August 22, 2019

Maine Governor Says 3 Ballot Questions are “Unconstitutional”

According the Maine Wire, in an article written by Governor Paul LePage, he states: “As Governor, I am sworn to uphold the Constitutions of Maine and the United States of America. I take this responsibility very seriously. In fact, I carry a copy of the Constitution in my suit pocket every day.

In Maine, I believe three of the questions on the November ballot are unconstitutional. If they pass it will be impossible to uphold my oath of office.”<<<Read More>>>

To claim something to be “unconstitutional,” isn’t it a bit of an over-used excuse? One might even argue it a cliche. I am no constitutional scholar, and even though I did stay at a Holiday Inn once, I can’t say that qualifies me to be an expert. I am, however, perhaps a bit more versed in constitutional history than your average Joe – no offense intended to Joes everywhere.

I would assume that to declare that a law or proposed law to be “unconstitutional” it must be directly in opposition to the constitution of the state being referenced – in this case Maine, or the Federal Government. The author also says that he believes some of the ballot questions, if passed, would violate the U.S. Constitution as well. Would it?

First, a fundamental error often made by lay people, like myself, is lack of understanding between what might be considered “unconstitutional” and what could be “without precedence.”

In the case of the Maine Governor’s claim of the unconstitutionality of three ballot questions, I suppose we must take a look at the Maine Constitution first. Article IV, Third Part, Section 1, in part reads: “The Legislature, with the exceptions hereinafter stated, shall have full power to make and establish all reasonable laws and regulations for the defense and benefit of the people of this State, not repugnant to this Constitution, nor to that of the United States.” Reads like a lawyer’s dream come true doesn’t it?

In this day and age of immorality, where wrong is now right, where bad is good, the end justifies the means, etc. what and who determines what is “reasonable” and “not repugnant?” Surely you understand that the Maine Constitution gives the Legislature the power and authority to “make and establish” any and all laws they deem in the best interest of the Maine (P)?people.

But such a delegation of power is not just found in the Maine Constitution. The U.S. Constitution states the same. In Article I, Section 8, we read: “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” Read that one a few times.

Is it not appropriate to question whether such constitutional statements give the Congress of the United States, and in this case, the state of Maine, authority to create and establish any law(s) they deem within the “reasonable,” “necessary,” and “proper” within the limiting (or not limiting) terms of the sections of the constitution?

If, in Maine, Question 3 is in violation of the Maine Constitution, Article I, Section 16, “Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.”, then perhaps the petition for citizen referral process is faulty by allowing “unconstitutional” proposals to find their way to a public vote. Cannot the Maine Legislature, upon acknowledgement that Question 3 violates Article I, Section 16, veto the law should it pass? Or does Article IV, Third Part, Section 1, of the Maine Constitution and U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, have legislative power over any and all other laws if deemed necessary by a partisan legislature?

But constitutional proclamations are not the only law of the land. Precedence and Policy, especially in this day and age of corrupt politics, certainly disregards any constitutional guidelines or regulations. We regularly are witness to the establishment of “Policy” with each successive administration voted into office.

Many of us recall when Speaker of the U.S. House was asked if the newly passed “Obamacare” was constitutional, her reply was “you’re kidding right?” Not that I think Nancy Pelosi is actually intelligent enough to understand what she was saying beyond her own ignorance, can there really be any questioning a passage of a law, that many of us do think is “unconstitutional” when the Legislative Branch of the U.S. Government can operate under Article I, Section 8. With such authority, Congress can enact any law they well please, with perhaps some push back from the people to deal with. This push back only matters when it vote gathering time.

If there is any hope of fighting against those proposed laws, it is through the battle against Precedence and Policy and the creation of your own precedence and policy, if there is such a thing.

In Maine’s case, and the argument offered by the governor, it is my opinion that, via the referendum process, for what it’s worth, Question 3 goes beyond whether it’s constitutional or not and as such presents a poor argument against the proposal. While in this country Precedence and Policy have altered the Second Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and in this case the State of Maine’s Right to Bear Arms, argument should be made about, not only the absolute destruction of an inalienable right, but that in Maine, there is no precedence or policy that dismantles the “never shall be questioned” aspect of Article I, Section 16. In addition, it should be vehemently pointed out that in the most recent Second Amendment voting in Maine, voters opted to begin tearing down the obstacles that destroy the liberty of self protection and the right to keep and bear arms, by passing a, so-called, Constitutional Carry law, in which Maine people, a plurality, wanted to be able to carry a concealed weapon without having to subject themselves to the strong arm of the Federal and State governments.

Now that’s precedence! Unconstitutional is a dead argument.

 

 

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How Systems Get Tired

*Editor’s Note* – Fernandez does and excellent job of capturing the essence of precedence. Precedence mostly trumps any thoughts of constitutional law and has for many, many years. What any tyrant(s) are allowed to get away with, becomes precedence. Precedence in lawmaking is derived from Policy. People pay little or no attention to each administrations Policy, when they should be because Policy becomes law.

Fernandez lays out the realities of the inevitable sudden collapse. 

One of the arguments for the impossibility of an event is lack of previous failure. ‘It never failed before and thus can never fail ever’.  The Washington Post’s editorial board invokes a variant of this logic to refute Donald Trump’s border policy, arguing there are so many illegal immigrants it is too expensive to deport them all, leaving no alternative but to accept more.  Besides, America is still standing so what can be the harm in admitting more? The same argument is used to justify other policies.

Source: How Systems Get Tired | Belmont Club

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Does Policy Dictate Law or Law Dictate Policy

Pretend for a moment that the United States, in which we live, is governed by a constitution; one in which most Americans have been taught actually exists and once existed. Now that that is straight, consider.

It was recently announced, quietly, that the White House Office of Administration and the Executive Office, were formally placing in the Federal Register a “Final Rule” that would exempt those offices from the Freedom of Information Access Act (FOIA) law. The Summary reads:<<<All of it HERE>>>

SUMMARY: The Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, is removing regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations related to the status of records created and maintained by the Executive Office of the President. This action is being taken in order to align Office of Administration policy with well-settled legal interpretations of the Office of Administration’s status under Federal law and Executive Orders, including the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, and Executive Order 13526. The Office of Administration, as an entity whose sole function is to advise and assist the President of the United States, is not an agency under the Freedom of Information Act or the Privacy Act of 1974, nor does its implementation of Executive Order 13526 affect members of the public. Accordingly, the provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations to be removed are without legal effect.[emboldening added]

I think what we have here is a good example of how policy dictates law. There was never a “law” that exempted the White House from complying with FOIA. They just didn’t do it. Bush was even bolder and extended his noncompliance. Obama, moreso. The reason? Each president set their own “policy.” The Courts then recognized the “policy” and in certain court rulings made it clear that “policy” was law. Policy and precedent establishes tyrannical law.

To make sure that this “policy,” never debated and acted upon by Congress or the voting public, remained in effect, the White House simply recorded it in the Federal Register…as “settled policy”; I suppose not so much unlike the “settled science” of climate change.

Some people ignore and/or dismiss executive actions and announcements of “policy,” not understanding the ramifications that can follow. Here’s just one example.

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