Against Bicameralism

We hear all the time about the Congress and how the two houses are dysfunctional……there is an answer to this chaos……

I wrote many years ago that I thought that my state should go to a unicameral system of representation…..it would save money and loosen up the legislative process from the standstill it suffers from every session.

As distinct from bicameral or even tricameral legislatures, unicameral legislatures meet and vote in a single chamber. The traditional justification of unicameralism is that it is cheaper, more efficient, and more responsive than bicameralism. The appeal of a single-chamber legislature increases in periods of legislative gridlock, making unicameralism a relevant alternative to bicameral representation, which excels at representing different social classes or geographic areas. Below, the fit between unicameral representation and responsive government is explored, first, by assessing the use of unicameralism in 2016, and then by outlining the basic merits and demerits of unicameral legislatures. The Anglo-American tradition of unicameralism is then surveyed. The discussion concludes with a brief overview of Nebraska’s single-chamber legislature.

For the lazy……

My regulars know that I am  history buff and that I try to educate my visitors on this country as well as other subjects….and in the beginning during the fight for the Constitution that were people that did not agree with Madison on the need for a bicameral system of representation.

James Madison famously wrote in Federalist 51 that “A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” Madison discussed the separation of powers between executive, legislative, and judicial branches, the additional division of the legislative branch into two chambers, and how their design can create a political invisible hand by which “the private interest of every individual may be a centinel over the public rights.”

I don’t know whether Madison employed the word “centinel” in this sentence to jab at the Antifederalist writer Centinel, who several months before lambasted the idea that separation-of-power systems can be designed to generate public virtue from the interaction of self-interested politicians. Perhaps. Contrary to Madison’s argument, however, for Centinel, only engaged and attentive citizens can keep politicians in line, not institutional designs that ostensibly create self-enforcing constitutional systems. There is no invisible hand for Centinel, at least not in politics.

https://www.lawliberty.org/2018/12/07/centinels-argument-against-bicameralism/

In my case the attempt that I tried to have a bill on the change from bicameral to unicameral was a non-starter…..I never thought I would be successful but at least I was hoping for some discussion…the “good old boys” shot me down and shot me down hard.

I still believe my state and the country would be better off with a unicameral system….

Thoughts?

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

DOJ: Don’t Do It!

Closing Thought–15Feb19

New CR is a deal and if Trump signs it he stated that he will also issue an emergency declaration….but DoJ does not think that is such a good Idea…..

President Trump says he will sign an emergency declaration to secure funding for a border wall—but he has been warned that the move is likely to encounter a wall of lawsuits from Democrats, immigration advocates, and environmentalists, among others. Sources tell ABC News that the Justice Department has told Trump that the declaration of a national emergency is extremely likely to be blocked by the courts before it can come into effect. Analysts say legal challenges could delay the project for years, though White House officials say they expect to eventually win on appeal. Trump is expected to declare the emergency Friday morning after signing a budget deal that would avert another government shutdown. More:

  • “There is no national emergency.” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is expected to challenge the move in court, said Thursday that any border crisis is of “Trump’s own making,” the Washington Post reports. “There is no national emergency. If Trump oversteps his authority and abandons negotiations with Congress by declaring a fabricated national emergency, we won’t only call his bluff, we will do what we must to hold him accountable,” he said. “No one is above the law.”

 

  • “No bets are safe.” Analysts say it would be very unusual for courts to block a president’s declaration of an emergency—but Trump is a very unusual president. “Normally, any other time, you’d say it’s a no-brainer that the president wins,” University of Texas law professor Bobby Chesney tells Politico. “But with this particular president, no bets are safe in assuming the courts will completely defer to him.” Some 58 emergencies have been declared since the National Emergencies Act, 31 of which are still in effect.
  • The price tag. Sources tell the AP that Trump will announce he will spend $8 billion on border barriers after sidestepping Congress—including the $1.4 billion the latest spending bill provides. Most of the rest is expected to come from military funds earmarked for construction and antidrug efforts.
  • Stopping the move in Congress. It is possible, but highly unlikely, for the move to be blocked by Congress, the BBC reports. It would require both houses of Congress to pass a resolution against it, which Trump could veto unless opponents can build a supermajority
  • Republicans speak out. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done a U-turn and announced that he will support an emergency declaration, but several other Republican senators have spoken out against the move, the Hill reports. Sen. Susan Collins said Thursday that she believes the decision is of “dubious constitutionality.” “I don’t believe that the National Emergencies Act contemplated a president repurposing billions of dollars outside of the normal appropriations process,” she said.
  • “A Democratic president can declare emergencies as well.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the move a “lawless act” and warned Trump that he was creating a precedent that could lead to a Democratic president declaring a national emergency on guns, CNBC reports. “If the president can declare an emergency on something he has created as an emergency, an illusion that he wants to convey, just think about what a president with different values can present to the American people,” she said.
  • The Cruz solution. Sen. Ted Cruz says he has a way to build the wall without taxpayers paying a dime. The Republican writes in the Washington Post that he has reintroduced the “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act” to use funds seized from Joaquin Guzman and other drug lords to build a border wall.

Is he so ignorant that he will not read the Constitution?  The emergency is not real only in his tiny mind from NYC….a made up crisis not an actually crisis like a hurricane……

Did you hear his speech in the Rose Garden today?

OMG!  He relived the 2016 election and talked about the situation on the border that was NOTHING accurate and choked full of LIES…..and the bobble-heads rejoiced!

Please someone take him aside for about a half hour and read the and explain the Constitution to this drooling toad….please!

Its That Darn Pesky Constitution

There has been an uproar toward something Our Dear Supreme Leader has made….14th amendment has been in the news and there has been a wealth of  opinions if he can actually change the Constitution with and Executive Order (EO)…..

My opinion is NO he cannot…..(but that has not stopped those from foaming at the mouth to end some of our protections)….and like always there are those opinions in contrary to the EO thing……

President Trump said this week that he is preparing an executive order to try to take away the citizenship guarantee in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which says that people born in the United States are United States citizens. On Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham announced that he would introduce legislation with the same aim.

But the president cannot repeal part of the Constitution by executive order. And Congress cannot repeal it by simply passing a new bill. Amending the Constitution would require a two-thirds vote in both House and Senate, and also ratification by three-quarters of the states. The effort to erase the citizenship guarantee will never clear those hurdles — for very good reasons.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/10/31/no-mr-president-you-cant-change-constitution-executive-order

This below is an open letter sent to our Troops by veterans……

To All Active Duty Soldiers:

Your Commander-in-chief is lying to you. You should refuse his orders to deploy to the southern U.S. border should you be called to do so. Despite what Trump and his administration are saying, the migrants moving North towards the U.S. are not a threat. These small numbers of people are escaping intense violence. In fact, much of the reason these men and women—with families just like yours and ours—are fleeing their homes is because of the US meddling in their country’s elections. Look no further than Honduras, where the Obama administration supported the overthrow of a democratically elected president who was then replaced by a repressive dictator.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/11/01/your-commander-chief-lying-you-veterans-issue-open-letter-active-duty-us-soldiers

Not to worry like always there is more……

“The Trump administration asked, and the Pentagon said no—to using troops on the southern border for law-enforcement purposes, CNN reports. Two defense officials say the Department of Homeland Security wanted US troops to provide “crowd and traffic control” and protect Customs and Border Protection officers from the so-called “caravan” of Central American migrants heading for the US border. But on Oct. 26, the Pentagon denied that request, while agreeing to provide engineers, medical personnel, and air and logistics support. Why the refusal? Because the Department of Defense apparently argued that active-duty troops don’t have the authority.

Indeed, the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits US troops from enforcing domestic law unless authorized by Congress or the US Constitution. “Limiting military involvement in civilian affairs is basic to our system of government and the protection of individual constitutional rights,” the 1878 act reads. A DHS official denied that Trump’s request constituted “law enforcement activities,” while military analysts said Trump could just use US Marshals, ICE, or the National Guard for such activities. Meanwhile, Trump is easing off his remark that US troops can “consider it a rifle” if migrants throw rocks, per Fox 13 Now. If soldiers or agents “are going to be hit in the face with rocks, we’re going to arrest those people,” he said Friday. “That doesn’t mean shoot them.

I realize the hard core Righties do not want to here it and they may soon have a chance to change things…..

But not to worry there are those that are working for a convention to change things….maybe just not the things that you have in mind.

Stay tuned!

“Making America Great Again”–Part 8

I continue the series on the formation of the new country of the United States of America……we have been though the early days….the battles and the war and now the country needs to come together and form a working government……

Part 8 of “American History for Truthdiggers.”

“Some men look at Constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, & deem them, like the Ark of the Covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well: I belonged to it. …

“But I know also that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind … we might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” —Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816

The U.S. Constitution stands almost as American scripture, deified and all but worshipped as the holy book for the American civil religion of republicanism. The above painting captures the spirit of modern memories, and mythology, surrounding the Constitutional Convention, which was held in Philadelphia. The sun shines through windows (which are conspicuously open) and delivers a halo of light upon the figure of the tall, erect George Washington. He stands, of course, on what resembles a religious altar, presiding over the delegates as they sign the sacred compact of American governance. Ben Franklin, himself an international celebrity by that time, sits prominently in the center, as the influential, young Alexander Hamilton whispers in his ear; meanwhile, the “father” of the Constitution, James Madison, sits just below the altar, on Franklin’s left.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/american-history-for-truthdiggers-counterrevolution-of-1787-new-constitution-new-nation/

Interesting that we may be having this discussion once again.

Class Dismissed!

Birthright: An American Idea

Yep we are having one of those political moments that comes around ever so often….we had it when Muslims were coming get us all…then there was that Mexico was gonna pay for a wall…..and now it is the 14th amendment…..all were used for political gain and not one was heard of again….that is they were filed away until needed again.

I read a pretty good piece in the American Conservative that until the era of Trump was considered a pretty mainstream conservative publication…..my my how things change….but I digress…..TAC offers their conservative opinion on the issue of birthright citizenship……

The 14th Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution 150 years ago in July of 1868. Among other things, it enshrined our traditional common law practice of granting citizenship to those born in the United States who are subject to its laws—specifically it guaranteed that the recently freed slaves and their descendants would be citizens. The 14th Amendment also applied to the children of immigrants, as its authors and opponents understood at the time.

President Trump’s immigration position paper, however, famously endorsed an end to birthright citizenship. Michael Anton, a former national security official in the Trump administration as well as a lecturer and researcher at Hillsdale College, pushed such a move recently in the Washington Post. Anton argued that President Trump should use his pen and his phone to exclude the children born here to noncitizens, with little thought of what would happen were such a policy enacted.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/birthright-citizenship-an-american-idea-that-works/

I have said the the challenge to the 14th could open up more challenges to some amendments like the 2nd and the 1st…maybe others…and those are not debates we want to have….so all this is probably just posturing for a vote.

Closing Thought–31Oct18–#2

Oh goody….looks like we may have a constitutional law battle on our hands……why?  It seems that Our Dear Supreme Leader has decided that he will try to make invalid parts of the US Constitution…..namely the 14th amendment…..

Whether President Trump can end birthright citizenship with an executive order comes down to one’s reading of the 14th Amendment. As NPR explains in a fact-check piece, a “small but vocal group of conservative legal scholars” have zeroed in on five crucial words, bolded here: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.” Those scholars say those words have been misinterpreted and that the authors’ true intention was that citizenship not be extended to the children of noncitizens. More:

  • The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board agrees with NPR’s take and gives more historical background, writing “‘jurisdiction’ is well understood as referring to the territory where the force of law applies, and that means it applies to nearly everyone on US soil. The exceptions in 1868 were diplomats (who have sovereign immunity) and Native Americans on tribal lands. Congress later granted Native Americans birth citizenship while diminishing tribal sovereignty.”
  • On Twitter Wednesday, Trump referenced those key words in making his argument to the contrary. He wrote in a trio of tweets (here, here, and here): “So-called Birthright Citizenship, which costs our Country billions of dollars and is very unfair to our citizens, will be ended one way or the other. It is not covered by the 14th Amendment because of the words ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof.’ Many legal scholars agree….. ….Harry Reid was right in 1993, before he and the Democrats went insane and started with the Open Borders (which brings massive Crime) ‘stuff.’ Don’t forget the nasty term Anchor Babies. I will keep our Country safe. This case will be settled by the United States Supreme Court! The World is using our laws to our detriment. They laugh at the Stupidity they see!”
  • Lawyer George Conway, husband to Kellyanne Conway, aired his view in an op-ed written with Neal Katyal for the Washington Post: “Sometimes the Constitution’s text is plain as day and bars what politicians seek to do. That’s the case with President Trump’s proposal to end ‘birthright citizenship’ tendment was written after the Civil War with former slaves in mind. Conway and Katyal elaborate in their op-ed: “Birthright citizenship sprang from the ashes of the worst Supreme Court decision in US history, Dred Scott v. Sandford, the 1857 decision that said that slaves, and the children of slaves, could not be citizens of the United States. The blood of hundreds of thousands of Americans was shed to repudiate that idea.”hrough an executive order.”
  • Reuters adds more history, reporting that the amendment was written after the Civil War with former slaves in mind. Conway and Katyal elaborate in their op-ed: “Birthright citizenship sprang from the ashes of the worst Supreme Court decision in US history, Dred Scott v. Sandford, the 1857 decision that said that slaves, and the children of slaves, could not be citizens of the United States. The blood of hundreds of thousands of Americans was shed to repudiate that idea.”

Just something to think about…a closing thought as it were…..