Recent Posts From Doug Mataconis
The once discredited idea of nullification, the idea that the individual states have the authority to nullify Federal laws inconsistent with the Constitution, is making a comeback thanks largely to a new book entitled Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century by Thomas Woods. Today, over at The Volokh Conspiracy, law professor Randy Barnett casts a very skeptical eye on Woods’ argument:
While there are some interesting structural arguments to be made on behalf of a power of nullification, of course it is not recognized by the text. And my doubts that it was thought by the founders to be a power reserved to the states is fueled by James Madison’s famed Report of 1800 in which he defended the Virginia Resolution objecting to the constitutionality of the Aliens and Sedition Act. I include a lengthy excerpt from Madison’s report in my casebook, including this telling passage near the end. (So readers have the full context, I include the paragraphs in full while putting in bold the more crucial language):
Great Britain’s new Deputy Prime Minister announces an interesting initiative:
Now this is a European idea I wouldn’t mind seeing brought to America.
We’re working to create a more open and less intrusive society through our Programme for Government. We want to restore Britain’s traditions of freedom and fairness, and free our society of unnecessary laws and regulations – both for individuals and businesses.
This site gives you the chance to submit, comment on, or vote for ideas about how we can do this. Your ideas will inform government policy and some of your proposals could end up making it into bills we bring before Parliament to change the law.
So if there are any laws or regulations you’d like us to do away with, then submit your idea. If you see ideas here already that you like the look of, then rate them and get them moved up the list. And if there’s more you’d like to say, then talk to others in the comments section for each proposal.
It’s time to have your say. After all – it’s your freedom.
Sounds good to me:
Rick Moran has a conversation with himself and diagnosis what is wrong with political discourse in this country:
It got to the point last week, after reading the usual nonsense from many conservatives about how Obama is deliberately trying to “destroy” the country, or is a Marxist, or wants to be a dictator, or is favoring Muslims in the Middle East because he actually is one, or is plotting to cancel the elections in November, or wasn’t born here/not a naturalized citizen/Hawaiian official says he was born in Kenya/yadayadayadayada…that I nearly screamed
STOP THE MADNESS!
Jesus lord God I get nauseated reading this crap. And in my two jobs, I have to read it all the time. Comments, articles, emails – it never stops. Conspiracies, falsehoods, batshit crazy observations, wildly off base dot connecting, Cloward-Piven, Rules for Radicals — a never ending flood of idiocy, illogic, unreasoning hatred, and just plain ignorance from people who tell me I am insufficiently passionate in my opposition to Obama and the liberals and am therefore on their side.
It’s like the previous 8 years of putting up with the exact same crap from liberals about George Bush never happened.
The. Exact. Same. Crap.
Bush the dictator. Bush trying to destroy the country. Bush policies formulated only to help cronies. Don’t these people remember how we laughed at that kind of stupidity? And now, it looks like I have to put up with the same damn ignorant tripe for another 8 years.
And you could go back further than that and say that what we’re seeing today isn’t just a repeat of the opposition during the Bush years, but also a repeat of the opposition during the Clinton years.
The guy who set the fire that started the Tea Party Movement was in rare form again this morning:
Fortunately, not every Republican in Texas is an anti-gay bigot:
AUSTIN, TX – At the state Republican convention earlier this month, Texas Republicans opted to abandon the Republican tradition of respecting the Constitution and protecting individual liberty and privacy rights by adopting a platform which includes planks attacking the civil liberties of certain Texans.
The platform advocates policies which would make it a felony to perform a same-sex marriage in Texas, which would re-criminalize sodomy and which would take away the rights of gay parents in custody cases. These proposals are contrary to the values of most Texans and run counter to the Republican tradition of vigorously defending individual liberty.
The Republican Liberty Caucus strongly opposes the Texas GOP platform’s anti-gay and anti-liberty planks. We call for the state party to take action to address this problem. While it may not be possible to repeal or change the party platform, the state leadership should issue a clear statement that the platform is non-binding and does not represent the core, shared beliefs of Texas Republicans or of our candidates.
In a year in which we are looking forward to extraordinary opportunities for a great slate of Republican candidates in Texas, it would be a terrible mistake to shackle them to a platform which will alienate many potential supporters. This platform will weaken the party at a time when a strong coalition of Republicans and independents is needed to stop the radical agenda of Democrats in both Austin and Washington.
At least that’s what the latest Rasmussen Poll seems to say:
Nearly half of American Adults see the government today as a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of those rights.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Adults see the government today as a threat to rights. Thirty-seven percent (37%) hold the opposite view. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided.
Most Republicans (74%) and unaffiliateds (51%) consider the government to be a threat to individual rights. Most Democrats (64%) regard the government as a protector of rights.
Additionally, most Americans (52%) say it is more important for the government to protect individual rights than to promote economic growth. Just 31% say promoting economic growth is more important. But again a sizable number (17%) of Adults aren’t sure which is more important.
Somewhere, the Founders are smiling.
Texas Republicans are a conservative lot. Still, it’s difficult to imagine mainstream GOP voters demanding their neighbors be jailed for engaging in a little hanky-panky behind closed doors.
Nevertheless, the state’s Republican party has voted on a platform [PDF link] by which their candidates will stand, and it includes the reinstatement of laws banning sodomy: otherwise known as oral and anal sex.
The party’s platform also seeks to make gay marriage a felony offense, which may be confusing to most given that the state does not sanction or recognize same sex marriages, meaning any such ceremony conducted does not bear the weight of law. Whether this means the GOP wants gay couples married in other states to be pursued through Texas as dangerous criminals, the party did not specify.
“We oppose the legalization of sodomy,” the platform states. “We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.”
There must be a lot of illicit sodomy going on in Texas because, you know, there really aren’t any other problems facing the world.
But wait, it gets worse:
Some interesting words from the most interesting candidate of 2008:
Ron Paul says he hasn’t decided if he’ll challenge President Obama for re-election in 2012, but he does predict that Republicans will be more open than they were in 2008 to nominating a libertarian-minded candidate.
“I think there’s no doubt about it,” Paul said in an interview with The Daily Caller.
This year, libertarian-Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate — like Paul’s son Rand Paul in Kentucky and Sharron Angle in Nevada — have won Republican primaries with the help of the Tea Party support. Noting the “big libertarian influence in the Tea Party movement,” Paul says libertarian beliefs are making their way into the lexicon of traditional Republicans.
“I think even the issue of the Federal Reserve — that issue is almost mainstream,” he said. “And I think things have shifted because of the financial crisis as well as the bogging down of our foreign policy. So the American people are looking for some different answers.”
Paul, whose anti-Iraq war views won him jeers at some Republican events in 2008, says a libertarian-minded GOP candidate will be better received when Obama runs for re-election. But he cautioned that he himself has not decided to run. “It’s too early for me to talk much about that because I haven’t made a decision. I haven’t ruled it out, but I’m not on the verge of making a decision anytime soon,” Paul said.
Asked to name other potential presidential candidates he could support, Paul replied, “I guess the best one would be Johnson from New Mexico — Gary Johnson.”
A report from the BBC: