Tag Archives: Supreme Court

I rarely agree with these “Care 2” Petitions, but I have to make an exception for this one—a sexual assault on a mentally incompetent woman IS rape…..

This was my reaction to the story reported below, and I published it on the “Care 2” Petition site—I cannot think of any more reprehensible decision than this by any court in a criminal case…. this IS the bottom of the barrel.

Any forceful attack on a woman for the purpose of sexual coercion is obviously rape, but on a disabled woman?  This is a psychopathic crime and to my mind it is unbelievable that Connecticut or any other state would allow this man to live, after assaulting a helpless woman, much less to walk free….  I will freely agree that the concept of “rape” is overused in the contexts of statutory and especially “date rape” and that women have abused the system by charging men with “rape” during divorces, custody battles, and by “changing their minds” afterwards—but in this instance, where the woman involved was not PHYSICALLY capable of giving consent, with the mental capacity of a 3 year old who could not speak, something very close to “statutory rape” should be applied.  Only the sickest and most disgusting male would imagine that this girl could have given consent.  Men who force truly helpless 3 year old girls and women with that mental capacity to have sex do not deserve to live.  Pure and simple—hang him! I’d rather see lynching legalized than to allow this guy to walk free on the streets.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/819/522/417/?z00m=20428416

Close the Loophole That Freed Disabled Woman’s Rapist From Conviction

  • Target: Connecticut Legislature and Governor Dan Malloy
  • Sponsored by: Care2.com
The Connecticut State Supreme Court overturned a sexual assault conviction on the basis that a mentally disabled woman with cerebral palsy and no verbal communication abilities did not “effectively communicate” her lack of consent when she was raped by Richard Fourtin, Jr.

Although the 26 year-old woman has the mental capabilities of a 3 year old and cannot speak, the Court insists that “biting, kicking, scratching, screeching, groaning, or gesturing” would have been necessary to convict Fourtin of rape. By this ruling, Connecticut’s court system is arguing that if a mentally disabled person does not put up a fight, then this must mean they have given their consent.

Since the woman cannot talk and her movements are restricted to the point where she normally only moves her right index finger, it is ludicrous for the court to expect her to kick and scream.

So I signed the Petition and urge others to do so (although I probably would disagree with the general broadening of rape laws—I think it is more important to support the specific facts of this case as constituting First Degree Rape):
Dear Governor Malloy,

As the law stands right now, the rapists can sexually assault the mentally disabled without legal ramifications. Laws protecting citizens from rape and assault must protect all citizens, regardless of mentally or physical disability.

A sexual assault conviction was recently overturned by Connecticut’s State Supreme Court because the court’s justices claimed that the victim did not sufficiently express her lack of consent.

The victim has the mental capabilities of a 3 year old, cannot speak, and can barely move–yet she was expected to kick and scream in order to be protected from rape under state law.

The law makes it so any mentally or physically disabled person that is not able to express a lack of consent is, by default, automatically consenting to any rapist or assaulter. Having the state of mind of a 3 year old, no verbal communication abilities, and severe cerebral palsy should be accounted for in Connecticut’s presently narrow rape laws.

A New Red Dawn Over America—Obamacare & the Police Power in Arizona are Upheld—the Constitution again ruled DOA at the Supreme Court (full text of the Supreme Court’s Worst Two Decisions of the Week attached)

Chief Justice John Roberts is rapidly becoming my least favorite U.S. Supreme Court Justice in history.  First, in 2007, the debut innovation of “the Roberts Court” was Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, then a followup kick in the face of freedom under the name of Ashcroft v. Iqbal and now this week (on Monday, June 25, 2012) Arizona v. United States (Arizona v US) and, today Thursday, June 28, 2012, yet another day that will live in infamy: NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS et al. v. KAREN SEBELIUS, SECRETARY OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES (NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS et al v SEBELIUS SECRETARY OF HEALTH).

It’s been a really bad week for the Constitution and for the American people, and a very good day for  Obama’s flourishing Dictatorship of the Proletariat.  Oh yes, and what a nice present for Hillary Clinton as she celebrates lasting longer as U.S. Secretary of State than any other of the 96 individuals to hold that office—and we were all sure she was just a joke back in the early 1990s when she was pushing a National Health Care System which looked an awful lot like what we’ve got now with Obamacare.

First with regard to Arizona v. US: The expansion of the American Police State seems never-ending, as the late great Strom Thurmond’s States-Rights Democratic Party Platform very accurately predicted in 1948.   The great triumph of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States over the past 64 years is quite simply this: all oppressive acts of government, so long as they are applied equally to White people as well as Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and all others without Racial, and only with Economic and Political, Prejudice, will be upheld.  But try asserting any constitutional right other than your right to be on an equal footing with all other slaves, and man YOU ARE DEAD MEAT!!!!  States Rights got a minor boost last year when an individual right to sue under the Tenth Amendment was recognized, but this year the 162 year trend towards the complete suppression of State Sovereignty marches forward unabated….

The main issue regarding Arizona’s immigration statutes was whether the individual states of the Union have any right to make more restrictive laws regarding residence and citizenship than the United States as a whole.  Under the expressly anti-States’ Rights 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court said NO.  But, if the Arizona police want to go around harassing people on the highways, they are free to do so, so long as they are willing to say they suspect that every blonde-haired & blue-eyed caucasian must have recently entered illegally from Sweden or Norway perhaps….  The Supreme Court, these days, never seems to miss an opportunity to enhance the power of the police to oppress the population at large.

With regard to the “Obamacare” case, I can only say I’m NOT even as surprised by this result as I was not by the result in the Arizona immigration opinion.  Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt gave up his plan to “pack” the Supreme Court, there is no infringement on the economic liberty and personal choices of the American people which the Supreme Court finds too trivial to be worthy of Federal Enforcement.  The only comment-worthy deviation from predictions was that Chief Justice John Roberts in this case came up with the novel notion that the U.S. government can tax anything and anyone it wants to for any reason, including non-compliance with a mandatory insurance purchase requirement, and that this punitive tax or purchase choice makes it all “OK.”

Of all the commentary and punditry that came out on Thursday after the decision, two of the most “spot on” that I saw were first) the article describing John Roberts’ “Liberal Apotheosis”:

After Thursday’s Obamacare ruling, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts became a minor deity to some liberals for voting to save Obamacare. But just days before Roberts’ apotheosis, liberals lamented that the “conservative” Supreme Court was taking America down a dangerous path.  (http://news.yahoo.com/obamacare-ruling-liberal-apotheosis-john-roberts-035207618.html)

The “Liberal Apotheosis” of John Roberts?  “Apotheosis” of course, means transformation into a god—and what did the pagan gods of Olympia or Pharaonic Egypt do?  Exactly what any god can do:  A “god” can work Miracles,  first Make and then Bend the all Rules, Change the Natural Order of Things….   I suppose my own religious notions, such as they are, posit an unchanging God defined by the phrase from the old BCP: “as it was in the beginning, it is now and ever shall be, world without end amen” which seems curiously absent from most Episcopal services these days.   I equate God with Nature, and while I believe rather fervently in Evolution, I believe Evolution operates according to certain utterly unchanging rules, such as the laws of thermodynamics, which even the discovery of man’s ability intentionally to split or fuse atoms could never quite change.

And yet the Godlike role of the Supreme Court in making and bending rules seems more than a bit undemocratic.   So that is the second part of the analysis we need to perform today: Was Roberts’ decision to side with Obamacare entirely a matter of political strategy?

 The American Concept of Constitutional Judicial Review predates Chief Justice John Marshall. The Supreme Court’s decision Chisholm v. Georgia 2 U.S. 412 (February 1, 1793)(Chisholm v Georgia, 2 U.S. 419, February 1 1793triggered the (I would now say very unfortunate) move to enact the 11th Amendment during the First Term of the Presidency of George Washington.  But Chief Justice Marshall’s notions of judicial review shaped the Court, much to his cousin Thomas Jefferson’s dismay and disgust.   I recall hearing the story of Marbury v. Madison and judicial review in my Freshman year at Tulane, from Professor Jean Danielson in Political Science H103, where I met my long-time college years best friend John K. Naland, now a long-time veteran of the U.S. State Department.  Professor Danielson explained the political genius of Marbury v. Madison was that it empowered the Court while respecting the political boundaries of the time.  Chief Justice Marshall knew that, as President Adams’ last major appointee, any decision made in favor of the appointment of Adams’ minor “midnight judges” including William Marbury would simply be ignored by the new Democratic-Republican administration of Jefferson (with James Madison as secretary of state and the defendant in the case) as an act of political partisanship on the part of a Federalist appointee favoring Federalist appointees.  On the other hand, to uphold Secretary of State Madison’s power to refuse to honor the appointments made by President Adams would seem like craven capitulation without legal or moral integrity.  So, in a result which no one ever anticipated, Chief Justice John Marshall carefully reasoned and soundly declared the statute authorizing the appointment of Magistrates in the District of Columbia to be an unconstitutional act in excess of Congress’ power under the Constitution—and the role of the U.S. Supreme Court as Constitutional arbiter of the United States was established forever—or, at least, for a long time.

That particular “long time” ended in 1936, which, as a another commentator/pundit on the Obamacare decision pointed out, was the last time in history that the United States Supreme Court overturned a major piece of Congressional legislation as Unconstitutional.    Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term as President was unlike anything the United States had ever since, including George Washington’s First Term.   In Washington’s First Term, the constant debate in Congress was whether the Federal Government had power under the Constitution to do much of anything at all.  The spirit was decidedly “conservative” in the sense of cautious, even as a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal was being launched as a more formally organized “corporate” type of enterprise (the Articles of Confederation were much more analogous to a “partnership” among the States—with each partner having a nearly full veto power).

During FDR’s First Term, there were also many in Congress who asked whether the Federal Government had the power to do a great many of the things the New Deal proposed to do, from the NRA to the TVA (National Recovery Administration to the Tennessee Valley Authority).  But from 1933-1937, such questions were not asked in a cautious or even skeptical voice regarding what Congress and the Federal government could legitimately do, but in the desperate and panicked voice of people who saw and feared “you are taking our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor” from us.  Those people sought recourse against the reckless usurpation of Federal Power in the Supreme Court, and in the years 1933-1937, the Supreme Court struck down 29 Congressionally passed statutes signed by the President as part of the New Deal.

Roosevelt’s first hundred days and all that followed provoked an unprecedented clash between the Supreme Court Justices and the “New Deal” alliance of the legislative and executive branches. At Roosevelt’s instigation, Congress in the 1930s enacted a series of laws ostensibly, supposed, aimed at ending the Great Depression and restoring the nation’s economic well-being, but in fact aimed at shoring up the American Elite, especially the Banking system, from the threat of a Communist and/or Fascist revolution analogous to those taking place in Europe at the same time.  Of eight major “program” statutes to come before the Court, only two were upheld. Laws that were struck down included the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, and the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935.  The Court came under heavy fire for its decisions, and Roosevelt proposed a controversial plan to increase the size of the Court, presumably to ensure a majority sympathetic to the New Deal.

Shortly after the plan was proposed, the Court defused the issue by upholding a series of revised New Deal laws.  Dominated by economic conservatives, to which group even late 19th/early 20th Century “Progressives” such as Oliver Wendell Holmes were (by comparison, anyhow) the Court threw out numerous laws Congress enacted to protect workers and consumers. The conflicts peaked in 1936. The Court threw out twenty-nine laws during that period, but the last of these was in 1936, when when the court invalidated a federal law that limited work hours and prescribed minimum wages for coal workers.

Everything changed in 1937 when, FDR Proposed the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 on March 9 of that year in one of his legendary “Fireside chats” whereby he jumped over the Congress and all Constitutional Separation of Powers and asked the American people directly to endorse and support his programs.  The public reaction was overwhelmingly negative, almost the first time the 33rd President had seen any of his initiatives draw such opposition.  But the Justices of the Supreme Court saw the writing on the wall—mene, mene, tekel upharsin—and when faced with the two major cases challenging Social Security (the ultimate authority and most direct antecedent for Obamacare), the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the most massive fraud ever perpetrated on the American people—the law creating a “Social Security Trust Fund” with the bribed cooperation of the States—into which Social Security Trust Fund not one dime of real money (certainly not one dime of the 14 Trillion dollars paid since 1937 in Social Security Taxes) has ever been paid.

Helvering v. Davis (05-27-1937 Helvering v Davis 301 US 619 57 SCt 904 Jusice Cardozo endorses the SS Trust Fund Fraud) and Steward Machine Company v. Davis (Charles C Steward Mach Co v Davis) thus effectively marked the end of the Supreme Court as an independent branch of government.  The new mantra was not “that government is best which governs least” but instead, “The concept of the general welfare is not a static one”…. “Needs that were narrow or parochial a century ago may be interwoven in our day with the well-being of the nation. What is critical or urgent changes with the times.”   (Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619, 641, 57 S.Ct. 904, 909, 81 L.Ed. 1307, 1315 [1937])

From that time forward Courts held that there appeared to be only four (all extra-constitutional) prerequisites to a finding that a spending clause measure and condition attached to it are valid: (1) The federal power is used for a legitimate national purpose, i.e., promotion of the general welfare (Charles C. Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, 301 U.S. 548 at pp. 585–590, 57 S.Ct. at pp. 890–92 [1937], 81 L.Ed. at pp. 1290–1293); (2) the condition is related to a legitimate national goal (Charles C. Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, supra, at pp. 590–591, 57 S.Ct. at pp. 892–93, 81 L.Ed. at pp. 1292–1293; See also Note, Federal Grants and the Tenth Amendment: ‘Things As They Are’ and Fiscal Federalism (1981) 50 Fordham L.Rev. 130, 140–141); (3) the condition is related to the purpose of the federal funds whose receipt is conditioned (FCC v. League of Women Voters (1984) 468 U.S. 364, 104 S.Ct. 3106, 3132, 82 L.Ed.2d 278, 309 (Rehnquist, J. dissenting); State of Okl. v. Schweiker, 655 F.2d at pp. 407, 411); and (4) the condition is unambiguous (Pennhurst State School v. Halderman,  451 U.S. at p. 17, 101 S.Ct. at pp. 1539–40 [January 23, 1984])(Pennhurst State School And Hosp v Halderman).
It was in the spirit of such a “living constitution” that Chief Justice John Roberts allied himself with the enemies of limited government on June 28, 2012.  And it is in that sense, much like the Supreme Court in 1937, ruling in Roosevelt’s favor in both of the Social Security Cases, Helvering and Charles Steward above, that Chief Justice John Roberts “saved the Supreme Court” (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-players-abc-news/did-chief-justice-roberts-save-supreme-court-103301790.html).  More likely, Chief Justice John Roberts just danced on Chief Justice John Marshall’s grave and said, “You think that failure to follow the Constitution is Judicial Treason?  Well, let’s see what you’re going to do about it now.”  According to that same article, Chief Justice Roberts had told the Senate at his confirmation hearings:
“Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them,” said Roberts at the time. “The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules, but it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire.”

Now, strangely enough, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote a very different kind of opinion in 1820:

The judiciary cannot, as the legislature may, avoid a measure because it approaches the confines of the constitution. We cannot pass it by because it is doubtful. With whatever doubts, with whatever difficulties, a case may be attended, we must decide it, if it be brought before us. We have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given, than to usurp that which is not given. The one or the other would be treason to the constitution. Questions may occur which we would gladly avoid; but we cannot avoid them. All we can do is, to exercise our best judgment, and conscientiously to perform our duty.  Cohens v State of Virginia, 19 U.S. 264, 5 L.Ed. 257, 6 Wheaton 264 (March 3, 1820)

There is a great deal of confusion among the commentators and pundits, I think, about what “Judicial activism” really means.  I would NOT call Chief Justice John Marshall a Judicial Activist—although, indeed, he advocated throughout his 35 years on the bench a considerably more positive role for the Court in preserving the Constitution than Chief Justice John Roberts has shown to date.  “Judicial Activism” does not mean “striking down unconstitutional laws”—“Judicial Activism” as a term should be reserved for reshaping or restructuring the laws in the absence of Congressional Authority to do so.  The “Warren Court” from 1953-1971 was the epitome of “judicial activism”—the Supreme Court during those two decades effectively rewrote the laws of the United States and told CONGRESS and the STATES what to do, rather than vice-versa.

In the case of Obamacare, Chief Justice John Roberts acts his role as an umpire very poorly.  He has seen the foul, called it (under the commerce clause) and “covered it up” under the guise of the taxing power, which (in reality) is even less constitutionally justified than the commerce clause rationale (which at least has the past 75 years of tradition—however illegitimate, behind it).

And so was the U.S. Constitution rewritten in 1937 to allow for first the “relatively” modest program of Social Security and now, 75 years later—on the occasion of the 75th Annual Hunger Games (cf. Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire [2009] and Mockingjay [2010], both New York: Scholastic Press)—Obamacare comes forward to cap the fraud by, in Chief Justice John Roberts’ view—a non-coercive, mere “Tax” on those who do not buy governmentally mandated insurance… and of course, jail for those who do not pay their taxes.

SO WHAT IS THE SHORT-TERM SOLUTION?  NULLIFY OBAMACARE!  I should say that, without any hesitation whatsoever, I absolutely endorse and support the Tenth Amendment Center’s position on Obamacare (this Los Angeles based think tank is just one of the brightest stars on the Political Horizon—of our New Red Dawn):

Now that the Supremes have crushed Constitutional limits once again, the next step is to focus all our energy on a state and local level to NULLIFY this – and every other – unconstitutional act.
We have model legislation for yor state.  Ready to go right now.  Press your state reps to introduce this bill today, or for the next legislative session.
http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/federal-health-care-nullification-act/
Please SHARE this information widely!
*******
We need your help to continue this work, and help people take the next step at the state level.  Please join us, and help nullification happen!  Whether it’s $500 or $5, every bit of help right now is crucial!
Please visit this link to help now:
http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/donate/
*******
Thomas Jefferson told us that when the government “assumes undelegated powers” a nullification is THE “rightful remedy”
James Madison said that states were “duty bound to interpose….to arrest the progress of evil”
Today’s ruling is an assumption of undelegated powers, and evil is advancing.  The time to act in support of nullification in your area is NOW!  Please share the model legislation for Obamacare with as many people as possible, and please chip in as generously as possible to help us push this campaign aggressively.
While the task is difficult, our cause is just.
Concordia res parvae crescunt,
(small thing grow great by concord)
Michael Bolding
Tenth Amendment Center
==================================================
Our mailing address is:
Tenth Amendment Center
123 S. Figueroa St
Suite 1614
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Our telephone:
213.935.0553

AND WHAT DO I DO AS I WATCH ALL THIS TRANSPIRE?

I sigh.  I cry.  And sometimes I just want to lie down and die.  This is not the land of my birth, even though on the map it generally looks like it should be the same country as it was in 1960.

The transformation over the past fifty two years is simply horrific.  52 years was a key cycle of time among the Aztec, Maya, Mixtec, Tarascans & Zapotec in ancient Mesoamerica, and I can only say that I feel a certain sympathy for how an Aztec born in 1518 might have felt looking at the wreckage of his once proud nation in 1570 after 52 years of Spanish conquest, rape and pillage.  Like an Aztec born in the last year before the arrival of the Spanish, I have grown up and come to age watching my own people (the American Middle Class, especially Protestants of European descent) reduced to second class status, my people’s most attractive and beautiful women taken as prizes by the conquerors, my nation’s heritage and values denigrated, suppressed and taught in the schools as nothing but “heresy” from the New World Order.

I do speak Spanish fairly well and have spent many of the happier moments in my life in Mexico and elsewhere in the Hispanic World, from Bogotá to Barcelona, and I keep in touch with many friends and acquaintances of a Constitutional mindset from those parts of the world.  When they ask me what I consider to be the greatest single constitutional development under the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama, I tell them without hesitation: N.A.D.A.  (aka Senate Bill 1867, you know, the statute that effectively repealed the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments that passed the Senate 93-7 last December).

Carrie Luft’s Extraordinary First Amended Complaint Allowed in the Middle District of Florida

Magistrate Judge Sherri Polster Chappell of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida sitting in Fort Myers has made me feel like Peter Pan: She’s made me want to crow:  “I’m just the cleverest fellow ’twas ever my pleasure to know!”   Magistrate Judge Chappell has also given Carrie Luft an extraordinary chance to litigate some unique questions of first impression in the USA, such as whether the USA needs a CIVIL Constitutional Writ equivalent to Habeas Corpus, for which I have suggested here (as I have been advocating, on-and-off now, for twenty years) the adoption of the Mexican Constitutional Writ of Amparo:

06-15-2012 First Amended Complaint Carrie Luft 06-15-2012

06-15-2012 Affidavit of Mario Kenny 06-15-2012

The Juicio de Amparo (which can be only VERY roughly translated into English as a “Writ of Prohibition”) enshrined in the Constitution of Mexico is a Constitutional Proceeding with the full force and effect of a CIVIL Writ of Habeas Corpus such as has never existed in the United States.  Historically, this writ originated and was designed by the early 19th century revolutionary Creole (Hispanic White, First generation Colonial) jurists of my “second home” state of Yucatán, so strangely aligned from the late 1830s onward through Ernesto de Zavala (born in Ticul, Yucatán) with my “first home” state of Texas.  Of course, it was neither Zavala who authored the Texas Declaration of Independence and gave his name to the State Archives building in Austin nor the famous Editor of the three great “incunabular” press journals of Southeastern Mexico, El Fenix de Yucatán, El Museo Yucateco, and the Registro de Yucatán, namely Justo Sierra O’Reilly who solicited Congress to admit Yucatán as a State in the 1840s.  Rather it was a figure even less well-known to even to the well-educated American, by the Manuel Crescencio García Rejón, born in Bolonchenticul, Yucatán, a small town now renamed in his honour Bolonchén de Rejón, in the (now separate Mexican) State of Campeche and across the Puuc (Hill Country of Yucatán) from Ticul itself where Zavala was born.

Bolonchen means “Nine Wells” in Yucatec Maya. The number nine is quite mystically intriguing here, being, however coincidentally, not only the number of levels of Hell in both the Maya Underworld of Xibalbá and Dante’s Inferno, but also the number of justices who sit on the United States Supreme Court…. It was the Nine Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, especially Chief Justices John Marshall and Roger Taney, whose theory of Constitutional review by judicial procedure so thoroughly impressed and influenced this heroic Hispanic jurist whose name should become famous in the United States of America:

Manuel Crescencio García Rejón

1799-1849

A Great Mexican Constitutionalist and Yucatec Creole Nationalist

I feel strangely certain that if telephones or the internet had existed in the 1830s and 40s, the provincial creole patriots of Yucatán, introduced through Ernesto de Zavala and Justo Sierra O’Reilly, would have thoroughly made friends with John Caldwell Calhoun, Chief Justice Taney, and the other great Southern Constitutionalists of that time, and that Mérida would have become the Southern terminus of a cross-Gulf commerce linked to Galveston, Mobile, and New Orleans in a “Greater South” including all of Mexico after 1848.  In light of subsequent history, in light of the likely union of our countries within the next hundred years, it cannot be said that it would have been so bad for all this to happen a century and a half ago.  For one thing the Creole and Native American Mexicans would never have had to suffer the indignities and inferior status to which they have been relegated by the strangely “colonialist” policies which resulted from the United States’ FAILURE or REFUSAL to integrate Mexico in 1848…. the Hacendados of Mexico would have aligned themselves naturally with the Plantation Owners of the South and the large Indian populations would have had MORE protection under American Constitutional Law than they had under MOST of Mexican history–but all this is a terrible digression from Carrie Luft’s Crusade against the Corruption in Florida Courts (although it is a corruption echoing Miami’s status as “the Capital of Latin America” and Florida’s status, with Louisiana, as the Northernmost Banana Republic…..

I reiterate, we NEED your responses to Carrie’s survey, and so far we have gotten VERY FEW:  06-06-2012 DECLARATION CONCERNING JUDICIAL HABITS

Please circulate this all around and return to one of us, either to Carrie directly or to me c/o Peyton Yates Freiman at our “Home Office” of 603 Elmwood Place, #6, Austin, Texas 78705 or to me at Mid-Cities Escrow in Downey:

MID-CITIES ESCROW, Charles Edward Lincoln, III CEO & Director,

10890 Paramount Blvd., Downey, CA 90241, (562) 861-2251 facsimile.

or by e-mail here to this blog!

Chinese Teenager Sells Kidney For iPhone (an essay on rights to Life, Liberty, Property, and the Pursuit of Happiness)

I personally know at least one American who did this—sold his kidney, that is, albeit, as an adult; I consider that particular individual mostly normal, only slightly deranged, and in some ways quite exceptional, as I have written elsewhere.  The questions raised by the sale of kidneys regarding ownership and use of one’s own body, and the relationship to such things as abortion, child-labor laws, euthanasia, prostitution, stem-cell research, slavery, and the 13th Amendment, are very interesting: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: 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.”  If I-Phones, I-Pods, and I-Pads bring or confer either “true” Happiness or that nearly indistinguishable phenomenon known as “the illusion of Happiness,” are individuals, including minors, permitted to exchange body parts for “wealth?”  In what can only be called a case at the heart of the “substantive due process” debate in American Civil Rights/World Human Rights law, I ask this question and try to address it as follows:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/chinese-teenager-sells-kidney-iphone-212819458.html

A Chinese teenager has sold his kidney to buy an iPad and iPhone.

:: Commentary on this video is in Mandarin

Xiao Zheng, from the country’s south-eastern Anhui province, is believed to have met a broker on the internet who said he could help him sell his kidney for £1,825 (Yuan 20,000).

He is said to have left a message for the middleman saying: “I want to buy an iPad 2.”

Zheng then travelled to Chenzhou in central Hunan province, where he had his right kidney removed in a hospital.

His mother told reporters she was devastated by the news.

She said: “When my son came home he had a laptop computer and an Apple phone.

“Where did all that money come from? Only when he could bear it no longer did he tell us.

“He said, Mum, I sold my kidney.

“When I heard it I felt like the sky was crashing down on our family.”

The boy’s mother alerted police after she found out but they were unable to locate the broker as his phone was switched off.

The hospital was not authorised to perform organ transplants, and claimed they had no idea about the surgery because the department had been contracted to a businessman from a neighbouring province, reports said.

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CEL NOTES:  Does anyone else think that this is among the most interesting and challenging news items recently?  A poor Chinese boy exercised his free will and made an interesting business deal which resulted in a slightly diminished life expectancy to him.  How does the (forbidden) sale of body parts among the living relate or compare to the (much encouraged) willing of body parts for premature death (encouraged on state drivers’ licenses all over the United States, for example)?  How does the sale of body parts relate to prostitution?  To abortion?  To the use of aborted fetus tissue in stem-cell research?  How do all of these things relate to Slavery and the Thirteenth Amendment?

An old political riddle in the mother country runs like this: (1) We all agree that the Power of Parliament is absolute, correct?  (2) We all agree that Parliament can delegate some of its power by statute, correct?  (3) Historically speaking, Parliament derived its power on the one hand from the King and on the other hand from the people, correct? (4)  So now that we know that the Power of Parliament is Absolute, that Parliament can delegate some of its power by statute, and that Parliament historically derived its power from the King on the one hand and the people on the other, can Parliament now by statute give away or delegate all its power, to the King, for example?  Or to a “President”?  Or to the “European Parliament?” would be a more likely modern problem.

Likewise the individual human being: we posit that he is free (albeit that teenage “minors” such as the Chinese teenager in this story are supposedly under their parents and/or the State’s special protection in loco parentis or parens patriae).  We posit that every individual can give away some significant portion of their freedom by contract (i.e. a contract of employment, or of marriage, or of service in the military, or in the clergy, etc.).  We would doubtless concede that models can and do often lose weight as part of their employment, or have plastic surgery or “implants” or collagen shots or “whatever” to enhance their careers and “marketability.”  We would recognize that, whether as a matter of conscious choice or not, athletes, sports stars, and manual laborers and body builders can and do alter their bodies gain wait and build muscle mass as part of their employment, either by healthy eating or vitamins, or training programs.   So we clearly recognize that “freedom of choice” includes control over one’s own body.

“Freedom of Choice….Control over one’s own body”—can we be far from the discussion of abortion?  The Latin legal doctrine ius in re aliena now comes to mind: “right in the affairs [or property] of another.”  Is an individual’s body an aspect of his or her life, liberty, or property?  When does another person have rights in your life, liberty, or property?  A father clearly has interest in a wanted child: he is the father, and has every right to protect his child, even from a (post-natally) abusive mother (although—based on personal experience—“good luck!” if the abuse is anything less than actual murder).   But some seem to think that either the father or society at large has certain rights to decide when a child is “wanted” or “unwanted” prenatally.   The monstrosity of internal contradictions and inconsistent, incoherent doctrine which is U.S. Federal abortion law, starting with Roe v. Wade is just a nightmare if you’re trying to make sense out of why a two-to-three month old unwanted fetus has either less or more “rights” than a six-seven month old unwanted fetus.  No Supreme Court decision in the history of the United States, except possibly Scott v. Sanford or Brown v. Board of Education were ever more clearly judicial usurpations of power to fill the gap where the “overtly” political branches had either abdicated or abrogated their own power.

The debate over abortion and what to do with “fetal tissue” has become more intense and aggravated by the apparent extreme utility of fetal tissue and body parts in stem-cell research, but the conundrum that “from death proceeds life” is as ancient and iconic as “the Tree of Jesse” that grows from either the loin of the dead ancestor of the House of David or, as a blood dripping Cross, from the hill called “Golgotha” (Calvary: the Hill of the Skull).

So how can we deal with Xiao Zheng’s sacrifice of his long-term marginal well-being for his perception of his own salvation?   AND YES, Yes, there are blasphemers who, before its release even, referred to the I-Phone as “the Jesus Phone”—right above the now seemingly ubiquitous adds for “Travel Girls” the on-line Urban Dictionary has these entries: “The iPhone, one of the most hyped products ever and occasionally called the “Jesus phone” like it was the Second Coming” and “The iphone by apple. A phone that makes you feel like Jesus. In fact Jesus probably has one himself.”    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Jesus%20Phone

Abortion is of course one directly analogous “freedom” to mutilate and maim body parts (whether we like it or not, that’s what it is) which decreases “life expectancy” at the margins… at the very least, and yet through stem-cell research it could lead to longer life and greater health, cures for Alzheimers among those who are unambiguously still alive—there being so much debate in the abortion arena about “when life begins.”

Abortion, relating to human sexuality, raises the questions of prostitution and white slavery more easily than the sale of a kidney.  Most states permit minors, at least under certain circumstances, to get abortions without parental consent.  So why should minors not sell their kidneys?  Or even their eyes?  (Fantine’s repeated sale of her beautiful good healthy teeth was one of the stories in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables  (the grim 19th century novel, not the Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical) which has, frankly, given me nightmares my whole life—that along with stories of people being buried alive in ordinary cemeteries are about on the same level).

To what degree can we say that, without the reproductive overtones of abortion and prostitution, the sale of a kidney is more like “ordinary employment”—like the work of models, body builders, athletes, sports stars, or even manual laborers—who make physical sacrifices and adjustments in their bodies for purposes of making a living?

So if we were to permit Xiao Zheng to sell his kidney and thus reduce his life-expectancy, let us then ask whether he can sell his entire body and life?  Under the 13th Amendment, he cannot literally sell himself into slavery—involuntary servitude for life—but could he contract for a lifetime job?  Now, obviously, some people (rarely these days, but a few, like the Queen of England for instance, and some Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court) keep the same job from appointment or accession until death—but I suppose we assume that this is completely voluntary because abdication or resignation are permitted.   Could one sign a contract for life employment without possibility of quitting?  It has been established by precedent that no Court would ever “specifically” enforce such a contract, by compelling performance, at least not in the U.S. after and in light of the 13th Amendment.

But how about the choice for euthanasia or suicide then?  That is analogous to Parliament giving away all its power, and it is most disfavored.  But we allow abortion—in fact, our courts for going on 40 years have vigorously protected it as a fundamental right.  Minors can have abortions.  So should minors be allowed to make money by selling body parts?  Minors can be body builders, models, and athletes, even sports stars, and engage in body-altering manual labor.  Some people die as a result of diets, or excessive labor, or voluntary body-alteration.  Can society intervene to prevent one kind of behavior but not the other?

Seven Days before Christmas, remember that the Supreme Court at one time boasted of the Christian Faith and identity of the United States of America

Church of The Holy Trinity v. United States143 U.S. 457

Holy_Trinity_v_US_143_U_S__457_2-29-1892

An interesting case to read one week before Christmas, look especially to the text starting on about page 143 U.S. 464, 12 S.Ct. 514, 36 L.Ed. 229 concerning the proud history of Christianity in what is now the United States Holy_Trinity_v_US_143_U_S__457_1892_doc:

But beyond all these matters no purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation. The commission to Christopher Columbus, prior to his sail westward, is from “Ferdinand and Isabella, by the grace of God, King and Queen of Castile,” etc., and recites that “it is hoped that by God’s assistance some of the continents and islands in the   ocean will be discovered,” etc. The first colonial grant, that made to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584, was from “Elizabeth, by the grace of God, of England, Fraunce and Ireland, queen, defender of the faith,” etc.; and the grant authorizing him to enact statutes for the government of the proposed colony provided that “they be not against the true Christian faith now professed in the Church of England.” The first charter of Virginia, granted by King James I in 1606, after reciting the application of certain parties for a charter, commenced the grant in these words: “We, greatly commending, and graciously accepting of, their Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of his Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God, and may in time bring the Infidels and Savages, living in those parts, to human Civility, and to a settled and quiet Government; DO, by these our Letters-Patents, graciously accept of, and agree to, their humble and well-intended Desires.”

Language of similar import may be found in the subsequent charters of that colony, from the same king, in 1609 and 1611; and the same is true of the various charters granted to the other colonies. In language more or less emphatic is the establishment of the Christian religion declared to be one of the purposes of the grant. The celebrated compact made by the Pilgrims in the Mayflower, 1620, recites: “Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid.”

The fundamental orders of Connecticut, under which a provisional government was instituted in 1638-1639, commence with this declaration: “Forasmuch as it hath pleased the Allmighty God by the wise disposition of his diuyne prudence   so to Order and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and dwelling in and vapor the River of Conectecotte and the Lands thereunto adioyneing; And well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of   God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Gouerment established according to God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people at all seasons as occasion shall require; doe therefore associate and conioyne our soleus to be as one Publike State or Comonwelth; and doe, for our soleus and our Successors and such as shall be adjoined to vs at any time hereafter, enter into Combination and Confederation together, to maintain and pressure the liberty and purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess, as also the discipline of the Churches, which according to the truth of the said gospel is now practised amongst vs.”

In the charter of privileges granted by William Penn to the province of Pennsylvania, in 1701, it is recited: “Because no People can be truly happy, though under the greatest Enjoyment of Civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences, as to their Religious Profession and Worship; And Almighty God being the only Lord of Conscience, Father of Lights and Spirits; and the Author as well   as Object of all divine Knowledge, Faith and Worship, who only doth enlighten the Minds, and persuade and convince the Understandings of People, I do hereby grant and declare,” etc.

Coming nearer to the present time, the Declaration of Independence recognizes the presence of the Divine in human affairs 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.” “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare,” etc.; “And for the support   of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

If we examine the constitutions of the various States we find in them a constant recognition of religious obligations. Every constitution of every one of the forty-four States contains language which either directly or by clear implication recognizes a profound reverence for religion and an assumption that its influence in all human affairs is essential to the well being of the community This recognition may be in the preamble, such as is found in the constitution of Illinois, 1870: “We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations,” etc.

It may be only in the familiar requisition that all officers shall take an oath closing with the declaration “so help me God.” It may be in clauses like that of the constitution of Indiana, 1816, Article XI, section 4: “The manner of administering an oath or affirmation shall be such as is most consistent with the conscience of the deponent, and shall be esteemed the most solemn appeal to God.” Or in provisions such as are found in Articles 36 and 37 of the Declaration of Rights of the Constitution of Maryland, 1867: “That as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to Him, all persons are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty; wherefore, no person ought, by any law, to be molested in his person or estate on account of his religious persuasion or profession, or for his religious practice, unless, under the color of religion, he shall disturb the good order, peace or safety of the State, or shall infringe the laws of morality, or injure others in their natural, civil or religious rights; nor ought any person to be compelled to frequent or maintain or contribute, unless on contract, to maintain any place of worship, or any ministry; nor shall any person, otherwise competent, be deemed incompetent as a witness, or juror, on account of his religious belief: Provided, He   believes in the existence of God, and that, under His dispensation, such person will be held morally accountable for his acts, and be rewarded or punished therefor, either in this world or the world to come. That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this constitution.” Or like that in Articles 2 and 3, of Part 1st, of the Constitution of Massachusetts, 1780: “It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society publicly and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. . . . As the happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality, and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community but by the institution of the public worship of God and of public instructions in piety, religion and morality: Therefore, to promote their happiness and to secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require, and the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts and other bodies-politic or religious societies to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.” Or as in sections 5 and 14 of Article 7, of the constitution of Mississippi, 1832: “No person who denies the being of a God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State. . . . Religion,   morality and knowledge being necessary to good government, the preservation of liberty, and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education, shall forever be encouraged in this State.” Or by Article 22 of the constitution of Delaware, 1776, which required all officers, besides an oath of allegiance, to make and subscribe the following declaration: “I, A.B., do profess   faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.”

Even the Constitution of the United States, which is supposed to have little touch upon the private life of the individual, contains in the First Amendment a declaration common to the constitutions of all the States, as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” etc. And also provides in Article 1, section 7, (a provision common to many constitutions,) that the Executive shall have ten days (Sundays excepted) within which to determine whether he will approve or veto a bill.

There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning; they affirm and reaffirm that this ia a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private   persons: they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people. While because of a general recognition of this truth the question has seldom been presented to the courts, yet we find that in Updegraph v. The Commonwealth, 11 S. & R. 394, 400, it was decided that, “Christianity, general Christianity, is, and always has been, a part of the common law of Pennsylvania; . . . not Christianity with an established church, and tithes, and spiritual courts; but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men.” And in The People v. Ruggles, 8 Johns. 290, 294, 295, Chancellor Kent, the great commentator on American law, speaking as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, said: “The people of this State, in common with the people of this country, profess the general doctrines of Christianity, as the rule of their faith and practice; and to scandalize the author of these doctrines is not only, in a religious point of view, extremely impious, but, even in respect to the obligations due to society, is a gross violation of decency and good order. . . . The free, equal and undisturbed enjoyment of religious opinion, whatever it may be, and free and decent discussions on any religious   subject, is granted and recurred; but to revile, with malicious and blasphemous contempt, the religion professed by almost the whole community; is an abuse of that right. Nor are we bound, by any expressions in the Constitution as some have strangely supposed, either not to punish at all, or to punish indiscriminately, the like attacks upon the religion of Mahomet or of the Grand Lama; and for this plain reason, that the case assumes that we are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of those impostors.” And in the famous case of Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, 2 How. 127, 198, this court, while sustaining the will of Mr. Girard, with its provision for the creation of a college into which no minister should be permitted to enter, observed: “It is also said, and truly, that the Christian religion is a part of the common law of Pennsylvania.”

If we pass beyond these matters to a view of American life as expressed by its laws, its business, its customs and its society, we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth Among other matters note the following: The form of oath universally prevailing, concluding with an appeal to the Almighty; the custom of opening sessions of all deliberative bodies and most conventions with prayer; the prefatory words of all wills, “In the name of God, amen;” the laws respecting the observance of the Sabbath, with the general cessation of all secular business, and the closing of courts, legislatures, and other similar public assemblies on that day; the churches and church organizations which abound in every city, town and hamlet; the multitude of charitable organizations existing every where under Christian auspices; the gigantic missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe. These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. In the face of all these, shall it be believed that a Congress of the United States intended to make it a misdemeanor for a church of this country to contract for the services of a Christian minister residing in another nation?

Suppose in the Congress that passed this act some member had offered a bill which in terms declared that, if any Roman Catholic church in this country should contract with Cardinal Manning to come to this country and enter into its service as pastor and priest; or any Episcopal church should enter into a like contract with Canon Farrar; or any Baptist church should make similar arrangements with Rev. Mr. Spurgeon; or any Jewish synagogue with some eminent Rabbi, such contract should be adjudged unlawful and void, and the church making it be subject to prosecution and punishment, can it be believed that it would have received a minute of approving thought or a single vote? Yet it is contended that such was in effect the meaning of this statute. The construction invoked cannot be accepted as correct. It is a case HN10Go to the description of this Headnote.where there was presented a definite evil, in view of which the legislature used general terms with the purpose of reaching all phases of that evil, and thereafter, unexpectedly, it is developed that the general language thus employed is broad enough to reach cases and acts which the whole history and life of the country affirm could not have been intentionally legislated against. It is the duty of the counts, under those circumstances, to say that, however   broad the language of the statute may be, the act, although within the letter, is not within the intention of the legislature, and therefore cannot be within the statute.