Happy Constitution Day

Today marks the anniversary of one of the most propitious days in the history of this country. 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, such as immigration laws, which the Constitution says: “The Congress shall have Power To … establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization …”

The Constitution also says, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives …”

But when it came to ObamaCare, which is replete with a panoply of revenue generating taxes to offset its expenses, the Senate grabbed an unrelated bill that had passed the House, cut the existing language and substituted the ObamaCare verbiage. The bill number was the only thing that originated in the House.

Yes, 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 by buying health insurance or pay a fine or a tax for not doing so.

Arguably, Congress cannot abrogate that power by handing the president the power to impose tariffs and declare emergencies.

That Commerce Clause also has been stretched to prohibit a farmer from growing grain to feed his own cattle because that affected demand for grain on the interstate market. The same rationale allows Congress to set minimum wages for jobs that have nothing to do with interstate commerce.

It also gave Congress the power to “declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.” Some wars get declared, while others are just military exercises.

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 judiciary slapped Obama’s wrist on that one.

During ratification the Founders added the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment that 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.

We’re pretty sure the document did not envision a president’s administration creating by regulation laws the Congress refused to pass — think immigration enforcement and rules promulgated by the EPA, FEC, HHS, HUD or USDA without the consent of Congress.

Another clause gives Congress the power “to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States …” though the foregoing powers and powers vested by the Constitution part is largely ignored.

The Constitution also gave Congress the power “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever … to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings …” And just when did Congress purchase and the state Legislature consent to turning over 85 percent of Nevada’s land mass to the federal government?

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, while it lasts.

A version of this first appeared in 2014.

17 comments on “Happy Constitution Day

  1. Athos says:

    It is amazing how convoluted everything is in today’s Wuhan Flu pandemic. Casinos are open but churches are not! Labor Day celebrations on Fremont street are ok but a political Trump rally is met with government imposed fines and a puff piece letter from our Puff piece tool of a governor. Private businesses shuttered, others are “essential”. And you could be working 20 feet from any human being but YOU must wear your mask (cover that nose) at all times because a government spotter may turn you in and your company gets fined!

    As crazy as it is now, i’m sure they were people equally upset when Woodrow Wilson pass the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th amendments!! Some would argue the beginning of the end!

    I did hear that some republican pol wants to make an amendment that repeals the 17th. I think that would be a good start but I’d rather see the 16th go.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just mailing it in eh Thomas?

    All it takes for evil/Trump to prevail is for good men to be silent.

  3. Athos says:

    nyp! Where’s your new favorite quote? The one you use all the time, now? And you are so right about that evil Orange Debil! He KILLED 200,000 Americans (and a few illegals but we’ll never really know how many, will we?)

    And all those KKK and White Supremest that burned down all those cities over the summer; looting and pillaging and RAPING 11 year old girls who star in Netflix movies! And Trump killed Epstein! And the Tea Party tore down statues of Fredrick Douglas and Christopher Columbus! The Tea Party, I tell you! President Zero was ABSOLUTELY CORRECT having Lois Lerner turn the IRS on those destructive flag waving patriots (HOW CLICHE!).

    AND just what is so strange about Bob Mueller’s team of crack legal investigators having their phones locked out and erased? Is SOMEONE trying to accuse Saint Bob of Mueller’s team of some nefarious activity?

    For What possible reason?? The man’s A SAINT!

    We just all better pray (wait, we don’t pray, do we? Cause there ain’t no God in Democrat doctrine, is there?) we just better hope that the Harris/ Biden team gets into the White House, by Sanger!

  4. Rincon says:

    I think you went a little overboard, Athos, but at least you’re closer to reality than you’ve ever been 🙂

  5. Athos says:

    Where in the name of Karl Marx did I go overboard, Rinny? I will tell you something else…. I’m tired of seeing FENCES placed around cemeteries. It restricts Democrat “get out the vote” drives. Orange man suppressing minority votes AGAIN! Thank Belial and Lilith we have an extra 200,000+ ballets mailed out to people no longer living at that address! And the postal union backs the Harris/Biden ticket!
    That’s awesome!

    And let me leave you with this bit of AOC:

    RBG is NOT DEAD! That’s ANOTHER big fat lie from the Orange Mad Bad. Take to the streets and get me a big screen TV (I need a smart TV)

  6. Athos says:

    Trump killed 200.000 people. He’s a mass murderer.

  7. Athos says:

    Trump is a “climate arsonist” according to Joe Biden. It’s GOT to be true!

  8. Rincon says:

    Trump isn’t a mass murderer any more than any incompetent general. Picking my wife’s home country, if we had performed as Australia has, the COVID 19 death toll here would be10,735 today instead of nearly the 200,000 that it is. Does anyone here have an explanation other than incompetence for why our performance has been so dismal in comparison to them or any of the several countries with far lower deaths per million citizens than us?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Rincon attributing the deaths from the virus in the US to mere incompetence on the part of Trump would be laughable if it didn’t lead to more deaths. Some number, and not a low one, of those deaths were caused by the reckless disregard Trump has for the lives of anyone other than himself. When he decided to “play down” (or was it play up? You never know with this heinous reprobate because he will say anything won’t he?) the virus, and the potential consequences, all so that it wouldn’t adversely impact his chances of getting re-elected, the deaths that result from that because his and his alone because but for those actions, many of those people would still be alive.

    Trump, is pure evil.

  10. Rincon says:

    So no one here is willing to put forth any explanation for our dismal performance other than incompetence? I have to wonder though, how the same people that demanded Hillary Clinton’s head for 4 deaths in Benghazi can be so accepting of a hundred thousand or more unnecessary deaths due to an executive branch that not only did next to nothing, but actively got in the way of legitimate efforts to control the disease. Trump’s adamant refusal to wear a mask comes to mind. That act alone resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths whether you think so or not.

  11. Trump blocked flights from China. What more should he have done? Ordered the nation to shut down?

  12. Here is a rundown for what the Trump administration did in regard to the coronavirus. Writer says the death toll in U.S. is 200,000, but the projection was for 2 million, and half of those who died were over 85. Also, no one in the U.S. died for lack of a ventilator, meds, beds, or protective equipment. She suggests Trump administration should get credit for saving lives.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “imposing social distancing measures one week earlier than it did in March, about 36,000 fewer people would have died in the coronavirus outbreak, according to new estimates from Columbia University disease modelers.

    And if the country had begun locking down cities and limiting social contact on March 1, two weeks earlier than most people started staying home, the vast majority of the nation’s deaths — about 83 percent — would have been avoided, the researchers estimated.”

  14. Anonymous says:

    So let’s recap right?

    Trump hears in early January or February that this virus is deadly, and airborne, and is going to kill 5 times more than the worst flu. These are his own words.

    So what did he do?

    Called it a hoax, then claimed that maybe one guy had it, or maybe 15 people, but that he had it “tremendously under control” all without doing anything of course because doing something would have meant that all he was saying publicly was a lie; and we can’t have that can we? Or can we? It’s all so confusing because now we know he lied because he was both underplaying it and overplaying it because he didn’t want to scare Americans (now scaring them into believing caravans of mean rapey drug dealing women and children rely to storm our border just prior to an election may be one thing, but scaring them into believing what he knew about the virus is obviously another)

    So he did spend many months telling the country that nothing needed to be done and that anyone telling anyone that something should be done was probably just some liberal whose only goal was to dethrone Trump. He did have time however to blame blue states because it sure seemed like a blue state problem then and he ventured to guess that it might even be a blue state conspiracy to oust him by just plain lying about the number of dead people. “Some people say…” Naturally he “wasn’t responsible” for the dead, or anything bad for that matter as he said repeatedly.

    The only real action Trump did take was to subvert the previously highly regarded NIH, CDC, and DHS (all in keeping with the rights goal which is to destroy the government/country) he contradicted the experts. He forced changes in scientific guidelines that made the disease deadlier than it might have been, he lied about what the disease was doing and lulled his followers into actions that endangered million of people (RIP Herman Caine) he promoted snake oil, he pretended that drinking bleach and shoving UV lights up his rectum help him live a life of bliss and peace and encouraged many of his followers to do the same (they did)

    He lied about the dangers, he kept those with the science down by contradicting what they were saying, he mocked the use of tools that are proven to stop the spread, he encouraged his supporters to storm government offices, and drink bleach, and pretend that mysterious things would happen because the weather changes,

    Trump is pure evil. I pray each day that dies with an ice pick through the part of his head where God intended his brain to go.


  15. Rincon says:

    To find out what we failed to do, simply look up what countries such as Australia have done. To reiterate, Australia somehow manage to achieve a death rate of less than 7% of ours. Do you think they used magic?

    Maybe over half of the people who died were over 85. Great, then now we’re down to only 100,000, whereas Australia, if it was our size, would have been down to about 5,500 – unless you think 85 year old Australians are immune. And of course, you’re neglecting the misery of those who didn’t actually achieve death. Just what is your point here, Thomas?

    So what does and did Australia and other high achievers do? First, they didn’t just restrict Chinese nationals traveling from China, they quarantined Australian citizens who arrived from China for two weeks. We allowed 40,000 Americans arriving from China to simply disappear onto the streets – because they were American and not Chinese. I guess we thought only Chinese people would actually transmit their virus,
    They tracked individual cases right from the start. We STILL don’t have the capability to do that. As Anon said, they responded by requiring social distancing and face masks in the beginning, not precious weeks and even months into the epidemic. In case you aren’t sure, the number one, two, and three rules of managing infectious disease is to react aggressively EARLY. I’m sure none of the more successful countries had a President that argued against not only requiring face masks, but even wearing them! They didn’t allow N95 masks to be sold to the highest bidders. They rationed them. They also enforced their face mask and social distancing rules from the very start. We still have no effective mechanism for this, and if we did people of your ilk would riot in the streets. Our population simply does not believe in helping their fellow citizens. As my wife sadly states, America is dog eat dog compared to her native Australia.
    Again, I could go on, but no need.

  16. Rincon says:

    BTW, the chief reasons that Americans didn’t die from lack of ventilators were 1) Governors who took aggressive control measures belatedly after the federal government completely dropped the ball (and were severely criticized by Republicans for doing so), and 2) We found that ventilators were actually killing most of those who were put on them. Their use has been drastically curtailed.

    It is true that we slowed the epidemic enough to prevent severe shortages of hospital beds, but again, it was only accomplished by overcoming the objections of a kicking and screaming President. But being happy with merely slowing it down enough to prevent drastic shortages is an acceptance of a sad mediocrity. As I said, many other countries kicked our butt, as they do in many other ways. Conservatives have hamstrung this country’s ability to help its citizens thrive. Those of other countries, much less conservative, have fared much better.

  17. Rincon says:

    Seems that the Philippines screens arriving aircraft passengers for Coronavirus with a so called instant test. I don’t believe we’re doing that here. If so, then even the Philippines is beating us out for safety. Sad that we can’t even screen as well as a so called third world country. https://mb.com.ph/2020/09/25/40-passengers-onboard-same-flight-from-manila-test-positive-for-covid-19-in-davao-city/

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