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  • Unconstitutional? Don't worry about it.

    This from the alleged constitutional law professor. I guess he wasn't all that good at it because he sure doesn't know it very well. But don't worry about it- he doesn't.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...g-rights-bill/

    Obama pushes D.C. voting rights bill

    WASHINGTON | President Barack Obama urged lawmakers Friday to give the District of Columbia a voting member of Congress.

    A bill to give the city just that is expected to be brought for a vote in the House next week. Many advocates for D.C. voting rights believe this year could be their last opportunity in a long time if Democrats lose their majority in Congress in the fall.

    Obama made the push in a statement in honor of Emancipation Day, a D.C. holiday commemorating President Abraham Lincoln's freeing of the slaves in Washington, nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation. D.C. leaders have used the holiday as an occasion to push for full voting rights for the city.

    "Americans from all walks of life are gathering in Washington today to remind members of Congress that although D.C. residents pay federal taxes and serve honorably in our armed services, they do not have a vote in Congress or full autonomy over local issues. And so I urge Congress to finally pass legislation that provides DC residents with voting representation and to take steps to improve the Home Rule Charter," Obama said.

    The Senate passed a bill granting D.C. a vote more than a year ago, but senators added an amendment to repeal strict gun laws in the city. The bill had since stalled in the House.

    The bill is still expected to include a version of that amendment.

    Some D.C. leaders are critical of the plan, saying it's wrong to bargain away the weapons restrictions in exchange for a vote. But others, including Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city's nonvoting member of Congress, have said it's better to get the vote now and work later to restore the gun laws.

    The bill would actually add two new members, one for the Democrat-heavy district and another for the Republican-leaning Utah, which was just shy of getting another seat during the last census.
    "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
    ______________________________________________

    "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
    ______________________________________________

    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

  • #2
    Originally posted by FNA209 View Post
    The Senate passed a bill granting D.C. a vote more than a year ago, but senators added an amendment to repeal strict gun laws in the city.
    Nice....
    Originally posted by kontemplerande
    Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, I did like the gun language inserted into the bill, but the main problem is with giving the DC Reps a vote in the House. They can't do that. It's unconstitutional. They tried before. A court ruling already decided that the Constitution clearly states in Article I of the Constitution that Reps must be from "each state," thereby demonstrating that the term did not refer generally to all the people of the United States but to citizens of individual states. That's why Reps from the various territories are non-voting members.

      DC is most definitely not a "state". They can appoint or allow all of the non-voting Reps they want, but they can not give them a vote in the House.

      So, it would require an amendment to change it if they want the Reps from DC to be able to vote. Otherwise, they would have to turn DC into a state which also requires an amendment. Or they could just give DC back to Maryland... but again that would require an amendment.

      So Obama should know that. After all, he was some kind of constitutional scholar. You'd think he'd be aware of Adams v. Clinton, 90 F.Supp.2d 35 (D.C. 2000) as it was a fairly recent bit of constitutional case law. He seems to ignore the Constitution when it suits him or he's proving he wasn't the sharpest pencil in the constitutional law pencil box.
      "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
      ______________________________________________

      "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
      ______________________________________________

      “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by FNA209 View Post
        Yeah, I did like the gun language inserted into the bill, but the main problem is with giving the DC Reps a vote in the House. They can't do that. It's unconstitutional. They tried before. A court ruling already decided that the Constitution clearly states in Article I of the Constitution that Reps must be from "each state," thereby demonstrating that the term did not refer generally to all the people of the United States but to citizens of individual states. That's why Reps from the various territories are non-voting members.

        DC is most definitely not a "state". They can appoint or allow all of the non-voting Reps they want, but they can not give them a vote in the House.

        So, it would require an amendment to change it if they want the Reps from DC to be able to vote. Otherwise, they would have to turn DC into a state which also requires an amendment. Or they could just give DC back to Maryland... but again that would require an amendment.

        So Obama should know that. After all, he was some kind of constitutional scholar. You'd think he'd be aware of Adams v. Clinton, 90 F.Supp.2d 35 (D.C. 2000) as it was a fairly recent bit of constitutional case law. He seems to ignore the Constitution when it suits him or he's proving he wasn't the sharpest pencil in the constitutional law pencil box.
        I agree with you 100%

        It's already been ruled unconstitutional the only thing that can change it is an amendment. That's how it works. Sorry, Barry. You think Harvard Law would have taught him that point.
        "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Nightshift va View Post

          It's already been ruled unconstitutional the only thing that can change it is an amendment. That's how it works. Sorry, Barry. You think Harvard Law would have taught him that point.
          I'd love to see his transcript from Harvard. Never mind, they're hiding that.

          I don't even care that much what he got for a grade in Constitutional Law. I worry more about the poor students who endured his classes when he was acting like an Constitutional scholar and teaching community organizing instead of real subject material. Those students wasted a good amount of money and time.

          We have several states filing a suit claiming the healthcare reform is unconstitutional. The libs know it won't be fast-tracked and will take years to go through the judicial system. By the time it's decided, the hash the bill will make of the healthcare system will be nera impossible to fix.

          Now he's promoting another bill that is clearly unconstitutional based on previous rulings. I predict they will probably pass it and let it go to judicial review. In the meantime, they get a few more liberal votes to advance the "O"genda (new web word- I rock! ).

          As to the gun part of the bill, well, they ought to pass that.
          "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
          ______________________________________________

          "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
          ______________________________________________

          “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by FNA209 View Post
            I don't even care that much what he got for a grade in Constitutional Law. I worry more about the poor students who endured his classes when he was acting like an Constitutional scholar and teaching community organizing instead of real subject material. Those students wasted a good amount of money and time.
            That has been precisely one of my fears. Just think of all the young mush-heads that this guy taught and what kinds of positions those people are either in now or heading for...

            Originally posted by FNA209 View Post
            In the meantime, they get a few more liberal votes to advance the "O"genda (new web word- I rock! ).
            Love it!
            Originally posted by kontemplerande
            Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by FNA209 View Post
              Yeah, I did like the gun language inserted into the bill, but the main problem is with giving the DC Reps a vote in the House. They can't do that. It's unconstitutional. They tried before. A court ruling already decided that the Constitution clearly states in Article I of the Constitution that Reps must be from "each state," thereby demonstrating that the term did not refer generally to all the people of the United States but to citizens of individual states. That's why Reps from the various territories are non-voting members.

              DC is most definitely not a "state". They can appoint or allow all of the non-voting Reps they want, but they can not give them a vote in the House.
              The residents of the other territories that don't have a vote in Congress are not subject to full Federal income taxes as the residents of D.C. are.

              http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/...=97321,00.html

              So, it would require an amendment to change it if they want the Reps from DC to be able to vote. Otherwise, they would have to turn DC into a state which also requires an amendment.
              Admitting a State into the Union does not require a Constitutional Amendment. D.C. Statehood is pretty much a non-starter though as D.C. heavily favors one party and giving two Senate seats to the Democrats would have a pretty big effect on the balance of power in the Senate.

              Or they could just give DC back to Maryland... but again that would require an amendment.

              So Obama should know that. After all, he was some kind of constitutional scholar. You'd think he'd be aware of Adams v. Clinton, 90 F.Supp.2d 35 (D.C. 2000) as it was a fairly recent bit of constitutional case law. He seems to ignore the Constitution when it suits him or he's proving he wasn't the sharpest pencil in the constitutional law pencil box.
              Are you saying that Supreme Court caselaw is immutable and unchangeable? You don't think that precedents ever get overturned?
              Last edited by BigPat; 04-20-2010, 06:26 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by FNA209 View Post
                I'd love to see his transcript from Harvard. Never mind, they're hiding that.

                I don't even care that much what he got for a grade in Constitutional Law. I worry more about the poor students who endured his classes when he was acting like an Constitutional scholar and teaching community organizing instead of real subject material. Those students wasted a good amount of money and time.
                How do you have any idea what he taught? Were you enrolled in some of his classes?

                We have several states filing a suit claiming the healthcare reform is unconstitutional. The libs know it won't be fast-tracked and will take years to go through the judicial system. By the time it's decided, the hash the bill will make of the healthcare system will be nera impossible to fix.
                Here is where you you are contradicting yourself. According to the interpretation of the General Welfare clause in the relevant Supreme Court Caselaw (United States v. Butler and Steward Machine Company v Davis), the health care bill is constitutional. The Attorneys General who are suing about the health care bill hope to get the previous precedents overturned. Why do you feel that is okay for state Attorneys General to act against current Supreme Court precedents but it is not okay for President Obama to do so?

                Now he's promoting another bill that is clearly unconstitutional based on previous rulings. I predict they will probably pass it and let it go to judicial review. In the meantime, they get a few more liberal votes to advance the "O"genda (new web word- I rock! ).
                It is interesting that the "Tea Partier" types use a lot of rhetoric about "democracy", "consent of the governed", and "taxation without representation" yet they have no problem with the fact that 600k people in the United States do not get representation in Congress. I guess "democracy" only applies to those that live in conservative-leaning areas...



                As to the gun part of the bill, well, they ought to pass that.
                Fortunately even if it doesn't pass the activist judges on the Supreme Court did the right thing in D.C. v. Heller, making D.C.s gun laws at least a little bit less draconian and ridiculous.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BigPat View Post

                  How do you have any idea what he taught? Were you enrolled in some of his classes?
                  Thankfully, no. If what was reported a few weeks ago is any indication, I'm a pretty lucky guy. His peers didn't give his teaching skills and course content glowing reports. But that doesn't mean anything, right? I believe they pretty said he was a hack and no great thinker. But I'm sure you and other fans are still impressed with him even though he isn't proving himself to be a smart guy.

                  Originally posted by BigPat View Post

                  Here is where you you are contradicting yourself. According to the interpretation of the General Welfare clause in the relevant Supreme Court Caselaw (United States v. Butler and Steward Machine Company v Davis), the health care bill is constitutional.
                  The Attorneys General who are suing about the health care bill hope to get the previous precedents overturned. Why do you feel that is okay for state Attorneys General to act against current Supreme Court precedents but it is not okay for President Obama to do so?
                  You are pretending that the General Welfare clause allows the feds to pass the current healthcare bill while the opponents are suggesting that another constitutional clause says the feds shouldn't. A decision as to which clause applies needs to be resolved, thus it's a valid argument. The apparent conflict will be ruled on. Who knows who will win.

                  The issue concerning giving DC Reps has been resolved and is settled. The court ruled on it and said no. If you want to revisit the issue, you should ask the court to revisit it., not pass the same law again which has already been ruled on unless of course you don't care. It's becoming more and more apparent that Obama falls into the "I don't care" camp.

                  Democrats know this bill is unconstitutional. They tried to do the right way, by Constitutional Amendment, years ago. And it failed.

                  The voting-rights bill was the first such measure to pass the Senate since 1978, when Congress approved a constitutional amendment that would have given the District a House representative and two senators. That amendment died eight years later after failing to win enough support from the states.
                  Last edited by FNA209; 04-21-2010, 02:13 AM.
                  "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
                  ______________________________________________

                  "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
                  ______________________________________________

                  “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FNA209 View Post
                    Thankfully, no. If what was reported a few weeks ago is any indication, I'm a pretty lucky guy. His peers didn't give his teaching skills and course content glowing reports. But that doesn't mean anything, right? I believe they pretty said he was a hack and no great thinker. But I'm sure you and other fans are still impressed with him even though he isn't proving himself to be a smart guy.
                    What was reported about his teachings? Do you have a source?


                    You are pretending that the General Welfare clause allows the feds to pass the current healthcare bill while the opponents are suggesting that another constitutional clause says the feds shouldn't. A decision as to which clause applies needs to be resolved, thus it's a valid argument. The problem has to be resolved and the apparent conflict ruled on.
                    The SCOTUS has already ruled on the meaning of the General Welfare clause in the two cases I mentioned in the earlier post. The health care bill would be constitutional under the caselaw established in those two cases. It is weird that you advocate overturning caselaw in this case but claim that President Obama is dumb for going against a District court opinion (in fact the opinion does not even discuss the issue of Congress granting DC congressional representation via legislation).

                    The issue concerning giving DC Reps has been resolved.
                    That case was only a district court case, and the ruling was that the Constitution did not guarantee D.C.voting representation in Congress. The issue of whether or not Congress could give D.C. representation via legislation was not discussed.

                    The court ruled on it and said no.
                    The court never ruled upon whether or not Congress has the power to grant D.C. representation.

                    If you want to revisit the issue, you should ask the court to revisit it., not pass the same law again which has already been ruled on unless of course you don't care.
                    You are wrong again. No law was "passed again". The Adams v Clinton case had nothing to do with a law. It stemmed from a lawsuit where the plaintiffs claimed that congressional representation was guaranteed by the Constitution. The District Court (not the SCOTUS) ruled that the Constitution did not guarantee DC representation. The ruling did not address whether or not Congress had the power to give DC a vote through legislation.

                    Here is the full text of the decision in that case:
                    http://standupfordemocracy.org/20cit...5-majority.htm

                    I had a feeling that you were completely wrong about this decision. Seeing as it is a district court decision and I don't have Lexis/Nexis, it took me a while to find it. Reading the actual decision confirmed my suspicions. So in summary:

                    1). The decision was a District court decision, not a Supreme Court one.
                    2). The decision dealt with whether or not the Constitution guaranteed DC a representative in Congress, not whether or not Congress could grant one through legislation.
                    3). The decision did not strike down a similar law, in fact, it did not even deal with a previous law at all.

                    Although I am not a lawyer, it appears that you are the one without your facts straight on this issue..

                    It's becoming more and more apparent that Obama falls into the "I don't care" camp.
                    How is that? Pretty much everything you've said about this issue turned out to be wrong.

                    Now I will ask again, what happened to all that rhetoric about "democracy", "consent of the governed", "taxation without representation", etc. when we started talking about DC getting a vote in Congress? Do you think that democracy only applies in areas where people tend to vote Republican?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BigPat View Post

                      Now I will ask again, what happened to all that rhetoric about "democracy", "consent of the governed", "taxation without representation", etc. when we started talking about DC getting a vote in Congress?
                      How about this?

                      The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States...

                      The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State...

                      Make DC a state, then we'll talk. Give it back to Maryland, then we don't even have to discuss this as it would be moot. Or change the Constitution. Don't pass a law in direct violation to the language in it. Pretty simple exercise if you have any desire to adhere to the Constitution.

                      I'll find the constitutional law professor who disagrees with you on the law and link his comments for you. He's a liberal professor at that.
                      "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
                      ______________________________________________

                      "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
                      ______________________________________________

                      “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Reading a legal brief concerning the law, we find this. It’s not written by a layman like me, but by lawyers.

                        Lois Adams and 75 other D.C. residents filed the lawsuit against the president and Congress, arguing that it was unjust that they pay taxes and defend the country in times of war, yet they could not send elected representatives to vote on taxes and war. They claimed that this deprived them of Equal Protection of the law and denied them a republican form of government. They also argued that this deprivation violated their DUE PROCESS rights and abridged their Privileges and Immunities as citizens of the United States.A special three-judge panel heard the case but in the end rejected these arguments. In Adams v. Clinton, 90 F.Supp.2d 35 (D.C. 2000), the court addressed both jurisdictional and constitutional issues. Regarding jurisdiction, the executive and legislative branches contended that the court had no right to even hear the case because the plaintiffs raised issues that were not subject to review by the judicial branch. However, the court rejected the idea that the issues were POLITICAL QUESTIONS beyond its reach and reviewed the merits of the case.

                        The court looked at the language of the Constitution, as well as history and legal precedent, in making is decisions. It first held that Article I of the Constitution repeatedly refers to "each state," thereby demonstrating that the term did not refer generally to all the people of the United States but to citizens of individual states. Tying the right to Congressional representation to statehood was reinforced by the fact that residents of U.S. territories cannot elect voting representatives to Congress. In addition, history and precedent revealed that the District of Columbia had never been considered a "state" for constitutional purposes. Therefore, the direct constitutional challenge had no merit.

                        The court rejected an even more novel theory advanced by the plaintiffs that they were entitled to vote in Maryland elections because of their "residual citizenship." This theory relies on the fact that residents of the land ceded by Maryland to form the district continued to vote in Maryland elections between 1790 and 1801, when Congress assumed jurisdiction and provided for the district's government. The court dismissed this claim, noting that a 1964 court decision had rejected the concept of residual citizenship based on the fact that former residents of Maryland lost their state citizenship when the District of Columbia separated from it.

                        Finally, the court concluded that the EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE of the Fourteenth Amendment could not be used to strike down another constitutional provision. Though the court found that Congress and the Executive Branch had failed to give a compelling reason for denying D.C. residents voting representatives, the denial was based on a provision of Article I. Unlike a statute that contains illegal classifications, the constitution cannot be ruled unconstitutional. Therefore, D.C. residents had to convince Congress to either grant it statehood or pass a constitutional amendment that would allow voting representatives from the district.


                        Hmmm, there are evidently some lawyers out there who seem to think the case resolved the issue and it's settled. They also indicate that the court ruled on all of those points you state they didn't rule on. So it's case law until another higher court reverses it.

                        But if that’s not good enough for you, check out Jonathan Turley. No way can anyone say this guy is conservative. He’s about as liberal as they come.

                        Bio here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Turley

                        Turley said he finds it "incredibly offensive" that D.C. residents don't have a voting member of Congress. But he called the bill "flagrantly unconstitutional." He said the bill violates the constitutional provision that the House be composed of representatives of states. The District is not a state, he said.

                        He reports on his testimony here: http://jonathanturley.org/2009/01/27...e-legislation/

                        So there you have it. The guy is a nationally recognized constitutional law scholar and frequently works with Congress to sort out Constitutional issues and questions. Heck, he's obviously qualified to be President as he's got a lot more years in the field than the current guy has. And he sounds like he actually knows what he's talking about which is a major improvement. He tends to go with more liberal views of the Constitution and he says "Nope, can't do it."

                        As I mentioned above, I'm a layman, not a lawyer. When I look for answers to questions like this, I look to the experts. Interestingly enough, there is a conservative lawyer (a former Bush appointee no less) who seems to think the law would be upheld as legal. So you know he's wrong- it must be unconstitutional! After all, he's a Republican.
                        Last edited by FNA209; 04-21-2010, 05:13 AM.
                        "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
                        ______________________________________________

                        "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
                        ______________________________________________

                        “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BigPat View Post

                          Here is where you you are contradicting yourself. According to the interpretation of the General Welfare clause in the relevant Supreme Court Caselaw (United States v. Butler and Steward Machine Company v Davis), the health care bill is constitutional. The Attorneys General who are suing about the health care bill hope to get the previous precedents overturned. Why do you feel that is okay for state Attorneys General to act against current Supreme Court precedents but it is not okay for President Obama to do so?
                          The States Attorneys bringing suit on the healthcare reform law are arguing that the Constitution doesn’t give the feds authority to do what they are doing and that it violates the states rights. You and others think the feds can do it under rulings pertaining to the general welfare clause.

                          So there are two different clauses of the Constitution involved in the HRL issue. The court will decide either the gwc applies, or that it is a state issue. We’ll likely see language like “the court concluded that the GENERAL WELFARE CLAUSE could not be used to strike down another constitutional provision. Or that it can. Who knows what will come of the challenge.
                          "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
                          ______________________________________________

                          "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
                          ______________________________________________

                          “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FNA209 View Post

                            So there you have it. The guy is a nationally recognized constitutional law scholar and frequently works with Congress to sort out Constitutional issues and questions. Heck, he's obviously qualified to be President as he's got a lot more years in the field than the current guy has. And he sounds like he actually knows what he's talking about which is a major improvement. He tends to go with more liberal views of the Constitution and he says "Nope, can't do it."

                            As I mentioned above, I'm a layman, not a lawyer. When I look for answers to questions like this, I look to the experts. Interestingly enough, there is a conservative lawyer (a former Bush appointee no less) who seems to think the law would be upheld as legal. So you know he's wrong- it must be unconstitutional! After all, he's a Republican.
                            so you found one expert that agrees, and one that disagrees - one's a liberal and one's a conservative.
                            so obviously its an arguable issue?

                            how does that support your premise that Obama "should know better" ?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dlo View Post
                              so you found one expert that agrees, and one that disagrees - one's a liberal and one's a conservative.
                              so obviously its an arguable issue?

                              how does that support your premise that Obama "should know better" ?
                              Well, I can hardly see how you can dispute it. After all, you have to immediately dismiss the conservative's opinion. He's obviously wrong... and probably a racist. And liberals are never wrong, so you have to take his opinion as gospel. If you don't, you're going to hurt his feelings and what kind of liberal would do that?

                              As to Obama knowing better, it's the claim of the O-fans that he is some real smart law professor or some such thing. He should know the law. I realize 95% of his pedigree is just make-believe. You all don't. So I like to point out his failings and utter lack of knowledge whenever possible. I just didn't realize that it'd be a full-time job. Oh... I guess we can put that in his plus column. He created a actual job.

                              Don't worry though, you aren't the first people who ever bought something that didn't work as advertised. Too bad there isn't a lemon law.
                              "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
                              ______________________________________________

                              "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
                              ______________________________________________

                              “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

                              Comment

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