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.

But when Congress passed the Trade Expansion Act it allowed the president to restrict imports in the name of national security. That was the excuse President Trump used when he imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel, even the military requirements for steel represent only 3 percent of the commodity’s domestic production.

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.

But Trump bombed Syria without even informing Congress.

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. Nor could President Biden unilaterally bar discrimination based on a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

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.

The Constitution did not envision a president having the authority to require private business employees to be vaccinated against or tested for a virus or unilaterally extend an eviction moratorium without congressional authorization.

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.

14 comments on “Happy Constitution Day

  1. Anonymous says:

    “The Constitution says I get to do whatever I want”

  2. Athos says:

    Anny, aren’t you a special little turd-blossum? If you have a spare hour, you should actually READ the US Constitution. (although the Biden team put a trigger warning on it, didn’t they?)


  3. Anonymous says:

    “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, its just a God*amn piece of paper”

    Last two conservative “presidents” and their “takes” on the Constitution.

  4. Rincon says:

    Along similar lines: “President Donald Trump’s claim that he has total authority over governors to “reopen” states drew pushback Monday, including from some fellow conservatives.

    During Monday’s press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, Trump said, “When somebody’s president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s got to to be. It’s total. It’s total. And the governors know that.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/04/13/trumps-claim-presidential-powers-gets-pushback-across-spectrum/2987065001/

    On another note about stretching the Constitution, we lost 3100 people on 9/11, while we lose that many every 3 days with COVID, and yet the same Republicans who voted for the Patriot Act are now screaming that wearing a mask is too much to ask, and that no one should feel any pressure to get vaccinated. The feeling seems to be that it’s not worth stopping or even slowing down this virus

    To their credit, several contributors here objected to parts of the Patriot Act for unnecessarily restricting our freedom and questioned its Constitutionality, but their Conservative brethren of the day didn’t feel the same way. The Senate vote was 98 to 1 (and 1 abstention) https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=1&vote=00313

    In the the House, 62 Democrats voted no, while only 3 Republicans objected. https://justfacts.votesmart.org/bill/votes/8289 I guess Muslims who killed 3100 people are scarier than a virus that so far has killed 650,000, and many more around the world.

  5. Athos says:

    Are you saying the Chinese unleashed this virus on the world?

  6. […] Happy Constitution Day Sep 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. […]

  7. Rincon says:

    I didn’t think there was any dispute. Of course they did. Was it intentional? Not enough evidence to know, but they clearly dropped the ball in the early days.

  8. Rincon says:

    BTW, I think within a month, the COVID epidemic will rank as the second greatest disaster in U.S. history when the death toll will surpass 675,000, the number killed by the Spanish Flu. Since political conservatives believe that the best course of action is to do nothing, and that they pretty much got their way, I think some sort of celebration is in order so that all of those conservatives can pat themselves on the back for their own brand of political correctness. Of course, we could just wait until COVID becomes number one in another month or two, or when the death toll passes one million – a nice, round number.

    Interesting historical note: Conservatives once screamed that the damn liberals were grossly exaggerating the probable death toll back when those same liberals were warning of a likely death toll of 250,000 or more. As usual, the conservatives had their collective heads up their…well, you get the point. But that won’t get them to question their own dogma. Just another example of Churchill’s adage, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”

  9. Athos says:

    Rinny, do you have a hard-on for conservatives? Hasn’t Joe Biden “shut down the virus” yet? There are so many inconsistencies with this Wuhan Flu, it really boggles the mind. I wonder if history ever sorts out the TRUE number of people actually killed by this virus vs the people that died WITH the virus. I’m sure a smart guy like you, would recognize the difference.

    I’m really writing this evening to point out the 9/21 Clark county commissioners meeting and what happened to Lt. Governor candidate Mack Miller.

    I don’t remember reading about that in Wednesday OR Thursday’s Review Journal, Tom.

    What up with that??

  10. Anonymous says:

    Can someone pass this on to Vin? I’m sure he’d be interested.

  11. SameOldSong says:

    Controlling the Narrative
    1. Obfuscate Covid19 Origins
    2. Manipulate PCR Test Results
    3. Promote C19 Fear and Panic
    4. Demonize Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin
    5. Pay Hospitals to Over-Report C19 Deaths
    6. Glorify Emperor Fauci
    7. Unconstitutionally Lockdown States
    8. Promote BLM uprisings
    9. Minimize Hunter Biden Laptop News
    10. Blame Trump for Bad Handling of C19
    11. Manipulate Election Results
    12. Promote Vaccines as “Safe and Effective”
    13. Never Report Vaccine Adverse Events
    14. Demonize Unvaccinated People
    15. Promote Natural Immunity as not Good Enough

  12. Athos says:

    16. tell people to stop taking aspirin for their heart because it may help stave off Covid.
    17. don’t release covid results from Birthday parties on Martha’s Vineyard.
    18. don’t question the firing of medical staff for not taking the Fauci ouchie.

  13. Athos says:

    19. Release damaging emails written 10 years ago to destroy a Coach’s reputation,
    20. Have 2 systems of justice proving the law IS NOT impartial.

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