to wit: James Schureman, from New Jersey, and Thomas Scott, from Pennsylvania, appeared and took their seats.

And a quorum, consisting of a majority of the whole number, being present,

Resolved, That this House will proceed to the choice of a Speaker by ballot.

The House accordingly proceeded to ballot for a Speaker, and upon examining the ballots, a majority of the votes of the whole House was found in favor of Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, one of the Representatives for the State of Pennsylvania.

Whereupon, the said Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg was conducted to the chair, from whence he made his acknowledgments to the House for so distinguished an honor.

The House then proceeded in the same manner to the appointment of a Clerk, and upon examining the ballots, a majority, of the votes of the whole House was found in favor of Mr. John Beckley.

On motion,

Ordered, That the members of this House do severally deliver in their credentials at the Clerk's table.

And then the House adjourned until to-morrow morning eleven o'clock.

Muhlenberg, BTW, was son of Lutheran pastor for whom Muhlenberg College was named.  Paul Ryan will probably never get a college named after him.  SAD!

ntodd

April 1, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Meanwhile In Alternate Universe 25a

This is how it would work if I were writing a Sorkin script which assumes Republicans do, in fact, care about constitutional norms in the face of Russian interference in our elections:

  1. Lord Dampnut is 25th Amendmented
  2. Pence appoints Hillary Clinton to be his Veep, and Congress approves
  3. Pence resigns
  4. Hillary Clinton appoints Tim Kaine as her Veep, and Congress approves
  5. President Clinton nominates Merrick Garland to SCOTUS, and the Senate consents

No less realistic than much of what President Bartlet said and did.

ntodd

March 31, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (1)

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mutually Assured...Democracy?

Still puzzled as to the the point of not using a tool that they will destroy anyway?

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) signaled Thursday he is open to using the "nuclear option" to eliminate the filibuster entirely if Democrats try to use the maneuver to block the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Eliminating the filibuster would break Senate precedent and make it impossible for Democrats to hold the nominee to a 60-vote threshold, allowing Republicans to approve Gorsuch with a simple majority.

Graham told conservative radio show host Mike Gallagher that he would vote for the nuclear option if necessary.

"Whatever it takes to get him on the court, I will do," Graham said, after being asked about using the nuclear option.

"If my Democratic colleagues choose to filibuster this guy, then they will be telling me that they don't accept the election results — 306 electoral votes — that they're trying to delegitimize President Trump,” Graham continued. “And that's not right, and we would have to change the rules to have the Supreme Court like everybody else.”

I do fondly remember the Senate comity so passionately expressed by your moving Obama's nominee forward in his last constitutional year of office, fully embracing his 2nd decisive popular and electoral victory in the spirit our Founders would so honor with their lives and framing and shit.... 

ntodd

March 26, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Forget about the little shit

Back when American government was great, or at least passed shit:

Mr. Gilman, from the Joint Committee for Enrolled Bills, reported that the committee had examined two enrolled bills, one entitled "An act to establish an Uniform Rule of Naturalization;" the other entitled "An act making appropriations for the Support of Government, for the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety;" and had found the same to be truly enrolled: Whereupon,

Mr. Speaker signed the said enrolled bills.

Ordered, That the Clerk of this House do acquaint the Senate therewith.

Fucking legislating: how does it work?

ntodd

March 25, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Fucking Oversight: How Does It Work?

So much for separation of powers and shit:

House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) said on Thursday night that he felt an obligation to tell President Donald Trump about “incidentally collected” information on Trump and his associates from the intelligence community because the President has been criticized in the media.

"It’s clear that I would be concerned if I was the president, and that’s why I wanted him to know, and I felt like I had a duty and obligation to tell him because, as you know, he’s taking a lot of heat in the news media,” Nunes told Fox News' Sean Hannity.

Heh, he said, 'duty'...

ntodd

March 24, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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No quarter will be given!

The Quartering Acts--first of which passed March 24, 1765--were egregious enough to be referenced in our Declaration of Independence:

[King George III{ has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

And 15 years later we got the Third Amendment protecting us from forced billeting of soldiers in our private homes, which probably isn't the biggest worry most people have right now.  F'rinstance, here's Griswold:

[S]pecific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance. See Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497, 516-522 (dissenting opinion). Various guarantees create zones of privacy. The right of association contained in the penumbra of the First Amendment is one, as we have seen. The Third Amendment, in its prohibition against the quartering of soldiers "in any house" in time of peace without the consent of the owner, is another facet of that privacy. The Fourth Amendment explicitly affirms the "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." The Fifth Amendment, in its Self-Incrimination Clause, enables the citizen to create a zone of privacy which government may not force him to surrender to his detriment. The Ninth Amendment provides: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

With the defeat of TrumpCare2.0, women at least don't have to worry about Republican Men quartering in their uteri or mammaries for now...

ntodd

March 24, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Sister, Wister, What's Your Legality?

Not that I care a whole lot about Mormons, but this caught my eye:

By the narrowest of margins, a bill expanding Utah's anti-bigamy law passed the state Senate just before a midnight deadline Thursday.

The bill changes the wording of what makes someone a bigamist in the state and adds penalties for cases that involve abuse, fraud and human trafficking, according to the text of the bill.

Kody Brown and his four wives, the stars of the reality TV show "Sister Wives," sued Utah in 2011, saying its law was unconstitutional. The polygamists won in US District Court in 2013 but the decision was overturned on appeal last year.

Utah wouldn't want to leave the Union now, would it?  Anywayz, I've blogged a couple three times about this case and related issues before...

ntodd

March 13, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Convention, Vention, What's Your Tension?

Yeah, a Constitutional Convention would likely be a clusterfuck, but also give the Empire...uh, Republic a chance to finally dissolve.  Anyway, would it be a typical Article V thing, or something novel?  Would our media cover it properly?  Would it give pedants conniption fits?  Think of all the fun we could have!

ntodd

March 12, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (2)

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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Nuke Congress From Orbit

Oh no, this would be tyranny:

Freedom Caucus member and current holdout on the {Obamacare repeal] bill Rep. David Brat (R-VA) told reporters Thursday that the Senate should blow up its 60-vote rule and push the bill through with 51 votes—overruling the Senate parliamentarian.

I guess so long as they don't do this in the middle of the night like evil Democrats do, it'll be okay...

ntodd

March 9, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (2)