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Thursday, February 05, 2009

New Hampshire and Washington legislators reaffirm states' rights UPDATE: 8 more states

Picture 3 I'm having difficulty deciding which recently-introduced legislation I like better: New Hampshire's House Concurrent Resolution 6 "affirming States’ rights based on Jeffersonian principles" or Washington State's House Joint Memorial 4009 "claiming state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment"

On initial inspection, the New Hampshire resolution is superior. It's a beautifully written document and by far the more radical. The preambulatory clauses tell the history of New Hampshire's contribution to the US Constitution's Ninth and Tenth Amendments and the active clauses lay out and affirm an effective, detailed, and well-explained case:

That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes, -- delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government

My favourite part of the resolution is the end, which asserts the doctrine of nullification and calls for a dissolution of the Union should the US Government extend its reach beyond certain limits:

That any Act by the Congress of the United States, Executive Order of the President of the United States of America or Judicial Order by the Judicatories of the United States of America which assumes a power not delegated to the government of United States of America by the Constitution for the United States of America and which serves to diminish the liberty of the any of the several States or their citizens shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States of America by the government of the United States of America. Acts which would cause such a nullification include, but are not limited to:

I. Establishing martial law or a state of emergency within one of the States comprising the United States of America without the consent of the legislature of that State.

II. Requiring involuntary servitude, or governmental service other than a draft during a declared war, or pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law.

III. Requiring involuntary servitude or governmental service of persons under the age of 18 other than pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law.

IV. Surrendering any power delegated or not delegated to any corporation or foreign government.

V. Any act regarding religion; further limitations on freedom of political speech; or further limitations on freedom of the press.

VI. Further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms including prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition; and

That should any such act of Congress become law or Executive Order or Judicial Order be put into force, all powers previously delegated to the United States of America by the Constitution for the United States shall revert to the several States individually. Any future government of the United States of America shall require ratification of three quarters of the States seeking to form a government of the United States of America and shall not be binding upon any State not seeking to form such a government;

The Washington resolution is much shorter, less elegant, and is directed towards the US President, not the several states like New Hampshire's. But there is much to be said for concision. Though the 18th century literate American provincial may have been at ease with the embellished language of the New Hampshire resolution, to the average 21st century reader it may pass from articulacy to prolixity; for him, NH HCR6 might as well be as incomprehensible and protracted as the USA PATRIOT Act or the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

The preamble of the Washington resolution lays out a simple textual and historical case for a states' rights reading of the US Constitution that should be intelligible to any college graduate (but not to any Supreme Court Justice):

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States specifically provides that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being those powers specifically granted to it by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and

WHEREAS, Federalism is the constitutional division of powers between the national and state governments and is widely regarded as one of America’s most valuable contributions to political science; and

WHEREAS, James Madison, “the father of the Constitution,” said, “The powers delegated to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, [such] as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.”; and

WHEREAS, Thomas Jefferson emphasized that the states are not ”subordinate” to the national government, but rather the two are “coordinate departments of one simple and integral whole. The one is the domestic, the other the foreign branch of the same government.”; and

WHEREAS, Alexander Hamilton expressed his hope that “the people will always take care to preserve the constitutional equilibrium between the general and the state governments.” He believed that “this balance between the national and state governments forms a double security to the people. If one [government] encroaches on their rights, they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from overpassing their constitutional limits by [the] certain rivalship which will ever subsist between them.”; and

WHEREAS, The scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be limited in its powers relative to those of the various states;

You can read each resolutions below the break and decide which you prefer for yourself.

UPDATE: A spate of these "10th Amendment resolutions" at the state level seems to have been sparked with last year's failed HJR 1089 [pdf] in Oklahoma "claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over certain powers; serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates; and directing distribution." The sponsor of that bill, Rep. Charles Key (R) is working on introducing similar legislation (HJR 1003) [rtf] this year which he says is likely to pass as a Republican-controlled Legislature convenes for the first time in state history.

Also in 2009, "10th Amendment resolutions" have been introduced in Arizona (HCR 2024), Michigan (HCR 0004), Missouri (HR 212), while in Montana, HB 246 uses 10th, 9th, and 2nd Amendment reasoning for "an Act exempting from federal regulation under the commerce clause of the constitution of the United States a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured and retained in Montana..."

With New Hampshire and Washington, that brings the total number of these resolutions introduced in 2009 to 7.

UPDATE 2: Dave Nalle writes, in "State Sovereignty Movement Quietly Growing":

As things stand right now it looks like Oklahoma, Washington, Hawaii, Missouri, Arizona, New Hampshire, Georgia, California, Michigan and Montana will all definitely consider sovereignty bills this year. They may be joined by Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Alaska, Kansas, Alabama, Nevada, Maine and Pennsylvania where legislators have pledged to introduce similar bills. Twenty states standing up to the federal government and demanding a return to constitutional principles is a great start, but it remains to be seen whether legislatures and governors are brave enough or angry enough to follow through. As the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress push for more expansion of federal power and spending that may help provide the motivation needed for the sovereignty movement to take off.

If you're keeping count, that brings us up to 10 states.

New Hampshire, Washington, Michigan, Hawaii and California all voted for Obama in the 2008 presidential election and have one or both houses under Democratic control. Oklahoma, Arizona, Missouri and Georgia voted for McCain and have legislatures controlled by Republicans.

HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 4009

State of Washington 61st Legislature 2009 Regular Session
By Representatives Shea, Klippert, Condotta, Kretz, Anderson, McCune, and Kristiansen

TO THE HONORABLE BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF EACH STATE’S LEGISLATURE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of  the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States specifically provides that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being those powers specifically granted to it by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and

WHEREAS, Federalism is the constitutional division of powers between the national and state governments and is widely regarded as one of America’s most valuable contributions to political science; and

WHEREAS, James Madison, “the father of the Constitution,” said, “The powers delegated to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, [such] as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.”; and

WHEREAS, Thomas Jefferson emphasized that the states are not ”subordinate” to the national government, but rather the two are “coordinate departments of one simple and integral whole. The one is the domestic, the other the foreign branch of the same government.”; and

WHEREAS, Alexander Hamilton expressed his hope that “the people will always take care to preserve the constitutional equilibrium between the general and the state governments.” He believed that “this balance between the national and state governments forms a double security to the people. If one [government] encroaches on their rights, they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from overpassing their constitutional limits by [the] certain rivalship which will ever subsist between them.”; and

WHEREAS, The scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be limited in its powers relative to those of the various states; and

WHEREAS, Today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, Many federal mandates are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and

WHEREAS, A number of proposals from previous administrations and some now being considered by the present administration and from Congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States;

NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully resolve:
(1)That the State of Washington hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and

(2) That this serve as a Notice and Demand to the federal government to maintain the balance of powers where the Constitution of the United States established it and to cease and desist, effective immediately, any and all mandates that are beyond the scope of its constitutionally delegated powers.

BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of each state’s legislature of the United States of America, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.

-----------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 6

A RESOLUTION affirming States’ rights based on Jeffersonian principles.

SPONSORS: Rep. Itse, Rock 9; Rep. Ingbretson, Graf 5; Rep. Comerford, Rock 9; Sen. Denley, Dist 3

COMMITTEE: State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs

ANALYSIS

This house concurrent resolution affirms States’ rights based on Jeffersonian principles.

09-0274

09/01

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nine

A RESOLUTION affirming States’ rights based on Jeffersonian principles.

Whereas the Constitution of the State of New Hampshire, Part 1, Article 7 declares that the people of this State have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent State; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right, pertaining thereto, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in congress assembled; and

Whereas the Constitution of the State of New Hampshire, Part 2, Article 1 declares that the people inhabiting the territory formerly called the province of New Hampshire, do hereby solemnly and mutually agree with each other, to form themselves into a free, sovereign and independent body-politic, or State, by the name of The State of New Hampshire; and

Whereas the State of New Hampshire when ratifying the Constitution for the United States of America recommended as a change, “First That it be Explicitly declared that all Powers not expressly & particularly Delegated by the aforesaid are reserved to the several States to be, by them Exercised;” and

Whereas the other States that included recommendations, to wit Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Virginia, included an identical or similar recommended change; and

Whereas these recommended changes were incorporated as the ninth amendment, the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, and the tenth amendment, the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people, to the Constitution for the United States of America; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes, -- delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force; that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress; and

That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations, slavery, and no other crimes whatsoever; and it being true as a general principle, and one of the amendments to the Constitution having also declared, that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” therefore all acts of Congress which assume to create, define, or punish crimes, other than those so enumerated in the Constitution are altogether void, and of no force; and that the power to create, define, and punish such other crimes is reserved, and, of right, appertains solely and exclusively to the respective States, each within its own territory; and

That it is true as a general principle, and is also expressly declared by one of the amendments to the Constitution, that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people;” and that no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press being delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, all lawful powers respecting the same did of right remain, and were reserved to the States or the people: that thus was manifested their determination to retain to themselves the right of judging how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged without lessening their useful freedom, and how far those abuses which cannot be separated from their use should be tolerated, rather than the use be destroyed. And thus also they guarded against all abridgment by the United States of the freedom of religious opinions and exercises, and retained to themselves the right of protecting the same. And that in addition to this general principle and express declaration, another and more special provision has been made by one of the amendments to the Constitution, which expressly declares, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press:” thereby guarding in the same sentence, and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press: insomuch, that whatever violated either, throws down the sanctuary which covers the others, and that libels, falsehood, and defamation, equally with heresy and false religion, are withheld from the cognizance of federal tribunals. That, therefore, all acts of Congress of the United States which do abridge the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, are not law, but are altogether void, and of no force; and

That the construction applied by the General Government (as is evidenced by sundry of their proceedings) to those parts of the Constitution of the United States which delegate to Congress a power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imports, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” and “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers vested by the Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof,” goes to the destruction of all limits prescribed to their power by the Constitution: that words meant by the instrument to be subsidiary only to the execution of limited powers, ought not to be so construed as themselves to give unlimited powers, nor a part to be so taken as to destroy the whole residue of that instrument: that the proceedings of the General Government under color of these articles, will be a fit and necessary subject of revisal and correction; and

That a committee of conference and correspondence be appointed, which shall have as its charge to communicate the preceding resolutions to the Legislatures of the several States; to assure them that this State continues in the same esteem of their friendship and union which it has manifested from that moment at which a common danger first suggested a common union: that it considers union, for specified national purposes, and particularly to those specified in their federal compact, to be friendly to the peace, happiness and prosperity of all the States: that faithful to that compact, according to the plain intent and meaning in which it was understood and acceded to by the several parties, it is sincerely anxious for its preservation: that it does also believe, that to take from the States all the powers of self-government and transfer them to a general and consolidated government, without regard to the special delegations and reservations solemnly agreed to in that compact, is not for the peace, happiness or prosperity of these States; and that therefore this State is determined, as it doubts not its co-States are, to submit to undelegated, and consequently unlimited powers in no man, or body of men on earth: that in cases of an abuse of the delegated powers, the members of the General Government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy; but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non foederis), to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them: that nevertheless, this State, from motives of regard and respect for its co-States, has wished to communicate with them on the subject: that with them alone it is proper to communicate, they alone being parties to the compact, and solely authorized to judge in the last resort of the powers exercised under it, Congress being not a party, but merely the creature of the compact, and subject as to its assumptions of power to the final judgment of those by whom, and for whose use itself and its powers were all created and modified: that if the acts before specified should stand, these conclusions would flow from them: that it would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism -- free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power: that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go. In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. That this State does therefore call on its co-States for an expression of their sentiments on acts not authorized by the federal compact. And it doubts not that their sense will be so announced as to prove their attachment unaltered to limited government, whether general or particular. And that the rights and liberties of their co-States will be exposed to no dangers by remaining embarked in a common bottom with their own. That they will concur with this State in considering acts as so palpably against the Constitution as to amount to an undisguised declaration that that compact is not meant to be the measure of the powers of the General Government, but that it will proceed in the exercise over these States, of all powers whatsoever: that they will view this as seizing the rights of the States, and consolidating them in the hands of the General Government, with a power assumed to bind the States, not merely as the cases made federal, (casus foederis,) but in all cases whatsoever, by laws made, not with their consent, but by others against their consent: that this would be to surrender the form of government we have chosen, and live under one deriving its powers from its own will, and not from our authority; and that the co-States, recurring to their natural right in cases not made federal, will concur in declaring these acts void, and of no force, and will each take measures of its own for providing that neither these acts, nor any others of the General Government not plainly and intentionally authorized by the Constitution, shall be exercised within their respective territories; and

That the said committee be authorized to communicate by writing or personal conferences, at any times or places whatever, with any person or person who may be appointed by any one or more co-States to correspond or confer with them; and that they lay their proceedings before the next session of the General Court; and

That any Act by the Congress of the United States, Executive Order of the President of the United States of America or Judicial Order by the Judicatories of the United States of America which assumes a power not delegated to the government of United States of America by the Constitution for the United States of America and which serves to diminish the liberty of the any of the several States or their citizens shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States of America by the government of the United States of America. Acts which would cause such a nullification include, but are not limited to:

I. Establishing martial law or a state of emergency within one of the States comprising the United States of America without the consent of the legislature of that State.

II. Requiring involuntary servitude, or governmental service other than a draft during a declared war, or pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law.

III. Requiring involuntary servitude or governmental service of persons under the age of 18 other than pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law.

IV. Surrendering any power delegated or not delegated to any corporation or foreign government.

V. Any act regarding religion; further limitations on freedom of political speech; or further limitations on freedom of the press.

VI. Further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms including prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition; and

That should any such act of Congress become law or Executive Order or Judicial Order be put into force, all powers previously delegated to the United States of America by the Constitution for the United States shall revert to the several States individually. Any future government of the United States of America shall require ratification of three quarters of the States seeking to form a government of the United States of America and shall not be binding upon any State not seeking to form such a government; and

That copies of this resolution be transmitted by the house clerk to the President of the United States, each member of the United States Congress, and the presiding officers of each State’s legislature.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on February 5, 2009 in U.S. politics | Permalink

Comments

It's won't work. South Carolina tried nullification in the 1830s. It didn't work because Andrew Jackson threatened to lead the Army into the state to put down the rebellion. Thirty years later, Sherman finally did.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-02-05 6:56:55 PM


Too bad that we do not have a movement in Canada to remove the federal government from all provincial jurisdictions. Quebec is the only province which has fought to retain its jurisdictions. We have, once again, Trudeau, along with weak provincial premiers, to thank for our situation.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-02-05 7:04:14 PM


Unfortunately, Alain, something of this sort would never get off the ground in Canada (at least without a Constitutional amendment) because of the way power was structured in the British North America Act. In America, all powers not specifically vested in Washington resides with the individual states, the individual counties and municipalities of which may pass laws in addition to (but not in lieu of) the state laws.

In Canada, on the other hand, residual powers fall under Ottawa's jurisdiction, as does criminal law. There is therefore only one criminal law for all of Canada. Every so often this fairly unknown fact leads to memorable scenes on Parliament Hill, such as when it was first discovered that the Grand Banks of Newfoundland might hold significant oil reserves. Since offshore resources officially belong to Ottawa, they were eager to cash in. But Newfoundland was having none of it. The rest, as they say, is history.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-05 7:53:55 PM


Perhaps its time to write a new Canadian Constitution? Something to reflect smaller central government. We could use the old one to start a bon fire! ;)
Go Washington...Go N.H.

Posted by: JC | 2009-02-05 8:58:34 PM


JC,

Have you seen the type of politicians in Ottawa and the lawyers coming out of our law schools? A new Canadian Constitution at this point would not turn out well.

If we want more provincial sovereignty, we'll have to be able to make a credible threat of secession and probably also follow through.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-02-05 9:11:25 PM


If we want more provincial sovereignty, we'll have to be able to make a credible threat of secession and probably also follow through.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-02-05 9:11:25 PM


Agreed. Where do I sign up?
BTW who says that we should let "Lawyers" write a new constitution? Those bastards already had their turn and look what they've done...
I'd be more inclined to let 20 or so farmers write the next one.

Posted by: JC | 2009-02-05 10:04:02 PM


"Agreed. Where do I sign up?"

I wish I knew. My working plan is to foment widespread dissent and leave the politickin' up to others.

"I'd be more inclined to let 20 or so farmers write the next one."

Just so I can have some peace of mind, let's make them home-schooled farmers.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-02-05 10:29:44 PM


Kalim, you and I are on the same page.
I get someone pissed right off at the government everyday...
They always comer back with questions and I answer them honestly. Somehow, once they see the government for what it really is...they get angry! lol

Posted by: JC | 2009-02-05 10:39:30 PM


Shane is wrong.

The Constitution Act does not provide residual power with the feds. This is a recent juridical fiction.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council -- when it was still our highest court -- ruled that the residual power rests with the provinces and the feds only possess those powers explicitly enumerated in Section 91. The POGG clause was read as an extreme measures clause for dire circumstances. It was only after the Supreme Court -- appointed by the feds -- became the highest court that this magically changed.

Alain's worry about this never happening in Canada is misplaced. Canada's provinces have always had and continue to have far more de facto power than American states. American states can engage in whatever symbolic legislating they wish, but the fact remains that because of the Commerce Clause reading, the federal government can legislate in any area it wishes and the states have to take it. If similar measures were tried in Canada, there would be hell to pay. Imagine if Ottawa tried to wrestle resource control from the provinces (or remember when it last seriously tried -- NEP). Meanwhile, DC can pass and enforce whatever criminal laws it wishes regardless of what the states want.

You conservatives have to get over your prejudice that since there are more lefties here, things must always be interpreted as worse. America has a ton of problems we don't (thanks to having more righties) and Obama looks like he's on the path to making America more lefty anyway.

Posted by: Michael Cust | 2009-02-06 6:03:35 AM


This is a dream for Canada. Tickles my liberty bone though, gets me all frisky for freedom. Ah some day liberty will shine in this ass-backward frozen hole of ours.

Posted by: SamT | 2009-02-06 7:44:25 AM


It doesn't matter if this will work or not, it's the principle that is important; small or big. Watch Johnny Tremain. Remember, the 10th is a right, whereas the other 9 are limitations on government.

Watch The Constitution Class by Michael Badnarik, it's amazing!

Posted by: MichaelBadnarikFan | 2009-02-11 12:19:15 AM


"The Constitution Act does not provide residual power with the feds. This is a recent juridical fiction.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council -- when it was still our highest court -- ruled that the residual power rests with the provinces and the feds only possess those powers explicitly enumerated in Section 91. The POGG clause was read as an extreme measures clause for dire circumstances. It was only after the Supreme Court -- appointed by the feds -- became the highest court that this magically changed."

Mike,

I haven't made a study of Canadian Constitutional interpretation. Could you please refer me to some reading that further explains the historical interpretations of S. 91 of the BNA and the residual power?

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-02-13 2:26:37 PM


this will end when these idiots are arrested and tried for sedition.

Posted by: johney reb | 2009-02-13 3:39:36 PM


The succession of the South is not the same as the break up of the USA today. The south wanted to maintain property rights (Slaves were considered property) and reject the rights of labor which would force the northern Americans into the same grinding poverty as the Negroes. Today is the exact opposite whereas the politicians in Washington are beholden to free trade and globalism which forces free and independent nations into grinding poverty in a mad 'race to the bottom' To be free and independent a nation has to practice economic nationalism to prevent its workers from being reduced to the poverty of the third world. The collapse of the banking industry was the result of deregulation and free market policies. For an economny is not run by Capitalism instead it is run by labor, capital is only a tool. The export of American labor abroad has crashed the buying power of the American worker. The extended powers sort by the federal government are intended to fight off the coming riots by the people as a result of the collapsing economy. States have to consider separating themselves from the Dollar and issuing their own money. The national debt is about 53 trillion more or less an amount that will never be paid. No amout of tax and spend or tax breaks can reverse the bankruptcy of America.
It was once believed that governments by reason of paying their bills by taxes will always pay their bills, since taxes are subjected to forced collection. You cannot tax the unemployed.
Without heat houses will rot, banking greed has a price. Too many cars have been produced,
Free trade with no strings attached were the demands of the slave owning South. A corporate run democracy demands the same confederate economics. If washington does not change its economic policies from either tax breaks for the rich or tax and spend policies to abandoning freemarket globalism and returning to tarrifs America will go into depression.

Posted by: Paul Bartron | 2009-02-18 1:17:57 PM


Paul Barton's whole comment is based on the same economic fallacies that prolonged the Great Depression in the 1930's. I can't believe someone advocating protectionism to such an extent, especially after the collapse of all communist countries.

Posted by: Steven | 2009-02-26 11:12:02 AM



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