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Old 03-02-2012, 10:02 AM
 
4,263 posts, read 3,175,717 times
Reputation: 11340
Quote:
The first amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

I will forever belive our founders intended the word, speech, to mean thoughts expressed through words comming from mouths. Not a statue of Jesus covered in feces.

Speech is a form of epression, expression is not a form of speech.

The Supreme Court is totally wrong on this.
Than you would be wrong. Long before there was abstract art, the internet, television, or radio there were newspapers that published political cartoons. Often these cartoons would engage in the most hyperbolic ridicule of men we now consider to be our Founding Fathers. Jefferson was so treated. John Adams was treated in this fashion. Remember cartoons are pictures, not words.

Its clear that this is exactly the sort of thing the Framers had in mind when they wrote the freedom of press guarantees in the First Amendment.

On another point, you are obviously quite enamored of the Declaration of Independence and it does contain some powerful and stirring phrases. However, language like "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal" is not a statute or even a guarantee of rights. Its simply a statement of opinion made by those who signed the document. The difference between that document and the Constitution is that the Constitution actually does prohibit some behavior by the state and governmental institutions as well as specifying how elections and appointments are to be made. A specific process is created for amending the document and admitting new states into the union.

Our Framers were great men. However, no serious student of history can ignore the world in which they lived. This world sanctioned slavery of African Americans, prohibited women from voting, and even allowed states to impose requirements that men had to own property to vote. Benjamin Franklin is one of the greatest men who ever lived. However, he too owned slaves at one point in his life. (Although, he ended his life trying to get slavery abolished in the new Constitution he was helping to write). Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe (four of our first five presidents) were all slave holders. The White House was built largely by slave labor during the John Adams Presidency.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution represented a new bold start for America. However, the disenfranchised (minorities, women, and the poor) don't really begin to get their rights until after the Civil War ended in 1865. That was a long, slow laborious process that I hope is finally drawing to a close. I often remember that my own mother was born in the year 1919 which was one year before a constitutional amendment gave women the right to vote. Rights were not universally granted by our Constitution or any preceding document. The acquisition of rights by different groups has always been a process.

All of us should remember the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he refers in his speech to a nation still struggling to hold to its creed that "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal".

The story of America has always been a work in progress. To paraphrase the poet Robert Frost:

"We have promises to keep, promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep."
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Florida Big Bend area
5 posts, read 1,425 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Than you would be wrong. Long before there was abstract art, the internet, television, or radio there were newspapers that published political cartoons. Often these cartoons would engage in the most hyperbolic ridicule of men we now consider to be our Founding Fathers. Jefferson was so treated. John Adams was treated in this fashion. Remember cartoons are pictures, not words.

Its clear that this is exactly the sort of thing the Framers had in mind when they wrote the freedom of press guarantees in the First Amendment.

On another point, you are obviously quite enamored of the Declaration of Independence and it does contain some powerful and stirring phrases. However, language like "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal" is not a statute or even a guarantee of rights. Its simply a statement of opinion made by those who signed the document. The difference between that document and the Constitution is that the Constitution actually does prohibit some behavior by the state and governmental institutions as well as specifying how elections and appointments are to be made. A specific process is created for amending the document and admitting new states into the union.

Our Framers were great men. However, no serious student of history can ignore the world in which they lived. This world sanctioned slavery of African Americans, prohibited women from voting, and even allowed states to impose requirements that men had to own property to vote. Benjamin Franklin is one of the greatest men who ever lived. However, he too owned slaves at one point in his life. (Although, he ended his life trying to get slavery abolished in the new Constitution he was helping to write). Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe (four of our first five presidents) were all slave holders. The White House was built largely by slave labor during the John Adams Presidency.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution represented a new bold start for America. However, the disenfranchised (minorities, women, and the poor) don't really begin to get their rights until after the Civil War ended in 1865. That was a long, slow laborious process that I hope is finally drawing to a close. I often remember that my own mother was born in the year 1919 which was one year before a constitutional amendment gave women the right to vote. Rights were not universally granted by our Constitution or any preceding document. The acquisition of rights by different groups has always been a process.

All of us should remember the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he refers in his speech to a nation still struggling to hold to its creed that "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal".

The story of America has always been a work in progress. To paraphrase the poet Robert Frost:

"We have promises to keep, promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep."
No, you are wrong, expression is not speech, speech is expression. The Supreme Court is wrong on this and so are you.
You are wrong about the Declaration Of Independence also.
The Declaration of Independence Part of American Law

Professor John Eidsmoe writes:
"The role of the Declaration of Independence in American law is often misconstrued. Some believe the Declaration is simply a statement of ideas that has no legal force whatsoever today. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Declaration has been repeatedly cited by the U.S. Supreme Court as part of the fundamental law of the United States of America.
"The United States Code Annotated includes the Declaration of Independence under the heading 'The Organic Laws of the United States of America' along with the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, and the Northwest Ordinance. Enabling acts frequently require states to adhere to the principles of the Declaration; in the Enabling Act of June 16, 1906, Congress authorized Oklahoma Territory to take steps to become a state. Section 3 provides that the Oklahoma Constitution 'shall not be repugnant to the Constitution of the United States and the principles of the Declaration of Independence.' (Christianity and the Constitution, pp. 360-361)
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:27 PM
 
4,263 posts, read 3,175,717 times
Reputation: 11340
Quote:
No, you are wrong, expression is not speech, speech is expression. The Supreme Court is wrong on this and so are you.
You are wrong about the Declaration Of Independence also.
The Declaration of Independence Part of American Law
OK, I quit. I'm wrong, the Supreme Court is wrong, and apparently virtually every law professor and student of the Constitution is wrong because they agree with what I have just said. You alone are right.

On that note, I will leave here so you can talk to yourself about the Constitution since you are the only one who has anything significant to say about it.
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:15 PM
 
31,308 posts, read 16,700,326 times
Reputation: 14239
Quote:
Originally Posted by natstew View Post
Professor John Eidsmoe writes:
Oh for god's sake!

Quote:
Congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has described Eidsmoe as "one of the professors who had a great influence on me", "a wonderful man", and "absolutely brilliant." She worked for him while a law student at Oral Roberts as a research assistant on Christianity and the Constitution.[5] In 2011, he said he felt Bachmann's views were in agreement with those taught at ORU and expressed in his book that she worked on.
John Eidsmoe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Need anyone say anything more?

The Amistad, 40 U.S. 518 (1841)

the question, whether that government, which was established for the promotion of justice, which was founded on the great principles of the revolution, as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, can, consistently with the genius of our institutions, become a party to proceedings for the enslavement of human beings cast upon our shores, and found, in the condition of freemen, within the territorial limits of a free and sovereign state?

Thurlow v. Com of Mass, 46 U.S. 504 (1847)

They concluded upon this point, that if any persons really held the doctrine in question, upon the supposition that it was necessary for the maintenance of certain peculiar institutions of some of the States, which, though guaranteed by the constitution, were at war with its whole spirit, as well as with the principles of the Declaration of Independence, which the constitution carried out as far as it could consistently with the existing condition of the country,

Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. 36 (1872)

This, it is true, was the violation of a political right; but personal rights were deemed equally sacred, and were claimed by the very first Congress of the Colonies, assembled in 1774, as the undoubted inheritance of the people of this country; and the Declaration of Independence, which [83 U.S. 36, 116] was the first political act of the American people in their independent sovereign capacity, lays the foundation of our National existence upon this broad proposition: "That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Here again we have the great threefold division of the rights of freemen, asserted as the rights of man. Rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are equivalent to the rights of life, liberty, and property. These are the fundamental rights which can only be taken away by due process of law, and which can only be interfered with, or the enjoyment of which can only be modified, by lawful regulations necessary or proper for the mutual good of all; and these rights, I contend, belong to the citizens of every free government.

Gulf, C. & S. F. R. CO. v. Ellis, 165 U.S. 150 (1897)

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, [165 U.S. 150, 160] that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. No duty rests more imperatively upon the courts than the enforcement of those constitutional provisions intended to secure that equality of rights which is the foundation of free government.

In Cotting v. Godard, 183 U.S. 79 (1901), the Court stated:

The first official action of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. "While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. No duty rests more imperatively upon the courts than the enforcement of those constitutional provisions intended to secure that equality of rights which is the foundation of free government."

I'll be back with more.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
458 posts, read 180,153 times
Reputation: 148
I'm going to throw my two cents into this topic for whatever its worth. First the Declaration of Independence is not law in the United States. Second for as much complaining about lawyers and judges if it wasn't for the Supreme Court this country wouldn't function at all. The major changes that have effected this nation for years more often come from the Supreme Court then a President. You may or may not agree with their rulings but the Judicial Branch keeps the nation from falling into anarchy. Don't believe me? Check out the history of countries in Latin America that have Presidents with extreme power and a weak judicial branch. They've had tons of problems because of this since the Judicial Branch is considerably weaker then ours and the Presidents of those countries end up with dictatorship like powers (if not outright dictatorships) which causes a lot of problems since their is no way to really oppose them.

Now to address the OP's statement
Quote:
What the Constitution means is always a controversial topic and it has been a long time since it has been as controversial as now.
Rulings on the constitutionally basis of anything is almost always controversial. I'm also not seeing what makes things more controversial now then they were several years ago. The only thing that springs to mind is Obamacare whether its constitutional or not for the federal government to force you to buy health insurance. Yes you have to have car insurance to own a car but that is due to state law and states have more far reaching powers then the federal government does over are everyday lives due to the 10th amendment.

By the way to answer some earlier responses the 10th amendment isn't irrelevant either. For years the federal government wanted to shut down legal prostitution in Nevada but due to the fact its intrastate commerce (since the activity occurs only in that state) not interstate commerce the federal government was and still is unable to do so. If every state legislature tomorrow decided "Hey you know what keeping prostitution illegal isn't working out let's just legalize it" and made prostitution legal in all 50 states it doesn't matter if the President and/or Congress is against it or not they have no authority in the matter. By the same token though if all the states tried to to end the drug war and passed such legislation it wouldn't matter. The reason being is that drugs fall under interstate commerce since they can and would be sold across state lines so only Congress has the authority to legalize drugs regardless of what people in California thinks. We still actually have federalism in the United States. We are not a unitary government at the federal level.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:14 AM
 
2,368 posts, read 1,582,620 times
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Contrary to popular belief, the Declaration of Independence was not a foundational document; it was a declaration of our independence from the colonial rule by the English Monarchy, and an act of war. It was also, idealistically, a pretty piece of propaganda! Likewise, it may come as a surprise (even a shock) for some to learn that Thomas Jefferson’s ideas about natural rights were not adopted by the framers of our Constitution. (Jefferson was not a framer of the Constitution. He was serving as Ambassador to France at the time of the Constitutional Convention; and except for his correspondence with some of the delegates, what resulted was largely the work of James Madison. Even his draft Constitution and Declaration of Rights for Virginia was rejected in favor of the model of George Mason.) Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed . . . ." The framework of our government, however, did not incorporate the ideals expressed by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. The intoxicating ideas of Rousseau and Locke that Jefferson so admired, and that inspired our revolution (and that of France as well), gave way to a more sober expression of our rights and freedoms in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The framers of our Constitution created a nation of laws and not men; which represents a compromise between the rights of individuals and the power of the state. All men are not created equal, they are equal under the law; and the rights to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" are not unalienable, they are subject to law. In this compromise - this social contract that is our Constitution - rests the security for our individual rights and liberty.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:51 PM
 
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In my opinion, slavery is not abolished in the United States, as there is unless duly convicted exception to the no slavery or involuntarily servitude shall exist in the United States. I find it appalling that the convicted are or could be (depending on interpretation)the execption to slavery. The fourteenth amendment mandates that appriotment of House Members be done by the 21-year old male population.Despite XIX and XXVI barring the deprievment of voting rights based on sex and age (not under eighteen), neither amendment addresses appriotment of House members; therefore, the fourteenth's reapporiment should stand. So,while the fourteenth explicitly repealed "three-fifths compride" I feel it's flaw that it mandates discrimination. I believe the Seante should be divide into two classes every thrid year to allow the Senate to be a bit more reflect of current vocies.Also, I believe there should be a "co-opertive" overide initiated by House by a 2/3 yay or nay, and 1/3 of Senate.

Last edited by Hannah Smith; 04-12-2013 at 07:43 PM..
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:43 PM
 
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I was thinking perhaps even making the terms four year, and having the two classes up for election every second year.

By the way, I believe 1/3 of 100 is 33/34, and 2/3 of 435 is 290.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:07 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas,Nevada
8,614 posts, read 1,685,563 times
Reputation: 1356
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
Your post is so amorphous as to have little real meaning. For example the recent debate concerned with the remarks made by Rand Paul regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964 involves increasing the rights of individuals which Paul believes limits the rights of another. Your comment is silent regarding which increase of individual rights you would be in favor of, the rights of those to be free from racial discrimination of the individual right of those who would discriminate.

The Constitution is a political document, that grew out of the political compromises need to reach a political consensus. In doing so the Framers found it necessary to balance the rights of one against the rights of another, a balance that the Congress and the Court have had to weigh since the Constitutions ratification. Simply stating that you are for the increase of individual rights with out a contextual backdrop is simply not sufficient for the purposes of this discussion.
hey if a business owner wants to screw himself over and not make money(seeing how private businesses is what he was taking about in the hatchet job clip MSNBC aired) let him, who are we to tell someone you must sale to someone.. and that person who is not be serviced always has the right to go else where.

too that party that was against civil right act of 1964 and 1962(never heard of it right?) and other civil rights acts have always been on the left..

don't believe me Google it
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:17 PM
 
31,308 posts, read 16,700,326 times
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Originally Posted by gunlover View Post
hey if a business owner wants to screw himself over and not make money(seeing how private businesses is what he was taking about in the hatchet job clip MSNBC aired) let him, who are we to tell someone you must sale to someone.. and that person who is not be serviced always has the right to go else where.
Let's apply the real world to why real world statutes are enacted. During the Jim Crow era and before the proliferation of fast food restaurants all within a stone's throw of each other, African Americans traveling on the nations highways were refused the use of restrooms, dinners and other public accommodations. As a result Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress under the powers granted in the Commerce Clause. Now one might argue that as I pointed out that fast food restaurants are now everywhere and simple market principles would be sufficient, problem is in some places along the nations highways that is still not the case, so rather than enacting a law that stipulated that a business if free to discriminate if there are comparable businesses that don't within, let's say, 1000 ft, we simply outlaw discrimination in any public accommodation that is engaged in interstate commerce.

By the way, if a business is not involved in interstate commerce or is of a certain size they are still free to discriminate to their hearts content.

Quote:
too that party that was against civil right act of 1964 and 1962(never heard of it right?) and other civil rights acts have always been on the left..

don't believe me Google it
Well I will.


Please note that the percentage of Northern Democrats out voted Northern Republicans 94 to 85% in the House and 98 to 84% in the Senate.

Even in raw numbers more Democrats voted for the Civil Rights act than Republicans.

When it came to Southern Republicans voting for the Civil Rights Act, there vote was 100% in both Houses.

Civil Rights Act of 1964 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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