“Feral” – when an animal becomes wild, escaping captivity or domestication. Typically the result is destruction, danger, and a need for action.
The US federal government has gone feral.
But what do we do when a government entity has escaped domestication, ie, gone wild? What do we do when the tiger is out of the cage? What are the options? How do we rein in a “partner” to a national agreement that has become arrogant and powerful, trampling on the other parties to the mutual agreement? To quote Walter Williams, “More than two-thirds of the federal budget amounts to legalized theft with no moral justification or constitutional authority.” (A comment made long before the multi-trillion dollar give-aways of 2009.)
Thanks to Michael Connelly, attorney and Constitutional law instructor, for a review of the ways in which the healthcare “reform” bills violate the Constitution, and thanks to the Parker County blog for reposting it, or I would have missed it.
So we are beyond asking “does this initiative fit within their Constitutional authority,” to “let’s list the ways in which a vote for this particular bill will be a violation of their oath of office.”
Before listing the various stipulations of the Constitution that the current bill (The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009) violates, Mr. Connelly says, “The Congress will be transferring to the Obama Administration authority in a number of different areas …. The irony is that the Congress doesn’t have any authority to legislate in most of those areas to begin with. I defy anyone to read the text of the U.S. Constitution and find any authority granted to the members of Congress to regulate health care.”
The recent seizures of power over financial and manufacturing organizations, and the massive commitments of public money to so-called “stimulus” purposes, represent additional violations of federal authority to extents formerly unimaginable in a free society.
Here’s the history. We the people, acting through the authority of our various states, agreed to form a separate entity in order to handle certain things that should not be done separately, and redundantly, by the various states, such as printing money, defending the borders, etc. All powers and authorities not specifically given to the new entity, the “federal” government, were specifically retained by us — the people, and the states.
So the parties to the agreement are the people, the states, and the federal government. And the third one was created for the first two, so … be clear on who works for whom. The federal organization works for us, not the other way around. It was created to do certain things, and no more.
Within the federal governement, there are three groups: the Legislature, where we send representatives to make decisions for us; the Executive, to do what the Legislature tells it to; and the Judicial, to provide courts for inter-state and federal issues that the Legislature lets it address. (The Congress can remove specific bills from review by the Supreme Court, and has done so; were you aware of that? Art III, Sec 2, Para 2.)
One interesting conclusion from this review is that the Supreme Court did not originally have, and should not rightfully today have, the right to declare what is “Constitutional”, for they are a subservient part of the arrangement, not the maker of it. How did their actions become immune from being declared “unconstitutional”?
But the overwhelming issue has become: when the federal has gone feral, and takes advantage of its enormous taxing power (and potentially its military power) to grossly violate its charter, what options do we have?
The first is, obviously, to change our elected representatives, as soon as that can be done given the election cycles.
Another, more immediately, is to cause them, by sheer force of public objection, to stop doing the objectionable and illegal things. The huge, spontaneous, and completely orderly demonstration of “we the people” in Washington on 9/12/2009 was a superb example of such objection.
But when the people have discovered they can vote themselves public money, and our leaders use public money to buy future votes, there may be too many people supporting this public theft to “vote them out”. Then what?
Both the people and the states have authority over the federal government in all matters not delegated to them. Federal actions taken illegally do not have to be obeyed. Juries can refuse to enforce bad law, because the law is defective, whether the accused violated it or not. States can demand compliance with the 10th amendment, and refuse to tolerate federal encroachment.
Two earlier practices need to be restored, as well.
Nullification: the refusal to obey unconstitutional orders. Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, among others, were fans of this approach.
Impeachment for “high crimes and misdemeanors”, that is, the violation of the public trust (a completely different question than whether or not they have broken any laws). For example, any elected official violating his oath of office by voting for clearly unconstitutional measures should be removed immediately; why wait until another election cycle, if an elected official is misbehaving that badly?