Bill of Rights

And I Am Not A Liberal

Now that I have alienated all of the conservatives that read my articles, it is only fair that I explain how I should not be classified as a liberal either. I made my case for most of the tenets of liberalism I support in part one, so let’s see how I stack up against “the other side.”

“2A Today for The USA”- New Video on the 2nd Amendment

See Video

I can’t imagine the framers of the Constitution thought the simple wording of the 2nd Amendment would ever be brought into question.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Thomas Jefferson Quotes

While Americans should at all times continuously educate themselves about the founding of this nation, its founding fathers, and its founding documents, this is especially true during times of great uncertainty and inevitable political change. I think it would be safe to guess that Thomas Jefferson is the favorite revolutionary American philosopher and politician of a majority of United Liberty readers, so I have compiled some of my favorite Jefferson quotes-

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

 

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

 

You can support torture or the Constitution — not both.

Detainees

What is torture, if not punishment? The legal definition of torture is (basically) “severe mental pain or suffering.” When torture is used as an interrogation tactic, many people seem to forget the basis of our justice system: The principle that it is better to let a guilty man go free than to punish an innocent one. This idea dates back to our founding and can even be found in the Bible.

The U.S. Constitution cites rights for the accused and for the convicted, and torture is not on the menu. That is, for American citizens.

Since torture has been used as a form of “enhanced” interrogation on non-Americans, however, the discussion is more than the rule of law. Our very morality is in question.

We must ask ourselves if it is moral to set aside the Bill of Rights in certain situations. These amendments to the Constitution were ratified in order to document the most basic of all human rights that shall not be infringed under any circumstances. The law doesn’t explicitly say “under any circumstances” because it doesn’t have to. People who were born somewhere else are no less deserving of humane treatment, even if, and especially if they have been accused of a crime. Too many government actions are taken with the good intention of saving lives, and rarely are the unintended consequences considered.

SCOTUS accepts judicial sentencing tyranny in drug case

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It may sound like a case out of the kangaroo courts of North Korea or Cuba, but chillingly, it comes from the very heart of our republic.

In 2007 a Washington, D.C. man, Antwuan Ball, was convicted of one count of selling $600 worth of cocaine and acquitted of several other charges alleging a conspiracy of drug distribution, murder, and racketeering. However, the district court used the charges of which he was acquitted to increase his sentence from a few years for the one drug deal to 19 years for the conspiracy. Six years later, in 2013, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the sentence. And in a final act of injustice, the Supreme Court this week refused to hear the appeal, rendering permanent Ball’s sentence on charges for which he was acquitted.

The level of tyranny being tacitly endorsed here by 6 members of the highest court in the land is hard to exaggerate and to fathom. Judges should have a certain measure of discretion to level appropriate sentences after a conviction, but using charges for which the defendent was specifically acquitted for that purpose is against the entire spirit of due process and the Bill of Rights.

Government schools are where free speech goes to die

University of Oregon

The first time I ever heard the term “freedom of speech” was in a public school classroom. I’d be willing to bet that was true for a lot of us. Classes on the Constitution invariably spent a fair amount of time discussing the Bill of Rights. While the Second Amendment didn’t get as much attention, the First definitely did.

It seems ironic that I find two stories regarding schools and their inability to understand what free speech is on the same day, considering where I first learned the term.

To start with, let’s go to college. The University of Oregon, to be specific.

On June 9, 2014, the female student in question was visiting with friends in UO’s Carson Hall dormitory. According to the student, looking out of the dormitory window, she spotted a male and female student walking together (she did not know either of them) and shouted “I hit it first” at them in jest. The female of the couple responded with two profanities and the couple reported the student’s comment to the Resident Assistant of the dorm. The Resident Assistant located the student and insisted that she apologize to the couple for her remark. The student readily obliged.

A new low for Senate Democrats: They’re actually running on limiting a fundamental right as part of their election year strategy

First Amendment

Senate Democrats plan to move forward on Sen. Tom Udall’s (D-NM) proposed constitutional amendment that would repeal part of the First Amendment and allow Congress regulate political speech. Because that doesn’t have disaster written all over it, or anything:

It’s been 22 years since the last amendment to the Constitution took effect, but Senate Democrats are hoping to alter the nation’s founding document once again.

The likelihood of crossing the threshold to amend the Constitution over campaign finance is slim to none, however. An amendment would have to garner support from two-thirds of the House and Senate, before being approved by three-fourths of the states.

Despite that seemingly insurmountable hurdle, Senate Democrats are forging ahead with a plan to bring SJ Res 19 to the floor.

This resolution would add a 28th Amendment, stating that Congress can regulate contributions and spending in federal elections. It would also give state governments the same authority in statewide contests.

Democratic leaders have already said they plan to bring the amendment up for a vote in the Senate by the end of the year. But the resolution’s sponsor, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is hoping for a vote before the midterm elections.

Hahahahaha: Chuck Schumer doesn’t know who authored the Bill of Rights

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) may want to crack open a history book. During yesterday’s hearing on proposed constitutional amendment that would repeal political speech protections of the First Amendment, the New York Democrat said that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Bill of Rights:

“I think if Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Bill of Rights, were looking down on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute,” Mr. Schumer said.

Wait, what?

Yeah, Jefferson didn’t write the Bill of Rights — James Madison did. In fact, Jefferson as the minister to France when the when Madison crafted and submitted the proposed amendments. Jefferson didn’t leave France until September 26, 1789, a day after Congress approved the amendments, of which 10 would eventually be ratified by the states and become known as the Bill of Rights.

Another point that Schumer gets incredibly wrong his suggestion that Jefferson would support restrictions on political speech. This statement is completely ignorant of history.

Jefferson, then-vice president, vigorously opposed the Sedition Act, under which several political opponents of the Adams administration were prosecuted, and, along with Madison, authored the Kentucky and Virgina nullification resolutions in the late-1790s.

Ted Cruz blasts Senate Democrats for trying to repeal the free speech protections of the First Amendment

Ted Cruz

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from the upper chamber’s two party leaders, Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY), yesterday on a constitutional amendment that would place heavy limitations on political speech.

The proposed constitutional amendment has next to no chance of passage, requiring two-thirds majorities from both chambers as well as ratification from three-fifths of the states, but Senate Democrats are using as part of an effort to get their base to the polls this fall. In other words, the committee hearing on the amendment was a charade.

But it did hearing did produce some highlights, among them Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) fiery and eloquent defense of the Bill of Rights. The amendment before the committee, the conservative favorite said, “would repeal the free speech protections of the First Amendment.”

“Let’s be clear, this amendment doesn’t just do it for corporations, it doesn’t just do it for billionaires — nothing in this amendment is limited to corporations or billionaires. This amendment, if adopted, would give Congress the absolute authority to regulate the political speech of every single American with no limitations, whatsoever,” said Cruz. “This amendment is about power and it is about politicians silencing the citizens.”

Rand Paul’s stand against Obama was huge moment for the Constitution

Judge Andrew Napolitano really has a way of explaining the importance of basic civil liberties in a very common sense way. In his latest at Reason, “Another Week of Government Lawlessness,” he asks some very basic, mostly rhetorical questions:

What if that lawyer who advised the president that he could kill with drones—even Americans if he wished—has been nominated to become a federal judge? What if the bench to which the president nominated this lawyer is the second highest court in the land?

What if the Constitution requires Senate confirmation of all of the president’s judicial nominees? What if Sen. Rand Paul and others asked this nominee for public copies of his legal memoranda in which he found a way for the president legally to kill Americans? What if this nominee and the president refused to make these memoranda available for public scrutiny until a court ordered them to do so?

I have a question of my own: “What if the media actually thought Rand Paul’s filibuster was actually important enough to cover?” After watching half of one local newscast and half of another last night, it occurred to me that neither had one thing to say about Rand Paul’s filibuster, good or bad. Not one word about this judicial nominee, either, not even on the crawl on the bottom of the screen!

So what did my local news think was important enough for my consumption? The CEO of Levi’s advises his customers not to wash their jeans, the cat who saved a child from a dog attack “threw” out the first pitch at some minor league baseball game, and the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks visited the White House.


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