Showing posts with label State. Show all posts
Showing posts with label State. Show all posts

Monday, June 20, 2016

Who Authorized Littering Virginia Highways And Roads? Drive Smart Virginia?

First, who has given the state the right to tell people they must wear a seat belt?  Yeah, it's their law and who cares?  If you want to accept their premise, then send them a bill for compliance of their order.  It's not a valid law as it has no place in the Constitution of either the Federal Government nor State Government.  Those are arguments in themselves and not the real intention of this article but I had to sound off anyway.

  As the picture shows, our highways and streets have been littered with these signs throughout the state.  Under what authority did these signs get put up?  If you own a business and put signs out like this, you will notice them missing within a few days as VDOT is instructed to remove them and throw them out.  If you keep putting up signs like this, you may get in a great deal of trouble.  If you can get in trouble for putting signs like this up, what makes some entity such as Drive Smart Virginia think they are above the law?

  Did Drive Smart Virginia, the provider of these signs, get permission from each locality?  Did they pay the locality a fee for this?  Did the locality you live in hold a public meeting to get public input on the mass distribution of these signs?  No?  Why not?  Is Drive Smart Virginia in violation of many of Virginia's laws?  Well it sure seems that way.  So who is behind Drive Smart Virginia and who is Drive Smart Virginia?  From their own website.

Members of the Board of Directors include leaders from private industry, state and federal government, law enforcement, military, media, and traffic safety organizations.

DRIVE SMART Virginia was founded in 1995 by six of Virginia's insurance companies, including Allstate, GEICO, Nationwide, State Farm, USAA, and Virginia Farm Bureau. Since 1997, Erie Insurance, Farmers Group, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, Rockingham Group, and Alfa Alliance have also joined the organization

The littering of these signs say more than we are trying to promote safety.  Promoting safety?  Nice, but I do not buy this crap.  It actually says, we are part of the nanny state; centralist's who do not think you have any rights other than what we tell you you have.   We do not have to follow the laws we put on you.  We are watching you and if you do not do as we say, we are going to punish you.  Who paid for these signs?  Well, you did.  You paid for them through your insurance premiums.  And the knuckleheads who head up the insurance companies use your money against you.  

  So, if you use any of these insurance companies, file a complaint with them, file a complaint with your locality, file a complaint with the police, file a complaint with the state.  Take the signs down if you paid for them.  They are yours and not Drive Smart America's since they used your money to pay for them.  They are a non profit organization dedicated to the nanny state and against Constitutional rights and want to control your behavior.  Don't take my word on this.  Read their site.  It says they seek to control your behavior right on there.  

In my own opinion, I do think that buckling up is a good idea in general.  But if you are going to demand I do it, then I am less likely to even consider it and not do it.  Drive Smart Virginia is part of a growing problem we are seeing throughout this country.  Not part of any solution.  Throw them out.  Switch to an insurance company that does not support these nanny state tactics and littering of our highways and roadways against state and local laws.  They seem to have no issue violating the laws, why support them?  And talk about environmental issues with these signs?  The costs to make them and then they are littering all over the state with impunity?  At least the environmentalist's should be up in arms over this and one has to question if Drive Smart Virginia bothered to do an environmental impact study before making these signs.  Are they in violation of the EPA?  A complain to the EPA would answer that question fast.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Steve Baranek, Gloucester, VA Animal Control Admits To Illegal County Ordinance

You have to watch this video.  In here above, Steve Baranek, chief Animal Control officer for Gloucester County, admits to local ordinance, 3-16, is not mirrored from state code.  According to the Dillon Rule, that is illegal.  Here you see county officials blatantly violating the laws of the state.

  The above video is downright idiotic.  Feral cats are feral and have no owners unless someone is taking care of them, then whomever is taking care of them is the owner, like it or not.  Cats defecating is no different than birds defecating.  Sue the Governor.  It's his property.  There is no violation due to defecation.  3-16 is an illegal ordinance.

Again you have to watch this video.  It is beyond idiotic.  Ashley Chriscoe argues for more illegal laws continuing his march towards an extreme socialist  fascist ideology government concepts  that may be due to his association with the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust.

  There are arguments to put cats on leashes.  How hysterical.

Let's look at some facts.  At certain times of the year, birds migrate to certain types of trees that produce a certain type of berry that the birds love.  Very large flocks of birds circle these trees for hours once these berries are ripe and they eat them.  The birds then circle for hours defecating all over everything within a short radius of where these trees are located.  The mess is unreal.  Can we get animal control to come and trap all of these birds for being a nuisance?  Charge the Governor because they are essentially his birds?

  Mr Bazanni, you can not create local ordinances where there are no state codes to support them.  If you could, then government would run rampant all over the place, which it already does and which "WE THE PEOPLE", have been fighting against for some time and will continue to fight.  WE DO NOT WANT MORE GOVERNMENT INTRUSIONS IN OUR LIVES!

     We will not tolerate a totalitarian government which is what you all seem to be leaning towards.

Gloucester, Virginia Links and News, GVLN
Gloucester, Virginia's Best News Source

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Undermining The Constitution A HISTORY OF LAWLESS GOVERNMENT (Part 13)

By Thomas James Norton

With the trickiness in the use of language which characterized the National Industrial Recovery Act, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, and the Bituminous Coal Act (all three held unconstitutional), to make believe that they were not what they were, Congress passed the second AAA and called it an act for "Soil Conservation," proceeding thereunder to irrigate the farming land with money of the taxpayers which it had been prevented by the decision of the Supreme Court from distributing under the first act. The second AAA was as lawless as the first.
For more than a decade Congress has been sending money to the farmers ostensibly to help them conserve their soil, an obligation resting upon them in the first instance, and upon the State when the erosion (or whatever is the matter) is so widespread as to call for the exertion of the police power, of which power the United States has none.
Illegal subsidies to agriculture of appalling magnitude
The magnitude of this drain upon the taxpayers of the country may be understood from the fact that in 1946

Washington gave to the farmers for "soil conservation" $57,000,000.
The total of subsidies to agriculture in 1947, as reported (1948) by the Secretary of the Treasury (p. 429), was $2,299,000,000. Yet in the Presidential campaign of 1948 the candidates of all parties promised the farmer more! The returns indicated that he voted for the party that had delivered.
And that misuse of money favored a powerful voting class who were marketing wheat at $3 a bushel, corn at about the same price, oats at a similar price, and livestock at rates so high that restaurants were charging their patrons $4 for a sirloin steak!
Through the years, $1 a bushel for wheat, 75¢ for corn, and the same price for oats were regarded on the land as good prices.
Of course, as before said, the conservation of soil is none of the business of the United States. It is the obligation of the landowner to take care of his land. He had done that from the time the Pilgrims cleared away the timber in the Massachusetts Colonies. He mastered rivers without knowing that he should have the help of a Big or Little T.V.A., and he opened roads wherever they were needed without a Federal Highway Act.
Why Constitution for independent individual
The men who wrote the Constitution being of that kind, they never gave authority to Congress to take the money of one class by taxation and pass it along with a bow and a smile to another group of great voting power. By Magna Carta their forebears made the King promise to keep hands off industry and trade, except under the necessity

of war. Hence, the Constitution contains no grant of power to Congress to pass anything of even the remotest resemblance to the National Industrial Recovery Act. And as they extracted a pledge from King John to let trade alone, the Constitution authorizes Congress only to "regulate" commerce carried on by men, not to engage in commerce by any branch of government, or by a Fascist corporation set up by it. The early American tilled his land without expecting any help from anybody, and he had no idea that Government could by either punitive or predatory taxation place any limit on the fruits of his industry. Accordingly, no grant for paternalism or imperialism was given by the Constitution to Congress.
Soil conservation important, but not to Washington
To be sure, the conservation of the soil of the farmer may become in some localities of so burdensome a nature that it ceases to be the obligation of the individual. Where erosion or some other peril is so widely extended and affects so many owners and so much property that it cannot be dealt with successfully by individuals or by a group of them, then it becomes the duty of the State, either to assist in the task of prevention or take it over altogether. But the United States has no police power. And the Tenth Amendment was designed to prevent it forever from usurping any.
"Soil conservation" is a deceiving term, like "commerce" in the National Labor Relations Act. It is a cover for subsidies from the pockets of the country to those on the land, a transfer of money from one class to another which the Supreme Court held could not be made when it pro-

nounced the first Agricultural Adjustment Act unconstitutional.
As mentioned in a preceding chapter, the farmer has been put in a bad situation by the mismanagement in Government which ballooned his costs and those of everybody else beyond all endurance. But that must be mended by removal of the cause, not by subsidies, which the taxpayers cannot carry indefinitely, even if they were legal.
Procedure provided by Constitution adequate for conservation
In a condition of erosion, or of a "dust bowl," involving several States, they have open to them the "Agreement or Compact with another State" authorized by the closing words of Article I of the Constitution, with "the Consent of Congress." The seven States in the basin of the Colorado River made use of this provision to work out an agreement for a fair division of the valuable water of that stream. So when the erosion or other trouble is beyond the ability of the landowner, it becomes the duty of the State to take hold. And when the difficulty belongs to more than one State, there is a constitutional way to solve the problem.
But the subject is as far beyond the constitutional field of Congress as are the sands of the Sahara.
On July 22,1947, the Associated Press reported that the House of Representatives "had voted twice to eliminate the benefit-payment program for 1948 and sharply cut back payments on this year's crops." The Senate-House conference group agreed "to continue the main farm program into 1948." In addition to that, it agreed to a fund of $265,000,000 "to make the benefit payments and meet other costs of the farm crop program on the 1947 crop."

The "other costs" were $24,000,000 to pay the bureaucrats "for expenses of farmer committeemen who plan and check the programs"!
The farm bill compromise would provide $960,000,000 "for agricultural purposes during the fiscal year 1948 in comparison with last year's expenditures of $2,275,000,000" President Truman asked for $1,188,000,000.
National government without feeling for taxpayers
The disrespect for the rights and property of the people in general, in order to favor highly organized voting groups, is, in addition to being unconstitutional, morally wrong. In the Congress for the last decade and a half, in the White House, in the legislatures, in the city councils, everywhere in public office where there is authority to spend, there has developed, through indifference or incompetence of those who should have been on guard, the grossest unconcern for the taxpayer. As a capital illustration of this, there is cited the veto by the President of a tax-reduction bill passed by the new Congress in 1947 which had been voted into power on a platform promising relief from exorbitant taxation.[1]
In the concluding chapter of this work it is shown that we must take the President out of this kind of politics by returning to the strictest observance of the method of election prescribed by the Constitution.

1. The ruthless course of the Government at Washington respecting the taxpayers brings to mind the denunciation by Saint Simon of the Bourbon monarchy, which brought on by taxes the French Revolution, that it "has scourged, rather than governed, the state."

From the fine folks over at Barefoot's world.
Pay a visit to them.  It's a great site.

Liberty?  You have the right to complain.  Nothing more.
That right too will soon end.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Undermining The Constitution A HISTORY OF LAWLESS GOVERNMENT (Part 12)

The United States Supreme Court.
The United States Supreme Court. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Thomas James Norton

It is difficult to tell which of the half score of Socialistic acts of Congress of the Roosevelt Revolution was the most far-reaching in its threat to the Republic. But the competition for evil lies between the Fascist Tennessee Valley Authority of May 18, 1933, and the Social Security Act of August 14, 1935.
When President Roosevelt signed A Bill to Alleviate the Hazards of Old Age, Unemployment, Illness, and Dependency, to Establish a Social Insurance Board in the Department of Labor, to Raise Revenue, and for Other Purposes, he made this comment:
"If the Senate and House of Representatives in this long and arduous session had done nothing more than pass this bill, the session would be regarded as historic for all time."
Most complete abandonment of constitutional principle
It will certainly stand apart forever as a complete departure from the Constitution as expounded by its writers,

notably Madison, afterward President, and James Wilson, later a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; by President Monroe in a celebrated veto message of a bill for "public improvements," the beginning of the most wasteful of all squanderings by Congress of the money of the taxpayers; by President Jackson, who vetoed every appropriation bill not clearly for national, as distinguished from personal, welfare; by Presidents Tyler, Polk, Pierce, Grant, Arthur, and Cleveland.
The "hazards of old age, unemployment, illness and dependency" are subjects (if of any government) for the police power of the States, which has been defined as having to do with "the health, morals, safety, education, and general well-being of the people."
"The Federal Constitution forms a happy combination in this respect," wrote Madison in No. 10 of The Federalist; "the great and aggregate interests being referred to the National, the local and particular to the State legislatures."
No police power was granted by the people through the Constitution to Congress.
And "Congress is not empowered," wrote Chief Justice Marshall in 1824 (9 Wheaton 1), "to tax for those purposes which are in the exclusive province of the States."[1]
States cannot abdicate their police power
It was held by the Supreme Court (219 U. S. 270,282) as late as January, 1911, that the police power inhering in the States cannot be surrendered by them.
1. While the Social Security Act gathers money from the employer and the employee, it provides that money so collected shall go into the funds of the United States and that bonds shall be issued against it. Of course, it is the taxpayers who must eventually redeem such bonds.

There is no stronger principle of American constitutional law than that forbidding the delegation of power. For a decade and a half the Newspaper has told us of powers granted by Congress to the President. It has no powers that it can grant or give away. The reports by the Newspaper were constitutionally nonsensical. Yet they affected the public mind, untaught in the Constitution, to accept as valid the abdication -- not the delegation or grant -- of powers by what came to be known as "a rubber-stamp Congress."
Abdication of constitutional duties by Congress
Congress permitted the President and his nonelected advisers to write bills, as George III sent bills to Parliament against the American Colonies, and Congress passed them. But that was abdication of power by Congress, not delegation or grant.
So, too, the States cannot part with their powers or any portion of them. Their power of police, especially, over the welfare of the people they cannot surrender, as the decision of the Supreme Court just before cited shows. Therefore, the rush of the States, like children in the street to whom a handful of coins has been thrown, to enact compliant legislation in order to get "gifts" of their own money from Washington under A Bill to Alleviate the Hazards of Old Age, Unemployment, Illness, and Dependency, to Establish a Social Insurance Board in the Department of Labor, to Raise Revenue, and for Other Purposes, was an unconstitutional abdication by the States of their obligations to the people. The liberties of the people were grossly transgressed.
On the police power resident in the States, Judge Cooley,

recognized half a century ago as the leading constitutionalist of his time, had this to say in volume 2 of the 8th edition of Constitutional Limitations, page 1232:
"In the American constitutional system the power to establish the ordinary regulations of police has been left to the individual States, and it cannot be taken from them, either wholly or in part, and exercised under legislation by Congress."
States and Congress join in unconstitutional action
Yet that is exactly what was brought to pass by a usurping Congress and abdicating States when the scheme for social security through Washington was set up.
On the same page Judge Cooley said further:
"Neither can the National Government, through any of its Departments, or offices, assume any supervision of the police regulations of the States."
When, in September, 1787, the Constitutional Convention sent the new Fundamental Law to the States for ratification, only one of them was opposed to it from the start -- or before the start. New York convoked a convention headed by Governor Clinton which was three fourths against the proposed form of government. Some able men in other States were not wholly satisfied with the Constitution. The objections which they expressed in the ratifying conventions resulted in a Bill of Bights in addition to the limitations on power amounting to a Bill of Rights written in the original Instrument. Several delegates to the Constitutional Convention went home without signing the new form of Government. Alexander Hamilton was the only signer for New York.

Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, one of the ablest men in the Convention, did not sign. Edmund Randolph of Virginia and George Mason of Virginia, the author of The Virginia Bill of Rights, did not sign. Nor did William Houstoun of Georgia.
Most important of original objections to Constitution
The commonest and strongest objection was that the identity and sovereignty of the States were not sufficiently guarded. It was this objection that brought out the Tenth Amendment, to prevent Congress from invading the States.
In the convention in New York the point here under discussion was most strongly urged, namely, that the General Welfare Clause gave to Congress powers without limit. The States would eventually be swallowed by the central Government, which properly could deal only with subjects strictly national and international.
Yet the Housing Act of 1937 declared the policy of Congress to be to provide for the general welfare of the Nation by employing its funds and credit to assist the States to relieve unemployment and to safeguard health, and for other like purposes. In 1945 the Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice Roberts (none dissenting), held (323 U. S. 329) that legislation constitutional!
Thus the objection which chiefly evoked the Bill of Rights, and especially the Tenth Amendment, went for naught.
And in 1941 the Court, in an opinion by Chief Justice Stone (none dissenting), held (312 U. S. 100) that under the Fair Labor Standards Act of Congress of 1938 the Nation can exercise police power in the States! That over-

ruled a great decision (247 U. S. 251), rendered in 1918, that Congress is prevented by the Tenth Amendment from regulating labor conditions in the States.
The first and most important grant of power
The very first grant of power is this:
"Congress shall have power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States."
In the convention in New York it was argued that the power to tax and spend for "the general Welfare of the United States" was a grant without limitation at all. That was answered by James Madison, the reporter of the Constitutional Convention, from whose notes day by day we get most of our knowledge of the course of deliberations. In the history of governments and in general fitness for his task he was second to no other man in the Convention.
Madison, along with Hamilton and Jay, was writing a series of 85 papers explanatory of the Constitution and addressed "to the people of the State of New York" to convince them that their objecting convention should ratify the new form of government. Those papers became known as The Federalist, the most brilliant work on our Constitution. They have been translated into French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Objections of States cleared away by Madison
Of the argument in New York, which was made in other States too, that power in Congress for "the general Wel-

fare" was authority to do its will throughout the land, Madison wrote, evidently in anger:
"No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections than their stooping to such a misconstruction."
By "stooping" Madison plainly meant that they knew better and were unfair in their opposition to the General Welfare Clause of the Constitution.
Then he proceeded to explain the language under the established rules of interpretation. Had no other enumeration of powers been made than for taxing and spending, he said, then there might be some color to the objection that Congress would be without restraint -- though that would be an "awkward way of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases."
"But what color can the objection have," he asked, "when the specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semi-colon?"
Limitation on power of Congress to spend
That is, the grant of power to tax and spend for the "common Defence and general Welfare" is followed in the same sentence by all the other grants -- to borrow money, to regulate commerce, and so on. The first grant of all -- to tax and spend -- is inseparable in the context from all the other grants.
The power to tax and spend was granted to effectuate all of the seventeen succeeding paragraphs of clauses as well as the one in which it appears.
Madison met this question again in the very first Cong-

ress of the new Government, in which he was a member of the House of Representatives, and where he assembled and formulated twelve of the leading objections to the Constitution that came in from the ratifying conventions in the States for submission as amendments, ten of which were ratified and became known as the Bill of Rights.
First appearance of the "Subsidy"
A bill was introduced by a member from New England to pay a bounty to cod fishermen, to subsidize a private interest, as agriculture and many more private interests have been subsidized by the "New Deal." He spoke at length with great vigor against the bill. Stating that those who wrote the Constitution and those who ratified it conceived it to be not an indefinite Government, but a limited one, "tied down to the specified powers, which explain and define the general terms," he added:
"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor. . . . Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America."
The consequences of the misapplication by Congress of the money of the taxpayers -- a scourge of mounting debt

and cumulative deficits -- establish Madison as a major prophet.
Hamilton, as well as Madison, rejected the contention strongly urged against the Constitution, that it left the National Government with unlimited power to do its will, and in No. 83 of The Federalist he said (italics his):
"The plan of the Convention declares that the power of Congress, or, in other words, of the National Legislature, shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excluded all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd, as well as useless, if a general authority was intended."
Article I, Section 8 sets boundaries to constitutional power
There is no power in Congress beyond the boundaries of those eighteen paragraphs of clauses.
Certainly James Madison and Alexander Hamilton should have known what the purpose of the Constitutional Convention was. New York, by ratifying the new form of government, accepted what they said. Other States doubtless ratified on their explanation.
Abraham Baldwin of Georgia, a member of the Constitutional Convention, said in Congress in 1798 that "to provide for the common Defence and general Welfare" had "never been considered as a source of legislative power, as it is only a member introduced to limit the other parts of the sentence." That is, it limits the purposes for which Congress can "lay and collect taxes" and exert its other granted powers.

The legal scholar of the Convention speaks
But there was another man in the Constitutional Convention, the ablest lawyer, as Madison was the ablest historian -- James Wilson, a scholar from Edinburgh and from one of the Temples in London, who explained the taxing and spending power in a course of lectures to what afterwards became the University of Pennsylvania, as Madison had done. He said in part:
"The National Government was intended to promote the 'general Welfare.' For this reason Congress have power to regulate commerce . . . and to promote the progress of science and of useful arts by securing for a time to authors and inventors an exclusive right to their compositions and discoveries."
In this way he proceeded from the Patent and Copyright Clause to explain all the other clauses in section 8 granting power. He made it very clear that Congress was to "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare" by exerting the powers granted to it in the seventeen paragraphs following the first, by which it was authorized "to lay and collect taxes."
Thus, three members of the Constitutional Convention have spoken on this point -- Madison, Baldwin, and Wilson -- and none of them thought that the General Welfare Clause, which has been construed as a limitation on the activities of Congress rather than a grant of power, authorized the Legislative Department to get into anything even remotely resembling a Quixotic adventure "To Alleviate the Hazards of Old Age, Unemployment, Illness, and Dependency, to Establish a Social Security Insurance

Board in the Department of Labor, to Raise Revenue, and for Other Purposes."
General Welfare brilliantly defined by Jefferson
Although Jefferson was in Paris while the Constitutional Convention was sitting, he was in close communication with Madison and other delegates. He knew the Constitution. In a profoundly able letter to Albert Gallatin in 1817 he discussed the General Welfare Clause on which the Social Security Act was based (italics inserted):
"You will have learned that an act for internal improvement, after passing both Houses, was negatived by the President. The act was founded, avowedly, on the principle that the phrase in the Constitution which authorizes Congress 'to lay taxes, to pay the debts and provide for the general welfare,' was anextension of the powers specifically enumerated to whatever would promote the general welfare; and this, you know, was the Federal doctrine. Whereas our tenet ever was, and, indeed, it is almost the only landmark which now divides the Federalists and the Republicans, that Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but was restrained to those specifically enumerated; and that, as it was never meant that they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have meant that they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation on the purposes for which they may raise money.
"I think the passage and rejection of this bill a fortunate incident. Every State will certainly concede the power; and

this will be a national confirmation of the grounds of appeal to them, and will settle forever the meaning of this phrase, which, by a mere grammatical quibble, has countenanced the General Government in a claim of universal power. For in the phrase 'to lay taxes, to pay the debts and provide for the general welfare,' it is a mere question of syntax, whether the two last infinitives are governed by the first, or are distinct and co-ordinate powers; a question unequivocally decided by the exact definition of powers immediately following."
That early interpretation should have been conclusive
That exposition by Jefferson, applied to a practical case in legislation, is perhaps the most illuminating that has been made.
Six years later, Jefferson returned to the subject (italics inserted):
"I have been blamed for saying that a prevalence of the doctrine of consolidation would one day call for reformation or revolution. I answer by asking if a single State of the Union would have agreed to the Constitution had it given all powers to the General Government? If the whole opposition to it did not proceed from the jealousy and fear of every State of being subjected to the other States in matters merely its own? And if there is any reason to believe the States more disposed now than then to acquiesce in this general surrender of all their rights and powers to a consolidated government, one and undivided?"

Jefferson's reasoning applied to present-day legislation
That is to say, it was inconceivable to Jefferson that the representatives of the people in Congress could ever so far disregard our constitutional history and purpose as to strip their States of local authority by abdicating their police power through such acts as these:
The Agricultural Adjustment Actof May 12, 1933
The Tennessee Valley Authorityof May 18, 1933
The National Industrial Recovery Actof June 16, 1933
The Federal Surplus Commodities Corporationof October, 1933
The Bituminous Coal Actof May, 1935
The National Labor Relations Actof July, 1935
The Social Security Actof August, 1935

Not a State would have ratified the Constitution, Jefferson declared, had it thought such a "revolution" possible.
We have suffered a constitutional revolution without use of amendments in accordance with Article V. That has come about through what Senator Thomas H. Benton of Missouri used to call "latitudinarian construction." That form of construction has been applied to the Commerce Clause and the General Welfare Clause. No other clause in the Constitution, even with the gross twisting which the ardent "progressists" employ, could be used by them in the framing of a bill for flouting the Tenth Amendment, the great bulwark of the States.

Did President Cleveland foresee present-day unconstitutionalism?
In 1888, President Cleveland, evidently noticing the tendency of representatives of the States in the Congress of the Union to favor measures for degrading their commonwealths, gave them in his fourth annual message this lesson in constitutional law:
"The preservation of the partitions between the proper subjects of Federal and local care and regulation is of such importance under the Constitution, which is the law of our very existence, that no consideration of expediency or sentiment should tempt us to enter upon doubtful ground.
"We have undertaken to discover and proclaim the richest blessings of a free Government, with the Constitution as our guide. Let us follow the way it points out -- it will not mislead us."
In the next year President Cleveland vetoed a bill appropriating money from the National Treasury for the purchase of seed wheat to relieve the farmers in a drought-stricken area. In that message he defined the meaning of the General Welfare Clause as Madison and the others hereinbefore quoted interpreted it (italics inserted):
"Under the limited and delegated authority conferred by the Constitution upon the General Government the statement of the purposes for which money may be lawfully raised by taxation in any form declares also the limits of the objects for which it may be expended. . . . This 'general welfare of the United States,' as used in the Constitution, can only justify appropriations for national objects and for purposes which have to do with the pros

perity, the growth, the honor, or the peace and dignity of the Nation."
What would Mr. Cleveland think could he know that the Federal Government now subsidizes the farmer, pensions everybody, and plans to medicate and hospitalize the whole population? And no amendment to the Constitution authorized the change!
Supreme Court ignored history and learning on General Welfare
Notwithstanding all that members of the Constitutional Convention had written in explanation of the General Welfare Clause, which they had drafted with the care that marked every line of the Constitution, the Supreme Court of the United States, on May 24, 1937, three months after the President had attacked the Judiciary as inefficient and obstructive and asked Congress to recast it to his liking, in an opinion (301 U. S. 548) by Justice Cardozo, with dissents by Justices Sutherland, Van Devanter, McReynolds, and Butler, used this language:
"It is too late today for the argument to be heard with tolerance that in a crisis so extreme the use of the moneys of the Nation to relieve the unemployed and their dependents is a use for any purpose narrower than the pro-motion of the General Welfare."
That expressed the popular notion of the party in power, that a "crisis," or an "emergency," or an "extraordinary emergency," such as the President[2] was given to declaring
2. The field of the President's authority is very limited. It does not include the States, to say nothing of the external world. In No. 75 of The Federalist Madison pointed that out:
"The execution of the laws and the employment of the common strength, either for this purpose or for the common defence, seems to comprise all the functions of the Executive Magistrate."

as difficulties unfolded, and as Congress had declared in the National Industrial Recovery Act and its companion pieces, confers on Congress powers which the Constitution did not and which it therefore withheld. The Constitution withheld more powers from Congress than it granted. Besides that precaution, the Tenth Amendment was added to warn Congress not to "grab" power in any circumstances whatsoever, especially against the States.
Two fundamental errors in decision of Supreme Court
In the opinion by Justice Cardozo it is assumed that because Washington could give relief it had the power to do so. It points out that for a given time Washington gave emergency relief to the amount of $2,929,307,366, while the States expended only $689,291,802 and local subdivisions $777,675,366.
But official figures assembled by the United States News for June 18, 1938, showed that for five years the people of the States had paid to the National Government in taxes $20,411,847,208 and received in "benefits" from their own money $18,267,527,000.
They gave to Washington more than 2 billion over what was returned to them. Those figures are absolute disproof of the statement of the Court, that "the fact developed quickly that the States were unable to give the requisite relief."
But even had the States been unable to give relief, that fact would not have conferred power on Congress to take

over police jurisdiction in the States, which the Constitution had not granted.
Instead of the first American coup d'├ętat, which was executed by the Federal Emergency Relief Act of May 12, 1933, Congress should have repealed the Income Tax Law and the Estate Tax Law, by which it had been draining the States of their resources, and let the States, in close contact with the needy, go ahead and perform their police duties of relief. It chose revolution.
Rapid spread of the evil of subsidies
"Federal aid" to States for relief, for schools, and for what you will has grown worse and worse. In a report by the floor leader of the House of Representatives on January 8,1950, to the Ways and Means Committee it was shown that for the fiscal year ending June 30,1949, the people of the States paid in Federal taxes $41,864,542,295, while they got back in "aid" from their own money $5,551,054,046.
As Just before stated, for the five years ending June 30, 1938, the States paid in Federal taxes $20,411,347,208, or less than one half of what they paid in the last one year. That is what may be described as "going some." The "grants in aid" for the five-year term averaged 3 billion, 653 million, while for the last one year they were 5 billion, 551 million -- and all unconstitutional.
Arkansas, Mississippi, and New Mexico are the only States that got back anything near to half what they had paid.[3]
3. A vigilant reporter for the United Press discovered that the king of the Hoboes was visiting a friend in Pittsburgh and he interviewed His Highness for the edification of the country. The King, who has made several trips around the world, has concluded that modern travel (Cont. on 198)

The situation is fantastic, for it has often been shown in Congress that there is not a State in the Union that is not in a stronger financial position than the National Government. The States need no "aid" from Washington -- except for political purposes. That's what is going on, reminding of the "bread and circuses" which the politicians provided for the populace of sinking Rome.
Finally, on the decision in the Social Security case, it was based not only on the erroneous assumption of the inability of the States to perform their duties in giving relief, but also on what Justice Cardozo termed "a cyclical depression." To be sure, permanent legislation is not justified by a cyclical depression.
Constitutionality of Social Security Act not for Supreme Court
In the light of the reading of "general Welfare of the United States" which was given by Madison and other members of the Constitutional Convention, and by Jefferson, who was in constant communication with members while the Convention was sitting, and by several Presidents, it was not for the Executive Department, the Legislative Department, or the Judicial Department, or all of them together, to give the words a different meaning.
(3. Cont from 197) is attended by too many risks, and he has therefore concluded to become a lobbyist for "Federal aid" to young men possessed by the urge to wander. He believes that all such young men should have each year a vacation of two weeks at the expense of the Government. "Then they could travel safely and in style," he said.
Is that any more absurd than that the wealthy State of Kansas, which, up to an act for pensions to its sons who served in World War I, had no debt at all, should receive "Federal aid" in 1950 for the benefit of its needy in the amount of $18,000,000? The supervisor of welfare reported that fact in June.
[Kansas does not differ from the other states. Degeneracy is general. To them the Constitution is a dead letter.]

As in 1895 the Supreme Court, refusing to strike out a limitation in the Constitution on taxation, referred the proponents of the Income Tax Law of 1894 to the Ultimate Power, to the people as the only Constitution makers, to write an amendment if they should deem that expedient, so in the Social Security case the Supreme Court should have held the act of Congress unconstitutional and referred the "planners" and their project to the people for disposition. Then a proposal to let Congress "into a boundless field of power no longer susceptible of any definition" would have brought the answer from those who alone had it.
That course would have been what Justice Brandeis called "procedural regularity," which he said must always be followed in resolving constitutional problems.
Where authority over welfare resides
It is within the police power of the State to protect the farsighted, the frugal, and the temperate from the tax burden of caring for the indifferent, the unthrifty, the profligate, and the handicapped when they become unable to care for themselves. It may require persons not voluntarily carrying insurance in standard companies to do so, if they cannot show resources making insurance unnecessary. And it can compel employers of such persons to make payroll deductions for the payment of insurance premiums through the working years of the employees.
The United States has no constitutional interest in this subject.
This discussion may well be closed by a quotation from a sound decision of the Supreme Court on January 6, 1936, holding the Agricultural Adjustment Act unconstitutional

as not authorized by the General Welfare Clause. Later, on May 24, 1937, the Court, as seen, sustained the Social Security Act as within the General Welfare Clause -- on two erroneous conceptions: (1) that the States could not care for the people in need (which would not confer authority on Congress), and (2) that "a cyclical depression" gave power to Congress to take control forever.
An admirable view of history
In the Agricultural Adjustment case the Court, speaking through Justice Roberts, said:
"Until recently no suggestion of the existence of any such power in the Federal Government has been advanced. The expressions of the Framers of the Constitution, the decisions of this Court interpreting that Instrument, and the writings of great commentators will be searched in vain for any suggestion that there exists in the Clause [General Welfare] under discussion, or elsewhere in the Constitution, the authority whereby every provision and every fair implication of that Instrument may be subverted, the independence of the individual States obliterated, and the United States converted into a central Government exercising uncontrolled police powers in every State of the Union, superseding all local control or regulation of affairs or concerns of the States.
"Hamilton himself, the leading advocate of broad interpretation of the power to tax and appropriate for the general welfare, never suggested that any power granted by the Constitution could be used for the destruction of local self-government in the States, Story countenances no such doctrine. It never seems to have occurred to them, or to those who have agreed with them, that the general

welfare of the United States (which has aptly been termed "an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States") might be wrecked by obliterating the constitutional members of the Union."
Justices Stone, Brandeis, and Cardozo dissented.

That decision shows the ground we have since abandoned, with Congress "in a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition."

Thanks to the great folks over at Barefoot's world website.

Friday, July 18, 2014

FEDERALIST PAPERS No. 46. The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared

From the New York Packet. Tuesday, January 29, 1788.

To the People of the State of New York:
RESUMING the subject of the last paper, I proceed to inquire whether the federal government or the State governments will have the advantage with regard to the predilection and support of the people. Notwithstanding the different modes in which they are appointed, we must consider both of them as substantially dependent on the great body of the citizens of the United States. I assume this position here as it respects the first, reserving the proofs for another place. The federal and State governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers, and designed for different purposes. The adversaries of the Constitution seem to have lost sight of the people altogether in their reasonings on this subject; and to have viewed these different establishments, not only as mutual rivals and enemies, but as uncontrolled by any common superior in their efforts to usurp the authorities of each other. These gentlemen must here be reminded of their error. They must be told that the ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone, and that it will not depend merely on the comparative ambition or address of the different governments, whether either, or which of them, will be able to enlarge its sphere of jurisdiction at the expense of the other. Truth, no less than decency, requires that the event in every case should be supposed to depend on the sentiments and sanction of their common constituents.
Many considerations, besides those suggested on a former occasion, seem to place it beyond doubt that the first and most natural attachment of the people will be to the governments of their respective States. Into the administration of these a greater number of individuals will expect to rise. From the gift of these a greater number of offices and emoluments will flow. By the superintending care of these, all the more domestic and personal interests of the people will be regulated and provided for. With the affairs of these, the people will be more familiarly and minutely conversant. And with the members of these, will a greater proportion of the people have the ties of personal acquaintance and friendship, and of family and party attachments; on the side of these, therefore, the popular bias may well be expected most strongly to incline.
Experience speaks the same language in this case. The federal administration, though hitherto very defective in comparison with what may be hoped under a better system, had, during the war, and particularly whilst the independent fund of paper emissions was in credit, an activity and importance as great as it can well have in any future circumstances whatever. It was engaged, too, in a course of measures which had for their object the protection of everything that was dear, and the acquisition of everything that could be desirable to the people at large. It was, nevertheless, invariably found, after the transient enthusiasm for the early Congresses was over, that the attention and attachment of the people were turned anew to their own particular governments; that the federal council was at no time the idol of popular favor; and that opposition to proposed enlargements of its powers and importance was the side usually taken by the men who wished to build their political consequence on the prepossessions of their fellow-citizens.
If, therefore, as has been elsewhere remarked, the people should in future become more partial to the federal than to the State governments, the change can only result from such manifest and irresistible proofs of a better administration, as will overcome all their antecedent propensities. And in that case, the people ought not surely to be precluded from giving most of their confidence where they may discover it to be most due; but even in that case the State governments could have little to apprehend, because it is only within a certain sphere that the federal power can, in the nature of things, be advantageously administered.
The remaining points on which I propose to compare the federal and State governments, are the disposition and the faculty they may respectively possess, to resist and frustrate the measures of each other.
It has been already proved that the members of the federal will be more dependent on the members of the State governments, than the latter will be on the former. It has appeared also, that the prepossessions of the people, on whom both will depend, will be more on the side of the State governments, than of the federal government. So far as the disposition of each towards the other may be influenced by these causes, the State governments must clearly have the advantage. But in a distinct and very important point of view, the advantage will lie on the same side. The prepossessions, which the members themselves will carry into the federal government, will generally be favorable to the States; whilst it will rarely happen, that the members of the State governments will carry into the public councils a bias in favor of the general government. A local spirit will infallibly prevail much more in the members of Congress, than a national spirit will prevail in the legislatures of the particular States. Every one knows that a great proportion of the errors committed by the State legislatures proceeds from the disposition of the members to sacrifice the comprehensive and permanent interest of the State, to the particular and separate views of the counties or districts in which they reside. And if they do not sufficiently enlarge their policy to embrace the collective welfare of their particular State, how can it be imagined that they will make the aggregate prosperity of the Union, and the dignity and respectability of its government, the objects of their affections and consultations? For the same reason that the members of the State legislatures will be unlikely to attach themselves sufficiently to national objects, the members of the federal legislature will be likely to attach themselves too much to local objects. The States will be to the latter what counties and towns are to the former. Measures will too often be decided according to their probable effect, not on the national prosperity and happiness, but on the prejudices, interests, and pursuits of the governments and people of the individual States. What is the spirit that has in general characterized the proceedings of Congress? A perusal of their journals, as well as the candid acknowledgments of such as have had a seat in that assembly, will inform us, that the members have but too frequently displayed the character, rather of partisans of their respective States, than of impartial guardians of a common interest; that where on one occasion improper sacrifices have been made of local considerations, to the aggrandizement of the federal government, the great interests of the nation have suffered on a hundred, from an undue attention to the local prejudices, interests, and views of the particular States. I mean not by these reflections to insinuate, that the new federal government will not embrace a more enlarged plan of policy than the existing government may have pursued; much less, that its views will be as confined as those of the State legislatures; but only that it will partake sufficiently of the spirit of both, to be disinclined to invade the rights of the individual States, or the prerogatives of their governments. The motives on the part of the State governments, to augment their prerogatives by defalcations from the federal government, will be overruled by no reciprocal predispositions in the members.
Were it admitted, however, that the Federal government may feel an equal disposition with the State governments to extend its power beyond the due limits, the latter would still have the advantage in the means of defeating such encroachments. If an act of a particular State, though unfriendly to the national government, be generally popular in that State and should not too grossly violate the oaths of the State officers, it is executed immediately and, of course, by means on the spot and depending on the State alone. The opposition of the federal government, or the interposition of federal officers, would but inflame the zeal of all parties on the side of the State, and the evil could not be prevented or repaired, if at all, without the employment of means which must always be resorted to with reluctance and difficulty. On the other hand, should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular States, which would seldom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable measure be so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people; their repugnance and, perhaps, refusal to co-operate with the officers of the Union; the frowns of the executive magistracy of the State; the embarrassments created by legislative devices, which would often be added on such occasions, would oppose, in any State, difficulties not to be despised; would form, in a large State, very serious impediments; and where the sentiments of several adjoining States happened to be in unison, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.
But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm. Every government would espouse the common cause. A correspondence would be opened. Plans of resistance would be concerted. One spirit would animate and conduct the whole. The same combinations, in short, would result from an apprehension of the federal, as was produced by the dread of a foreign, yoke; and unless the projected innovations should be voluntarily renounced, the same appeal to a trial of force would be made in the one case as was made in the other. But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity. In the contest with Great Britain, one part of the empire was employed against the other. The more numerous part invaded the rights of the less numerous part. The attempt was unjust and unwise; but it was not in speculation absolutely chimerical. But what would be the contest in the case we are supposing? Who would be the parties? A few representatives of the people would be opposed to the people themselves; or rather one set of representatives would be contending against thirteen sets of representatives, with the whole body of their common constituents on the side of the latter.
The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition. The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger. That the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterrupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism. Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.
The argument under the present head may be put into a very concise form, which appears altogether conclusive. Either the mode in which the federal government is to be constructed will render it sufficiently dependent on the people, or it will not. On the first supposition, it will be restrained by that dependence from forming schemes obnoxious to their constituents. On the other supposition, it will not possess the confidence of the people, and its schemes of usurpation will be easily defeated by the State governments, who will be supported by the people.
On summing up the considerations stated in this and the last paper, they seem to amount to the most convincing evidence, that the powers proposed to be lodged in the federal government are as little formidable to those reserved to the individual States, as they are indispensably necessary to accomplish the purposes of the Union; and that all those alarms which have been sounded, of a meditated and consequential annihilation of the State governments, must, on the most favorable interpretation, be ascribed to the chimerical fears of the authors of them.

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