Category Archives: executive

The New & . . . Well, NEW Progressive Constitution

With Rep. Clyburn admitting that the proggies would prefer to govern without a Constitution, it’s time to take a look at their constitutional goals.

By Wolf Howling

Let’s face it.  Progressives have gone a long way to making our Constitution a dead letter already.  But as Rep. Clyburn makes clear in the video below, they are not yet wholly satisfied with the result.  Work remains to be done.

What progressives want is nothing more than permanent power.  That would be impossible to accomplish were they starting from scratch, but clearly they aren’t.  A lot of the most important groundwork has already been laid over the past century.  So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the state of our Constitution today, how it has already been altered, and how it would look once the proggies are done rewriting it.

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Art 1 Sec. 1:    Out — All legislative power is vested in Congress.  In — Government by regulatory bureaucracy and Executive fiat (Presidential pen and phone).

This is one we don’t have to imagine.  Progressives won this fight nearly a century ago with FDR’s court packing scheme, but it was not until Obama that we were treated to Congress becoming a secondary, and comparatively unimportant, source of legislation.  And that is how progressives want to keep it.  It’s much easier to make “fundamental changes” to society when bureaucrats write the laws without being subject to any of the checks and balances written into the Constitutional scheme.

As Justice Kagan stated recently in Gundy v. U.S., if Art 1, Sec. 1 of the Constitution actually means what it says, that “all legislative power” resides in Congress and cannot be substantively delegated, “then most of Government is unconstitutional.”  She says it like its a bad thing.  Of course, this is the same Supreme Court Justice who accused plaintiffs of “weaponizing the First Amendment” by relying on it to challenge forced union dues.  This is a woman who should not be allowed to sit on a public park bench in the U.S., let alone the Supreme Court bench.

Two notes — One, Senate Republicans and Democrats alike are fine the way things are.  That way, they don’t have to make any of the tough decisions.  It is the only way to interpret the fact that the Republican controlled Senate killed the REINS Act.  Worthless bastards, all of them.  Two, the Supreme Court as it is now sitting (and if it does not get packed by the next Democrat administration) signaled in Gundy that it is probably going to force legislative authority back into Congress, whether Congress likes it or not.  The proggies will die to a man (woman, or pick your favorite fantasy gender) on the hill before they allow that to happen.

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Art. 1 Sec. 2:  Out — Each State is entitled to two Senators.  In — Let’s have two Houses of Representatives.

Letting small conservative states have an equal vote in the Senate with large states (the Connecticut Compromise) was necessary in 1787, but there was no progressive imperative then; now, it just sucks.  Per The Atlantic just a few months ago, this equal representation of states in the Senate is a problem in need of a progressive solution.

Today the voting power of a citizen in Wyoming, the smallest state in terms of population, is about 67 times that of a citizen in the largest state of California, and the disparities among the states are only increasing. The situation is untenable.

Under the new proggie Constitution, there will be equal representation in both Houses . . . at least so long as that continues to yield a progressive majority.

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Art I Sec. 8:  Out — Enumerated Powers of Federal Government;  In — Unlimited Power of Federal Government (for Progressives Only)

It’s been a long, long time since progressives started running wild with the “Commerce Clause” to justify federal legislation reaching every aspect of life in America.  Its reach is practically unlimited today, though it did suffer a small set back a few years ago in the Obamacare cases concerning the mandate to purchase insurance.  Not to worry though, for while even the power of the commerce clause can’t be stretched that far, our inventive Supreme Court can find other justifications.  Our modern taxing authority, as Chief Justice John Roberts reinterpreted it, can substitute in a pinch to save the progressive bacon.

We are already a very long way from the Founder’s Constitution of limited federal powers, but under the Constitution as rewritten this will be a settled issue.

Of course, the flip side of this new doctrine is also worthy of mention.  As courts repeatedly make clear in the Trump era, most recently here, even if a Republican president uses federal power in a wholly legal way, s/he can be stopped by a progressive in a black robe who doesn’t agree with the policy.

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Art II Sec. 3:  Out — The Electoral College.  In — Pure Democracy

The Electoral College is, according to Chiquita Khrushchev, a “RACIST scam” standing athwart the progressive will to power.  We could be enjoying nirvana under President Hildabeast today were it not for the horrible, racist Electoral College.

One man (woman, or pick your favorite fantasy gender), one vote sounds fair . . . unless you know a bit about political history and why our Founders would not even consider democracy as a viable option for this nation.  As John Adams said:

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

Democracy invariably devolves into mob rule. Of course, that’s okay with the proggies, for any rule that gives them a benefit at the moment is, to hear them tell it, the only one with moral standing — whether it is actually in the interests of minorities or not.

And in that vein, a special mention here of Art 1 Sec. 2 clause 3’s Three Fifths Compromise.  While it hasn’t been operative since about 1865, word is that AOC wants to revive it as part of the new proggie rewrite of the electoral college.  She wants to have the votes of white people counted as only three fifths of a vote.  As quoted at the Bee, AOC said “What if we count all white people as three-fifths of a person instead of a full person? Then, good votes would count more than bad, racist votes. Like, four or five times more or something, because 3/5ths is only like 10% of a real vote.”

Sometimes it is hard to figure out whether the Babylon Bee is satire or not.  No wonder Snopes is so confused.

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Art II Sec II:  Out — Limited Presidential Powers; In — Presidential Powers Limitations Depending on Party Affiliation

This rewrite is wholly situational.  A non-Progressive President is an obscenity who cannot Constitutionally wield any power (under the progressive rewrite at least).  But put a non-progressive in as President and the sky’s the limit, from unilateral legislation of DACA (the textbook definition of tyranny) to unilateral execution of treaties with Iran and the Paris Accords, etc.

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Art. III  Out — An Independent Judiciary Limited to Exercise of Judicial Power;  In — A Progressive Judiciary with Statutory Legislative and Constitutional Amending Powers

For nearly a century, our judiciary has leaned progressive and has busily been rewriting our Constitution by assuming the powers of legislation (Art. 1 Sec. 1) and amending the Constitution itself (Art. V) (abortion, gay marriage, etc.).  Now, with the Court in danger of becoming non-Progressive, well, that cannot possibly be allowed. It would be too blatant to rewrite the Constitution to require a progressive majority on the Supreme Court, but the practical way of accomplishing that is to pack the Court.

Actually, I can’t think of anything more likely to ignite a shooting civil war in this country, but . . . what’s a civil war when progressive dominance over the evil that is non-progressives is at stake.

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The Bill of Rights

1st Amendment:  Out — Religious Conscience Clause;  In — Progressive Conscience Clause

The whole purpose of the progressive embrace of sexuality, and in particular, homosexuality and gender identity as moral imperatives, has been as a cudgel to attack the Judeo Christian religions and drive those religions out of the public square.  Bookworm had the definitive look at this years ago at American Thinker.

1st Amendment:  Out — Anti-Establishment Clause;  In — Secular Religion Clause

The progressive war on the Judeo-Christian religions has been ongoing in this country for over a century.  Socialism requires the replacement of a monotheistic God with government.  It has been that way from the moment of socialism’s inception:

Sixty years after the French Revolution, Karl Marx, socialism’s greatest philosopher, famously wrote in his Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right that religion is the “opium of the people” and that “[t]he abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.” The British socialist party wrote in their 1911 manifesto that “it is a profound truth that Socialism is the natural enemy of religion.” Lenin, the father of the Soviet Union’s bloody experiment in Communism, wrote in 1905, “The modern class-conscious worker, reared by large-scale factory industry and enlightened by urban life, contemptuously casts aside religious prejudices, leaves heaven to the priests and bourgeois bigots, and tries to win a better life for himself here on earth.” Lenin further noted that “every socialist is, as a rule” an “atheist.” And Hitler himself was of like mind – “National Socialism and Christianity cannot co-exist together.”

1st Amendment:  Out — Freedom of Speech;  In — Freedom for Progressive Approved Speech Only

Speech control equals thought control, so that progressives’ love for speech limitations, such as on “hate speech,” almost goes without saying.    It is right out of Orwell.  Of course, as an alternative, if speech cannot be fully controlled, progressives are fine if it can be effectively suppressed on social media or by sending out ANTIFA thugs to shut down speakers.

2nd Amendment:  Out — Right to Keep & Bear Arms;  In — The Right of Government to Disarm the Populace

This is another one that needs very little elucidation.  A prerequisite for tyrannical government is a disarmed populace.  Unarmed cows become Big Macs and Whoppers. Cows with guns on the other hand . . .

4th Amendment: Out: General Warrants are per se Unconstitutional; In — The police power of government can be used against political opposition

Whether it was using the IRS to target the Tea Party or using general warrants under the guise of a counter-intelligence operation against the Trump administration, this obscene abuse of power is okay as long as progressives use it against evil non-progressives.  The only surprising thing about the Obama administration’s incredible abuse of power as to the investigation of Trump is that the proggies found nothing to actually charge as a substantive crime.  Beria would be most unimpressed.

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So as you can see, the rewrite need not be too much more extensive than already exists.  Then we can finally have progressive heaven on earth.  Somehow, I think it is more likely to resemble biblical hell.

The post The New & . . . Well, NEW Progressive Constitution appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Sandy AGREES (Reluctantly) With the Governor – Let’s Work It to Our Advantage

To say I was surprised when I read the Governor’s email message (I am on the Governor’s email list not because he knows me but I signed up to get the messages.  I get a lot of propaganda but some useful information and this is one example.) about the mass restoration of civil rights (except firearm rights) to 206,000 felons who have completed their sentences and any probation/parole and paid fines and costs is an understatement.

In fact, my first thought was:  Can McAuliffe do that?  So I looked at the state constitution (after reading some of the early criticism of the executive order from Republicans) to see what it says.  Let’s ask the question:  WWSD:  What Would Scalia Do?  The future patron saint of judges would look to the text of the constitution first.

Here is Article V, Section 12 of the Virginia Constitution:

Article V. Executive

Section 12. Executive clemency

The Governor shall have power to remit fines and penalties under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law; to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction except when the prosecution has been carried on by the House of Delegates; to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction for offenses committed prior or subsequent to the adoption of this Constitution; and to commute capital punishment.

He shall communicate to the General Assembly, at each regular session, particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, of reprieve or pardon granted, and of punishment commuted, with his reasons for remitting, granting, or commuting the same.

I do not see any requirement of a request first nor does it prohibit the use of executive clemency for a class of cases.

I actually called for a class of gay felons to receive a pardon because it was inherently unfair that soliciting straight sex is a misdemeanor (because consensual sex between adults is a misdemeanor and soliciting for a misdemeanor is a misdemeanor) but soliciting gay sex is a felony because of the old sodomy law was a felony and soliciting for a felony is – you guessed it – a felony!  (If I find the link I’ll link to it but it might have been at the now defunct blog Conflicted Libertarian!)  There is no question in my mind a governor could pardon a entire class of convicted persons for whatever reason he or she wants to (except maybe a bribe perhaps) as long as he notifies the next session of the General Assembly.

Could Governor McAuliffe clear death row if he chose?  Well, yes he can. I could find no statute saying the governor cannot do so.  From Article II, Section 1, paragraph 1 (concerning the right to vote):

No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority.

It does not say how the governor can act.  And there is no statute limiting the executive clemency power (and such a law would stand on dubious ground as a violation of the separation of powers or the exclusive power of the executive to issue clemency) to only those cases where a request is made.

Not this statute (Code Section 53.1-231) either:

§ 53.1-231. Investigation of cases for executive clemency by Parole Board.

The Virginia Parole Board shall, at the request of the Governor, investigate and report to the Governor on cases in which executive clemency is sought. In any other case in which it believes action on the part of the Governor is proper or in the best interest of the Commonwealth, the Board may investigate and report to the Governor with its recommendations.

The Parole Board is not required to act before the Governor can issue executive clemency neither does this statute require a request.  Nor did I find limits in Title 53 of the Virginia Code on the Governor’s power.

Now I am also on Senator Obenshain’s email list (I might be on another list after this blog post but that is another story) and the senator cites a letter that the counsel for Governor Kaine with a constitutional objection.  Here is the letter in its entirety.

But the letter does not say what it is cited to say (from the Obenshain statement):

“It is clear that the Governor has overstepped his statutory and constitutional authority by signing this executive action, which automatically restores civil rights to over 200,000 convicted felons.  Democrat and Republican Governors dating back more than 30 years have researched this issue and all have concluded that they do not have the sweeping executive authority the Governor has sought to exercise today. Even Governor Kaine reached this conclusion, which his counsel explained in a detailed letter sent to the ACLU on January 15, 2010. As Governor Kaine’s counsel explained, absent an amendment to the Virginia Constitution, a Governor cannot do what this Governor did today.  This is the kind of unconstitutional executive overreach that we have seen all too often in Washington. We deserve better from a Governor of Virginia.

“While I do support a streamlined process to restore civil rights, the Governor has gone too far. I cannot endorse the Governor’s sweeping and unconstitutional action today.  The Governor restored rights without any regard to the seriousness or violent nature of the crimes committed, whether these individuals have paid their court costs in full, whether they have stayed out of trouble since their release, or most importantly, whether they have paid restitution to the victims.  The action today by the Governor fails to respect victims of crime, the rule of law and is clearly unconstitutional.”

But no provision nor case is cited in this statement.  The letter actually says this:

“First, while the wording of the constitutional provision granting the powers of clemency and restoration of rights might be read to support the blanket use of these powers to benefit unnamed individuals, we think the better argument is that these powers are meant to apply to named individuals for whom a specific grant of executive clemency is sought.   A blanket order restoring the voting rights of everyone would be a rewrite of the law rather than a contemplated use of the executive clemency powers.  And, the notion that the Constitution of the Commonwealth could be rewritten via executive order is troubling.

Now I agree this order is troubling.  How does a felon determine if he or she can legally vote?  Where would such a conscientious person go to determine that?  What about a registrar of voters seeking to determine if a person before him or her can legally register to vote?  It would seem to me that the better idea would be to say:  Clemency is available and if you ask for it and meet the criteria, apply and it will be granted automatically.

But that is a political not a constitutional argument.  If we accept that the clemency power of a governor is plenary and I suggest it is exactly that than we must accept the legal validity of the order.  This order does not solve the constitutional provision permanently removing the right to vote for felons in the future.

I suggest that the Supreme Court of Virginia has held the governor’s powers are plenary.  See Wilborn v. Saunders, 170 Va. 153, 195 S.E.723 (1938):

   “By the Constitution of Virginia, the governor is empowered to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction, except when the prosecution has been carried on by the house of delegates, and to remit fines and penalties in such cases and under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law. He is also empowered to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction for offences, and to commute capital punishment. Const., Art. IV, sec. 5.

“It will thus be seen that certain restrictions are here imposed upon the exercise of the pardoning power which are not found in the laws of England or of the United States. But subject to these restrictions, the effect of the governor’s pardon must be determined by the same rules which apply to a pardon by the British crown or by the president of the United States.” Edwards Commonwealth, supra.

And what did our Supreme Court say about the Crown’s pardoning power?  It was plenary and at first the Governor’s power in the Commonwealth was not plenary but was gradually increased in subsequent state constitutions:

 Prior to the independence of the thirteen former British American colonies, the power to exercise executive clemency lay within the prerogative of the crown. 5 William Blackstone, Commentaries *395–96. After the American Revolution, as part of a general reaction against the unfettered exercise of executive power, Virginia and seven other newly-independent states restricted the exercise of that power to the Governor with the concurrence of an advisory board or council of some kind. The original 1776 Constitution of Virginia granted the Governor the “power of granting reprieves or pardons” but only “with the advice of the Council of State.” The Governor was not given the power to act alone in granting reprieves and pardons until adoption of the Constitution of 1851. In the constitutional revision of 1870, the Governor was given the additional power to “remove political disabilities consequent to conviction of offenses.” 2 A.E. Dick Howard, Commentaries on the Constitution of Virginia, 641–42 (1974).

Gallagher v. Commonwealth, 732 S.E.2d 22 (Va. 2012)

Now force the issue of the details and embrace it.  Discuss how Governor McDonnell started the process of liberalizing clemency and restoration of rights.  There is an excellent article at Bearing Drift by J. R. Hoeft on the McDonnell clemency legacy (Hoeft disagrees with me on the Governor’s action however).

Suggest that the governor limit his order and streamline the requests to ensure a proper voting roll for each election.  And say to those felons newly enfranchised:  Here’s why we hope you will vote for our candidates.  But let’s not offend them at the getgo.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders