Happy Constitution Day

On this day in 1787, the representatives at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the Constitution. It was ratified by the states and went into effect on March 4, 1789.

You remember the Constitution don’t you?

That’s the document that says the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed …” Not waive, delay or ignore parts of laws the president doesn’t like. Not tell the attorney general to not defend laws such as the Defense of Marriage Act in court. Not use his phone and pen.

Constitution

You know, the piece of paper that says, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives …”

It’s those four-handwritten pages that give Congress the power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States …” Not to force people to engage in commerce or pay a fine or a tax for not doing so.

They later added the Bill of Rights, which says such things as “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

It also gave Congress the power to “declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.”

The instrument also says the “President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.” Not decide for himself when the Senate is in session. At least the court slapped his wrist on that one.

The First Amendment of those Bill of Rights says Congress “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” That probably means Congress can’t order a religion to pay for contraceptions, abortifacients and sterilization against its beliefs.

I’m pretty sure the document did not envision a president’s administration creating by regulation laws the Congress refused to pass — think immigration enforcement, EPA, FEC, HHS, HUD, USDA.

As James Madison said, “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

Happy Constitution Day.

First posted on this day in 2014.

55 comments on “Happy Constitution Day

  1. Bill says:

    Nice to be reminded. Too many people have never read the constitution and they certainly didn’t learn it in school.

  2. In honor of this day…it would be a good time to move to convene an Article 5 Convention of States to not only reign in the tentacles of the federal government (especially the executive and judicial branches)…but to rightly return to the states the powers to govern that have been usurped by them.

  3. Barbara says:

    I wholeheartedly agree HFB. There will be a lives stream broadcast of a simulated convention of states:

  4. nyp says:

    Oddly enough, you did not include the most important constitutional provision of all: the one — written by a radical Congress following a war over the rights of individual states in relationship to the federal union — providing that no local, state or federal government could deny to its citizens the equal protection of the laws.

  5. Oh yeah…that’s the one the Democrats were against.

  6. Nyp says:

    Before they became Republicans

  7. Steve says:

    Nyp’s proving Republicans and Democrats are one and the same.

  8. Hardly…when it comes to slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow laws, segregation, prejudice, lynchings, bombings and shootings of innocent black Americans…the Democrats had and have that market cornered.

  9. nyp says:

    That must explain why African-Americans are such fervent Republicans.

  10. Patrick says:

    It is sometimes hard to tell if “conservatives” honestly believe that the “democrats” of the late 19th to mid-20th century from the south have any connection to the “Democratic Party” as constituted today, or if they just relish labeling them so as to distract people.

    I mean, I wonder what similarity they see between the slave owning, rural, states rights, anti-federal government group of the 1800’s and the party they call socialist, or communist, or whatever else, which exists today?

    If there are a few “conservatives” who are honest in their beliefs that the party they call “liberal” and “left wing” today, have the same political and economic philosophy as the southerners had in the 1800’s who called themselves “democrats” I sure haven’t talked to them.

  11. Steve says:

    “I sure haven’t talked to them.”

    A result of living in the echo chamber.

    Today’s Democrats are bending over backwards trying to make amends. And the con job is working, probably because the Democrats have such intimate knowledge of their chosen marks.

    Think about it, with all the (reluctant) support for the Republican candidate, if someone else had taken the primary, if “The Donald” hadn’t bamboozled the Republican party so well, the country would be moving to the right in a big way. ANY of the other options would have taken the Clinton “machine” totally apart. Imagine if it were Ben Carson! The Democrats would have been beside themselves trying to discuss actual issues.
    As things stand, Democrats have picked their opponent. Harry Reid is laughing at all you Trump voters!

  12. Barbara says:

    I agree with Mark Levin. Constitution Day should be a national holiday.

    https://www.levintv.com/videos/constitution-day-special

  13. Patrick says:

    Constitution Day IS a national holiday.

    And Mark Levin is a right wing clown.

  14. Patrick says:

    I agree with Bernie Sanders. Election Day should be a national holiday.

    I wonder why it’s not…ahem, republicans.

    http://www.sanders.senate.gov/democracyday

  15. I’ll take our “right wing clown” (Lawyer, author, editor, talk show host, etc. etc) over your socialist left wing clown (hasn’t had a job outside of government, been on the public dole for over 45 years) any old day…

  16. Steve says:

    I love you guys really think there is a difference!

  17. When it comes to the fundamental core values of the two main political parties…there IS and always has been, a distinct set of differences. When it comes to the way the establishment operatives of both parties operate in DC…the erosion of those distinctions and the compromises made to gain power and influence, indeed those differences have become blurred and seem inconsequential. The answer doesn’t lie in some obscure third party or Johnson/Weld, it comes from a restoration and adherence to those original conservative Republican principles. (And the weeding out and replacement of those who have forgotten those noble ideals…and who’ve abandoned the constituents they are supposed to be representing).

  18. Steve says:

    Sure is funny you support a well known liberal!

    Outside social issues, Trump is far left of Clinton! (Patrick is right on that)

  19. Nyp says:

    I do like the fact that Trump supports Medicaid expansion

  20. There’s nothing funny about it…but he’s the only one left standing that can defeat Hillary Clinton, and that’s not a given.

  21. Steve says:

    So, you are willing to go more left in hopes of defeating someone on “the other side” who is (arguably) more conservative than Trump?

  22. dave72 says:

    It’s amazing how the Republicans scream about the blessed Constitution (which was written by white supremacists) who they pick and choose how it is to be applied: The Senate only has to give advice and consent on judicial appointments when and if it wants to. (I hope President HIllary pulls Obama’s nominee for the High Court and replaces him with Paul Krugman or anyone else who’ll make GOP heads explode. By the way, I was wondering when Articles of Confederation Day occurs. That was quite a feather in the cap of the hate-the-federal-government crowd.

  23. “the blessed Constitution (which was written by white supremacists)”…??? Another product of the failed public education system?

  24. Steve says:

    When they go troll, Brien, it means they got nothin.

  25. Spot on…I need to keep reminding my self of that!

  26. Anonymous says:

    HFB:

    Maybe its a bit of a red-herring, but the Constitution was indeed written by men who thought the white race was superior to other races, particularly blacks.

    I mean, you don’t disagree with that do you?

  27. Steve says:

    Compared to the people running the country the founders (of the USA) were from, the writers of the Constitution were down right radical in making freedom available to as many as possible for their time.

    And, anon, troll light, is still troll.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Many, if not all, of the white men most identified as this country’s founding fathers believed that white were superior to other races. This is simple historical fact. Furthermore, most of the founding fathers believed that other races, because of their inferiority, ought to be excluded, not just from owning property, or from voting, but physically from the country.

    It the truth is today considered “trolling” the the definition of the word has changed.

    http://www.npiamerica.org/research/category/what-the-founders-really-thought-about-race

  29. Steve says:

    Trying to apply todays positions to yesterdays people is wrong, anon.

    Among the people of the time, the founders were the most progressive of all.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Steve the comment was directed to HFBs comment, which seemed to suggest that a previous comment about White Supremists drafting the Constitution was wrong.

    It was not, and the citations I provided demonstrate that the men who wrote the a constitution did believe that whites were not only superior to other races, but that they were entitled to rule over other races by virtue of their race.

    Whether you claim (erroneously) that this attitude was more progressive, than anyone else’s, doesn’t change that what HFB wrote, was incorrect, and claiming that the original poster mist have been “trolling” to acknowledge it, changes the definition of trolling and/or truth.

  31. Steve says:

    No, Patrick.
    You cited a modern day one sided, opinionated, self described “White Supremacist” in the hopes that would trap others into taking the bait.

    It changes nothing about the reality of my response.
    No matter how you spin it.

    And spin it, you most certainly are.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Thomas Jefferson said:

    ” to neighbor Edward Coles not to emancipate his own slaves, because free blacks were “pests in society” who were “as incapable as children of taking care of themselves.”; and that;

    Destroying families didn’t bother Jefferson, because he believed blacks lacked basic human emotions. “Their griefs are transient,” he wrote, and their love lacked “a tender delicate mixture of sentiment and sensation.”

    he had “never seen an elementary trait of painting or sculpture” or poetry among blacks” and argued that

    “blacks’ ability to “reason” was “much inferior” to whites’, while “in imagination they are dull, tasteless, and anomalous.” And that;

    While blacks were brave, but this was because of “a want of fore-thought, which prevents their seeing a danger till it be present.”; and that (perhaps most importantly for purposes of establishing the white a supremist nature of Jefferson;

    “that blacks were “inferior to the whites in the endowments of body and mind.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/opinion/the-real-thomas-jefferson.html?_r=0

  33. Steve says:

    Picking bits out as a total picture only leaves the puzzle totally incomplete, Patrick.

    But you know that. The bait is too tempting for you to not try it.

  34. Isn’t it interesting that Anon (or Patrick as the case may be) link to a white supremacist author (Jared Taylor) who is associated with NPI…a white nationalist organization for his “facts” about the founders.

  35. John Adams, Samuel Adams, George Clymer, William Ellery, Elbridge Gerry, Samuel Huntington, Thomas McKean, John Morton, Robert Treat Paine, George Ross, Roger Sherman, James Smith, Matthew Thornton, George Walton, William Williams, and James Wilson – all signers of the Constitution NEVER owned slaves.

  36. “Even though the issue of slavery is often raised as a discrediting charge against the Founding Fathers, the historical fact is that slavery was not the product of, nor was it an evil introduced by, the Founding Fathers; slavery had been introduced to America nearly two centuries before the Founders. As President of Congress Henry Laurens explained:

    I abhor slavery. I was born in a country where slavery had been established by British Kings and Parliaments as well as by the laws of the country ages before my existence. . . . In former days there was no combating the prejudices of men supported by interest; the day, I hope, is approaching when, from principles of gratitude as well as justice, every man will strive to be foremost in showing his readiness to comply with the Golden Rule [“do unto others as you would have them do unto you” Matthew 7:12].”

    So lifting bits of history…from their historical and societal context is unfair, biased and irrational.

  37. Anonymous says:

    HFB:

    The quotes from Jefferson are quotes from Jefferson, do you deny that they are evidence of his white supremist attitudes?

    If so, how do you explain his opinion that ““that blacks were “inferior to the whites in the endowments of body and mind.”?

    It can’t be made clearer in my opinion.

  38. Steve says:

    Patrick will refuse to “see” anything other than the bits he wishes everyone else to “see” in his effort ot forget history and invite fascism to flourish in the guise of “Democratic” controls.

  39. Since the Democrat party traces it’s heritage back to Thomas Jefferson…perhaps those troubling quotes are something you and your fellow leftist progressive Democrats should be wrestling with!

  40. Anonymous says:

    The point you seemed to be making (correct me if I’m mistaken please) was that the guys who wrote the Constitution were NOT white supremists, and that only someone educated n public schools would believe that.

    Since it is obviously true, I just hope you could acknowledge it.

  41. Steve says:

    Spin,
    troll, Spin!

  42. Bill says:

    I liked your comment Brien that “…lifting bits of history…from their historical and societal context is unfair, biased and irrational,”.

    It is beyond question that some of the framers of the Constitution were slave owners and by in modern terminology would be called “racist”. Others were not and that is beyond question.

    In fact, the framers were perhaps only united on one thing and that was in order to preserve their new found freedom from an oppressive monarchy they would have to unite upon what common grounds that they could agree upon and reach compromises that they perhaps were not totally happy with but that they could at least endure until such time as they might change or modify those positions.

    They came up with a remarkable instrument that has served us well for a very long time. From time to time we have made changes. Some good and some bad. But the fundamental point is that we were able to do so by virtue of the fact that we had a document to guide us that provided a mechanism for doing so.

    As for me, I am not unhappy with what they wrought those many years ago. They did a remarkable job. We have a lot of problems facing us now. I don’t blame any of those problems on our forefathers. Look at the world as it existed in the 1700s and the document becomes even more remarkable. Unless of course you don’t like it or the system of government that it founded.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Moral relativists amongst the “conservatives”? Who knew?

    Next thing you know, they will be excusing the actions of Hillary Clinton because, well, everyone does what she has done so….

  44. Steve says:

    Patrick and Rincon both like to lump groups into one or the other “basket” to take a recently effective word and apply it more accurately than it’s recent public use.

    Today’s liberal lives for segregation and denigration.

  45. Bill and Steve…I couldn’t agree more. Excellent points…

  46. Anonymous says:

    “Patrick and Rincon both like to lump groups into one or the other “basket” I haven’t even been in this conversation. Stick to specifics and dump the blanket condemnations, please.

  47. Rincon says:

    “Patrick and Rincon both like to lump groups into one or the other “basket”

    I haven’t even been in this conversation. Please skip the blanket condemnations and stick to specifics.

  48. Steve says:

    The observation is over the course of several discussion, Rincon. Most recently you lumped all “the rich” (5%ers) into one political basket.

  49. rincon says:

    ALL the rich? I don’t believe so. Recognizing that the political views of the rich are not identical to the average is hardly lumping. Denying that reality though, is irrational.

  50. Steve says:

    You just spun your own words!

    All people have political views…no matter what their money count is.
    People who have money find it easier to get those views heard, but there are other people who don’t have money who happen to have the very same views.

    But now you spin yourself saying the 5% (rich people) “Recognizing that the political views of the rich are not identical to the average is hardly lumping.” But you insist the political views of “the rich” are special only to them?

    C’mon!

  51. Rincon says:

    Congratulations! You have mastered doublespeak.

  52. Anonymous says:

    really…you now say it is me claiming something other than what I originally said

    sad

  53. Steve says:

    Forgot to enter my info.

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