Don't let the door hit you in the ass

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Sue U
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Sue U »

Andrew D wrote:Serious question on my party: Am I making this clear? Or am I just running on about it? Or both?
Perfectly clear to me. I was actually looking for your prior explication of the Tenth Amendment but could not find it; I thought it was pretty persuasive.
GAH!

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Gob
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Gob »

I very much enjoy reading your explanations Andrew. (Though I still find your system bonkers! ;) )
“If you trust in yourself, and believe in your dreams, and follow your star. . . you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.”

dgs49
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by dgs49 »

Andrew, with all due respect, your discussion of the Tenth Amendment is total nonsense, set in a fog of intentional obfuscation.

I wonder if you could answer a few question on simple Constitutional law. Should be a breeze for you.

(1) Please explain for the ignorant masses why it was necessary to pass a Constitutional Amendment for the Federal Government to prohibit the production, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages. Clearly, they were being sold in "interstate commerce," and yet somehow our governmental ancestors thought it necessary to amend the Constitution. Were they ignorant of simple "Constitutional" law? Could it have had anything to do with the Tenth Amendment that you claim is so impotent and meaningless?

(2) And why, in the absence of any relevant change to the Constitution, is it now possible for the Congress to prohibit the production, sale, and use of marijuana? What changed? Where does the Congress get this power?

(3) Why was the law creating the national interstate highway system called the, “National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956”?

(4) Why was the first major federal college loan law called the, “The National Defense Education Act”? College loans have nothing to do with national defense.

(5) Grover Cleveland (a Democrat) once vetoed a $10,000 federal grant for drought relief on grounds that there was no constitutional power to do it. Was he wrong - was he a President who was completely ignorant of the relevant provisions of the United States Constitution? And if you claim that he was wrong, where does the Congress get the power to do this sort of thing. Please be specific.

Grim Reaper
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Grim Reaper »

1. They wanted it as permanently etched into law as possible. And a constitutional amendment is pretty hard to create/overturn compared to a law.

2. Obviously they didn't feel the need to use an amendment for marijuana. Especially after how badly Prohibition turned out.

3. Try reading about why President Eisenhower wanted the act to pass. Something to do with his history in the military and a potential need for defending the country by being able to deploy troops more reliably. But that would require you doing more than the tiniest smidgen of research and actually learning something.

4. The NDEA was passed in response to the launch of Sputnik. Again, do some research beyond looking the name. Stop being ignorant of history just because it doesn't fit your narrative.

5. He mainly argued that existing government programs could cover that drought, and a new aid program wasn't needed. He also argued that it shouldn't be done because it would create a feeling that the government would cover any situation of distress.

Of course the world has changed since the days of President Cleveland, government aid is a lot more critical now than it used to be back when the country was less-well developed and less populated than it is now.

Big RR
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Big RR »

1. Also it applied basically to all sales of alcohol, not just interstate sales.

2. Because the federal government has a right to generally regulate drugs to promote the general welfare; marijuana is a drug within this context, while alcohol (and tobacco for that matter) is not.

3. Also, as i recall, the interstate highway system was part of the civil defense to make it easier to evacuate population centers in the event o attack.

4, As technology is important to defense, so is education.

5. Bully for Grover. So I guess you're saying all the congressmen and senators who voted for the bill were "completely ignorant of the relevant provisions of the United States Constitution" and only Mr. Cleveland understood it? please.

Andrew D
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Andrew D »

dgs49 wrote:Andrew, with all due respect, your discussion of the Tenth Amendment is total nonsense, set in a fog of intentional obfuscation.

I wonder if you could answer a few question on simple Constitutional law. Should be a breeze for you.

(1) Please explain for the ignorant masses why it was necessary to pass a Constitutional Amendment for the Federal Government to prohibit the production, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages. Clearly, they were being sold in "interstate commerce," and yet somehow our governmental ancestors thought it necessary to amend the Constitution. Were they ignorant of simple "Constitutional" law? Could it have had anything to do with the Tenth Amendment that you claim is so impotent and meaningless?
You're right. That one is a breeze. The Eighteenth Amendment prohibited, among other things, both the manufacture and the sale of alcoholic beverages within a single State. In those days, Congress's power "To regulate Commerce ... among the several States" was understood not to include commercial activity which took place entirely within a single State.

The Constitutional amendment was necessary to give the US government to prohibit the manufacture of alcoholic beverages within a single State. And it was necessary to give the US government to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages within a single State.

So your assertion that alcoholic beverages "were being sold in 'interstate commerce'" misses the reason for the constitutional amendment. Sure, alcoholic beverages were being sold in interstate commerce. But they were also being sold in intrastate commerce -- commerce within a single State. And they were also being manufactured without being sold at all (a moonshiner manufactured alcoholic beverages simply so that he could drink them).

Because "the manufacture, sale, or transportation of inoxicating liquors within ... the United States" included the manufacture, sale, and/or transportation of intoxicating liquors even when such manufacture, sale, and/or transportation included many activities which had nothing to do with "Commerce ... among the several States," a constitutional amendment was necessary to authorize the US government to prohibit those activities.

Isn't that right up your alley of consitutional interpretation?
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Andrew D
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Andrew D »

dgs49 wrote:(2) And why, in the absence of any relevant change to the Constitution, is it now possible for the Congress to prohibit the production, sale, and use of marijuana? What changed? Where does the Congress get this power?
Nowhere.

That dovetails with my answer to your first question.

A constitutional amendment was required to prohibit the manufacture and/or sale of alcohol within a single State.

So too should a constitutional amendment be required to prohibit the growing and/or sale of marijuana (or dandelions or whatever; I do not use marijuana) within a single State.

The Supreme Court was wrong.

I have railed against the hyperextension of Congress's Commerce-Clause power. I see no reason to reiterate the details of my position on an issue on which we obviously agree.

You're right.

And so am I.
Reason is valuable only when it performs against the wordless physical background of the universe.

Andrew D
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Andrew D »

dgs49 wrote:(3) Why was the law creating the national interstate highway system called the, “National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956”?
In order to figure out why people called the law what they called it, you would have to consult the people who gave it that name. No one consulted me at the time, so I decline to take responsibility for the naming.

But Congress has the power "To raise and support Armies," so creating a national highway system of roads that enables the US government to move troops from one place to another does not strike me as a problem. Enabling armies to move troops from one place to another is clearly a means of supporting those armies. And Congress has the power "To establish Post Offices and post Roads," so creating a national highway system of roads which help to connect one post office with another does not strike me as a problem.

The fact that most traffic on that national highway system of roads is for other purposes is irrelevant. Congress has the power to create roads for those purposes, and it has done so. Nothing in the Constitution prohibits Congress from allowing those roads -- roads created pursuant to Congress's explicitly granted powers -- also to be used by other people.
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Andrew D
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Andrew D »

dgs49 wrote:(4) Why was the first major federal college loan law called the, “The National Defense Education Act”? College loans have nothing to do with national defense.
Again, I decline to assume any responsibility for what Congress decides to call whatever laws it enacts.

The substance of the law interests me. The nominal trimmings do not.

It seems clear to me that Congress's power "support Armies" includes the power to ensure that people in those armies understand how armies work. And, probably more importantly, that people in those armies are intellectually equipped to figure out increasingly more effective means of killing our enemies and increasing the survival rate of our soldiers.

Are not college loans a reasonable means of effecuating those objectives?
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Andrew D
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Andrew D »

dgs49 wrote:(5) Grover Cleveland (a Democrat) once vetoed a $10,000 federal grant for drought relief on grounds that there was no constitutional power to do it. Was he wrong - was he a President who was completely ignorant of the relevant provisions of the United States Constitution? And if you claim that he was wrong, where does the Congress get the power to do this sort of thing. Please be specific.
"Please be specific."

Follow you own advice.

What, exactly, did the statute provide?

What, exactly, did Cleveland say when he vetoed the bill?

What were the cirumstances in which Congress passed the bill and Cleveland vetoed it?

I freely admit that I cannot answer questions which do not provide -- and which appear to be designed not to provide -- the information necessary for me to respond to them.
Reason is valuable only when it performs against the wordless physical background of the universe.

Andrew D
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Andrew D »

dgs49 wrote:Andrew, with all due respect, your discussion of the Tenth Amendment is total nonsense, set in a fog of intentional obfuscation.
So prove me wrong.

Go ahead. Do it.

Articulate an alternative interpretation of the Tenth Amendment.

Explain your alternative interpretation.

Back up what you say about it.

In the vernacular, "Put up or shut up".

But if history is any guide, you will neither put up nor shut up.

And people reading what you and I have to say will have to draw their own conclusions.
Reason is valuable only when it performs against the wordless physical background of the universe.

dgs49
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by dgs49 »

The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not complicated or ambiguous, and it requires minimal explanation. It reads:

“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.”

The Constitution specifies the parameters of authority that may be exercised by the three branches of the federal government: executive, legislative, and judicial. The Tenth Amendment reserves to the states all powers that are not expressly granted to the federal government by the Constitution, except for those powers that states are constitutionally forbidden from exercising. If the federal government (i.e., Congress) would want to, for example define the way that the states must control and record real property deeds and transfers, this would be completely unconstitutional, because the Constitution – and particularly Article 1 – gives Congress no power in the area of real estate deeds, records, transfers, and so on.

EVEN IF IT WERE A GREAT IDEA, it would still be unconstitutional.

There are many people with a casual understanding of the Constitution (for example, the person who posts here under the pseudonym “Grim Reaper”) who believe that the use of the expression “general welfare” in Article 1 gives the Congress carte blanche to legislate on any matter that it believes would promote the “general welfare” of the country. No serious analyst holds this view. If it were correct, then there would have been no point in articulating the 18 specific powers mentioned in Section 8.

No, the fact is that the powers of Congress are set forth with specificity, and the powers NOT specifically delegated to the U.S. Congress are reserved to the states (or to the people themselves). Oddly enough, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE TENTH AMENDMENT SAYS! You need no third-party interpreter to understand it.

As anyone with even a passing familiarity with U.S. Constitutional Law knows, the Supreme Court has, since the FDR Administration, been the instrument of destruction of the U.S. Constitution, expanding the power of the Federal Government beyond all recognition (to those who actually take the time to read the Constitution) by forcing unimaginable and unprecedented “Progressive” initiatives through the infinitely malleable conduits of the “interstate commerce” clause and the 14th Amendment.

As demonstrated perpetually on this BBS we now live in a Bizzarro world where fully one-half of the legal spectrum insists that the Constitution sanctions all of today’s Federal nonsense (Education Department, Social Security, Obamacare, NPR). Oddly, though, the actual authorization for these Federal boondoggles can’t be found in the Constitution itself, but rather in volumes of sophistry published by liberal judges and justices who, using logic that would make a Talmudic scholar blush, argue that up is really down and documents that are clear on their face do not actually mean what they say.

The answers to my questions are simple and concise, but don’t expect clear and concise answers from the so-called constitutional experts who post here.

(1) Why was it necessary to pass a Constitutional Amendment for the Federal Government to prohibit the production, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages? Because Congress did (does) not have the power under the Constitution to do so on its own.

(2) Why is it now possible for the Congress to prohibit the production, sale, and use of marijuana? Because the Supreme Court has rendered the Tenth Amendment a nullity, and Congress now simply ignores it. And without addressing the relative wisdom of legalizing marijuana, this is particularly troubling in that some States have specifically passed laws that are contrary to Congress’ dictates, and the States are the ones that are presumed to be operating outside their limits of authority. Exactly the opposite is true. The Congress is 100% out of its realm of authority.

(3) Why was the law creating the national interstate highway system called the, “National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956”? Because in 1956 Congress was still at least paying lip service to the Constitution. They acknowledged that Congress had no power to build roads, but they created the fiction that the real purpose of the roads was national defense, which is within Congress’ delegated powers.

(4) Why was the first major federal college loan law called the, “The National Defense Education Act”? Same answer. At that time, Congress paid lip service to the Constitution and created the fiction that sending young men to college would promote the national defense by preparing tomorrow’s draft pool with skills and knowledge that could make the draftees good soldiers. (This was before the era when one can go to college – with federal loan money – and study “Ethnic Studies”).

Ask yourself this: Would Congress even bother to fabricate these fictions today? Of course not. Nobody pays any attention to the Constitution anymore. They just pretend that it is a “living document” that can accommodate any Congressional whim.

(5) Some specifics on Grover Cleveland’s Veto: The bill was the Texas Seed Bill of 1887. A long and severe drought had stricken areas of Texas. With no grass to graze, eighty-five percent of cattle in the western part of the state died. Those cattle that remained were starving, often motherless calves. Many farmers were also close to starvation and had eaten their seed corn to survive. Congress authorized a special appropriation to send seeds to the drought-stricken farmers. The amount ($10,000) was small and the need was great, but Cleveland vetoed the bill.

His veto message expressed his commitment to the Constitution and the importance of private charity. He said that while he thought the intentions of the bill were good, he had to withhold his approval. He wrote,

“I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, THOUGH THE PEOPLE SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT, THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT SUPPORT THE PEOPLE.”

[What a novel concept!]

Grover Cleveland was not wrong in vetoing the bill. It was clearly unconstitutional, even though it was a good idea. This perplexing concept – that something might be a capital idea, but still be unconstitutional as dog shit – is one that most Americans cannot even imagine.

Contemporary “Constitutional Law” is one hundred eighty degrees out of synch with the Constitution.

Grim Reaper
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Grim Reaper »

dgs49 wrote:The answers to my questions are simple and concise, but don’t expect clear and concise answers from the so-called constitutional experts who post here.
You have had your clear and concise answers. Which you promptly ignored like the coward you are.

Just like you have repeatedly refused to ever elaborate on why infertile couples are allowed to marry if making babies is such a central part of marriage.

Just like any other difficult question that shows up. You just ignore it or focus on some meaningless portion and ignore the rest of the parts that are too much trouble for you to come up with a counter-argument.

You have nothing substantive to add to this discussion because you don't care about the truth.

Andrew D
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Andrew D »

Here is a simple and concise question for dgs49, but I doubt that we will receive a simple and concise answer:

Given that you continue to lie about what the Tenth Amendment says, why should anyone take any of your constitutional opinions at all seriously?

(One answer, of course, is that no one does.)

Like Monty Python's Black Knight, dgs49 is still trying to bite our legs off.

Yet again, he is dishonest about what the Tenth Amendment says. This time, it's a neat combination of plagiarism and duplicity. He desperately wants the Tenth Amendment to say "expressly" -- which it does not -- so having plagiarized a passage, he also twists it.

The Free Legal Dictionary, whence dgs49 stole his quotation, says:
The Constitution specifies the parameters of authority that may be exercised by the three branches of the federal government: executive, legislative, and judicial. The Tenth Amendment reserves to the states all powers that are not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, except for those powers that states are constitutionally forbidden from exercising.
But dgs49 posted:
The Constitution specifies the parameters of authority that may be exercised by the three branches of the federal government: executive, legislative, and judicial. The Tenth Amendment reserves to the states all powers that are not expressly granted to the federal government by the Constitution, except for those powers that states are constitutionally forbidden from exercising.
(Emphasis added.)

Notice how dgs49 sneaked in the word "expressly".

His own source does not include the word "expressly". The Tenth Amendment does not include the word "expressly". dgs49 is desperate for it to be there, but it is not. And every time that he claims that the Tenth Amendment limits the powers of the US government to those "expressly" granted in the Constitution, he is lying.

Make no mistake: He is lying.

As the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court succinctly explains:
Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, an erstwhile member of the Philadelphia Convention who had been elected to Congress as an anti-federalist, led a group in the House of Representatives who sought to add the word "expressly" to the amendment, so as to make it read "powers not expressly delegated." That had been the language of a clause in the defunct Articles of Confederation, and it had prevented the old Congress form carrying into effect the few powers with which it had been entrusted. Remembering that, the House voted down Gerry's proposal by a margin of 32 to 17.
(Emphases added.)

dgs49 wants to take a proposal which lost and somehow turn it into a proposal which won. And he knows that the proposal to add "expressly" to the Tenth Amendment lost, because (probably among other reasons), I have pointed that out to him over and over and over ....

The fact that the Tenth Amendment does not say "expressly" is not news, except, perhaps (and this is undeservedly charitable) to constitutionally illiterate crackpots like dgs49. It certainly is not news to the Supreme Court:
Among the enumerated powers, we do not find that of establishing
a bank or creating a corporation. But there is no phrase in
the instrument
which, like the articles of confederation, excludes
incidental or implied powers; and which requires that every thing
granted shall be expressly and minutely described. Even the 10th
amendment
, which was framed for the purpose of quieting the
excessive jealousies which had been excited, omits the word
“expressly,”
and declares only that the powers “not delegated to the
United States, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the
States or to the people;” thus leaving the question, whether the particular
power which may become the subject of contest has been
delegated to the one government, or prohibited to the other, to
depend on a fair construction of the whole instrument.
(McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) 17 U.S. 316, 406 (emphases added).)

Look at the date of that case: 1819.

That is only 18 years after the Constitution was ratified.

That was 193 ago.

dgs49's claim has been false for almost two centuries. But he still will not let go of it.
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liberty
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by liberty »

Andrew D wrote:
liberty wrote:What other purpose could the tenth amendment have if not to limit the power of the federal government?
Yes, the Tenth Amendment states a limit of the powers of the US government. For that matter, it also states a limit on the powers of the State governments.

But the first point is that the Tenth Amendment REstates those limits.

Those limits are already in the Constitution. Those limits would exist, even if the Tenth Amendment had never been enacted.

The second point is that the Tenth Amendment tells us nothing about what powers the US government has, and what powers the US government does not have. It tells us nothing about what powers the State governments have, and what powers the State governments do not have.

It tells us that the US government has only the powers which it has.

That is not constitutional rocket science.

It tells us that the State governments do not have the powers which they do not have.

That is not constitutional rocket science either.

And one does not need the Tenth Amendment to reach either of those dizzyingly obvious conclusions.

The hard part comes when:

--> The US government claims that it has the power to do X;

--> Someone claims that the US government does not have the power to do X; and

--> Someone else (typically the US Supreme Court) must decide whether the US government does or does not have the power to do X.

The Tenth Amendment is of no help in answering that question.

If the US government claims that it has the power to do X by virtue of the Commerce Clause, then the answer to whether the US government has the power to do X depends on the meaning of the Commerce Clause.

The Tenth Amendment gives us no guidance. The Tenth Amendment tells us that if X is within the US government's power pursuant to the Commerce Clause, then the US government has the power to do X. And the Tenth Amendment tells us that if X is not within the US government's power pursuant to the Commerce Clause (or some other clause, if someone makes a claim based on some other clause), then the US government does not have the power to do X.

But the Tenth Amendment tells us nothing about the fundamental question:

Does the US government have the power -- pursuant to the Commerce Clause or any other clause -- to do X? Or does the US government not have the power -- pursuant to the Commerce Clause or any other clause -- to do X?

The Tenth Amendment tells us nothing -- and I mean, quite literally, nothing -- which answers that question.

To answer that question, we must look at the Commerce Clause. And for simplicity's sake, let's assume that no one has made any claim based on any other clause.

If the US government has the power, pursuant to the Commerce Clause, to do X, then, pursuant to the Tenth Amendment, doing X is one of the powers delegated to the US.

And if the US government does not have the power, pursuant to the Commerce Clause, to do X, then, pursuant to the Tenth Amendment, doing X is not one of the powers delegated to the US.

As to whether the US government does or does not have the power, pursuant to the Commerce Clause, to do X, the Tenth Amendment is entirely irrelevant.

Serious question on my part: Am I making this clear? Or am I just running on about it? Or both?

-------------------------
Edited to correct "party" to "part".

What are the things that the federal government can’t do and only the states can?
I expected to be placed in an air force combat position such as security police, forward air control, pararescue or E.O.D. I would have liked dog handler. I had heard about the dog Nemo and was highly impressed. “SFB” is sad I didn’t end up in E.O.D.

dgs49
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by dgs49 »

James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 45 that the powers of the federal government would be “few and defined,” relating mostly to war and foreign policy, while those remaining with the States would be “numerous and indefinite.” But what did he know?

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that “the attributes of the federal government were carefully defined [in the Constitution], and all that was not included among them was declared to remain to the governments of the individual States. Thus the government of the states remained the rule, and that of the federal government the exception.”

Clearly, neither of these guys understood the Constitution (at least the one in Andrew's mind).

The powers of the States are virtually uncountable, but the powers of the Federal government are enumerated in the Constitution.

Grim Reaper
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Grim Reaper »

So, nothing in the actual 10th amendment then? And nothing which actually supports your claims that certain programs are unconstitutional.

Andrew D
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Andrew D »

dgs49 wrote:James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 45 that the powers of the federal government would be “few and defined,” relating mostly to war and foreign policy, while those remaining with the States would be “numerous and indefinite.” But what did he know?
Vastly more than you.

And Madison voted against adding the word "expressly" to the Tenth Amendment:
Madison was the sponsor of the proposed Bill of Rights in Congress. When Representative Thomas Tucker of South Carolina moved to insert the word "expressly" into what became the Tenth Amendment, Madison (in an eyewitness account reprinted in The Complete Bill of Rights, edited by Neil Cogan) "[o]bjected to this amendment, because it was impossible to confine a government to the exercise of express powers, there must necessarily be admitted powers by implication, unless the constitution descended to recount every minutiae. He [Madison] remembered the word 'expressly' had been moved in the convention of Virginia, by the opponents to the ratification, and after full and fair discussion was given up by them, and the system allowed to retain its present form." Tucker's amendment was voted down.
Care to explain why Madison voted against making the Tenth Amendment say what you so desperately want it to say, oh constitutional guru?
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Andrew D »

dgs49 wrote:Alexis de Tocqueville ....
had nothing to do with writing, debating, or ratifying the Constitution. He was not even born when those things happened.

In contrast, it was an actual Framer of the Constitution -- a leading voice in the Virginia Ratification convention -- who wrote:
Even the 10th amendment, which was framed for the purpose of quieting the excessive jealousies which had been excited, omits the word “expressly,” and declares only that the powers “not delegated to the United States, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people;” thus leaving the question, whether the particular power which may become the subject of contest has been delegated to the one government, or prohibited to the other, to depend on a fair construction of the whole instrument.
Oh, yeah, that Framer also happened to be the Chief Justice of the United States (John Marshall).
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Lord Jim
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Re: Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Post by Lord Jim »

Like many of the discussions on matters ecclesiastical between Meade and Big RR, this is an interesting and thought provoking discussion... :ok
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