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Emoluments Clause @ThomasRoss28
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The Supreme Court and the New Civil War
She is totally right that this is a civil war. But it is not the Justice Dept or the Supreme Court that is the main battlefield. Rather, it is in the Convention of the States. The Koch brothers intend to return us to the pre-Civil War days, in which there was not large
central government. No business, labor and environmental regulations, farm policy, health care, Social Security and Medicare, housing and poverty programs, highway funding, airline regulations, and education policies.
The Koch’s have a Wild West, Ann Ryan, cowboy vision of a land without any economic regulation or restrictions. They are Clive Bundy, and his takeover of federal lands, but with millions of dollars to build such a world. Their plan is essentially to strip the federal government
of all powers it has grabbed since the Great Depression.
Indeed, they, like Justices Roberts, Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch, are originalists, or strict constructionists. The IX and X Amendments forbid the federal government from going beyond the powers strictly enumerated.
In their eyes, the purpose of the federal government, enumerated in in Article 1.8, are to handle diplomatic, economic and military affairs with other nations and commerce among the states, to fight pirates, to create lower courts, to coin money and to borrow,
to handle immigration, to make bankruptcy laws, to collect tariffs, and to regulate patents and copyrights. Even the Bill of Rights applies to the federal government, not the states.
Since we have never had a COS, there is also little legal precedence to guide us. The Supreme Court has ruled on issues related to the usual amendment process, but not the COS process. Congress has attempted to make rules, but it is Constitutionally powerless to do so.
Attempts have been made in the past to convene a COS, but either it did not have sufficient support, or Congress eventually relented and passed the amendment first. It then still had to be passed by 2/3’s of the state legislatures.
But consider the treacherous opportunities in this new age of communication. Most state legislatures are now Republican. Imagine if they called a COS, for whatever excuse. What would these very conservative representatives of the GOP legislators propose?
So, the Koch brothers planned it all. Take whatever proposal had the most votes already. In this case, it was a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA), passed by many states in the 1970’s. The Koch’s have little interest in the BBA, but it is a very popular idea with common folks,
who have no idea of its implications (the Great Depression was caused, in large part, by raising taxes & lowering expenses in a recession, the exact opposite of sound economic policy. A balanced budget in the long term is a wonderful idea, & badly needed. But sound economic
policy would require deficits during recessions, to stimulate growth, & surpluses in good economic times, to pay off the debt. Politicians of both parties forget this second part of basic Keynesian economics, the only government deficit and spending programs that actually works.
So, the vision of the Koch’s is a Brave New World, a country which is really 50 different countries, with nothing to stop the businessman from exploiting everything he desires.
There are several problems with this plan. First, what happens to Americans who are denied all those protections and promised retirement and health care? Besides being devastated, emotionally and financially, how are they going to view their state legislators, who have done this?
Secondly, how are the states going to react, when they lose all that federal funding, and have to do many of these things themselves. When they have to quadruple their budgets? And then how are their citizens going to react?
Thirdly, who will be guillotined first, the state legislators, or the Kochs?
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