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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Our Struggles Take A Long Time To Resolve

On this date in 1790:

Memorials of the People called Quakers, in their annual meetings, held at Philadelphia and New York, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, were presented to the House and read, praying the attention of Congress in adopting measures for the abolition of the Slave Trade; and, in particular, in restraining vessels from being entered and cleared out for the purposes of that trade.

Ordered, That the said memorials do lie on the table.

We did that over and over again so much that Congress gagged abolitionists.  And in the waning days of Buchanan's administration in February of 1861:

By Mr. Spinner: The remonstrance of citizens of Little Falls, New York, against any concessions to or compromises with slavery; which was referred to the select committee of five.

Mr. McKean submitted the following preamble and resolution; and debate arising thereon, they lie over under the rule, viz:

Whereas the "Gulf States" have assumed to secede from the Union, and it is deemed important to prevent the "border slave States" from following their example; and whereas it is believed that those who are inflexibly opposed to any measure of compromise or concession that involves or may involve a sacrifice of principle or the extension of slavery would nevertheless cheerfully concur in any lawful measure for the emancipation of the slaves: Therefore--

Resolved, That the select committee of five be instructed to inquire whether, by the consent of the people, or of the State governments, or by compensating the slaveholders, it be practicable for the general government to procure the emancipation of the slaves in some or all of the "border States," and if so, to report a bill for that purpose.

Mr. Palmer submitted the following resolutions, viz:

Resolved, That neither the federal government nor the people or governments of the non-slaveholding States have a purpose or a constitutional right to legislate upon or interfere with slavery in any of the States of the Union.

Resolved, That those persons in the north who do not subscribe to the foregoing proposition are too insignificant in numbers and influence to excite the serious attention or alarm of any portion of the people of the republic, and that the increase of their numbers and influence does not keep pace with the increase of the aggregate population of the Union.

A division of the question having been demanded,

The Speaker stated the question to be first on the first resolution.

Pending which,

Mr. Palmer moved the previous question; which was seconded and the main question ordered and put, viz: Will the House agree thereto?

  • And it was decided in the affirmative,
  • Yeas ... 116
  • Nays ... 14


Mr. Sherman, by unanimous consent, submitted the following amendment in the nature of a substitute for both of the resolutions submitted by Mr. Palmer, viz: Strike out all after the word "Resolved" and insert:

"That neither the Congress of the United States nor the people or governments of the non-slaveholding States have the constitutional right to legislate upon or interfere with slavery in any of the slaveholding States in the Union."

And the question being put, Will the House agree thereto?

It was decided in the affirmative.

The question then recurring on the said resolutions as amended,

Mr. Sherman moved the previous question; which was seconded and the main question ordered and put, viz: Will the House agree to the said resolutions as amended?

  • And it was decided in the affirmative,
  • Yeas ... 161
  • Nays ... 0


So the said resolutions as amended were unanimously agreed to.

Not long after, a little dustup that even some Quakers felt compelled to join.  Just some perspective about today's kulturkampf.


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

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Gerrymander? I Hardly...

Mass Historical Society:

The practice of gerrymandering in America long predates the invention of the term, but the Massachusetts law that gave rise to the name dates from 11 February 1812, when Governor Elbridge Gerry, a Jeffersonian Republican, signed a reapportioning act that heavily favored his own party in upcoming elections in the closely divided Bay State legislature. Several different Federalist opponents of the new law are credited with coining the term "gerrymander," and the cartoon has been attributed to a number of notable early American artists including Gilbert Stuart and Washington Allston, but at the end of the nineteenth century, when there still was (almost) living memory of the origin of the term, John Ward Dean presented the text of a memorandum in the pages of the New England Historic and Genealogical Register that attributes the term to the outcome of a dinner party at the home of a Boston merchant Israel Thorndike in February 1812, where Elkanah Tisdale, a miniature painter, drew wings on the salamander shaped map of the new Republican-leaning election district in Essex County.

The gerrymander cartoon was widely reprinted often accompanied, as in the case of this broadside, with lines of comic verse or political commentary. While his Federalist opponents sarcastically noted that the "monstrous" shape of the new election district "denominated a Gerry-mander, a name that must exceedingly gratify the parental bosom of our worthy Chief Magistrate," there is little evidence that Governor Gerry was the author or even a strong supporter of the redistricting law. Ironically, the gerrymander did not save him from defeat for re-election in 1812, although it worked so effectively for the Republicans that while the Federalists won a majority of the popular vote, they won only a third of the seats in the legislature.

So when you get down to it, America is really great again, the way at least one Founding Father might or might not have intended.


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

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Thursday, February 09, 2017

Was there ever witnessed such a bare faced corruption in any country before?

[T]he Judas of the West has closed the contract and will receive the thirty pieces of silver. his end will be the same.

 - Andrew Jackson to William Berkeley Lewis, February 14, 1825

Best election since 1800:

The tellers proceeded to examine and count the ballots, and having completed the same, and the votes in the two boxes agreeing, the tellers reported that the votes of thirteen states had been given for John Quincy Adams, of Massachusetts; that the votes of seven states had been given for Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee: and that the votes of four states had been given for William H. Crawford, of Georgia: Whereupon

The Speaker again announced the state of the votes to the House, and declared, "That John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, having received a majority of the votes of all the states of this Union, was duly elected President of the United States for four years, to commence on the fourth of March, 1825."

Ordered, That Mr. Webster, Mr. Vance, of Ohio, and Mr. Archer, of Virginia, be appointed a committee to wait on the President of the United States, and inform him that John Quincy Adams, of Massachusetts, has been duly chosen by the House of Representatives of the United States, according to the Constitution, President of the United States, for four years, commencing on the fourth day of March, 1825: As, also, to wait upon Mr. Adams, and notify him of his election as President.

Ordered, That a message be sent to the Senate, notifying that body that this House has chosen John Quincy Adams, President of the United States, for the term of four years, commencing on the fourth day of March, 1825; and that the Clerk do go with the said message.

The subsequent tweetstorm from Andy about illegals voting and Nordstrom's unfair treatment of the Cherokee was EPIC.


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

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

The Senate's Snowflake Caucus

Republican Senators are very, very concerned about decorum.  We really do need to Make America Great Again, like back when we had actual beatings in Congress.


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

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Monday, February 06, 2017

Everybody Must Go Rogue

Yeah, it's not just one rogue judge: it's an entire rogue branch, a rogue fake polls media, and a rogue majority of Americans.  We are through the looking glass, folks!


February 6, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (1)

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Sunday, February 05, 2017

I Thought Republicans Hated Doing Necessary And Proper Things

I found this Constitutional Authority Statement to be funny: 

H.R. 213. [Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2015]
Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant
to the following:
Article I, Section 8, Clauses 4 and 18 to the U.S.

Naturally, #4 makes sense since this is about immigration, but #18?  That's the elastic clause, which I thought conservatives really hated because Hamilton is such a popular musical.

I'm also a little puzzled why Congress feels the need to eliminate numerical limitations on employed-based immigrants when they're supposed to be creating new jobs and keeping foreigners from taking them from hardworking Americans.


February 5, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Nor is there in this view any assault upon the court or the judges...

In light of the latest 3AM tweetstorm, I am reminded of the dangers to our Republic intimated by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 78:

The judiciary...has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.

This simple view of the matter suggests several important consequences. It proves incontestably, that the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power; that it can never attack with success either of the other two; and that all possible care is requisite to enable it to defend itself against their attacks. It equally proves, that though individual oppression may now and then proceed from the courts of justice, the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter; I mean so long as the judiciary remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive.

But let's not have it stop there.  In answer to unpresidented questions, Alexis de Tocqueville noted in Democracy in America:

The Americans have retained these three distinguishing characteristics of the judicial power: an American judge can pronounce a decision only when litigation has arisen, he is conversant only with special cases, and he cannot act until the cause has been duly brought before the court. His position is therefore exactly the same as that of the magistrates of other nations, and yet he is invested with immense political power. How does this come about? If the sphere of his authority and his means of action are the same as those of other judges, whence does he derive a power which they do not possess? The cause of this difference lies in the simple fact that the Americans have acknowledged the right of judges to found their decisions on the Constitution rather than on the laws. In other words, they have permitted them not to apply such laws as may appear to them to be unconstitutional.

I am aware that a similar right has been sometimes claimed, but claimed in vain, by courts of justice in other countries; but in America it is recognized by all the authorities; and not a party, not so much as an individual, is found to contest it. This fact can be explained only by the principles of the American constitutions.

As Abraham Lincoln said a few score years later, unanimity is impossible, which is why we have a system of checks and balances including an independent Judiciary.  Lord Dampnut might've known that had he spent a little time reading American founding documents instead of obsessing over Arnold's television ratings.


February 5, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Saturday, February 04, 2017

An Autocratic Sphincter Says Wut?


What is our country coming to, indeed?  The Independent Judiciary is a buncha losers.  SAD!


February 4, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (3)

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To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts

As our young Republic continued bootstrapping, with the House passing an update to our patent law on February 4, 1793:

An engrossed bill to amend an act, entitled "An act to promote the progress of useful arts," was read the third time, and the blanks therein filled up.

Resolved, That the said bill do pass, and that the title be, "An act to promote the progress of useful arts, and to repeal the act heretofore made for that purpose."

Ordered, That the Clerk of this House do carry the said bill to the Senate, and desire their concurrence.

Naturally, there was some debate over the changes:

[William V. Murray of Maryland] believed that the bill, either as it tended to foster the genius of men, or was considered with respect to istant cmolument and national character, was extremely important. It was almost immediately one of those laws that embraced national views and national citizenship, and looked to an object of advantage which nothing but a National Government could secure. Without the aid of a General Government, the genius of the Americans could not reap its fruits...

He thought that it was of consequence that no invention, however small or irrelative it might at first appear, should be lost...A little reflection would teach us that whatever is great and astonishing in the works of art was humble in its origin, has been opposed by ignorance or cramped by poverty, and had become important but by grand accumulation and a very slow progression; and that the wisdom of Government should be exerted in forming a repository, where nothing that might eventually be of service should be an suffered to perish. 

Wait, Gummint, even the Feds, might have some value in promoting stuff for the whole nation?  How quaint.


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

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Friday, February 03, 2017

Lord Dampnut Doesn't Pay Taxes Because It's Not Illegal When The Constitution Is Unconstitutional

You've all heard how much I love constitutional conspiracy theories, which is why I'm really hoping that we'll see an EO any day abolishing the income tax because it is a FAKE AMENDMENT anyway.


February 3, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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We've come to relieve the distresses of the people.

The great men are going to get all we have and I think it is time for us to rise and put a stop to it.

 - An old plough jogger, Massachusetts Centinel, October 25, 1786

General Benjamin Lincoln to George Washington in the Winter of 1787:

At 3 oClock in the morning of [February] 3d, I recieved an application from Wheeler, that he wished to confer with General Putnam. His request was granted. He seemed to have no object but his personal safety. No encouragement being given him in this head, he returned a little after noon. In the evening of the same day, I was informed that Shays had left his ground, and had pointed his rout toward Petersham in the County of Worcester, where he intended to make a stand as a number of Towns in the vicinity had engaged to support him.

Our troops were put in motion at 8 o Clock. The first part of the night was pleasant, and the weather clement; but between two and three o Clock in the morning, the wind shifting to the Westward, it became very cold and squally, with considerable snow. The wind immediately arose very high, and with the light snow which fell the day before and was falling, the paths were soon filled up, the men became fatigued, and they were in a part of the country where they could not be covered in the distance of eight miles, and the cold was so increased, that they could not halt in the road to refresh themselves.

Under these circumstances they were obliged to continue their march. We reached Petersham about 9 o Clock in the morning exceedingly fatigued with a march of thirty miles, part of it in a deep snow and in a most violent storm; when this abated, the cold increased and a great proportion of our men were frozen in some part or other, but none dangerously. We approached nearly the centre of the Town where Shays had covered his men; and had we not been prevented from the steepness of a large hill at our entrance, and the depth of the snow from throwing our men rapidly into it we should have arrested very probably one half this force; for they were so surprized as it was that they had not time to call in their out-parties, or even their guards. About 150 fell into our hands, and none escaped but by the most precipitate flight in different directions.

Thus that body of men who were a few days before offering the grossest insults to the best Citizens of this Commonwealth and were menacing even Government itself, were now nearly dispersed, without the shedding of blood but in an instance or two where the Insurgents rushed on their own destruction. That so little has been shed is owing in a measure to the patience and obedience, the zeal and the fortitude in our troops, which would have done honour to veterans.

All that was left was some mopping up Shay's Rebellion.  Oh, and creating a new Constitution that nobody really follows much any more...


February 3, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (2)

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Thursday, February 02, 2017

Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ


I like the Johnson Amendment and think it should remain the law. But I wonder if Trump's promise to repeal it might backfire. The right has this strange view that they have a monopoly on the god business, that religious voters are necessarily Republican voters. That just is not true in my experience.

Putting aside the fact that religious non-Christians vote pretty heavily for Democrats, there are a lot of progressive Christian groups and churches, not to mention all the black churches whose congregation heavily supports Democrats.

I support the Johnson Amendment because I don't want my tax dollars supporting political advocacy via the tax exemptions enjoyed by religious organizations.

I deign to add that the Amendment is not just about religious orgs, but all 501(c)(3)s.  And I'm perfectly happy to allow churches to engage in politics if they render unto Caesar...


February 2, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (2)

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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Abraham Lincoln Has Done An Amazing Job That Is Being Recognized More And More, I Notice.

After Congress passed the proposed 13th Amendment in 1865:

The President signed the joint resolution on the first of February. Somewhat curiously the signing has only one precedent, and that was in spirit and purpose the complete antithesis of the present act. President Buchanan had signed the proposed amendment of 1861, which would make slavery national and perpetual.

But many held that the President's signature was not essential to an act of this kind, and, on the fourth of February, Senator Trumbull offered a resolution, which was agreed to three days later, that the approval was not required by the Constitution ; that it was contrary to the early decision of the Senate and of the Supreme Court; and that the negative of the President applying only to the ordinary cases of legislation, he had nothing to do with propositions to amend the Constitution.

Though thus decided, that the signature of the President to an act of this kind is not required, there was a peculiar fitness in sending the joint resolution to Mr. Lincoln. It may well be believed that he never set his name to a public document with deeper satisfaction.

Seldom in the history of a nation have two men, whose character and capacities are in so marked contrast, been elevated to such vast power as James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln. They typify two irreconcilable ideas in human government; ideas fully comprehended in the amendments, to the Constitution, which they signed.

According to the AP:

There are at least 14 duplicate copies of the 13th Amendment signed by Lincoln. Congress passed it two years after his 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and it represented the culmination of his efforts to end slavery. But he apparently stopped signing the duplicates after lawmakers complained he was overstepping his executive powers because constitutional amendments are passed by Congress and ratified by the states.

Some of the documents were signed by just Lincoln, the vice president and the House speaker; some were signed just by members of the House and some have both senators and representatives.

A nice step forward.  Yet even after ratification, there obviously was a lot of work left to be done.  Including the efforts of four North Carolina A&T University students on February 1, 1960, in Greensboro, North Carolina, which launched a major activist movement.  One of those brave young men was Franklin E. McCain, Sr:

There was a little old white lady who was finishing up her coffee at the counter. She strode toward me and I said to myself, “Oh my, someone to spit in my face or slap my face.” I was prepared for it.

But she stands behind Joseph McNeil and me and puts her hands on our shoulders. She said, “Boys, I'm so proud of you. I only regret that you didn't do this 10 years ago.”

That was the biggest boost, morally, that I got that whole day, and probably the biggest boost for me during the entire movement.

Honestly surprised that SIC didn't try issuing an EO today repealing the 13th and undoing the work of generations...


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

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Happy John Marshall Day!

Our SIC's favorite Founder, natch.  Because who could argue with the traditional American ideal of Judicial Review when we respect the Constitutuonal precept of Coequal Branches?  Nobody, that's who.


January 31, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (4)

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Vive la résistance!


The acting Attorney General Sally Yates has told Justice Department lawyers not to make legal arguments defending President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees, according to sources familiar with the order.

The move sets up a dramatic clash between the White House and the Obama-appointed Yates.
One minor correction: the move sets up a dramatic clash between the WH and the Rule of Law.

PS--Senate Dems, take note: if you fight every appointment, SIC's cabinet-level departments might not be able to operate just the way Gruppenführer Bannon would like.

PPS--Monday Nite Massacre?

January 30, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (3)

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

The one thing worse than a press that is out of control is one that is under control.

I hope your firings go really, really well:

Kellyanne Conway continues to be a factory for a mind-boggling combination of ridiculous nonsense and terrifying nonsense. On Fox News Sunday, Donald Trump’s top non-Ivanka woman assailed the media for pointing out that last week she described blatant lies as “alternative facts”—gosh, why would that draw notice, especially when it’s such a perfect statement of how your boss plans to govern?—then launched into a rant about how media figures who criticized Trump should be fired:

Not one network person has been let go. Not one silly political analyst and pundit who talked smack all day long about Donald Trump has been let go. They are on panels every Sunday. They’re on cable news every day.  

Yeah, funny, being critical of a political candidate—even of the president—is not a firing offense in a country with a free press. Which the United States still technically is, though apparently not for long if Conway gets her way. I mean, she really thinks people should be fired for having insulted the man in the tackily gilded tower.

Who’s the first editorial -- the first blogger that will be left out that embarrassed his or her outlet? We know all their names. I’m too polite to call them by name. But they know who they are, and they’re all wondering, will I be the first to go?

Is this because they called SIC a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman"?  Regardless, it's becoming clear that Hamilton was right about liberty of press:

I hold it to be impracticable; and from this I infer, that its security, whatever fine declarations may be inserted in any constitution respecting it, must altogether depend on public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people and of the government.

Yeah, well, we'd probably be fucked either way, what with the Electoral College in the damned thing...


January 29, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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We Sure Wouldn't Want A Coup Here, Amirite?

Why in the name of God don't you have any faith in the system of government you're so hell-bent to protect?

 - President Jordan Lyman to General James Mattoon Scott, May 1964

Back in February 1800, the House passed (and the Senate rejected) an act to prevent the interference of any military force in certain elections.  About which, I recapitulate a post from the Obama Epoch...

At the time, Democratic-Republicans were extremely worried that Federalists might essentially stage a coup using US troops to prevent Jefferson's becoming president.  From Harry Ammon's book, James Monroe, the Quest for National Identity:

What would Monroe and the Republicans have done if the Federalists had indeed attempted to usurp power? What weight is to be given to the rumors about the possibilities of armed resistance? If the highly inventive recollection of John Randolph can be relied upon, it would seem that in establishing an armory in 1797 the leaders of the Old Dominion had this very eventuality in mind.
When Randolph made this revelation in a speech in the House in 1817 [ed note: this speech from the Annals on January 30], it was promptly contradicted by two other members of the Virginia delegation, Samuel Pleasants and James G. Jackson, both of whom had been in the state legislature when the armory bill had been enacted. Although Pleasants recalled that during the debates over the bill, Federalist Henry Lee had accused John Taylor of Caroline of sponsoring the measure in order to enable Virginia to resist federal authority, it seems unlikely that many in 1797 thought in such definite terms." At that time many other states were also establishing armories in order to meet the needs of the militia.
In 1799 John Nicholas, Federalist clerk of Albemarle County, asserted in a Richmond paper that the legislature had appropriated additional funds for arms in order to be ready for an armed insurrection. A year later the editor of the Fredericksburg Virginia Herald repeated the accusation, adding that the Republicans were not only planning to oust the administration but to destroy the government itself."

Yet the expectation that force might be used to control the elections was not restricted to Federalists: Republicans suspected that federal troops might be employed against them. Shortly after Monroe entered office [as Governor of Virginia], his old friend Henry St. George Tucker warned him of the steady increase of federal troops within the state. Tucker could see no reason for this augmentation other than a plan to use them at polling places to intimidate the voters."
In May 1800, the Governor, puzzled by an encampment of four hundred regulars not far from Richmond, expressed skepticism at the official explanation that they had been assigned to guard Harpers Ferry." Every slight move of the War Department caused a further ripple of alarm. When the election was pending before the House, Thomas Mann Randolph (Jefferson's son-in-law) nervously wrote Monroe that supplies were about to be moved from the federal arsenal at New London. Interpreting this as a measure to reduce the effectiveness of resistance to the approaching Federalist usurpation, Randolph arranged with local Republicans to block any attempt to transport these supplies."

What was Monroe prepared to do? In agreeing to call the Assembly into special session, he was certainly aware that measures of resistance might be undertaken. He could scarcely have been startled by Congressman John Tyler's letter of February 11 from Washington, reporting the arrival of a courier from Pennsylvania with news that 22,000 men in that state were ready to take up arms.
Tyler urgently recommended that the legislature be convened, if there were no change in the balloting during the next week, so that Virginia could join hands with Pennsylvania and New York to prevent a Federalist coup." Monroe's correspondence does not reveal any explicit commitment on his part to use force, but, in the draft of a letter to an unknown correspondent expressing his hope that the Federalists would not seek to override the wish of the people, he added this significant phrase: "But if anything requires decision on our part, be assured it will not be wanting.” The Governor was evidently prepared for drastic measures should they prove necessary.

With that as backdrop, everything about this bill makes sense.  It was introduced by Congressman Leib, a DR from Pennsylvania:

Mr. Leib called for consideration the following resolution, which he laid on the table on the 4th instant, viz:

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to bring in a bill making provision for the removal of the regular troops of the United States which may be stationed where an election is held, and that such removal shall take place at least two days previous to such election, and to a distance not less than two miles.

Mr. Otis moved to amend the resolution by striking out the words in italic, in the second line, and inserting " inquire into the expediency of."

A long debate ensued on this motion, in which it was conceded, on all sides, that the resolution was too definite, and left nothing in the power of the committee to act on, except merely bringing in a bill conformable to it. If excesses had been committed by the military at elections, and they wore guilty of improper interference, it seemed to be the wish of every member that some provision should be made to guard against them in future; but they were unwilling to say what that provision should be, until an inquiry were made into the facts stated. The removal of the troops to the distance mentioned, was also particularly objected to, as it might leave fortifications, arsenals, and military stores, for two or three days, entirely unprotected.

Mr. Leib at length withdrew his original proposition, and submitted the following, which was adopted without objection, viz:

"Resolved, That a committee he appointed to prepare and report a bill, containing such legislates provisions as may be judged expedient, either for removing any military force of the United States, from any place of holding elections, or for preventing their interference in such elections."

A few days later a bill was produced, passed by the House a couple weeks after that, and within another couple weeks was rejected by the Senate.  I have found nothing beyond the above excerpt providing any details on the debate, but it's pretty clear partisanship played a huge role.  The House of the 6th Congress was barely Federalist, but the party of Hamilton dominated the Senate.  Of course they would kill anything from their political rivals about such an inflammatory subject.

Federalists were a bit arrogant, and it cost them dearly.  The following election is rightfully called the Revolution of 1800 because they lost all power and the party began its slide into complete oblivion.  No need for a well-regulated militia or any force of arms to overthrow a government such as ours.

Well, maybe.


January 29, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Don't Be Shocked By The DHS

I understand SIC has put up a portrait of Andrew "Genocide" Jackson in the Oval Office.  So it should come as no surprise that DHS has responded in Jacksonian fashion.  And really, it's one thing I don't disagree with Andy about:

The Congress, the Executive, and the Court must each for itself be guided by its own opinion of the Constitution. Each public officer who takes an oath to support the Constitution swears that he will support it as he understands it, and not as it is understood by others. It is as much the duty of the House of Representatives, of the Senate, and of the President to decide upon the constitutionality of any bill or resolution which may be presented to them for passage or approval as it is of the supreme judges when it may be brought before them for judicial decision. The opinion of the judges has no more authority over Congress than the opinion of Congress has over the judges, and on that point the President is independent of both.

So we keep pressure on every lever we can, including through protest and direct action.  Because that is, in fact, how our Republic works.


January 29, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (4)

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Just Keep Your Pecker Hard And Your Powder Dry And The World Will Turn

As was often the case during the Bush Interregnum, the concept of spineless Democrats not internalizing the lessons of resistance gives rise to talk of "keeping their eternally powder dry."  It's pleasing to see some of them coming around and joining protests of Snowflake-in-Chief's evil Muslim ban, and one is hopeful they might learn from this latest travesty.

Anyway, it really is important to have dry powder so it will fire properly when you need to actually use it.  Such was the concern of our Continental Congress not long after independency was declared, on August 28, 1776:

Congress took into consideration the report of the committee for enquiring into, and rectifying, the defects in the powder, manufactured for the United States; and, thereupon,

Resolved, That there be an Inspector or inspectors sufficiently qualified to judge the goodness of gun powder, who shall examine every cask of gun powder manufactured, or to be purchased on account of the United States, by the most approved method of ascertaining the quality of gun powder; the said inspector or inspectors to receive one eighth part of a dollar for every hundred weight of powder he or they shall so examine:

That no gun powder be received into the public magazine for the use of the United States of America, or delivered from the powder mills for that purpose, but such as has been approved of by the public inspector as to its quickness in firing, strength, dryness, and other necessary qualities:

That the inspector mark each cask approved, with the letters U. S. A. and such other marks as are necessary to distinguish the several sorts of gun powder:

That every maker of gun powder, mark every cask, in which he shall pack his gun powder, with the first letters of his name:

That gun powder be put into no cask but such as are well seasoned and dry:

That it be recommended to the legislatures of the several states of America, to cause suitable inspectors to be appointed, to examine and determine the quality of all gun powder manufactured within their jurisdiction, and that no person be allowed to vend any gun powder, manufactured in any of the states of America, unless the same, in the judgment of such inspector, shall be of sufficient quality; and to make such laws for executing this, or any other regulations for promoting the manufacture of good gun powder, as to them may seem most convenient.

It was so important they even imposed regulations and inspections upon the manufacturers!  Fortunately our SIC will be ridding us of all that socialist crap soon, and the world will turn...


January 29, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Rescuing People Who Look Like Us Is An American Tradition

Back in 1794, in the wake of Haitian rebellion, we took in refugees:

Be it enacted by the Senate, and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 
That a sum not exceeding fifteen thousand dollars, be, and the same is hereby appropriated, to be paid out of any moneys which may be in the Treasury, arising from foreign loans, for the support of such of the inhabitants of Saint Domingo, resident within the United States, as shall be found in want of such support.

Of course, we did that for the fine, Christian slave holders who'd just gotten their asses kicked...


January 28, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)