On occasion as a judge I have the opportunity to swear in various officers into organizations like the bar associations and others.  So, as you know, all of these oaths of office require that people swear that they will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.  But after they say they will, I ask them to keep their hands up, and also swear that they will read the Constitution.  This normally gets some chuckles, but there is a purpose, because even some of the appellate opinions I have read make me question whether the authors have read the Constitution.  And this is a scary concept.

        The most egregious example is the 10th Amendment, which holds unambiguously that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the People.”  And which powers are delegated to the federal government?  They are found in Article I Section 8.  Very briefly, they are: powers to lay and collect taxes, pay debts, provide for the common defense, borrow money, regulate commerce with foreign countries and among the various states, form rules for naturalization and declaring bankruptcy, coin money, punish counterfeiting, establish post offices, provide for a system of patents, establish a court system, punish offenses that occur on the high seas, declare war, raise and support an army and navy and make rules to regulate them, call forth a militia to suppress possible rebellions, and make rules to govern military posts as well as a capitol city (which eventually became Washington DC).  Yes, sometimes issues can be complex and ambiguous, but since that time the federal government has expanded far beyond the expectations of the Founders.  For example, it owns large amounts of land within the various states, controls wildlife, enacted laws of Drug Prohibition, and has entered into the fields of healthcare, housing, education and the arts.  In fact, the list of powers the feds have entered into and even controlled goes on and on.  But our country was founded upon the concept of federalism, which allows our “50 crucibles of democracy” each to try out various approaches to address issues, and then we all can learn from each other.  So ask yourself the question: “Who believes the federal government has all the answers?”  If you say no it doesn’t then help us Libertarians go back to the approach in the Constitution.  And we can start that approach by reading it.

  Quote for the week: “I hate it when people don’t know the difference between the words “your” and “you’re.”  There so stupid!”  Fortunately Anonymous

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President