1998-01-14 - Re: Freedom Forum report (freedom of association)

Header Data

From: The Sheriff <sheriff@speakeasy.org>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 969bbe7ce130b54e78609efe9a88b2f67d0d7c636825f91e7168b0b5b36056e6
Message ID: <l03020903b0e2326e2e11@[]>
Reply To: <19971226.145900.12766.0.Lord_Buttmonkey@juno.com>
UTC Datetime: 1998-01-14 10:32:07 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 18:32:07 +0800

Raw message

From: The Sheriff <sheriff@speakeasy.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 18:32:07 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Freedom Forum report (freedom of association)
In-Reply-To: <19971226.145900.12766.0.Lord_Buttmonkey@juno.com>
Message-ID: <l03020903b0e2326e2e11@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


>These arguments are all smoke and mirrors unless we figure
>out where authority lies (? ;-)

With the people of this country.  There that was simple. :)

>As far as I'm concerned freedom of association is implied by
>freedom of assembly.  To assemble in this context obviously
>means to associate. If it doesn't, then what the hell is it?
>To come together in order to work things out?  Is that
>association?  In the context of assembling for commerce,
>commerce is just assembling and agreeing on the terms of
>free association.

Okay, my point was simply that an assumed right shouldn't
HAVE to be implied under the existing constitution.  Either
we have to find a way to list all our freedoms at once and
then guarantee them definitively, or we have to not guarantee
them on paper, so as to not LIMIT them TO paper.

I'm assuming that the bill of rights was written in this
spirit -- our forefathers listed and guaranteed all of our
rights that had been previously contested by King George.
I can only assume that they had no idea the kind of civil
war they would start over rights that they didn't see as
being threatened but must (in today's world) be guaranteed
by law in order to be valid.

I mean, hell how to you spell out the right to privacy in
leagalese, in one paragraph?  You can't, not in today's
society.  Everybody's definition has a different spin, and
all of the ones based on common sense are correct.

>The authority of a Supreme Court was challenged by Thomas
>Jefferson, who speculated that if such a court were the
>ultimate arbiter of justice, then a tyranny of the judiciary
>would follow.

Nine judges, appointed for life, who therefore never run
for election (even though they are selected and confirmed
by elected officials).  Whomever chooses them influences the
political philosophy driving that court for years and years
after their term of office has expired.  I entirely agree with
Thomas Jefferson.  Interestingly enough, the constitution
doesn't say a damn thing about "judicial review."  It was
a power that the supreme court granted unto itself, something
that the court itself would challange if either of the other
two branches of government tried that...

Personally, I think the voters should decide exactly what
the supreme court can do (since it's rather vaguely defined
in the constitution), and then give themselves to vote on
who will be put in those nine chairs.

>So who ultimately judges?  I should think having a federal
>body judge the constitutional limitations of the federal
>government is an obvious conflict of interest.

I think the idea behind it all was to say that, in putting
nine judges in the highest court and giving them lifetime
terms, they then have the ability to make decisions without
facing the wrath of the other two brances.  You're correct,
however.  A man who represents himself in a court of law
has a fool for a client, and this holds true for the Fed.

>In any case,
>anyone willing to read the constitution and do just a little
>bit of homework will find out that the constitution is a
>*limitation* of the powers of the federal government, not a
>broad grant.

Thank you, thank you! :)

>[little know fact: Earl Warren, noted Supreme Court
>"Justice" was the designer of the Japanese-American Prison
>camps in the US during WWII]

I didn't know that.

>Before someone starts spouting off on "our living
>constitution"(TM) someone please tell me why they didn't
>strike out the conflicting parts of the constitution when
>they "grew" it?  Something like "amendments number one, two,
>five, nine and ten should be amended to read "unless we say
>otherwise".  Alterations of public law almost always specify
>the previous laws that are struck down.  In fact, if memory
>serves, the repeal of prohibition specifically alters the
>amendment that created it.

Actually, I think the "unless we say so" clause is allready
in there, in most if not all ammendments (unless I'm
mistaken).  It reads something to the effect of Congress
having the athority to draft any and all laws that assist in
the upholding of whatever part of the constitution that the
clause is included in.  I think it's called the "elastic
clause," if memory serves me correctly (where's my copy of
the constitution that has all the $2 bills with the signing
of the declaration of independance on the back stuffed into
the middle?!).

>(It is left as an excercise to the reader to figure out why
>prohibition needed an amendment to the constitution while
>prohibition of other mind altering substances did not ;-)

I think what happened was that the prohibition ammendent was
drafted in the "do MORE good!" days following the United State's
successes in the first world war.  A time of "good feelings"
was in effect, and since the evil Germans had been stamped out,
folks figured that stamping out other evils was also a good thing.

How ironic that the repealing ammendment immediately followed
the woman's sufferage ammendment.  It's like the country woke
up from a bad hangover...

>Have a day.

Allways do. :)

Best wishes and fresh-roasted peanut taste,
The Sheriff. -- ***<REPLY TO: sheriff@speakeasy.org>***
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