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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Learn more about the Constitution

Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at 9:41 AM

This is Constitution Week, a time to admire and marvel at the greatest political document ever created by the minds of mortal men.

The Constitution, which replaced the worthless and powerless Articles of Confederation, was adopted on Sept.17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, and subsequently ratified by conventions in 11 states. It went into effect on March 4, 1789.

The first ten amendments ratified, by three-fourths of the states in 1791, are known as the Bill of Rights. There have been 17 additional amendments since that time. Some merely adjusted some of the procedures and limitations set in the original Constitution (such as essentially limiting presidents to two terms in office). Some, such as the 14th Amendment, resulted in massive changes in society and the philosophy of government. Only one of the amendments, the 18th (Prohibition) ever reduced the freedoms of Americans (it was repealed by the 21st Amendment). All others have, in some way, expanded or clarified our liberties, which are unlike any in the world.

We are, by law, the freest people on the planet.

That doesn't mean our freedom is absolute, or that it can't be threatened. We lost some freedoms at the hands of Congress (not the terrorists) following the 9/11 attacks. Our current governor was then a congressmen and was one of the few to recognize that and have the courage to overcome the emotions of the moment and vote against the Patriot Act, which among other things, suspends the right of habeas corpus in some instances and allows the government to "disappear" people off the street without having to charge them, bring them to trial or even let their families know they've been arrested.

It's not the first time the Constitution has been "bent" during time of war. Lincoln did it in the Civil War, Wilson in WWI and FDR in WWII (the internment camps for Americans of Japanese ancestry). Nixon tried to burglarize his way around the Constitution during the Vietnam War.

Those "abridged" rights were restored when the wars ended, but we've never faced such an open-ended war as Bush's War on Terror.

It's why every American can never feel completely safe about the freedoms guaranteed under our Constitution. They work only when we continually fight to make sure they work. In our country, the framework of law gives us the battleground for those fights, rather than the streets.

It's why the courts are always filled with challenges, the important ones rising to the level of the Supreme Court, which rules on how to interpret the Constitution. It has no power to enforce its rulings, but Americans agree to abide by them, even if they don't like them -- one of our great strengths as a people that the Founding Fathers recognized and reinforced.

The Constitution works because we want it to. If we ever give that up, both it and our nation, will fade into history.

This week, read the Constitution. It's not that long. If you can, read some of the major case law, or summaries of that law, that explains how the Constitution has come to be interpreted. There are some good websites that will send you to those links. (Look up Constitutional Law --the Cornell University site is particularly good, although it can be a little overwhelming).

It's Constitution Week. Learn more about it.

-- Kelly Everitt

Showing most recent comments first
[Show in chronological order instead]


As KH Gal said "Don't feed the Bears"

-- Posted by MsMarylin on Thu, Sep 27, 2012, at 12:12 PM

I won't provide any more because I'm not going to waste my time with you.

My link was not intended to "...explain Obama's actions clearly." Mr. Knight's contention is that President Obama violated the War Powers Act. The link clearly explains the determinations that must be made while complying with the War Powers Act.

petitio principii

-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 9:34 PM

If you're that fired up about these issues, take them to your Congressmen.

-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 7:23 PM

That covers the first issue.

As you can see, these are complex issues that cannot be explained in one paragraph, as Mr. Knight has done.

I won't provide any more.

Educate yourselves.

-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 7:15 PM

I thought the Knight article was a dead issue.


-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 6:54 PM

Well, I wasn't holding my breath, Buckshot, were you?

-- Posted by Second Wind on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 6:17 PM

I believe the facts are as Robert Knight has presented because everything he stated is exactly what happened.

You can't figure how to legally justify Obama's subverting our constitution for his own goals so you state Knight's facts are wrong. I don't know who you think you're convincing on here because the rest of us know a dictator- in- the- making when we see one.

-- Posted by Second Wind on Tue, Sep 25, 2012, at 9:30 AM

We can all agree that we are a nation of laws.

Anyone who believes the facts are as Robert Knight has presented them would be anxious to join in any action that would prove his many contentions.

-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Tue, Sep 25, 2012, at 8:58 AM

Insert derisive laugher here.

-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Mon, Sep 24, 2012, at 8:49 PM


-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Mon, Sep 24, 2012, at 7:30 PM

Can you give us the status of any legal proceeding that challenges the President on any of the issues you've provided?

Aside from the healthcare issue which has already been decided by the Supreme Court.

-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Mon, Sep 24, 2012, at 7:08 PM

An interesting and informative link to the archive of Executive Orders, January 8, 1937 - Present


-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Mon, Sep 24, 2012, at 1:40 PM

Don't mistake my desire to stay on topic,(as the hosts of the MHN blogs request) as a desire to minimize anyone's participation or restrict anyone's rights as an American. I'm an American too. We should all behave as our hosts expect us to.

If anyone would like to see Idaho's Congressional delegation put forth legal challenges to Executive Orders, they should voice their concerns to them.

-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Mon, Sep 24, 2012, at 10:18 AM

Why not just give an opinion and just paste the link?

The post at 0906 is off topic.

-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Mon, Sep 24, 2012, at 9:18 AM

Here's a link to the list of Executive Orders issued by President Obama.

I did check Mr. Longstreet's past writings. I could not find any instance of impartiality or non-partisanship. He is extremely prejudicial. It looks like he takes issue with anything the administration does. He reminds me of an old woman chasing a bee with a broom handle.

Everyone concerned about Executive Orders should read through the list and come to your own conclusions.

Mr. Longstreet recognizes that Executive Orders may be challenged through the courts. Have any of President Obama's Executive Orders been successfully challenged? If not, why not and who bears the blame for not challenging them? Mr. Longstreet? The outspoken, ineffectual Republican members of the House and Senate?


-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Mon, Sep 24, 2012, at 8:48 AM

Shooting ducks?

-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Mon, Sep 24, 2012, at 8:26 AM


-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 11:05 AM

Read the Constitution as Mr. Everitt suggests.

Read "The Federalist Papers".

Compare the language and reasoning the writers used to persuade the people of the State of New York to ratify The Constitution with the methods of persuasion that are employed by the political parties of our day.

We should be ashamed.

An interesting fact about the Executive Orders that President Obama has signed is they all still include the phrase "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America...".

Most Executive Orders conclude with "This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person."

Some may dispute the intent of a President's Executive Orders. There are legal remedies, with a basis in our Constitution, in place that enable a citizen or group of citizens to challenge Executive Orders.

-- Posted by Dave Thompson on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 10:45 AM

Go see the movie


Very scarey reality if Obama gets in


-- Posted by yniashi on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 6:17 PM

Did I miss something?

Did "it' hit the streets yet?


Go ahead and support him......sing his praises and kiss his butt......cut the throats of your grandkids...........I will not argue with ANY of you anymore out here.

I am hereby OFF THIS BLOG-NET, (which should charm several of you).

As a AMERICAN.........I have nothing more to say, until it hits the streets.

And I apologize for NOTHING!!

-- Posted by bazookaman on Wed, Sep 12, 2012, at 8:01 PM

-- Posted by Pale Ale on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 1:47 PM

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