Anchor babies: a humane, fair and practical solution

This baby is one month old.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Firstly, I do not here argue the point of whether the 14th Amendment really does or does not confer citizenship on a baby born on American soil to non-citizens. Another day perhaps.

Secondly, I appreciate the fact that America is populated by immigrants (as with my own ancestors, i.e. John Jones from Wales) and appreciate those who continue to come here for good reasons and do good work when they are here. I understand perfectly well why a couple would want to get here and have their baby here in order to confer citizenship. But it is unfair to those who immigrate legally, and to U.S. citizens, to stop there. What I propose is a way to confer citizenship on that baby in a more rational way and to encourage the parents to become citizens. Continue reading “Anchor babies: a humane, fair and practical solution”

All you ever wanted to know about federal implied preemption but were afraid to ask

A protest against SB 1070 ...
Protest against SB 1070 in Minnesota

[no_toc]Widespread interest exists in the Arizona law known as “S.B. 1070” which may be about to get to the US Supreme Court.  The constitutional question is one of federal implied preemption. Of course, this interest is acute in Texas and the Southwest but I would think that states formerly thinking they were immune from the problems of illegal immigration now realize that it’s everywhere. Otherwise why are there protests in Minneapolis against the law? Continue reading “All you ever wanted to know about federal implied preemption but were afraid to ask”

What is the importance of the ObamaCare court ruling?

So the issue is joined, and no doubt with historic consequences for American liberty. For most of the last century, the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted the Constitution’s Commerce Clause as so elastic as to allow any regulation desired by a Congressional majority. Only with the William Rehnquist Court did the Justices begin to rediscover that the Commerce Clause has some limits, as in the Lopez (1995) and Morrison (2000) cases. Continue reading “What is the importance of the ObamaCare court ruling?”

Time for a non-partisan attack to eliminate earmarks

Regardless of how you view the Nov. 2, 2010 election results, we still have the future to worry about; and one of the most worrisome features of Congress is the concept of “earmarks” a/k/a “pork barrel projects.”  I suggest that earmarks constitute the most divisive, dishonest and dangerous of procedures threatening the republic. Why do I say that? Continue reading “Time for a non-partisan attack to eliminate earmarks”

Charles Krauthammer – Annals of executive overreach

A “must read” article. Krauthammer dissects the willful and ongoing overreaching by the executive branch — federal and state, by both D’s and R’s.  Constitution? What constitution?  Well into the article he makes the point:

This contagion of executive willfulness is not confined to the federal government or to Democrats. In Virginia, the Republican attorney general has just issued a ruling allowing police to ask about one’s immigration status when stopped for some other reason (e.g., a traffic violation). Heretofore, police could inquire only upon arrest and imprisonment.

Whatever your views about the result, the process is suspect. If police latitude regarding the interrogation of possible illegal immigrants is to be expanded, that’s an issue for the legislature, not the executive.

How did we get here? I blame Henry Paulson. (Such a versatile sentence.) The gold standard of executive overreach was achieved the day he summoned the heads of the country’s nine largest banks and informed them that henceforth the federal government was their business partner. The banks were under no legal obligation to obey. But they know the capacity of the federal government, when crossed, to cause you trouble, endless trouble. They complied.

So did BP when the president summoned its top executives to the White House to demand a  $20 billion federally administered escrow fund for damages. Existing law capped damages at $75 million. BP, like the banks, understood the power of the U.S. government. Twenty billion it was.

Again, you can be pleased with the result (I was) and still be troubled by how we got there. Everyone wants energy in the executive (as Alexander Hamilton called it). But not lawlessness. In the modern welfare state, government has the power to regulate your life. That’s bad enough. But at least there is one restraint on this bloated power: the separation of powers. Such constraints on your life must first be approved by both houses of Congress.

via Charles Krauthammer – Annals of executive overreach.

Friends, this is a big deal. The United States Constitution is a remarkable document that implemented the grandest experiment the world had yet known:  a constitutional republic.  One of the most important components was the separation of powers spread among three equal branches of government. At the federal level was (and hopefully still is) the notion of limited, enumerated powers. A simple concept that the feds can only do what’s listed and all else is reserved to the states and the people.

The executive overreaching, whether at the federal or state level and regardless of the responsible political party (both parties are guilty), it violates both the separation of powers and the enumerated powers provisions of the constitution.

And if YOU don’t stand up against it, then THEY are trampling on YOU and thus the end game has become simply:  THEM versus US.  And if you understand no other consequence of this process, it is that THEY are spending YOU and your progeny into fiscal oblivion.

Senator John Cornyn on Kagan nomination to high court

It is often difficult for the lay person to have a basis from which to evaluate the qualifications of a judicial candidate and it’s most daunting to listen to the roar of the media discussing a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Without offering any opinion on Solicitor General Kagan, I suggest that Sen. Cornyn’s discussion offers an excellent insight into the most salient issues surrounding such a candidate. While some may disagree with his conclusions, the statement of the issues is spot-on.

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement announcing he will oppose the nomination of Elena Kagan to be Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court:

“Solicitor General Kagan’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee did not assure me that she agrees with the traditional understanding of the proper role of a judge. Judges should strictly interpret the written Constitution, which means both enforcing written limitations on the scope of government power, such as the Second Amendment and the Commerce Clause, as well as not inventing new rights or imposing their own policy views on the American people.

“Ms. Kagan’s testimony about her judicial philosophy was vague and open to multiple interpretations. She was unable to articulate limits on the federal Commerce Clause power.  She did not rule out overturning the Supreme Court’s recent decisions recognizing the importance of the Second Amendment. She backed away from her previous conviction that judicial nominees should be forthright about the direction they would move the courts.

“Also, Solicitor General Kagan lacks experience that could give us more insight into her judicial philosophy. As a lawyer, she has never tried a case to verdict. She only joined the Supreme Court bar in 2009, and she has never served as a judge.

“For these reasons, I will oppose her nomination.”

via News Releases – Press – United States Senator John Cornyn, Texas.

Pres. Obama’s Ice Cream lie

This from a former law school lecturer in constitutional law:

“You can imagine, if you are a Hispanic American in Arizona …” the president said Tuesday at a campaign-style appearance in Iowa, “suddenly, if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed.” On the same day, Attorney General Eric Holder said he was considering a court challenge.

(emphasis added)  via How Obama could lose Arizona immigration battle | Washington Examiner.

That is a scare tactic, class warfare engendering statement and one that is totally irresponsible.  Is it possible that the President simply misspoke?  It’s hard to imagine that by late April when this statement was made that both he and the Attorney General (see YouTube link below) did not know the language and meaning of the AZ law.  If not, then both of their statements were tantamount to gross negligence.  If they DID, then those statements were made purely for political scare tactic purposes, and tantamount to a fraudulent misrepresentation.

Look at my analysis and tell me if the President and Attorney General could justify the “ice cream” statement based on that law.  No way.  It’s quite clear that there first must be a lawful contact with the citizen.  So, if you and your kid just robbed the ice cream store, then upon police contact you might be asked for ID — no matter where it appears you might be from.

(edit 5/15/2010) Just discovered this video where AG Holder acknowledges that he has not read the AZ immigration law, but still has an opinion on it. It thus becomes indelibly clear that his remarks about the bill are simply politically motivated.  The United States Attorney General is not a position where you want politics to motivate. He is the top law enforcement official in the country and there is no room for politics in the types of decisions the AG has to make.

Judicial Supremacy and the Constitution – Robert Lowry Clinton – National Review Online

Concisely, in one article, you can read an excellent analysis of the power of the Supreme Court, and the source of that power. Given the increasing impact of Supreme Court decisions on our lives, understanding the origins and nature of the Court’s power is an important consideration. I take no position on the major premise of the article, but it is thought-provoking and interesting.  National Review Online has this insightful piece.

Many Americans are puzzled and angry about the judicial assault on religion, morality, and common sense that has been going on for the past few decades. People wonder, for example, how the First Amendment (which guarantees freedom of religion as well as separation of church and state) could possibly require the expulsion of religion from public life, or outlaw prayers at high-school football games and graduation ceremonies. To answer questions like these, one must understand how federal judges got the power to make such controversial political decisions in the first place, and how the judges used that power to bludgeon the American citizenry into believing that their power was legitimate.

via Judicial Supremacy and the Constitution – Robert Lowry Clinton – National Review Online.