YOU FIRST READ THIS. I want credit if I’m the first, and I’d like to know if there was anybody before me to come up with this idea, with specific cites as to date, time, and venute.
On Friday, a caller to the Glenn Beck show asked Pat Gray, the guest host, why had not some of the palpably unconstitutional acts of Congress been challenged on behalf of We the Little People by some sharp conlaw hotshot out to make a name for himself. In particular, the so-called “health care reform” bill presently before Congress being an egregious example of the breed, was there a possibility it could be killed aborning, so to speak?
Gray allowed as how it might happen, but didn’t sound to hopeful — knowing, as he no doubt does, that most courts in the land would deny standing. Which ignores the fact that any citizen ought to have standing to “petition the government for redress of grievances” in constitutional matters, as any violation of that document does injury to us all. The tendency to deny standing in most cases also turns the whole notion of a constitutionally-limited government on its head. After all, how can it be proper for the government to rule as to what is or is not reasonable in terms of limitations on its own power? Built-in conflict of interest, right there. BUT… that appears to be how roll the statists in black silk robes.
We are faced with the odious possibility that the dog’s breakfast now before the Senate may actually pass. And, while there are many hurdles to be overcome, the Democrats appear to be ready to lower the bars, brace the hurdles, hobble the other runners, and even stop the clock if necessary to get the win.
What?! Alger! Democrats cheat? How can you say such a thing!
Careful, Dolly. You could put somebody’s eye out with that sarcasm.
So here’s the thing I want you-all to remember. And, if there’s a hot-shot constitutional lawyer within eyeshot of my dancing fingertips, please take this ball and run with it.
The Preamble to the Constitution reads in full:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
For decades, the so-called Progressive Left has been perverting the general welfare clause to read “provide the general welfare,” in aid of such abominations as the Great Society and even FDR’s New Deal. (Not to mention Bill Clinton’s Raw Deal — a little Rush humor fer ya, there.)
And they’ve been getting away with it because corrupt judges in the court system have backed them up.
Alger! Corrupt! That’s harsh!
Look at what they’ve done to the country and tell me they’re not.
So it’s petard-hoisting-on time. There’s another clause in there: “…secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…” Sounds an awful lot like a civil right to me.
But what are you going to do? File suit against the government? Well, yeah. Envirowackos do it all the time on more specious grounds. But… No. Not exactly.
I am proposing to file complaints against Members of Congress specifically for their votes. There’s a civil-rights law, 18 USC 241:
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;…
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
Now, folks might say that Congress is immune from prosecution — constitutionally. Except… 18 USC 242 modifies that somewhat (without, I think, actually stepping on the meaning of the immunity provision):
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
Seems to me that the opening clause seems to militate against the whole concept of “sovereign immunity.” (And how has that concept gotten twisted around in a country where the People are supposed to be sovereign, not the state?)
Now, I submit to you that the mandate to buy health insurance at all, let alone a policy approved by vague dicktat from the secretary of HHS (whose office is in and of itself unconstitutional, I should point out), is a serious infringement on individual liberty — and on specious grounds at best. And I should also point out that it is nearly inevitable that death will result from the proposed law, which makes this not only a Federal case, but a CAPITAL Federal case.
And, between the Preamble and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, it would seem to me that Liberty is a constitutionally-protected right. Right?
Would it be possible to get a sympathetic (and possibly near-retirement) judge to sign arrest warrants on these grounds, and to have them served by U.S. Marshalls ON THE CAPITOL GROUNDS WHILE CONGRESS IS IN SESSION? Failing that, can we get a cease-and-desist? A TRO? After all, liberty — like property — is unique and requires special protections. As American liberty is about to be irrevocably destroyed, can the People not force a stay of Congress’ hand?
(Cross-posted at Eternity Road.)