Archive for the ‘Judiciary’ Category
Perhaps, I’m a bit sensitive about the Senate Office Building lawsuit because Jim Knoblach is a friend of mine. Still, it’s puzzling to me as to why conservative activists and organizations haven’t jumped on the Stop the SOB bandwagon.
Jim’s lawsuit has something in it for all different stripes of conservatives. For the liberty movement, Jim’s lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of a Tax Bill that does more than address tax policy. In other words, the lawsuit accuses Sen. Tom Bakk of violating the Single-Subject Clause in Minnesota’s Constitution. (Building pork palaces for politicians doesn’t fit with setting tax rates and policies.)
For fiscal conservatives, Jim’s lawsuit highlights the DFL’s propensity for proposing pork projects. Simply put, the proposed Senate Office Building is pure pork. The notion that a new office building is needed is foolish. Taxpayers need to fund politicians’ palaces like Minnesota needs a $4/hr. increase in the minimum wage.
For political candidates, Jim’s lawsuit offers a great opportunity to highlight the fact that Democrats love pork projects, especially pork for pompous politicians. I’d be surprised if 80% of Minnesota’s taxpayers didn’t agree that politicians don’t need to spend $90,000,000 on a building that’s occupied 140 days during each biennium. Further, taxpayers don’t need a palace that includes “a reflecting pool, skylights and a fitness center.”
For GOP political strategists, it’s a fantastic opportunity to prove the DFL is the party of pompous politicians, not the party of the people. Think of the opportunity to paint Sen. Bakk and the DFL legislators who voted for the Tax Bill as pork-loving, tax-raising politicians who are out of touch with Main Street Minnesotans. Frankly, this is a gift that might keep giving, at least until judges rule that Sen. Bakk’s pork project is unconstitutional.
It’s a great opportunity for GOP legislators to push a defunding bill when the session re-opens in February, 2014. If Sen. Bakk bottles up the GOP repeal bill, they can use that against Democrats in their campaigns. If their legislation repeals funding for Sen. Bakk’s pork palace, it will be a stinging defeat for Sen. Bakk.
I understand why the GOP leadership in the Senate hasn’t expressed outrage thus far. Now that Gov. Dayton has criticized the bill he signed, he’s essentially given Senate GOP leadership ‘permission’ to criticize Sen. Bakk on this issue.
Finally, organizations like the Taxpayers League and Minnesota Majority should have a field day with this. It’s right in their wheel house. The great news is that there’s tons of potential political upside. The fantastic news is that there’s virtually no political downside to criticizing Sen. Bakk’s pork palace.
After all, how often do conservsatives get the opportunity to criticize a powerful Democrat for punishing taxpayers twice within a single bill? It’s important to remember that this year’s Tax Bill raised taxes on “the rich”, the middle class and working poor while spending money on palaces for politicians.
Technorati: Tom Bakk, Senate Office Building, Tax Increases, Mark Dayton, Pork Projects, Minimum Wage Increase, Tom Anzelc, Minnesota State Constitution, Single Subject Clause, DFL, Jim Knoblach, Stop the SOB, Taxpayers League, Minnesota Majority, MnGOP, Election 2014
A former Republican state representative sued Gov. Mark Dayton and the state of Minnesota on Thursday in an attempt to block the construction of a $90 million office building for the state Senate.
“To me, this is such a ridiculous case of a glaring waste of money,” said Jim Knoblach, a St. Cloud businessman who served in the state House from 1995 to 2006.
But Knoblach’s lawsuit does not address whether the new building is a worthwhile use of taxpayer dollars. Rather, it claims the Legislature’s Democratic majority violated the state Constitution by authorizing its construction in the tax bill, which isn’t a typical means of approving large building projects.
Lawsuits challenging a bill’s constitutionality aren’t supposed to address whether something is “a worthwhile use of taxpayer dollars.” Lawsuits are supposed to talk about whether the DFL’s decision to include a $90,000,000 bonding project in the Tax Bill violates Minnesota’s Constitution. Specifically, it’s supposed to address whether it violates Article IV, section 17 of the Minnesota Constitution, aka the Single Subject Provision.
In the past, courts have given the Legislature some latitude on things involving the Single Subject Provision. Recently, though, they’ve ruled that the legislature has taken some egregious liberties. Here are two examples cited by Representative Knoblach:
Recent laws struck down under this single subject provision include:
1) a prevailing wage provision authored by then Rep. Tom Bakk in the 1997 Omnibus Tax Bill (Associated Builders and Contractors v. Ventura; Minnesota Supreme Court, 2000);
2) the Minnesota Personal Protection Act when first included in a DNR technical correction bill (Unity Church v. State of Minnesota; Minnesota Court of Appeals, 2005). The bill was struck down even though the Personal Protection Act was mentioned in the title.
Apparently, Tom Bakk ignored his oath of office when he included a prevailing wage provision in the 1997 Tax Bill. We’ll come back to that in a minute. Rep. Bakk took an oath to protect and defend the US Constitution and the Minnesota State Constitution.
While there’s no doubt that Bakk is a neanderthal, there’s no doubt that he isn’t ignorant, either. He’s a big supporter of labor unions, which is likely why he included the prevailing wage provision in the 1997 Tax Bill. It’s likely that he knew the prevailing wage provision wouldn’t have passed on its own.
Fast forward to today:
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, who championed the project, said previous state building projects were financed similarly and that legislative counsel vetted the financing for this project. “I fear the only result of this suit will be the waste of taxpayer resources on legal expenses and the potential costs associated with delaying” the project, Bakk said.
Sen. Bakk wanted to spend this money in the worst way because he wanted a shiny new office for himself. If it isn’t his biggest fear, Sen. Bakk’s biggest fear should be that the courts rule in Rep. Knoblach’s favor.
If that happens, that’ll be the second time the courts have slapped Sen. Bakk for ignoring the same provision of the Minnesota Constitution. That isn’t the only thing Sen. Bakk should be worried about. Rep. Knoblach said that he could’ve filed the lawsuit on the basis that this is a bonding project. Bonding projects require getting 60% of the House to approve a project, then get 60% of the Senate’s vote.
Sen. Bakk isn’t the only Democrat who should be worried about Rep. Knoblach’s lawsuit. Gov. Dayton should be worried, too. He could’ve line-item vetoed the new Senate Office Building’s appropriation. He didn’t, which means he a) didn’t care about the Single-Subject Provision and b) thought spending $90,000,000 on a shiny new Senate Office Building was a worthwhile expenditure of taxpayers’ money.
Knoblach said he only wants the office building stripped from the tax bill, but acknowledged a judge could decide to throw out the entire thing. That would undo this year’s income tax increases on upper income earners, and a state subsidy of up to $525 million to aid in a multibillion dollar Mayo Clinic plan to grow the city of Rochester.
I don’t know the likelihood of the Minnesota Supreme Court throwing out the entire Tax Bill. If they did that, though, it’d create an incredible mess. It would mean the legislature would have to pass the business-to-business sales tax increases during an election year. It’d mean they’d have to pass all of the major tax increases again just prior to an election.
Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton have their fingerprints all over this waste of money. While I hope the courts strike this down, this is a huge millstone around the DFL’s necks, especially Gov. Dayton and Sen. Bakk. If Gov. Dayton tries telling people he didn’t veto out the expenditure because he wanted to sign the Tax Bill, I’ll clobber him by saying he had the authority to veto the bonding money because it’s an appropriation. He could’ve kept the law intact.
This article asks a ton of questions that the Obama administration doesn’t want to deal with. Thanks to this lawsuit, President Obama is put in the unenviable position of defending his signature accomplishment in an uphill fight:
The Affordable Care Act forbids the federal government from enforcing the law in any state that opted out of setting up its own health care exchange, according to a group of small businesses whose lawsuit got a key hearing Monday in federal court.
The Obama administration, according to their lawsuit, has ignored that language in the law, enforcing all of its provisions even in states where the federal government is operating the insurance marketplaces on the error-plagued Healthcare.gov website.
Thirty-six states chose not to set up their exchanges, a move that effectively froze Washington, D.C. out of the authority to pay subsidies and other pot-sweeteners to convince citizens in those states to buy medical insurance.
But the IRS overstepped its authority by paying subsidies in those states anyway, say the businesses and their lawyers.
The subsidies serve as a trigger that determines who has to comply with the now-famous individual and employer mandates. So, the lawsuit claims, the Obama administration illegally enforced the Affordable Care Act – suddenly making millions of taxpayers and small employers subject to paying fines if they don’t play ball.
The Affordable Care Act authorizes subsidies only for policies purchased ‘through an Exchange established by the State.’
The clearly written language of the bill says that the only people who are eligible for federal subsidies are people who purchase their health insurance through state-run health insurance exchanges.
This lawsuit won’t get the Affordable Care Act ruled unconstitutional. That isn’t what the Obama administration is worried about though. If the federal government isn’t able to force people in those 36 states to obey the individual or employer mandates, the financing of the bill will collapse.
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of these plaintiffs, there’s a bigger worry facing the administration:
Kazman is general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank that is coordinating the case.
‘The IRS cannot rewrite the law that Congress passed,’ said Tom Miller, resident fellow at another think, the tank American Enterprise Institute. Its regulation expressly flouts the statutory text of the Affordable Care Act, the intent of Congress and the reasoned choices of  states.’
‘The fiscal impact’ of denying the Obamacare system millions of dollars in lost fines, ‘while sizable, wouldn’t be large enough to bring down the house,’ Kazman added. The poltical one, however, is. You’d have 34 “refusenik” states exempting their employers and many of their citizens from the employer mandate and portions of the individual mandate,’ he explained.
‘You’d have companies in participating states considering whether to move their operations’ to states where they don’t have to obey the Affordable Care Act. ‘And you might even have some of those states seeking to undo their choice to participate.’
The law is clearly written. Still, I’m unsure because John Roberts screwed things up pretty badly when he had the chance to kill an unconstitutional law. Make no mistake about this fact: this lawsuit will be dedided by the Supreme Court.
Forgive my cynicism but that’s what happens when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court rules that it isn’t his place to undo a political catastrophe. HINT TO CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: The Affordable Care Act wasn’t just a political catastrophe. It was about whether the Constitution put a limit on the federal government’s authority and reach. Chief Justice Roberts punted on that.
Perhaps he’s ashamed of that ruling. I hope he is. He should be. This time around, the lawsuit is clear. It’s about whether the clearly written language of the Affordable Care Act means what it says. Chief Justice Roberts better not botch this one. That might be the only clearly written part of the Affordable Care Act.
Technorati: Employer Mandate, Individual Mandate, Premium Support, Health Insurance Exchanges, Federal Lawsuit, Treasury Department, Regulations, President Obama, Democrats, Chief Justice Roberts, Affordable Care Act, Constitution
A federal judge dismissed 2 lawsuits in-home child care small businesses filed after Gov. Dayton signed the bill into law. Here’s part of what the judge wrote of the dismissal:
Chief Judge Michael Davis wrote the “plaintiffs express a fear that, one day, there may be a certified union for family child care providers who accept State subsidies and that, one day, such a union may decide to impose a fair share fee on nonmembers of the union… Plaintiffs request that the Court peer into a crystal ball, predict the future, and then opine on the constitutionality of a speculative scenario…Courts may not give such advisory opinions. Plaintiffs’ claims are not ripe.”
Gov. Dayton issued this statement on Judge Davis’ dismissal:
I am very pleased that both lawsuits seeking to prevent child care providers from deciding for themselves whether or not to form a union have been dismissed by the Chief Judge of the United States District Court. I believe that working men and women should have the right to vote on forming a union, and that the Court’s decisions will permit such an election to be held.
Gov. Dayton’s victory might be temporary. The judge didn’t say the small business leaders’ lawsuit was without merit. He simply said it wasn’t ripe. That’s something echoed by the plaintiffs’ attorney Doug Seaton:
He’s dismissed the case but he’s dismissed it on the basis that nothing is ripe, nothing has happened yet in his view. We think enough has happened so the judge can decide and he shouldn’t dismiss the case but because of that part of the decision it’s possible that our evaluation will be- we’re better off to wait until there’s a filing by AFSCME or some part of the process in the election takes place and then it’s very clear- it is ripe. So that would be one avenue to re-file after a matter of time and developments or directly go to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to file an appeal of this decision.
Hollee Saville, one of the leaders of the anti-unionization fight, issued this statement on Judge Davis’ dismissal:
This is NOT over! We believe the Judge has erred and are considering our options to appeal or refile as the election process proceeds, but this challenge is not over. We remain convinced that home child care providers are not subject to unionization by the state under this statute.
Providers, PLEASE register to accept CCAP NOW so that you would get a vote.
We still need help adopting licensed family child care providers for mailings (any amount makes a difference) and will need help calling eligible voters soon, since we’re sure that AFSCME will present their 500 cards soon.
PLEASE visit www.MinnesotaFamilyChildcare.com to see how you can help.
At the heart of this fight is whether a legislature can write legislation that changes a private sector employer into a public sector employee without the employer’s consent. If the court rules that legislatures have that authority, then there’s nothing that legislatures couldn’t do.
As for Gov. Dayton’s statement, he’s intentionally omitting a pair of important points. First, legislatures shouldn’t have the right to call for a vote when existing federal legislation prohibits that vote. Also, legislatures shouldn’t have the right to write legislation that says private sector employers aren’t private sector employers. That’s what the DFL’s bill essentially does.
Finally, the DFL is playing with political fire with this issue. Anti-unionization activists are upset with the DFL for essentially throwing them under the bus to pay off the DFL’s political allies. The DFL stepped on a political landmine with this. Passing this legislation is motivating voters to vote against the DFL.
UPDATE: Here’s how Sen. Dave Thompson responded to last night’s child care ruling:
“On Sunday, July 28, 2013, The Honorable Michael Davis issued an order dismissing claims against Governor Mark Dayton pertaining to the childcare unionization legislation that was passed and signed into law during the 2013 legislative session. Of course, I am saddened by the decision, but am glad Judge Davis left the door open for the childcare providers to re-assert their claims at a later date.
“It is sad that these independent business people must work through the courts to try and stop the impact of this damaging law. This is what happens when elected officials put political interests ahead of the people. Governor Dayton and Democrats in the legislature have chosen to reward campaign contributors and union bosses while at the same time bullying childcare providers, most of whom are self-employed women.
“Rest assured if I am honored to be your next governor, I would make it a priority to repeal this ill advised and harmful law. This is an example of special interest politics at its worst, and Minnesotans should not stand for it.”
Here’s a quick quiz for voters: when was the last time the DFL didn’t side with their special interest allies?
Tags: Child Care Unionization, Mark Dayton, AFSCME, Mike Nelson, Corruption, Public Employees, PEUs, DFL, Hollee Saville, Doug Seaton, Small Businesses, Child Care Providers, CCAP, Federal Lawsuit, Michael Davis, Federal District Court, Dismissal
Yesterday, Al Sharpton said that he hopes continued pressure on the DOJ would force them to file a civil rights case against George Zimmerman:
Sharpton has said he hopes continued public pressure will force the Justice Department to bring a civil rights case against Zimmerman.
That isn’t surprising. Sharpton’s been a hustler and liar for decades. He’s most famous for the Tawana Brawley fiasco. Since the verdict, he’s a) advocated for ignoring Florida’s manslaughter, b) brushed aside the fact that proof doesn’t exist that George Zimmerman acted with racial malice and c) insisted that Eric Holder ignore federal hate crimes laws.
From the start, the media, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and the special prosecutors who tried the case have tried painting Trayvon Martin as a cherub-faced 12-year-old boy. They’ve omitted the parts about how he was prone to violence, that he was 4 inches taller than George Zimmerman and that the items he bought at the neighborhood store are ingredients to a drink that causes paranoia and fits of violence.
This video by Bill Whittle highlights the things Al Sharpton and the prosecutors didn’t and won’t tell people:
Setting those things aside, justice can’t be achieved through mob rule, which is what Sharpton specializes in. Sharpton also specializes in omitting key truths if they interfere with his storyline. That isn’t just speculation. Here’s what he omitted during the Tawana Brawley fiasco:
Much of the grand jury evidence pointed to a possible motive for Brawley’s falsifying the incident: trying to avoid violent punishment from her mother and her stepfather Ralph King. Witnesses testified that Glenda Brawley had previously beaten her daughter for running away and for spending nights with boys. King had a history of violence that included stabbing his first wife 14 times, later shooting and killing her. There was considerable evidence that King could and would violently attack Brawley: when Brawley had been arrested on a shoplifting charge the previous May, King attempted to beat her for the offense while at the police station. Witnesses have also described King as having talked about his stepdaughter in a sexualized manner. On the day of her alleged disappearance, Brawley had skipped school to visit boyfriend Todd Buxton, who was serving a six-month jail sentence. When Buxton’s mother (with whom she had visited Buxton in jail) urged her to get home before she got in trouble, Brawley told her, “I’m already in trouble.” She described how angry Ralph King was over a previous incident of her staying out late.
There was evidence that Brawley’s mother and King participated knowingly in the hoax. Neighbors told the grand jury that in February they overheard Glenda Brawley saying to Mr. King, “You shouldn’t have took the money because after it all comes out, they’re going to find out the truth.” Another neighbor heard Mrs. Brawley say, “They know we’re lying and they’re going to find out and come and get us.”
Ultimately, the man Sharpton accused of raping Ms. Brawley filed a defamation lawsuit against Sharpton. Here’s that lawsuit’s outcome:
In 1998, Pagones was awarded $345,000 (he sought $395 million) through a lawsuit for defamation of character that he had brought against Sharpton, Maddox and Mason. The jury found Sharpton liable for making seven defamatory statements about Pagones, Maddox for two and Mason for one.
Now Sharpton has a semi-national TV audience (He’s got a show on MSNBC) from which to spew his hatred and lies. Sharpton’s platform is different but his lies and omissions remain consistent.
In any other administration, I’d say I’d be surprised to see the DOJ file charges against Zimmerman. With the Obama/Holder DOJ, I’d be upset but not surprised if they filed charges against George Zimmerman. The facts and the law just don’t support the prosecution of George Zimmerman.
Then again, the facts and the law haven’t stopped Al Sharpton, President Obama or Eric Holder in the past.
This video says everything about the Left’s agenda:
This lawyer essentially admitted that Zimmerman didn’t commit a crime. She definitely admitted that this prosecution wouldn’t have happened based on the merits. Ms. Rand essentially espoused mob rule because millions of ill-informed people didn’t agree with the verdict.
Since when was justice delivered when ill-informed people tell the people who weighed the evidence and applied the specifics of the law that the law isn’t good enough? What Ms. Rand is saying is that convicting people without evidence is ok. She’s saying that it’s ok to ignore the law if it fits with her worldviewe.
That isn’t justice. That’s vigilantism, which is essentially evil with a different name. Here’s the definition of justice:
judgment of persons or causes by judicial process.
Justice necessarily means not playing by rules you make up as you go along. In this interview, Ms. Rand essentially advocated for convicting George Zimmerman because a tragedy happened. The prosecution didn’t provide the jury with evidence that Mr. Zimmerman broke a specific law. That isn’t to say Mr. Zimmerman acted wisely. He didn’t. He should’ve stayed in his car.
That said, he had the right to defend himself when Martin attacked him. Let’s remember that one of the jurors said they were convinced by the evidence, specifically because of eyewitness testimony by John Good, that Martin threw the first punch.
Finally, this video is proof that people shouldn’t argue with Greta. In less than a minute of talking time, she sliced Ms. Rand into tiny little liberal ribbons.
Amidst all the talk about Eric Holder’s semi-off-the-record meeting with news organizations, one thing is getting lost. I think that’s intentional. Holder’s only hope of hanging onto his job is to get the media to return to their lapdog posture. Eric Holder knows that the media doesn’t trust him, at least for the moment. He’s hoping that his charm offensive will give them the political cover they need to pretend he didn’t just violate their rights to do investigative journalism.
The American people, however, aren’t fooled. Neither is Fox News. It’s their responsibility to remind people that Holder didn’t hesitate in tossing the Constitution aside, especially the Bill of Rights. He didn’t respect the media’s First Amendment rights to report on the government’s actions.
That’s actually the lesser of the violations he made. When he signed a warrant application that accused James Rosen of being a criminal co-conspirator in order to rifle through Rosen’s private emails without his knowledge, he deprived Rosen and Fox News of their due process rights. That’s a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment.
Why should people trust Mr. Holder when he didn’t hesitate to ignore the highest laws governing the federal government? This isn’t an aberration, either. Mr. Holder lobbied President Clinton to pardon the biggest tax cheat, Marc Rich, in U.S. history. Mr. Holder dropped the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party after the Mukasey Justice Department had won the case.
The media shouldn’t be given the option to ignore Mr. Holder’s outrageous behavior. This isn’t about him ‘accepting responsibility’, whatever that means. It’s about him getting prosecuted for his wrongdoings. That includes prosecuting him for lying to Congress. It includes prosecuting him for lying to a judge, too.
Why should news organizations trust Mr. Holder when they don’t know how many times he signed off on looking through their reporters’ phone logs and reading their reporters’ emails? We know he signed off on more than just the Rosen warrant because he testified he didn’t know how many times he’d signed off on warrants that let authorities surreptitiously read Rosen’s emails and look at his phone records. When that application was approved, it also gave federal authorities permission to look at Mr. Rosen’s parents’ phone records.
We know from their statements the last week that they never intended to prosecute Rosen. If that’s true, why did the Justice Department need to prevent Rosen’s and Fox’s attorneys from arguing against the warrant in court?
Finally, it’s safe to conclude that Holder’s actions prove that his respect for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is selective at best.
Follow this link for more on this topic.
Last fall, a dispute arose about judicial elections. Specifically, the dispute arose over whether judicial district conventions had the authority to endorse candidates for appellate court judgeships. This post won’t deal with that matter, mostly because a hearing was held in February, 2013 at the State of Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings on the matter. Additionally, this post won’t defend anyone’s actions.
Rather, I’ll focus this post on settling disputes between Republican Party activists. This past Saturday, a resolution was approved at the CD-8 convention. Here’s the text of that resolution:
Minnesota 8th Congressional District Republican Party of Minnesota
Annual convention, Saturday, March 16, 2013
GOP insider Harry Niska filed a legal action against GOP Judicial Chair Bonn Clayton over differences of opinion in the interpretation of the MNGOP Constitution and;
This legal action was heard February 7 & 8, 2013 and;
Complainant Niska was represented in court by recent MNGOP employee David Asp before a three-judge panel convened by the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings and;
Whereas differences of opinion within the party are best resolved first within the party and;
There is reasonable evidence that MNGOP, Chair, Pat Shortridge, at minimum approved of this extraordinary legal action;
Now, therefore be it resolved that we strongly condemn the GOP activist complainant, appropriate MNGOP leadership and the Executive Committee for enabling the legal action against Judicial District Chair Bonn Clayton instead of resolving the matter within the State Central Committee.
According to the text document, the document was “prepared and paid for by Terry Stone on his own behalf and not done by any candidate or candidate committee.” When I contacted Mr. Stone, he stated something emphatically to me. Here’s what he said:
This resolution isn’t about who is right or who is wrong; it’s about the dignity of being a Republican activist and the correct way to resolve intramural disputes. This complaint was filed November 7, 2012. Any alleged harm was already resolved by the election. There was no timeliness and the issues should and could have been resolved by the Central Committee at its next meeting.— Terry Stone
Before anyone thinks this is a split within the RPM that can’t be repaired, they’d best think again. I know both Mr. Stone and Mr. Niska. They obviously have different points of view but their commitment to defeating DFL legislators and congresscritters is indisputable.
It’s apparent to me that Mr. Stone simply thinks this issue should’ve gotten resolved at a State Central Committee meeting, not at the Office of Administrative Hearings.
In my humble opinion, I think that’s the right way to resolve disputes between committed party activists. If, after that attempt is made, things still aren’t resolved, a hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings is still available as an option.
Democratic lawmakers are urging President Obama to force Republicans to take him to court over the controversial issue of raising the debt ceiling.
They believe the Supreme Court ultimately will have to resolve the battle over spending now raging between Republicans and the president.
But how the courts will rule is shrouded in uncertainty because little case law exists to serve as meaningful precedent, legal scholars say.
Democrats in Congress argue Obama should not feel constrained by the 1917 debt-limit law, which the federal government is projected to hit in late February, because it conflicts with other laws.
“The president, I think, has the authority under the Constitution and under the various statutes that are passed, if nothing is done, he must do something about paying the bills,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.). “That issue may well go to the courts in our system.
It’s disgusting that a US senator would say something this deceitful. Ed excoriates Sen. Udall’s argument in a New York minute:
Supporters of this newfound presidential power over statute have been pointing to the 14th Amendment, specifically its fourth clause: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” However, that passage doesn’t give the executive branch authority to do anything, and in fact requires that the debt “be authorized by law.”
Who does the authorizing? The more directly relevant Constitutional reference comes in Article I, Section 8, which specifically assigns Congress the authority to borrow: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; To borrow money on the credit of the United States[.]“ The debt limit itself is Congressional authorization for the executive branch (through the Treasury) to borrow what is needed.
If President Obama attempted to raise the debt limit through executive fiat, he’d be challenged in the courts before the announcement would be an hour old, most likely in the DC Circuit. One thing that might happen is that the court could grant a TRO prohibiting President Obama from enforcing this. The other option is that they’d rule against President Obama’s anti-constitutional action.
The clear language of the Constitution gives the power of the purse to Congress. That means the executive branch is prohibited from taking this extraconstitutional action. Further, any ConLaw professor will quickly note that laws that conflict with the US Constitution are unconstitutional, meaning that they’re a moot point.
It isn’t likely that President Obama will take this action because it would clearly expose him as running an imperial presidency. That isn’t the type of thing he’d want as part of his legacy.
People for the American Way, one of DC’s most liberal special interest groups, is trying to kick Michele Bachmann off the House Intelligence Committee with trumped up charges. Here’s what they’re saying:
In an Oct. 3 paid message in The Nation magazine, People for the American Way said “these fringe conspiracy theories and McCarthyite fear tactics have no place in Congress and especially have no place on the House Intelligence Committee.”
Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Lynn Westmoreland, Tom Feeney and Trent Franks asked the IGs of several cabinet departments to investigate whether the Muslim Brotherhood was gaining undue influence on US foreign policy. That’s what PFAW characterizes as “fringe conspiracy theories and McCarthyite fear tactics.”
PFAW is nothing more than another fringe lefty organization. They’ve got a patriotic-sounding name and a radical leftist agenda. PFAW’s board of directors reads like a who’s who of committed leftists. Alec Baldwin, Mary Frances Berry, Julian Bond and founder Norman Lear are the highest profile board members. This key paragraph from PFAW’s statement on John Roberts’ confirmation as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court speaks volumes:
We are disappointed with those Democrats and moderate Republicans who chose to support Judge Roberts, despite his long record of working to undermine rights and legal protections, his evasive answers to the Senate, and the Bush administration’s continued refusal to release key documents that would have illuminated his record and approach to the Constitution.
That’s BS. John Roberts was a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals for 2 years before his confirmation as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s impossible to accumulate a “long record of working to undermine rights.”
Now PFAW is criticizing Michele Bachmann, arguing that she’s using McCarthyite fear tactics.
“Rep. Bachmann’s reckless behavior is an abuse of her sensitive position on the committee, a threat to our national security, and an discredit her office and to our great nation ….I think the time has come for her to be removed from Congress once and for all.”
Graves’ statement sounds awfully similar to PFAW’s statement. That’s proof he isn’t the new Democrat he’s said he is.