January 13, 2014

Process as punishment …

I’d heard of this a while back, but until Darleen forwarded me this reminder, I don’t think I ever covered it here — one of the pitfalls of having to follow a political system whose corruption is so endemic it daily threatens to reach critical mass and just implode, leaving nothing behind but a giant pile of flag lapel pins, wingtips, and the occasional cardinal colored pant suit and set of veneers.

Astonishingly — and I don’t say this as a good thing, though the outcome was certain good and right; I’m astonished that it was recognized as such by a Wisconsin court — free speech was able to defeat the leftist forces that increasingly line up against it, seeking to keep alive the idea of free speech while daily working to use all sort of legal and procedural and bureaucratic and public market forces to shut it down if it happens to run afoul of their preferred narratives.

WSJ:

Chalk up a big victory for the First Amendment. On Friday a Wisconsin judge struck a major blow for free political speech when he quashed subpoenas to conservative groups and ordered the return of property to the targets of a so-called John Doe campaign-finance probe.

John Doe probes operate much like grand juries, allowing prosecutors to issue subpoenas and conduct searches while gag orders require the targets to keep quiet. We wrote about the kitchen-sink subpoenas and morning raids by special prosecutor Francis Schmitz that targeted dozens of conservative groups that participated in the battle to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker (“Wisconsin Political Speech Raid,” Nov. 16, 2013).

Now we learn that Judge Gregory A. Peterson ruled on Friday that at least some of those subpoenas were improper. They “do not show probable cause that the moving parties committed any violations of the campaign finance laws,” he wrote. His opinion remains under seal but we obtained a copy.

A free speech victory ruling that remains under seal.  Wow.  Do we ever have more work to do.

But I digress.

The quashed subpoenas were sent to Friends of Scott Walker, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Inc., the Wisconsin Club for Growth, and Citizens for a Strong America, as well as their officers and directors. Judge Peterson’s order doesn’t apply to other subpoena targets, but they can presumably get the same result if they file a motion with the judge and have a similar factual basis.

The order is all the more remarkable because it bluntly rejects the prosecutor’s theory of illegal coordination between the groups and the Walker campaign. Wisconsin’s campaign finance statutes ban coordination between independent groups and candidates for a “political purpose.” But a political purpose “requires express advocacy,” the judge wrote, and express advocacy means directly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate.

“There is no evidence of express advocacy” and therefore “the subpoenas fail to show probable cause that a crime was committed,” Judge Peterson wrote. Even “the State is not claiming that any of the independent organizations expressly advocated” for the election of Mr. Walker or his opponent, he added. Instead they did “issue advocacy,” which focuses on specific political issues.

This means that prosecutors essentially invented without evidence the possibility of criminal behavior to justify the subpoenas and their thuggish tactics. At least three targets had their homes raided at dawn, with police turning over belongings, seizing computers and files, and even barring phone calls.

The judge’s order vindicates our suspicion that the John Doe probe is a political operation intended to shut up Mr. Walker’s allies as he seeks re-election this year. No one has taken public credit for appointing the special prosecutor, but we know the probe began in the office of Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf.

Mr. Landgraf works for Milwaukee County Democratic D.A. John Chisholm, and this is their second secret probe of Mr. Walker. The first one ended with small-time violations against Walker aides but didn’t touch the Governor.

As Chris Christie is learning, the left is not interested in bipartisanship, reaching across the aisle, and uses the neediness of a mushy “center rightest” searching for DC acceptance and plaudits to lure him in and then, when the time comes, bring out the long knives.

The RINOs will never understand this, because they take the phony comity and cocktail party invites and insular collegiality seriously, as part of a ruling class convention, a sign of having been accepted as part of the elect.   And that often holds true until it’s time for a particular threat to be eliminated — and all that takes is some small opening, some crack, some opportunity to seize on a scandal or perceived scandal.

Listen, and understand. The Marxists are there! They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until liberty is dead.

If saying so — and even more, believing so, without an ounce of doubt — marks me as an unhelpful extremist or fringe lunatic, so be it.  But when the time comes, it won’t be me who’s all shot up at a police barracks.  Instead, I plan to be the one turning these relentless, single-minded marauders into the raw material to use in somebody’s modernist industrial backsplash.

That is, if I can get my hands on a hydraulic press, and the need itself arises.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 12:46pm
133 comments | Trackback

Comments (133)

  1. The RINOs will never understand this, because they take the phony comity and cocktail party invites and insular collegiality seriously, as part of a ruling class convention, a sign of having been accepted as part of the elect.

    It’s worse than that: The collegiality is real. The “Gentry GOP” (h/t Bill Quick) is every bit as vindictive and underhanded about shutting down the TEA Party and constitutionalists as the Democrats are.

    Don’t doubt for a moment that some of the IRS harassment of conservative groups was initiated by Establicans. Follow the money and you’ll find that other shenanigans against conservatives were backed by Establicans — morally if not financially.

    These aren’t RINO squishes we’re dealing with, people who fold in the name of collegiality and “being reasonable.” These guys are teamed up with the Dems and assorted Leftists to defeat their own constituents.

    Cries for not “insisting on purity” need to cease when we’re dealing, not with “impure” Republicans, but with full-throated opposition to those who want the gubmint spending and the expansion of its powers to STOP ALREADY, GODDAMMIT.

  2. Who doubts it, dicentra? I wrote at the time and still believe no special prosecutor was assigned by Boehner because Boehner, McCain, McConnell, et al. would be implicated, if not directly that by intentionally ignoring what they knew to be happening.

    What I’m saying is, even among the aristocracy there are those who happy just to be royal and those who aspire always to some throne or other.

    We’re on the flabby buggered in bed and then throats slit side of that equation.

  3. Oh, I know you get it, because you listen to Levin.

    It’s just that I had such success making that argument over here that I figured I’d do it again.

    I’m not very original on Mondays.

  4. And this is why Reid’s no filibuster on judicial nominations is so bad.

  5. The Process is the Punishment, huh? Darn tootin’!

    But, it’s worse than you think because, for most of us functioning in today’s America, the Arrest <Is The Conviction.

    Here’s how:
    (1) someone complains against you,
    (2) you are arrested by several policemen in a deliberately-noisy performance that is sure to attract your neighbors’ attentions,
    (3) your name appears in the next day’s paper’s ‘Police Beat,’ (in some US counties, your local country music radio station will broadcast to all that you were “arrested” too.)
    (4) you may still be exonerated in court at your own expense,

    BUT (5) your exoneration WILL NOT BE published in the papers, nor announced on your local radio stations. That, and all anyone will remember is your public arrest.

    All of which only serves to say (1) anonymous tip-lines are open to serious abuse, and (2) presumption of innocence is an illusion in America today.

    Furthermore, put (1) and (2) together and you have (3): the court proceedings are irrelevant to your community’s perception of your guilt. So you got that going for ya…that, and cultural-Revolution China on crack!

    Any questions? Read Mao’s little red book.

  6. “Process as punishment” reminds me of a video of the ClownDisaster teaching one of his community organizing classes back in the early to mid ’90’s I once saw, wherein he was instructing his sheep that “Process is Substance”, the great lesson he learned right out of the box in Law School, he said. If then process is substance, then substance must be injustice, since justice can’t be independently found.

  7. They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear.

    You had me ’til the last word. They CAN feel fear — it’s why they’re only brave when they’re pushing somebody else to fight on their behalf, or hiding behind TEH CHIDRENZ! It’s why they go crying for momma any time somebody pushes back against them. It’s why they need to get swatted on the snout with a rolled-up newspaper any time they get out of line.

  8. Damn straight they can feel fear. But they’re not accustomed to being afraid, because they are rarely challenged — which is why it may seem they don’t feel fear.

    But they’ve had no opportunity to learn how to deal with being afraid. They’ve responded to backlash with bluster so long, and so effectively thanks to the watery-boweled “opposition,” they think that’s what courage means.

  9. I think your wrong about the RINOs never understanding “this.” I think they understand it quite well but are in deep denial about it because they are so smart and accomplished as evidenced by the positions they hold. Narcissism and egotism has that effect on people, and all politicians are nothing if not narcissists and egotists.

  10. Squid. I was using a line from the Terminator. Had to stay true to the original.

  11. it’s best to just enjoy these waning days of failmerica with a tasty nespresso beverage and an air of resignation

    pro tip: use your nespresso aeroccino milk frother to maximum effect by mixing one part milk with one part of a tasty liqueur you’ve had forever

    then light some candles and maybe enjoy a lil blue-eyed soul courtesy of misters daryl hall and john oates what they recorded back before america had been so thoroughly defiled by neo-fascism and crude, ginned-up class warfare cheer-led by a rancid pseudo-intellectual like piece of shit like Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart

  12. oh. that first “like” should’ve been edited out in the editing process

    but you know

    there’ve been some cutbacks

  13. you never close your eyes anymore when i kiss your lips

    whore

  14. I agree with dicentra about the establishment leaders, but what about the citizens? Somebody is voting for these people!

    My parents are generally good people, around 80 years old. They get that Obama is terrible, but refuse to see that RINOs are killing us. Mom still has faith in Paul Ryan, for Christ’s sake!

    I think these types have their minds stuck in America’s past, when people could disagree honorably.
    I believe that time has passed, mainly at the fault of the political left.

    I think about other conflicts; Palestinian vs. Israeli, IRA vs. British, etc. and know that you eventually have to bury the hatchet. You can’t run a country with the people at each other’s throats.

    But there’s a difference between wartime mentality and peacetime mentality, and it seems to me too many of the rank-and-file Republicans refuse to acknowledge that this has become a war.

  15. Per steveaz’s comment:

    The greatest strength of the political right is also its greatest weakness: the adherence to the rule of law. When the game is rigged and the laws/courts are unfair, citizens have no obligation to follow them.
    But the right has built up a culture around this, to the extent that being jailed even by a corrupt regime is viewed shamefully.
    The left doesn’t have that problem of course, and often see jail time as a badge of honor (just think of how the “Chicago 7″ among others were lionized).

    We have forged our own chains; chains of the mind. We are timid when we should be brave, and indecisive when we should take action.

    What is it going to take for the right to wake the fuck up and start fighting? What are we willing to be arrested for? What lines cannot be crossed before we say “no further?”

    The best example I can think of is organizing opposition and marches if the Obamacare religious mandate isn’t nullified. This is as clear an abridgement of the 1st amendment as I can think of. Those effected ought to have the courage of their convictions. They ought to be the most sympathetic of subjects.

  16. Pingback: The Camp Of The Saints

  17. Was just arguing this (along with the 2nd Amendment) with a brain-dead liberal. I said the Bill of Rights is not up for a vote.

    This was their response:

    —>The bill of rights is up for a vote any time we as a people want. This is the problem with political positions that only have “because the constitution” as the basis. You have to be able to defend the principle itself or else no progress would ever have been made on any civil rights issue. Only once people get past that singular argument can any real discussion of the problem take place.
    <—

  18. The bill of rights is up for a vote any time we as a people want.

    Yes, and it’s happened exactly seventeen times since the Bill of Rights was ratified. It’s called an “Amendment”, and anytime you want to put the Second Amendment up for repeal and see where it gets you, you are welcome to try. Until then, it’s the “law of the land”.

    Next question?

  19. And if it is the principle of self-defense, that dates back father than the Bill of Rights, all the way back to the Magna Carta. But no government has ever had the power to prevent its citizens or subjects from defending themselves against unlawful assault.

    As for guns themselves, guns are both a civilizing factor and an equalizing factor. Taking guns away from everyone reduces society from “rule of law/all men are equal” to “rule of biggest/most”, and does nothing to reduce violence. It only changes the tools used to enact the violence. A pistol can make an 85-pound female the equivalent of a 250-pound rapist, and merely showing a weapon can stop crimes before they happen. In fact, it is estimated that such crime prevention happens a few million times every year.

    http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/why-the-gun-is-civilization/

    http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/blog/item/the-post-in-which-i-piss-off-everybody

  20. There may be something to be said regarding a vote on the Bill of Rights, at least insofar as it was instituted by a vote. But this merely pushes the question of right back onto the legitimacy of the vote, apparently a proxy for legitimacy. What’s behind it?

    So on the other hand, an asserted claim of progress in matters of right is itself in need of defense. There may not be any linkage between progress and civil right, or political right — that would be something which would have to be demonstrated one way or another. It’s certainly not something to take for granted.

    If the founding principle of the USA is seated in the sole legitimacy of the people as sovereign (and I think this is so, as a mere factual matter), on what does this legitimacy itself depend? What is the originary right?

    In the case of the US, that originary right, the first right, appears to be self-preservation (life); the second right, the freedom to determine the means of that self-preservation (liberty), and finally, the sketchy end or aim of that self-preservation (happiness) entailing personal properties as necessary for the purpose.

  21. Drumwaster – it gets better!!

    —>

    we can amend any part of the constitution any time we as a people want. Hell, we can hold a whole new constitutional convention if we want. What I’m saying is when you discuss issues like more/less gun control pretend you are standing in a foreign country. You don’t need to rely solely on “its in the constitution” to defend or discuss the principle of free speech. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone do it because its unnecessary and the least persuasive argument. If you are standing in a bar in Ireland and someone asks your opinion on the necessity for free press and all you can muster is that you are for it because “its in the constitution” you’re going to look silly if that’s as far as the reasoning goes.

    <—

  22. >the sketchy end or aim of that self-preservation (happiness)<

    was property no? you can't own "happiness" or a a happyfeet

  23. Locke’s formula included property, yes, and Jefferson saw fit to alter that. Which is why the mention. But indeed, there is something dry and uninspiring about mere property in the comparison. But the immediate trouble with a vague happiness is just that, it’s vague.

  24. we can amend any part of the constitution any time we as a people want

    “But until ‘we as a people’ actually DO so, the Bill of Rights are the Law of the Land.”

    You don’t need to rely solely on “its in the constitution” to defend or discuss the principle of free speech.

    Except that in countries where freedom of speech is not protected, it DOES NOT EXIST. Britain’s press is routinely suppressed, with certain subjects forbidden by government edict, and you can imagine how much freedom of speech exists in China or North Korea. The principle is fine, but it is the practice that counts.

  25. If the founding principle of the USA is seated in the sole legitimacy of the people as sovereign (and I think this is so, as a mere factual matter), on what does this legitimacy itself depend?

    On the fact that sovereign power comes not from the government, but from the very fact of Man’s existence. Government derives its just power from the granting of such powers by the citizens, in order to do things that no one man, or family, or city can do by itself, but that benefits everyone. Roads, collective defense, creation of currency/coin, etc., are some examples of such things…

    If the government fails in that mission, the power devolves back to the people, until a new method of governance is established with the consent of those holding that Power.

  26. Hell, we can hold a whole new constitutional convention if we want. – See more at: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=52440#comment-1050737

    Sounds like someone who has never actually read the Constitution. People can call for such a convention (or, rather, 2/3 of the various State legislatures can demand one), but once it has been started, “The People” have no say in any of its products, since it is a Federal procedure, and only the legislatures get to vote on whether or not to ratify the outcome.

    So “The People” calling for a Convention? It’s probably easier to just point and laugh.

  27. It’s not entirely clear that the mere fact that “here is a man” corresponds to the development of the theory though. I think that it’s better to look at the establishment of the first right in the claim that all men everywhere fear violent death — Hobbes’ formulation, which Locke takes up as just, and is transmitted from Locke to the founding generation, and which Hobbes had derived in turn from Machiavelli’s injunction in The Prince, ch. 15 : “. . . it has appeared to me more fitting to go directly to the effectual truth of the thing than to the imagination of it. And many have imagined republics and principalities that have never been seen or known to exist in truth; for it is so far from how one lives to how one should live that he who lets go of what is done for what should be done learns his ruin rather than his preservation. For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to do good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity.”

  28. >about mere property in the comparison.<

    mere "property" is all a free citizen has. the "monarch" owns what exactly ?

  29. Human beings have many things besides mere property. Wives, husbands, children, brothers, sisters, grandchildren, cousins, uncles, aunts, friends, pasttimes, arts, crafts, pursuits, studies, sciences, questions, goals, desires — many sorts of things not precisely fit to the term property strictly speaking, and which make or may make up aspects of human happiness.

  30. >“The People” have no say in any of its products, since it is a Federal procedure,
    U.S. Constitution › Article V
    Article V

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, <

  31. >Human beings have many things besides mere property. <

    peeps don't own things? your wife doesn't "own" you in divorce proceedings? oooK

  32. >People can call for such a convention (or, rather, 2/3 of the various State legislatures can demand one), but once it has been started, “The People” have no say in any of its products, since it is a Federal procedure,<

    you be a 9 th & 10ther denier. you suck banestiban

  33. I know what Article V says, nr. What words in that paragraph prove me wrong?

  34. 9th and 10th Amendments do not apply, since that convention is specifically delegated to the Federal Government, not the States.

    We’ve had this conversation, and you ended up resorting to name-calling when you couldn’t prove your case, so go ahead and get there, so I can ignore you again. (I couldn’t leave it alone, in case someone actually made the mistake of thinking you have a clue.)

  35. Why are you concerned with the thought of the absurd suggestion that people don’t own things, newrouter? That is, no one here suggests that to be the case, nor that it should be the case in general terms. However, there may be some individuals who do not reckon their lives on the basis of ownership or of possessions as such, but on other things, like say, in the case of a priest or sister of the Catholic Church of Rome, on his or her service to their god and fellow men — or others who, gripped by a spirit of wandering, on their health and ability to move quickly wherever the urge may take them. None of which is to denigrate the right to property, but simply to point to the use aspect of property referred to above, as a means and not necessarily as an end.

  36. >9th and 10th Amendments do not apply, since that convention is specifically delegated to the Federal Government, not the States. The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments

    don’t be proggtarded

  37. >Human beings have many things besides mere property. Wives, husbands, children, brothers, sisters, grandchildren, cousins, uncles, aunts, friends, pasttimes, arts, crafts, pursuits, studies, sciences, questions, goals, desires — many sorts of things not precisely fit to the term property <

    yep wife and children are not your "property" husbands? go tell it to the court taking your pay for alimony.

  38. If you need quote marks around property, you’ve already thrown yourself to the ground, seems to me. But as you wish. Carry on.

  39. or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments – See more at: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=52440#comment-1050751

    Right. Once that Convention has been applied for by 34 of the 50 States (2/3), IT IS A FEDERAL PROCEDURE. There is NOTHING that gives any control over the time, place, attendees or agenda to the States, since it is not any of the States’ constitutions that are being amended.

    That control REMAINS with the existing Federal government, and the States only get to ratify, or not, the amendments put forth by said convention once it is finished. If 38 States (3/4) do not ratify the amendment(s) offered, then the whole thing was effectively a wasted effort (and that has happened several times — https://no-consent.org/the-constitution/the-failed-amendments/ ) . And that’s how it works. Look it up.

  40. Isn’t it funny how the proggs want to keep the people voting, but only until they get it “right,” and after which they never want the people to vote again?

  41. >If you need quote marks around property<

    why would a "judge" direct you to pay for sumthing: a fine, or a restitution for a missed payment? alimony is ownership. the cunt gets the geld.

  42. The relevant language is bolded:

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments

  43. IT IS A FEDERAL PROCEDURE. There is NOTHING that gives any control over the time, place, attendees or agenda to the States, since it is not any of the States’ constitutions that are being amended.

    This is sheer nonsense, making an interpretive mockery of the meaning of the clause. But why, is the question.

  44. >Right. Once that Convention has been applied for by 34 of the 50 States (2/3), IT IS A FEDERAL PROCEDURE. There is NOTHING that gives any control over the time, place, attendees or agenda to the States, since it is not any of the States’ constitutions that are being amended<

    do article v again because being an assertion monkey is being banestatiban!!11!!

  45. It isn’t nonsense. That is how the Article is actually phrased. It says, explicitly, the “The Congress … shall call a convention”. The States can insist that one be held, but once it has been called, they only have the power to ratify the results.

  46. oh shut up “steve”
    “The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments

  47. Thanks, nr, we’re now at the point where your ignorance is clear, and your opinion can be safely ignored.

  48. > “The Congress … shall call a convention”.<

    hey asshole what does “or” mean clown?

  49. The States can insist that one be held, but once it has been called, they only have the power to ratify the results.

    More interpretive nonsense. Again, why?

  50. >and your opinion can be safely ignored.<

    on language blog you are an idiot —sir!

  51. More interpretive nonsense. Again, why?

    Because that isn’t being interpreted, that’s what it says. No need to interpret the plain language used.

    It says “The Congress shall call a convention”, not “The States”. The States can apply for one (which is why it says “or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states”), but they don’t get to call it themselves.

    Congress is the one calling (convening) the Convention. That’s what Article V says. Period. The convening authority for the Convention gets to set the time and place of meeting, announce the agenda, and decide who the attendees are.

  52. >and your opinion can be safely ignored.<

    mr ofa i agree you speak baracky

  53. it says clown

    >shall propose amendments to this constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states,<

    fu rovester

  54. >Congress is the one calling (convening) the Convention <

    some fine colorado weed i say. hi banestiban

  55. gets to set the time and place of meeting, announce the agenda, and decide who the attendees are.

    Again with the nonsense. The clause says “shall call”. That’s it. It doesn’t say “shall determine the representatives”, “the place”, the “agenda”, the “time”, the “make-up”, the “number” (of representatives0. It says none of that, and yet you add it. From where? From a logic determined to make the clause nonsensical? For what purpose? To what end?

    Why was the clause written? Why two forms of process? Where are the interests? Who is concerned? Why are they concerned? What is the purpose. It works better, I think, if we try to make sense of the thing, rather than turn it into an absurdity.

  56. when dw and dv be banned? clowns the lot of them.

  57. Now I’m rolling in laughter!!

    Geoff is gonna love this guy’s response and the fact he also lives in CO!!

    —>

    This conversation is full of emotion and lacking many facts. As a hunter and gun owner, I am sickened by all the senseless violence caused by guns and I support legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. I also support universal background checks and limits on magazine capacity. In fact, I am a defendant for the State of Colorado in the lawsuit being brought by the NRA to repeal our background check and magazine capacity laws. You seem to have a complete lack of understanding about the history of gun regulation in this country. All of the original colonies had gun regulations in place when the Constitution was ratified. Oh ya, I own 2 12 gauge shotguns, a 10 gauge, a Bushmaster AR-15, 2 .22 rimfires, and a 30-06. My kids know how to shoot and I use all these guns for hunting and shooting. We need sensible regulation of gun rights just as we have regulation of all our Constitutional rights.
    <—-

  58. I think Drumwaster has the better of the argument, and that this thread is starting to get as esoterical as the proper way in which to objectively interpret subjective symbols.

    That doesn’t mean that the Liberty Amendment idea is a quixotic one. Quite the opposite in fact, if you consider the kind of political groundwork that would go into getting 34 states to agree on anything.

  59. > shall propose amendments to this constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments<

  60. I think Drumwaster has the better of the argument

    Based on what? Comedy?

  61. >I think Drumwaster has the better of the argument<

    because he doesn't read english?

  62. it is the commas: they pose problems for the miley cyrus crew

  63. Congress is the one calling (convening) the Convention. That’s what Article V says. Period. The convening authority for the Convention gets to set the time and place of meeting, announce the agenda, and decide who the attendees are.

    Silly folk should have thought of that before they pissed their “local control” –so to speak– away by adopting the Progg’s 16th Amendment. If the Senators still answered to the Legislatures that appointed them instead of the mony’d interests that bankroll their popularity contests, States wouldn’t have to worry about getting fucked by a runaway convention.

  64. >So “The People” calling for a Convention? It’s probably easier to just point and laugh<

    definitely a "statist" best to ignore his and mitch mcconel's/rove/boehner/cantor's opinion

  65. Hypothetical: 34 state petitition Congress to convene a Constitutional Convention for the purposes of repealing the 2nd amendment. Which, as enlighted Eloi will tell you would have happened already if the evil NRA didn’t control Congress, the President and most of the Supreme Court with their blood money.

    What happens next? Congress calls a convention.

    What does that mean

    discuss.

  66. It doesn’t say “shall determine the representatives”, “the place”, the “agenda”, the “time”, the “make-up”, the “number” (of representatives0. It says none of that, and yet you add it. From where? – See more at: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=52440#comment-1050775

    From the definition of “convening authority”. That is a standard in any sort of meeting. The person or group hosting it gets to decide when, where, who, and why. They can limit the attendance using any criteria they choose, and no one has any means of overriding that choice. Whether it is a meeting of stockholders of a large corporation or a private picnic for a family reunion, the person or group who decides that the meeting is going to take place gets to control that kind of stuff.

    If their hand is forced and a meeting is made mandatory (as when a majority of stockholders demands a meeting to replace the Board of Directors), they still don’t cede the other parts of the authority.

    Congress is the one calling the meeting. They have control over the meeting, even if they cannot control the end product, but the States have no authority over the meeting at all. There is NOTHING in the Constitution that gives them that authority, and as I explained above, the 9th and 10th Amendments don’t apply, since the power to hold that Convention is EXPLICITLY granted to Congress.

  67. >Congress is the one calling the meeting. They have control over the meeting<

    no clown the "states" are calling "the meeting". the states "created the fed gov't" you fucking asshole. you stupid communist.

  68. Rob Natelson: *** America’s last general convention of states (Washington, D.C., 1861) had 132 commissioners. All were selected as their respective state legislatures determined. In practice, most were chosen either by the legislatures themselves or by governors with the consent of one or both chambers. The commissioners were certainly not at the intellectual level of our Founding Fathers, but they were a distinguished and sophisticated group. They successfully crafted a compromise amendment that, if ratified, might well have prevented the Civil War. ***

  69. dw = dv = state power

  70. Natelson:

    * A convention for proposing amendments is, like all of its predecessors, a “convention of the states.” Smith v. Union Bank, 30 U.S. 518, 528 (1831). The national government is not concerned with how Article V conventions or state legislatures are constituted. United States v. Thibault, 47 F.2d 169 (2d Cir. 1931).

    […]

    * A convention meeting under Article V may be limited to its purpose. In Re Opinion of the Justices, 204 N.C. 306, 172 S.E. 474 (1933).

    * But an outside body may not dictate an Article V assembly’s rules and procedures. Leser v. Garnett, 258 U.S. 130 (1922); Dyer v. Blair, 390 F. Supp. 1291 (N.D. Ill. 1975) (Justice Stevens).

  71. Again with the nonsense. The clause says “shall call”. That’s it. It doesn’t say “shall determine the representatives”, “the place”, the “agenda”, the “time”, the “make-up”, the “number” (of representatives0. It says none of that, and yet you add it. From where? From a logic determined to make the clause nonsensical? For what purpose? To what end?

    I see what you’re trying to drive at sdferr, but your position is figuratively akin to saying Congress’s only role is to convene a Convention in order to see what’s in it.

    I agree that there will be back and forth and perhaps even negotiation between States and Congress over the composition of the delegations. But it’s a fact that the States aren’t as independent (or jealous of their sovereignty) as they were in 1787.

  72. That wasn’t a Constitutional Convention, sdferr. Anything they put forth would not have been Constitutional, since Amendments must be instituted as Article V expressly dictates. “The Congress … shall call”, not “The States”.

    But that’s like claiming the US Conference of Mayors can submit amendments to the Constitution…

  73. I also note that Congress gets to decide whether it will be the State legislatures or conventions within the various States that will have the power to ratify any given Amendment.

    which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress

  74. The counter, Ernst, is an absurd reduplication of powers in the Federal congress — the very element in need of correction, and which will not correct itself — as though the framers wrote two methods amounting to the same thing. That simply makes no sense. They would not have done, and did not do. Their intent was to see to a means to rein in error and misdeed, should these arise — and the States (and the people subtending them) were one alternative to that end.

    Natelson: It’s Been Done Before: A Convention of the States to Propose Constitutional Amendments

  75. http://www.usconstitution.net/constam.html

    The notion of popular amendment comes from the conceptual framework of the Constitution. Its power derives from the people; it was adopted by the people; it functions at the behest of and for the benefit of the people. Given all this, if the people, as a whole, somehow demanded a change to the Constitution, should not the people be allowed to make such a change? As Wilson noted in 1787, “… the people may change the constitutions whenever and however they please. This is a right of which no positive institution can ever deprive them.”

    It makes sense – if the people demand a change, it should be made. The change may not be the will of the Congress, nor of the states, so the two enumerated methods of amendment might not be practical, for they rely on these institutions. The real issue is not in the conceptual. It is a reality that if the people do not support the Constitution in its present form, it cannot survive. The real issue is in the practical. Since there is no process specified, what would the process be? There are no national elections today – even elections for the presidency are local. There is no precedent for a national referendum. It is easy to say that the Constitution can be changed by the people in any way the people wish. Actually making the change is another story altogether.

  76. >. “The Congress … shall call”, not “The States”.The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments,<

    they call it not define it you fucking dog vomit

  77. > It is easy to say that the Constitution can be changed by the people in any way the people wish. Actually making the change is another story altogether<

    hi homo california. you effin' statists need a bullet

  78. Natelson: Constitutional Arcana: The Forgotten Navigation Convention of 1786

    *** In an earlier post, I reported that the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was far from unique: that during the lifetime of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) nearly 20 inter-colonial and interstate conventions met. Some were attended by as few as three colonies or states; others by as many as 12. ***

  79. >It is a reality that if the people do not support the Constitution in its present form, it cannot survive<

    hey dog vomit ax baracky?

  80. yo drumwaster are you fbi, irs, nsa, ofa? what part of fascism do you claim?

  81. Any Conventions that took place after the Constitution was ratified as “Law of the Land” (March 4, 1789) would not have been in accordance with Article V, and would not have been valid, since that Article contains the only methods by which the Constitution can be amended.

    They can get together any time they wish, and the Governors meet regularly, but that is not an Amendment convention.

    The Constitution, then, spells out four paths for an amendment:

    Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state conventions (never used)
    Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state legislatures (never used)
    Proposal by Congress, ratification by state conventions (used once)
    Proposal by Congress, ratification by state legislatures (used all other times)

  82. mr dw/dv eff you ofa troll

  83. Sdferr, I agree that all of that goes into the mix.
    — 34 states petition Congress for a convention to consider repealing the 2nd amendement —
    Congress — shit. Now what do we do?

    And I agree with you that the convention provision is there to prod Congress to act when Congress doesn’t see the need to act.

    Unlike nrewrouter however, I don’t see any impropriety, Constitutionally, of Congress then deciding:

    A Convention for the Consideration of a Proposed Amendement Repealing the 2nd, and any Other Amendments the Convention May Consider.

  84. eff you troll

    >The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which , in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof,<

    Etta James – Oh Happy Day

  85. Exactly, Ernst. No matter whether they propose the Amendment on their own, or have to be forced under Article V, they still get to decide all the stuff that any host does. They may ask the States to announce their own delegates, but that just means that Congress is delegating that authority to the States, not that they never had it in the first place.

  86. hi language folks

    >The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states,<

    what is "is" the meaning of "or"

    fu commies

  87. you keep repeating that like you’ve made a devestating counterpoint. I don’t think you even understand what it means.

    Particularly the part about proposing amendments, plural.

  88. >t Congress is delegating that authority to the States, not that they never had it in the first place. <

    exactly where proggtarded? where exactly you statist loser? 9th 10th amendment idiot?

  89. >you keep repeating that like you’ve made a devestating counterpoi<

    define "or" for us losers –sir

  90. here idiots

    >The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states,<

    yea reading isn't important to the proggtarded

  91. The life experiences of the men who wrote the Constitution, some few of those opposing its ratification for what they considered too few safeguards, most in favor of its ratification as written, are instructive as to their intentions regarding the measures they put in place in the Constitution, among which measures we count the States as sovereign powers both prior to the Constitution; as sovereign ratifying members of the Constitution; and therefore as sovereign members under the Federal Constitution. The States application to hold an amendment convention signifies the States’ interest in the form of the Federal Constitution, as affecting the citizens of those States as well as the governments of the States themselves, in their relations with one another, as well as in their relation to the Federal government. The interests of the States and their citizens in the form of the Federal Constitution over-against the interests of the Federal government are best represented by the States at the direction of their citizens, and cannot be best represented by the Federal officials who stand as representatives under the Federal government with the interests of the Federal government in mind.

  92. >but that just means that Congress is delegating that authority to the States, not that they never had it in the first place. <

    dog vomit fighting dog vomit. piece of shit –sir how's banestiban? or the 9th &10th? clowndisaster

  93. The interests of the States and their citizens in the form of the Federal Constitution over-against the interests of the Federal government are best represented by the States at the direction of their citizens, and cannot be best represented by the Federal officials who stand as representatives under the Federal government with the interests of the Federal government in mind. – See more at: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=52440#comment-1050817

    I would agree, but the Constitution doesn give the States the authority to do anything other than call for the convention…

    Hypothetical: 33 of the 50 State Legislatures have loudly and repeatedly demanded that a Convention be held in accordance with Article V, with the other 17 just as loudly refusing to go along.

    Is Congress required to announce the meeting?

  94. define “or” for us losers

    Okay, I will.

    Either Congress can propose an amendment repealing the 2nd, subject to ratification by the states in the manner prescribed by Congress OR the state legislatures can apply to Congress to convene a Convention for the purpose of considering an amenment repealing the second, subject to ratification by the states in the manner prescribed by Congress.

    If 34 State legislatures apply to Congress, the Convention gets called.

    Nobody can honestly say they know what happens next.

    And you’re more churlish than you are a straight-up loser, if that makes you feel any better.

  95. >Particularly the part about proposing amendments, plural. <

    you do know the english language?

  96. Well, we can simply ignore Hamilton, who after all was merely one among many of the writers of the Constitution:

    *** The words of this article are peremptory. The Congress “shall call a convention.” Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body. And of consequence, all the declamation about the disinclination to a change vanishes in air. Nor however difficult it may be supposed to unite two thirds or three fourths of the State legislatures, in amendments which may affect local interests, can there be any room to apprehend any such difficulty in a union on points which are merely relative to the general liberty or security of the people. We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority. If the foregoing argument is a fallacy, certain it is that I am myself deceived by it, for it is, in my conception, one of those rare instances in which a political truth can be brought to the test of a mathematical demonstration. Those who see the matter in the same light with me, however zealous they may be for amendments, must agree in the propriety of a previous adoption, as the most direct road to their own object. ***

    Nothing he says has any weight with us. He’s dead.

  97. “I would agree, but the Constitution doesn give the States the authority to do anything other than call for the calling of a convention…

    fixed for clarity’s sake.

  98. >OR the state legislatures can apply to Congress to convene a Convention or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which , in either case,
    <

    sorry you be be statist if you think 2/3s of the states can't overturn the fed gov't . you be rove and baracky

  99. No one is questioning the peremptory “shall call” part. I’m trying to explain what is involved with the actual “call” to such a convention. Congress calls it (just as the Congress under the Articles of Confederation called the Convention that created our current Law of the Land). Do you think that does not imply the authority of setting the time, date and attendance, even if they delegate that power to others?

    Just like the authority to write laws implies the power to create a police force to enforce those laws, the power to call a Convention grants the concurrent authority to set the parameters of that meeting.

  100. > but the Constitution doesn give the States the authority to do anything other than call for the calling of a convention…<

    "The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which , in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes

    you know english?

  101. It does not.

  102. >ongress calls it (just as the Congress under the Articles of Confederation called the Convention that created our current Law of the Land <

    you are full of shit ofa. dw/dv doing ofa pride. go baracky!!11!!

  103. In Hamilton’s day, states legislatures weren’t primarily interested in making sure that their state wasn’t the one sucking hind tit when it came to Federal payola.

    There was a reason why federal tax dollars (highway money, if I remember) were tied to speed limits, lowering the legal drinking age s to 18, etc.

    Also the concept of the sovereignty of state power has been seriously degraded. Starting with the Incorporation Doctrine, or the 16th Amendment. Whichever came 1st.

  104. The States (and their peoples) are, concerted, an authority. The concerted States under their authority desire to change the Federal Constitution, affecting another authority, the Federal government. The Constitution, as written, requires the Federal authority to take notice that the concerted States aim to propose changes to the Federal Constitution by means of an amendment convention of the States, which convention of States will be controlled under the authority of those States. The Federal authority makes notice, compulsorily, and calls the Convention of Amendment. The States, severally, determine their delegations, and the proposals they see fit to make. The Convention, once assembled, and the delegations therein, take their instruction from their States, and proceeds to consider and write whatever Amendments may be proposed. These are either voted forward, or not, as the case may be. If voted out, the proposed Amendments then undergo ratification, again, or not.

  105. I don’t think Congress would act peremptorily as far as how the states are going to people their delegations. But Congress will decide the size of the delegations, as well as the qualifications of the delegates, even if it’s only saying something like “citizen in good standing, as the state legislature’s may determine*.” Too little specificity and you’ll get states like New York trying to pull a Stalin, showing up with Union “NGOs” demanding a seat at the table for their interests.

    *trying to get my legalese right.

  106. But Congress will decide the size of the delegations, as well as the qualifications of the delegates, even if it’s only saying something like “citizen in good standing, as the state legislature’s may determine*

    It will not. It has not the authority.

  107. The concerted States under their authority desire to change the Federal Constitution, affecting another authority, the Federal government. The Constitution, as written, requires the Federal authority to take notice that the concerted States aim to propose changes to the Federal Constitution by means of an amendment convention of the States, which convention of States will be controlled under the authority of those States.

    Where does it say that the meeting shall be “controlled under the authority of those States”? I don’t see it anywhere, which means it isn’t even misinterpretation of the text, but simply making stuff up. I DO see that it explicitly states that Congress has the sole authority to call that Convention into being, even if their hand is forced.

    What if there aren’t 34 States calling for that Convention? Is Congress still required to call it?

  108. Geoff is gonna love this guy’s response and the fact he also lives in CO!!

    Why the fuck am I dragged into this? /sarc>

  109. Before 1916, I think that’s exactly what would have happened sdferr. Now? I’m not as sanguine. It’s that whole Implied Powers make Express Powers operative thing.

  110. Why the fuck am I dragged into this?

    Because Jeff moved to MI?

  111. What, again, is the purpose of amending the Constitution? Why would the States be needed for this purpose? What are the interests of the people and of the States regarding the Federal Constitution? When the Federal government runs amok, we think the States — which contracted to form the Federal government after all — have an interest in controlling that contracted Federal government.

    Why would the interest of the States be best represented by a Federal government run amok? Anybody? Why would the framers of the Constitution, who saw very clearly the need to constrain government, fail to supply a means to effect that restraint, and instead supply a means to enable an overweening seizure of powers unintended for the Federal government?

    Why a duplicated act of power exercised solely by the one power in need of correction? This simply makes no sense. Give the guys some credit, why not? They intended to pose power against power (well, ok, ambition against ambition, but its much to the same effect). The States stand as a power against the Federal government in this instance. Any other reading of this measure is to make it a nonsense.

  112. The power to call the Convention is specifically and explicitly granted to Congress, even if it must be forced to do so “upon application of 2/3 of the State Legislatures”. Implied powers are the powers exercised by Congress which are not explicitly given by the Constitution itself but necessary and proper to execute the powers which are.

    Among the implied powers granted to call the Convention is the set the date, place, and all the rest, just as happens for every other kind of meeting imaginable. They cannot be limited to simply calling the meeting and walking away until it’s done, not without taking away the power explicitly granted by Article V.

    When Congress calls for a Blue-Ribbon Commission, it sets the time and place of the first meeting, and the members of that committee. Same thing here — if Congress is actually forced to call the Convention, that does not take away the powers of Congress under the Constitution.

    I’m still curious as to what would happen if you cannot get 34 States to apply…

  113. Why would the framers of the Constitution, who saw very clearly the need to constrain government, fail to supply a means to effect that restraint

    If all else fails, remember the four boxes: soap, ballot, jury and ammo.

  114. It has not the authority.

    Which is why the Entitlement Society was stillborn, right?

    We won’t know what authority Congress has with regards to a convention it’s called until it’s called one, will we?

    What if there aren’t 34 States calling for that Convention? Is Congress still required to call it?

    No.

    Not because the petition failed to reach “critical mass,” understand, but because by the time 30+ states were on the same page bout any given issue, Congress itself would vote out the amendment rather than risk going through door number two and losing the control it enjoys over the process behind door number one.

    The only exceptions to that I can possibly think of are Congressional term limits, maybe, and, almost surely, mandatory retirement ages.

  115. sdferr, maybe I’m misreading you, but you seem to be taking the position that Congress has no control beyond saying “convention! Philedelphia, Jun 18th, be there or be square!” because if it had more power than that, it would naturally seek to stack the deck against the interests of the states that forced it to act in the first place. To stick with my earlier example: 34 states want a convention to repeal the 2nd. Congress, because it’s beholden to the blood money of Big Gun doesn’t want the second repealed. So it calls the convention, as required but stipulates that the State delegations are to be comprised of ten members selected by the chapters of the NRA in each state.

    Now, the way I’m reading you, you’re making the philosohpical argument that that couldn’t happen because granting Congress that much control over the process negates the purpose of the process in the first place.

    As a philosophical matter, I agree with you. But as a legal matter, we won’t actually know, even in such a brazen abuse of process as I just suggested, until it really happens.

    The real check on all of the abuses here, as I’ve already tried to indicate, is the fact that Congress still has to answer to the voters. And the voters in 34 states agreeing on anything passionately and persistently enough to move their respective Legislatures to act is going to have repurcussions in Congressional elections. Well before the 34 state threshold I would guess.

  116. And just like that, I’ve stayed up way longer than I should have, doubtlessly aggravating the croupy ague I’ve been fighting, mostly in vain, for a week. And was just starting to recover from it. Probably I’ll have the chillblains by morning.

    You bastards. Why’d you make me do this to myself?

  117. Final final thought for the night.

    Congress’s authority over the convening of a convention, whatever in practice it would turn out to be, would end when the convention cames to order.

    Whatever would happen after that will be behind door number 3.

    Still subject to ratification by the States in the manner prescribed, of course.

  118. Perhaps if this thing ever actually happens, one of the proposed amendments should be to stipulate what authority Congress does have over a convention called by the states — hint: preferably very little.

  119. Ernst Schreiber says January 15, 2014 at 12:07 am – The real check on all of the abuses here, as I’ve already tried to indicate, is the fact that Congress still has to answer to the voters.

    Which is why I remain dubious on term limits. I don’t know how you craft a law to make up for a catastrophic lack of informed and engaged voters.

    If the voters were the check the framers expected, we’d never have wound up here.

  120. Pingback: VodkaPundit » Irony of the Day

  121. Sorry GeoffB

    I meant JeffG.

  122. As a lawyer, I do get off on the angels dancing on the head of a pin re the 5th amendment. As a citizen of these f’ing united States, I suspect that a bunch of States wanting to diverge from the gentle ministrations of congress might decide that the question is more practical: what are you gonna do about it and with what army?

  123. here are the peaceful choices: allow the ruining class their reign(whether d/r) or article V. that is all or violence

  124. Politics, we have to say, has less to do with angels than it has to do with a boot stomping on a human face.

  125. Politics is the art of saying “Nice doggy” until you can find a rock. — Will Rogers.

  126. I thought the quote was “Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice Doggy’ while reaching for a rock.”

  127. I sit corrected. (Working from memory doesn’t always work well.) Okay, then how about:

    Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable. — John Kenneth Galbraith

  128. politics is where you vote and stuff

  129. Where you vote and stuff and then the boot stomps on the face. Same same — coercion comin’ and goin’.

  130. Sorry GeoffB

    I meant JeffG.

    Not a problem.

    I figured that was it but my entire life people who hear my name said, will spell it “Jeff”, while people who see it spelled never would pronounce it “Jeff” so it was weird to see the opposite happen.

  131. These days politics has been the art of trying to convince your base that doing what they elected you to do is impossible, so just lie back and think of England, bitches.

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