Friday, September 1, 2017
Court Decisions for Emergencies, Safety, and Evil
Liberals claim to be the Party of the minority or the middle class, but that is hardly true. They have used WWI, WWII, and the Great Depression to expand federal intrusions over our personal liberties. They accomplish this by claiming it was necessary because of emergencies such as war or a depression. However, these new powers are not temporary grants, they are permanent. In the name of emergencies we have seen the Court uphold Korematsu v. United States allowing our government to intern 125 thousand Japanese Americans. During WWI we saw the Court uphold the liberal Espionage Act by placing limitations on free speech. The Court held in Schenck v. United States that harmless pamphlets written by the defendant placed a “clear and present” danger and were not free speech. During the Great Depression we saw the Court uphold FDR policies to regulate anything considered economic including how much a wheat a farmer could grow for personal consumption. Most, today, hail all of the FDR economic regulations over work hours, wages, and child labor (this is not trade!). I remember the hassle of trying to get a job as a youth because I was underage. However, I was persistent and started working in restaurants at age 11. I was paid minimum wage under the table. I was not abused and it was my choice so I can save money to go to college. My family was poor and we needed money. This is how these laws prohibit “liberty”. Even as early as the Civil War the Court expanded its “commerce” and “necessary and proper” powers in the Legal Tender cases. These cases allowed the Federal government to not only “coin money”, but to create paper money. Liberals have made similar types of decision for safety purposes or in the name to eradicate evil. The progressive Court gave the federal government the power to not only regulate, but to prohibit commerce. Gambling and the lottery were considered vices and hence the Court granted the federal government the right to prohibit lottery tickets from going across state lines (this is not trade!). In Plessy v. Ferguson the Court said that “equal but separate” was not discrimination and it was therefore constitutional. The Court theorized having Whites and Blacks separate was needed for safety purposes. In Bradwell v. Illinois the Court held that a woman who was denied practicing the law (she had a law degree) was constitutional for her safety since woman could not hold up to the rigors of hard work. In Buck v. Bell the progressive Court held that sterilizing the intellectually challenged was needed to clean up our gene pool for the safety of Americans. In Skinner v. Oklahoma, the Court finally placed some limitations on sterilizing violent prisoners in the name of public safety to rid our society of evil. In the Slaughter House cases, which is taught today as being a sound decision, the Court wrote the privileges and immunities clause out of the Fourteenth Amendment. That clause was passed just 5 years earlier and was intended to apply the Bill of Rights and personal liberty to the states (to stop discrimination). That is something important to write out of our Constitution. Of course, there is Roe v. Wade that allows the abortion of a child for no reason other than that the women does not want the baby. That is evil beyond anything imaginable and defies human decency. Some may say that many of these cases are old laws and they would not happen today. That being said, many of these precedents have never been over turned: Korematsu, Buck, and Schenck are still valid laws. Consider the 2010 case United States v. Comstock where the Court ruled that a federal statute which allowed the government to hold violent criminals and sex offenders in prison longer than their sentences. I have always been in favor of longer sentences for violent and sex crimes, but this is not the way to do it. Holding over prisoners past their sentences is an obvious violation of their personal “liberties”. Liberties are violated anytime the government constrains or restricts personal freedoms and that is what is happening in Comstock. What is even scarier is that the Court expanded federal powers through the necessary and proper clause to uphold this statute. In his concurring opinion, Justice Kennedy cites one of the worst Supreme Court decisions of the 1950s: Williamson v. Lee Optical. The Court said “But the law need not be in every respect logically consistent with its aims to be constitutional. It is enough that there is an evil at hand for correction, and that might be thought that the particular legislative measure was rational to correct it.” Remember, the Court denied Lee Optical the right to do what Lens Crafters has done for decades. Kennedy would further argue “This is a discrete and narrow exercise of authority over a small class of persons already subject to the federal power.” In other words, the statute is permissible since it only violates the “liberties” of a few prisoners. This is the definition of discrimination, the statute does not treat all prisoners the same. Comstock is aimed at “protecting society from acts of sexual violence, not toward “carrying into Execution” any enumerated power”. Justice Thomas says the statute “comes perilously close to transforming the Necessary and Proper Clause into a basis for the federal police power that we have rejected.” In fact, not one of these laws or cases are necessary because they do not help carry out an enumerated power.