Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's a little extortion among friends

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. 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.

While the other 9 Amendments are generally disregarded, the 10th amendment is completely ignored. As the Federal system has grown it has taken prohibited power justifying it in bizarre arguments that have, amazingly survived court review.

We are familiar with Federal maximum speed limits and DUI limits. Colorado waited until the list minute to lower it’s DUI limit to .08 from .10 at the risk of loosing federal funding for the highway system. In the end, the state folded. Although the statute doesn’t exactly fit, I think the spirit of the criminal extortion law, CRS 18-3-207, could apply.

The person, without legal authority and with the intent to induce another person against that other person's will to perform an act or to refrain from performing a lawful act, makes a substantial threat to confine or restrain, cause economic hardship or bodily injury to, or damage the property or reputation of, the threatened person or another person CRS 18-3-207.

This is just the hazard of taking and becoming dependant on Federal money, at some time, there may be strings attached.

The other way the Federal government has elbowed it’s way into the powers of the States and the people is declaring the commerce clause to apply to apply endlessly. The constitution lists one of the powers of the federal government to “Regulate interstate commerce.” The landmark court case was the 1942 case of Wickard v. Filburn. Then as now, the Federal government was regulating farm production. The farmer grew more than allowed, not for sale but for personal use. The courts reasoned that by growing his own wheat, he would not be purchasing from the market therefore, it caused an impact and subject to Federal regulation.

This has been expanded into the Federal war on drugs. In 2005 Gonzales v. Raich hit the Supreme Court. The State of California, voted to legalize medical marijuana. Federal agents raided the home of a party growing marijuana for personal use and following the state guidelines. The crop was seized and destroyed. In the decision, although there was no evidence presented that the marijuana was for anything other than personal use, the “marijuana could enter the stream of interstate commerce, even if it clearly wasn't grown for that purpose and it was unlikely ever to happen. It therefore ruled that this practice may be regulated by the federal government under the authority of the Commerce Clause.”

So in conclusion, the 10th Amendment to the US constitution is ignored with the full support of the courts. Not to make this any longer than necessary, but perhaps, following the 10th amendment may be a large part o the solution to chronic government overspending and the Federal deficit.


Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I never thought I would agree with this option.