Category Archives: State Constitutions

In a Truly Free Country there would be no Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

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Freedom is the Power or Right to Act, Speak, or Think as one wants without Hindrance or Restraint, and the Absence of a Despotic Government

Here are the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution:

“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 the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

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STAND YOUR GROUND AMERICA

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America’s Most Communist States: California and New York

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Hat tip to Fox News for this report

New York and California have for generations of Americans been considered destination spots to express personal freedoms — one with a city big enough for anybody with a dream to perhaps become a star and the other a state synonymous with the so-called laid-back lifestyle.  

But such attitudes have drastically changed, according to a new study that finds the two states last in individual freedom.

The “Freedom in the 50 States” study published last week by the libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center ranks New York last and California second to last.

The survey is based on fiscal issues such as job prospects and tax rates, regulatory policies that include property rights and personal freedoms such as gun laws.

“When it comes to overall freedom, New York ranks dead last,” the study’s authors said.

They point out that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken away – or at least tried to take away – several personal freedoms, including his failed effort to outlaw the sale of sodas 16 ounces and larger.

“Though the law ran into a judicial buzz saw on the eve of its enactment earlier this month, it demonstrates the attitude city and state legislators have toward their constituents,” the authors noted.

Bloomberg has already imposed a stiff tax on cigarette sales and is a leading advocate for tougher gun laws.

In addition, New Yorkers pay a state income tax of 14 percent.

“Even New Yorkers who don’t care about sweet drinks have to deal with the highest state and local tax burden in the country,” the authors wrote.

The result is New Yorkers are voting with their feet, with roughly 1.7 million leaving between 2000 and 2010, though newborns and new immigrants are keeping the state’s population steady, according to the study.

“We’re not living in a police state,” White Plains attorney John Murtagh told CBS New York. “But the economics of New York clearly don’t work. And then you see things like Mike Bloomberg and his Big Gulp sodas.”

The top five states with the most freedom are North  Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Oklahoma, according to the study from the center, at George Mason University in Virginia.

North Dakota came in first in large part based of its “very low taxes” and government debt, the authors said. “However, its spending is uncharacteristically high.”

The three other lowest ranking states are Rhode Island, Hawaii and New Jersey, in descending order.

The study authors said California’s biggest problem is business regulation, though a recent attempt to impose a higher tax rate on the state’s highest earners has become a major complaint among residents.

“The Golden State, with hundreds of miles of picturesque Pacific coastline, nonetheless managed to drive off a net of 1.5 million residents between 2000 and 2010 — over  4 percent of its 2000 population,” the authors wrote.

They also pointed out Californians‘ personal income contracted by 0.4 percent a year in the seven years before the Great Recession struck, a record worse than any other state besides Michigan.

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My Second Amendment Rights shall not be… INFRINGED

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Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the Security of a Free State, the right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms, shall not be INFRINGED

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THE UNTIED STATES CONSTITUTION: Frustrating Liberals since 1788

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Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights
The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

March 4th 1789

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the “Bill of Rights.”

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Amendment I

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 the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

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Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

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Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

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Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

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Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

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Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

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Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

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Who is Voting American’s Samiam60?

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I am a simple every day American who loves his Country and the Freedoms it affords us all.

I am an ” American ” free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country.

This Heritage of Freedom I Pledge to Uphold

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I will fight this fight with all that is within me and I hope that many of you will join with me in preserving the wonderful Heritage of Freedom given to us all by God and our Founding Fathers and all those Brave Souls who fought to keep us Free.

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We must never forget those who made America the Greatest Nation the World has ever known.  We must never forget all those who paid the ultimate price for our Freedom both at home and abroad.  I Salute all of our Veterans and those Serving today.

I honor those who gave their Lives that we might be Free.

Thank you for your Service

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Trumka Gets Trumped in Wisconsin as Big Unions and Big Spending Fade into History

From Fox News:

Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker wakes up Wednesday knowing he’ll get to finish out his term, after voters by a wide margin sided with him in a recall election that had gained national attention and divided much of the state, from opposing political parties to neighbors and even family members.

However, several key questions remain unanswered, including whether Wisconsin now can move past the recent acrimony — and how much impact the recall results will have on the presidential election just five months away.

“Now is the time for us to come together,” Walker told supporters after claiming victory. “Tomorrow we are all Wisconsinites.”

Walker’s Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, made a similar plea in his concession speech late Tuesday night, urging supporters residents to put aside their differences.

“Now we must look to the future,” said Barrett, who also lost to Walker in 2010.

Walker led Barrett in the official count 53 percent to 46 percent with 99 percent of the 3,424 precincts reporting. Walker’s lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, also was projected to survive her recall election.

The recall effort began when the first-term governor and Republicans in the state legislature rolled back what they considered excesses in the collective bargaining agreements of public-employee unions — an effort to cut Wisconsin’s estimated $3.6 billion budget shortfall.

Wisconsin went for President Obama in 2008, but the recall results give Republicans hope that their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, can win there in November.

Governor Walker has demonstrated over the past year what sound fiscal policies can do to turn an economy around, and I believe that in November voters across the country will demonstrate that they want the same in Washington,” Romney said.

Republicans see Walker’s win as evidence voters across the country want their elected officials to keep government living within its means. They said this paves the way for Romney to become the first Republican candidate to carry Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

The outcome Tuesday is also a blow to the labor movement, which poured considerable resources into the failed effort to oust Walker.

Of the three recall elections of governors in U.S. history, only Walker has survived.

The recall effort started about a year and a half ago, after the legislature passed Walker’s proposal to curb public employee union power, while also requiring most public state workers to pay more for health insurance and pension benefits.

Democrats and unions argued the governor had gone too far, and they helped organize massive statehouse protests and gather 900,000 signatures for the recall vote.

Roughly $63 million was spent on the race, with much of Walker’s support coming from outside of the state.

The Republican Governors Association spent $1.5 million in a last-minute, get-out-the-vote effort. However, most voters seemed to have decided long before Election Day.

Democratic groups — including those funded by unions, the Democratic Governors Association and the Democratic National Committee — poured in about $14 million, based on a tally from the government watchdog group the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Barrett’s $4.2 million in donations were mostly from inside Wisconsin.

The race attracted some big names on both sides. Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appeared on behalf of Walker, while former President Bill Clinton came out for Barrett in the race’s final days.

Though Romney visited the state with Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan earlier this year, President Obama did not travel to Wisconsin to campaign for Barrett, though he tweeted his support Monday night.

Since taking office, Walker has reduced the state budget and seen a drop in the state’s unemployment rate.

Walker, the 44-year-old son of a minister, remained unflappable throughout the campaign, as he was during the massive protests that raged at the Statehouse for weeks as lawmakers debated his proposal.

Along the way, he has become the most successful fundraiser in Wisconsin politics, collecting at least $31 million from around the country since taking office.

Walker wasn’t the only politician up for recall Tuesday. In addition to Kleefisch, three Republican state senators also face recall votes. A fourth state Senate seat will be determined after the Republican incumbent resigned rather than face the recall. The Associated Press projected Republicans to hold onto at least three of those four seats, and the Republican well ahead in the fourth race.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We Press on towards November to Finish the Job we began back in November, 2009

ANY QUESTIONS ?

Supreme Court to Judge Obamacare’s Constitutionality

Health care law brawl arrives at Supreme Court steps

For all the lofty legal wrangling that’s expected at this week’s historic arguments over President Obama’s health care law, the story of two families running their own business helps boil the Supreme Court case down to its core. 

Ariane Speck and her husband, Dustin, run a small eatery in Evergreen, Colo. She’s overjoyed the two-year-old law allowed her husband to pick up health insurance even though he recently had brain surgery. 

“To have it all covered was the difference between us losing our business, losing our homes, our employees losing their jobs, our town losing this thriving business,” Ariane said, after her husband needed another operation. “It made all the difference.” 

The law means something else to John Nicholson, who owns a flower and gift shop with his wife in northern Virginia

“I can’t afford a whole fleet of lawyers to handle all of the new regulations. I’ve got to handle that by myself. That’s a burden,” he said. Nicholson says the old system wasn’t perfect but at least when he had a dispute with the insurance company, he said he could take his business elsewhere. It’s leverage he doesn’t think exists when dealing with federal bureaucrats. 

This clash of opinions — a disagreement at its heart over whether the law’s benefits are worth the added government control — will play out on the national stage this week. The Supreme Court will dissect the constitutionality of the health care overhaul for six hours over the course of three days and four cases. 

No case has been given so much courtroom attention by the justices in nearly half a century. The economic and political ramifications of their decision could have repercussions for decades to come. Nearly one-fifth of the economy is tied to health care, and the reform legislation is the hallmark domestic accomplishment of the Obama administration. 

It is a rare and historic case, one that will impact most Americans and potentially a presidential race. 

The ruling, expected in early summer, will come about four months before voters decide whether to give Obama a second term. Every Republican presidential candidate has spoken at length to countless campaign audiences about wanting to repeal the law. It’s a guaranteed applause line. 

Obama enjoys similar approval when he defends the law in front of friendly audiences. Yet he gave it a passing mention during his most recent State of the Union address and let Friday’s two-year anniversary pass with only a paper statement: “Today, two years after we passed health care reform, more young adults have insurance, more seniors are saving money on their prescription drugs, and more Americans can rest easy knowing they won’t be dropped from their insurance plans if they get sick.” 

Perhaps the relatively modest outreach from the White House makes sense given that poll numbers consistently show Americans aren’t thrilled with the law. A recent Fox News survey found that most voters want all or some of the 2,700-page law repealed, including 63 percent of independents. A majority of them also give Obama poor marks for his handling of health care. 

Roadmap to the Supreme Court Hearings 

The landmark hearings will be broken up over the course of three days. 

Monday’s opener is sure to be a letdown for people looking for a battle royal over health care because the 90-minute argument — cases before the Supreme Court usually only last an hour — has absolutely nothing to do with the federal government’s involvement in regulating how health care is administered. Rather, it examines whether an obscure tax law passed during Reconstruction prohibits challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

That statute says no lawsuit can be filed challenging a tax provision — in this case, the individual mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance — until after it’s been implemented. All parties in the cases before the Court agree that the 1867 Anti-Injunction Act isn’t applicable to the health care law. But one lower appellate court ruled otherwise and a prominent federal judge in Washington D.C. also said the current lawsuits against the controversial law must wait until someone has actually been forced to pay a penalty. That will not happen until 2015. 

It’s a preliminary issue the high court wanted to resolve, which is why it’s the first case, but some people familiar with the Court’s docket think it’s unlikely the justices will ultimately issue a ruling saying the lawsuits will have to wait. Instead, the thinking goes, they will be eager to move on to the merits of the challenge which are addressed in the week’s other cases. 

If the Court eventually issues a blockbuster constitutional ruling, it will come from Tuesday’s arguments about the individual mandate. The dispute is over the central provision of the law requiring near-universal participation in the new health insurance system. 

The government argues it has the regulatory power under the Commerce Clause to force people to buy health insurance, even if they don’t want to, because all people must at some time purchase health care and therefore are in the marketplace. “The Affordable Care Act expands access to health care services and controls health care costs by reforming the terms on which health insurance is offered and rationalizing the timing and means of payment for health care services,” Solicitor General Don Verrilli wrote in his brief to the Court. 

Opponents of the law maintain the breadth of the powerful Commerce Clause does not also allow for the government to force people into commerce. It’s something they argue the Founders would never have approved of and wonder why, if constitutional, Congress has never before used this authority given the crises of past generations. “The only explanation for the utter absence of comparable mandates is the utter absence of constitutional authority,” lawyer Paul Clement wrote on behalf of the 26 states challenging the law. 

The arguments will also feature discussion over whether other parts of the Constitution, including the Necessary and Proper Clause and Congress’s taxing power, gives the government cover for the health care law. 

Wednesday will be the only day with two cases. The morning argument examines whether other parts of the law will be preserved if the mandate is struck down. Various courts below reached different conclusions and the Supreme Court, if it strikes down the mandate, will have to determine whether to keep some, none, or all of the rest of the law in place. 

The afternoon case focuses on the expansion of Medicaid to increase coverage for poorer Americans. The states say costs associated with the expansion will be too much for their treasuries. They also object to the nature of the mandate from Washington saying lawmakers have turned Medicaid away from a federal-state partnership into a compulsory program. 

Verrilli says the new Medicaid provisions are fully in line with the original workings of the program. He also points out that for the first couple years the federal government will fully pay for all costs associated with the expansion and then after 2020 Washington will cover 90 percent of the costs. That’s a greater percentage than the current contributions from the federal treasury. 

After Wednesday’s arguments the justices are expected to take the next three months to write their opinions. 

“I think they wish they weren’t in the political eye of the storm,” Chapman University Law Prof. John Eastman said in a phone interview. “(But) now that they are, they are going to do their job as in any other case.” 

How Did We Get Here? 

The case, for all the reams of judicial decisions and court filings, started with a seemingly simple concept — that insurance companies should cover more people, for more ailments and reduce the costs associated with health care. 

Key features of the controversial law include provisions designed to force insurance companies to extend what is called “minimal essential coverage” to all Americans — regardless of past medical histories — and to charge premiums on a more equal basis to all customers. 

To balance those enormous additional costs (an estimated 30 percent increase in premiums) Congress added a provision, known as the individual mandate, forcing everyone to obtain private or government-administered insurance, thus increasing the amount of people paying into the system. Some smaller aspects of the law have already taken effect while the mandate is scheduled to start in 2014. 

Political wrangling over the details of the bill played out for months after the president’s inauguration and into 2010. The biggest drama was in the Senate, where controversial provisions were added to entice (opponents of the law would say bribe) wavering lawmakers to vote for the law. Debate was eventually halted without a vote to spare, thus allowing the chamber to pass the measure. 

But before the Senate bill could be combined with the different House proposal, a special election in Massachusetts put Republican Scott Brown into office. Brown won largely because of his stand against the law and took away the key vote Democratic leaders needed to easily get the law to the president’s desk. Brown’s election also set the stage for huge Republican victories later in 2010. Eventually, the House bill was abandoned and through various parliamentary maneuvers, also controversial, the bill passed both bodies and was sent to the White House for Obama’s signature. 

The legal challenges to what’s derisively called “ObamaCare” were filed just hours after it became law. Dozens of lawsuits have worked their way through the federal courts to become the four cases now pending before the Supreme Court. 

While flower shop owner John Nicholson hopes the law is struck down, a final resolution from the high court is what he really wants. 

“I hope they make a decision yea or nay, I don’t care which way, but get it resolved so we can then have this country get back to a little bit more cheerful attitude because that’s going to help my sales. And that’s really my bottom line,” he said. 

Fox News’ Shannon Bream, Kelly Burke and Anna Olson contributed to this report. 

Atheists Gather at National Mall for First Ever “Reason Rally” against a God whom they say does not Exist! Huh?

Ya just can’t make this stuff up folks.  Atheists are just plain determined to remove a God whom they say does not exist from every area of American Life. Perhaps the most Intelligent Man of our Century could shed some “Light” on this subject for us:

Perhaps the Atheists are Worshiping the God of Charles Darwin but haven’t “Reasoned” that out for themselves as yet?

Let’s take a moment and hear it from Albert Einstein in his own words shall we:

For me personally I did not need Albert Einstein to convince me of the Existence of God.

Faith Comes by Hearing and that by Hearing the Word of God

God said it, I believe it, and that Settles it!

John 3:16

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All 50 State Constitutions Acknowledge God, so get lost A.C.L.U.