Monday, February 20, 2017

Alexander Hamilton: Traitor to the Constitution (Part V)

There are lots of Hamilton writings in the federalist papers that have been violated because of his and John Marshall’s interpretation of the “necessary and proper” clause. Federalist 69 and 70 are perfect examples of how our Federal government expanded to include departments for agriculture, education, energy, health, housing, labor, and so forth. There is no power enumerated in the constitution for the federal government to handle these items, so they should be issues handled by the states. If there was such a strong need for these departments, then why did it take so long to add them? If they are so important and necessary than surely two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the States would be willing to add an amendment to the constitution to include them in the list of enumerated powers of the federal government? Besides, the functions of these departments are convoluted and confusing at best. For example, the agriculture department is in charge of things such as food stamps. There are fifteen different groups among the cluster of all these departments chartered with helping teen pregnancies. This type of disorganization and redundancy of operations leads to waste and fraud. The education department is a good example of how government interference works to make things worse. Education in the United States was one of the best in world when the federal government took over in 1953. Now, the United States is one of the worst educated nations in the world in terms of reading, writing, math, and science (this is why we need to expand H1 B Visas to import engineers, mathematicians, and scientists). So why do we persist to have education controlled nationally instead of it being a local issue?

Federalist 83 is a classic example of how our government worked originally, and how it is the antithesis of that today. In the essay Hamilton discuses why “trial by jury” is not included in the constitution. He explains how laws for trial by jury are vastly different in the many states. For instance, some states allow for trial by jury for all crimes while others only allow trial by jury for criminal cases and not civil cases and some states do not allow it at all. The only way to truly add trial by jury to the constitution would be to have the states compromise and add it by amendment to the bill of rights – which was done. At the constitutional convention Hamilton and others did not want to do away with hundreds of state laws and statutes dealing with trial by jury. Today, because of the increased power of the Supreme Court to legislate, the court rules on things that should require an amendment: abortion, gay marriage, Miranda rights, one person one vote, privacy, healthcare, and so forth and so on. The Supreme Court has wiped out thousands of state laws and statutes by expanding enumerated powers in the constitution to allow the federal government to make these intrusions. Abortion and gay marriage are civil rights issues. Consider the fact that landmark civil rights issues in the past had been handled by amendment: women’s suffrage, abolish slavery, etc. So why aren’t amendments used anymore? Because the Supreme Court has the power to legislate from the bench. This is far cry from what Hamilton said in federalist papers 78 and 81. The reason for this is because the Supreme Court is no longer a panel of neutral justices wanting to interpret the law, but instead the justices are politicians with political agendas.

In 1832, South Carolina wanted to succeed from the union. They felt tariffs on imports affected its citizens unequally especially compared to northern states. President Jackson (born in South Carolina) issued a proclamation saying that South Carolina had no legal right to succeed. The legal question was whether South Carolina was/is a sovereign state equal to the sovereignty possessed by the United States. This question would be brought up again by Lincoln during the Civil War. Lincoln like Jackson argued that the Southern States had no legal right to succeed. In both cases Jackson and Lincoln argued that states were not a sovereign equal to the union. States, for instance, could not do the things sovereign countries could: create treaties, regulate foreign commerce, coin money, and create an army or navy, and other powers enumerated to the federal government in the constitution. Southern states would use statements made in the Declaration of Independence, England’s Revolutionary War surrender statement, and the Articles of Confederation to make their case they had a right to be a sovereign nation. There was and is nothing in the constitution that says the state governments are equal to the federal government in terms of sovereignty. In 1869, in Texas v. White the Supreme Court ruled that state succession from the union was illegal. Hamilton was a smart man and it would not surprise me if he understood this when the constitution was drafted. But this does not sound like the intent of Hamilton or other framers as written in federalist papers 28 or 45 or the tenth amendment. Of course Hamilton did not draft those federalist papers and by the sound of federalist paper 84 he did not want that amendment added to the constitution. In any event, Hamilton and his Federalist views have won out in America history. He paved the way for the progressive movement that has a strangle hold on the modern political landscape of America. Hamilton may be the one founding father who would not be disappointed as to how our country has evolved.

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