Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Impeachment: Constitutional Panel

Pelosi wants a vote on Thursday.

On Saturday at the Constitution Association we will hold a panel on impeachment, and discuss what her vote really means.

Kellogg's Embraces Homosexual Agenda

Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Thanks, but no thanks.

The Kellogg's Cereal Company has taken sides in the gay agenda debate with a new "All Together" cereal.  It's a private company, they can do what they want, but I hope the sale of this product is bad so that they get the message that Americans don't appreciate the drive by the liberal left and homosexual community to push America in a direction that they are not necessarily willing to go.

Let me qualify something real quick, here, because the liberal left pro-gay response will now be that I am homophobic, and a hater.

I don't hate anyone.  I believe homosexuality is a sin, and a dangerous behavior that often leads to serious negative consequences.  I do not believe the law should dictate to someone if they are allowed to be gay or not, but I have a problem that the homosexual agenda is trying to use the force of law, and cultural games and societal pressure to demand that everyone celebrate and accept as normal homosexual behavior, regardless of what we may think inside.  The wonderful thing about liberty is the ability for people to disagree, and to shout someone into silence for not accepting a sexual behavior as normal is not liberty ... it is tyranny.

That said, could you imagine the outrage if Kellogg's decided to have an "All Godly" cereal with Crosses, descending doves, and Christian fish shapes in the cereal?

The media and Democrats would ridicule and shame them into bankruptcy.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Saturday, October 26, 2019

No Rest for Trumpsters

Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

There is an old saying.  "No rest for the wicked," I think that is how it goes.

Then there is a quote, too, and with my luck I am figuring the guy who said it is a lefty:

“People who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us... It's people who claim that they're good, or any way better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.”
― Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

I think that describes the political progressive Marxist Democrats of today, don't you think?

The Framers of the U.S. Constitution were well aware of the kind of thinking represented by the liberal left in today's struggle for political power.  They saw government as a necessary evil, rather than a benevolent force for charity and order.  The federal government was created by the Constitution to handle external issues, and internal issues that were regarding the union.  The States were expected to be autonomous entities, sovereign units who took care of their own internal issues.
Federalist 45, James Madison: The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security.
Someone once asked me when the first leftwing attacks against the Constitution began, and I proclaimed, "during the convention in 1787."  The struggle for power begin in Independence Hall, and exploded into a full blown attack against the limiting principles of the Constitution right out the gate.  Those attacks manifested into things like the tax that led to the Whiskey Rebellion during Washington's presidency, the Sedition Act during the Adams presidency, and the illegal rise of judicial review in 1803 during presidency of Thomas Jefferson.  Chief Justice John Marshall built upon the idea of a firm union and federal supremacy over all issues, and the father of the Democrat Party, President Andrew Jackson, pushed us towards democracy (a concept the Founders did everything they could to avoid us becoming).  And now, two and a half centuries later, after constitutional setbacks during the War Between the States, the Progressive Era, and under a steady assault by socialism, we have come to a point where the Democrat Party socialists are throwing a temper tantrum because they could not get us over the final few hurdles in their quest to fundamentally transform America.  President Donald J.Trump foiled their attempts, and now stands in the way of the final countdown to socialism and globalism.

Election tampering was not enough to push Hillary Clinton into the White House, and it made them so mad that they accused the Republicans, and specifically Donald Trump, of ... you guessed it ... election tampering.  So, if you can't rig the vote, then the Democrats are working to overload the vote with their voters, even if it means making sure that non-citizens who don't understand the principles of liberty or have any skin in the game, yet, votes in massive numbers.

That is why they are all over the immigration issue, and doing what they can to make sure illegal aliens have as say in our society as they can.  They don't actually care about the illegal aliens crossing the border in mass numbers because of the left's invitations.  It's all about power.  Democrat voters should be against open borders, not for them.  Why would blue collar workers, once the backbone of the Democrat Party, want to vote in favor of selling their jobs to foreign workers who are not even willing to go through the immigration process?

It's all about power.  If the Democrat Party truly cared about their voters, and wanted to chase after solutions, the population centers of the United States, under the control of Democrat mayors and city councils ever since I can remember, would not be the hell-hole urban ghettos that they've become.

It's already bad in our cities, and now that the economic prospects of Americans living in the inner-cities are being further slammed by the large wave of illegal aliens tugging on the same jobs, the same housing, and the same government benefits, who can the Americans in these cities realize a better life for themselves?

Like all of the leftists in history, or should I say "Marxists," the Democrats love the downtrodden and impoverished not because they give a whit about them, but for the political power that can be derived from pandering to their substandard existence.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

The Democrats are not working on solutions, they are working on increasing the problems, because economic problems in America produces platforms to run on, and potential voters to put on government dependence so that they keep voting Democrat.

The only obstacles in the way are the Electoral College (of which they are working very diligently to eliminate), the fact that Americans are armed (of which they are also working hard to eliminate), the American Christian (of which they are working hard on ridiculing into silence), and President Donald J. Trump (of which they've been working very hard lately on figuring out how to impeach him).

Their moves attacking the obstacles and their legal maneuvering to make sure illegals are voting (such as blocking a citizenship question on the 2020 census) do not tell us that they care about the anyone who votes Democrat.  All of their actions tell us that they are simply inserting as many tactics and as much strategy to seize all political power.

What they can’t win legally, Democrats seek to seize by any means necessary.

President Trump, to the horror of the liberal left Democrats, has been paying attention.  He is doing what he can to counter the Democrat Party's madness, which makes them get even madder.

For example, The Justice Department will be appearing before the United States Supreme Court to argue in favor of the citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire.
Meanwhile, Trump's team is also doing what it can to expose the corruption, not only because the deep state runs pretty deep, but because it is through this network of corruption that the Democrats are doing whatever they can to unseat the 45th President of the United States.

Findings by the Department of Justice inspector general

Findings released by the Department of Justice inspector general are raising new questions about the whole "Russia Russia Russia" narrative, as well as the factors that led to the unconstitutional appointment (he was never confirmed by the Senate) of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Comey testified that it was Trump's May 12, 2017, tweet about possible White House tapes that prompted him to wake up "in the middle of the night" days later, convinced that he needed to leak the contents of one of his sensitive memos documenting his conversations with Trump. Such a leak, Comey reasoned, would result in an investigation that would uncover any tapes created by the president.
The problem is, the evidence reveals some serious problems with his testimony.  According to an 83-page report released by the Department of Justice inspector general, "on the afternoon of May 14, 2017 -- the Sunday before that alleged late-night episode occurred -- Comey sent four of the memos to one of his attorneys, Patrick Fitzgerald, 'with instructions to share the email and PDF attachment with [attorney David] Kelley and [Columbia Law School professor Daniel] Richman.'"
There were no indications that Comey told Richman, his longtime friend and adviser, to leak the documents at that time. Fitzgerald forwarded the documents to Kelley at 7:35 a.m. on May 17, and to Richman on May 17 at 10:13 a.m.
In short, Comey lied, and while he was at it, he violated a number of FBI policies.
On the morning of May 16, Comey separately sent a digital photograph of one of his memos specifically to Richman, with explicit instructions to share the substance of the memo with a New York Times reporter.
On May 16, 2017, based on a leak from Richman at Comey's direction, The New York Times ran a story documenting the memos and bearing the headling "Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation." 
Richman was also the source of a May 11 New York Times article that described Comey's private conversations with "associates," in which Comey said Trump had requested a loyalty pledge from Comey. That article prompted Trump to tweet, "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"
Separately, the IG report probed Comey's honesty during his congressional testimony, when Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins asked him, "Did you show copies of your memos to anyone outside of the Department of Justice."

"Yes," Comey said.

"And to whom did you show copies?" Collins asked.

"I asked — the president tweeted on Friday after I got fired that I better hope there's not tapes. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night because it didn't dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation," Comey said.

"There might a tape," Comey continued. "My judgment was, I need to get that out into the public square. I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons. I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. I asked a close friend to do it."

So much for swearing not to lie under oath.

Comey later told the IG that he had provided the memos to Richman -- but was faulted for not mentioning that he had also given the documents to his lawyers.
Comey is having a heck of a time with honesty, it seems.  But, if the Democrats were innocent in all of this, why would the former FBI Chief be lying under oath?  Comey assured Trump that he was not personally under investigation, yet, the former FBI director and his top deputies went to great lengths to confront Trump at a Jan. 6, 2017, meeting at Trump Tower with the salacious accusations in the fake dossier drafted by British ex-spy Christopher Steele, and paid for by Hillary Clinton.

The goal, according to the FBI officials, was to see if Trump would "'make statements about or provide information of value to the pending Russia interference investigation' known as 'Crossfire Hurricane.'"
After Comey revealed the dossier claims to Trump, he observed the president's reactions and quickly documented them for investigative purposes, the IG recounted.
"Comey said he had a secure FBI laptop waiting for him in his FBI vehicle and that when he got into the vehicle, he was handed the laptop and 'began typing as the vehicle moved,'" the IG report stated. That section of the IG report was first flagged by The Washington Examiner's Byron York.
Comey later headed to the New York FBI field office to discuss the matter in a secure videoconference with other members of the Crossfire Hurricane team, according to the report.
"We have a CNN exclusive for you now," anchor Jake Tapper said Jan. 10, 2017. "CNN has learned that the nation's top intelligence officials provided information to President-elect Donald Trump and to President Barack Obama last week about claims of Russian efforts to compromise the president-elect," citing "a former British intelligence operative whose past work U.S. intelligence officials consider to be credible."
CNN did not mention that Steele was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and it did not reveal which participant in the meeting had leaked the news about the dossier briefing.

The IG is separately working on a report into broader potential intelligence community surveillance abuses.

Former FBI Director James Comey put his own self-interest, and hatred of opponents of the progressive agenda (such as Donald J. Trump) ahead of the country and, inconsistent with DOJ policy, created a chain of events that lead to the appointment of the special counsel.
The IG report outlined a series of violations, including that he broke FBI policies and the bureau's employment agreement "by providing one of the unclassified memos that contained official FBI information, including sensitive investigative information, to his friend with instructions for the friend to share the contents of the memo with a reporter."
Further, the IG determined that Comey kept copies of four memos (out of the total seven he drafted) in a personal safe at home after his removal as director -- and in doing so "violated FBI policies and his FBI Employment Agreement by failing to notify the FBI that he had retained them." 
The IG said Comey again violated the rules "by providing copies ... of the four memos he had kept in his home to his three private attorneys without FBI authorization," and by failing to alert the FBI once he learned one of the memos contained sections later deemed classified at the confidential level. 
"By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees—and the many thousands more former FBI employees—who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information," the report stated. 
The IG added: "Were current or former FBI employees to follow the former Director's example and disclose sensitive information in service of their own strongly held personal convictions, the FBI would be unable to dispatch its law enforcement duties properly."
Through Comey we see easily that the Democrats are not only lying, and have been colluding with various players to undermine the Trump presidency, but that everything they have accused our president of they are guilty of themselves.  They are projecting their corruption upon Trump, and now the Trump team is making the reality of what has been happening slowly available for all to see.

And then, as the evidence pours in, like a child in a schoolyard, the Democrats proclaim, "we didn't do that."

The game is deep, sick and twisted.  Jeffery Epstein was a key in exposing that, then he not only mysteriously died in jail, but then key witnesses attached to his case mysteriously vanished.

At what point do we cry foul, and at what point will the normal people out there finally realize what is really going on?

We can go back to General Flynn, even, if we must.

Nobody has been more mistreated by the Deep State than General Michael Flynn.

General Flynn has a real fighter in his attorney Sidney Powell and she is rightfully demanding the Mueller gang be held in contempt. Powell is right no matter what the far left New York Times’ ‘Russia Collusion’ reporters say.
General Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell filed a BOMBSHELL motion in his case on Friday night per investigative reporter Will Chamberlain from Human Events. The Deep State Mueller gang are finally being outed for the crooks that they are and the crimes they committed by Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell
Mueller’s goons withheld Brady material which is not shock since they did the same back in the 2000’s in their Enron related cases as noted in Powell’s “License to Lie.
Powell argues that the Deep State Mueller gang led by the most corrupt DOJ attorney in US history, Andrew Weissmann, withheld information pertinent to their case. 
The Mueller – Weissmann gang tried to slip in some documents in some late reporting that were very important to the case and yet they claimed they were no big deal. 
It is rare to have somebody who is as much of a fighter as Flynn. 
He has already lost a lot, including his home, dealing with his massive legal fees. 
But instead of rolling over and allowing the Deep State to win in order to get a lighter sentence, Flynn is fighting back as hard as he can.
The liberal left progressive socialist commie Democrats have not given up on Kavanaugh, either.

When Brett Kavanaugh went through the hearing for his confirmation to the United States Supreme Court a year ago, the liberal left pulled out all of the stops.  And now, a year later, the game is not over.

False accusations continue to fly, despite the fact that on the Kavanaugh front the evidence is showing it is all about Democrat Party power, and not the truth, as well.  Recently, Debra Katz, the attorney for Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, admitted that Ford’s allegations were motivated by a desire to tarnish Kavanaugh’s reputation. Speaking at a feminist legal conference at the University of Baltimore, Katz said:
In the aftermath of these hearings, I believe that Christine’s testimony brought about more good than the harm misogynist Republicans caused by allowing Kavanaugh on the court. He will always have an asterisk next to his name. When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade, we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important; it is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine.
It was all politically motivated, as conservatives were well aware of as the madness surrounding Kavanaugh was in full swing.  But, even with the serious doubt on Ford's credibility surfacing, the liberal left are not done with Kavanaugh.

Reports have surfaced that Ford’s father actually supported Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing—a fact that went unreported during the hearing, yet would have had a significant impact on the proceedings.

By the end of the week, things were looking pretty bad for those who wished to smear Kavanaugh’s character.

Then, as if on cue, The New York Times stepped in to assail Kavanaugh yet again.
The Times published a new allegation against Kavanaugh based on a forthcoming book, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.” The article recounts an uncorroborated claim that Kavanaugh exposed himself and sexually harassed a Yale classmate at a drunken party—separate from a previous but similar allegation
The Times reports: “A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hands of a female student.”
And the cries for impeachment of Kavanaugh reached a crescendo, again.  The problem is, as with almost all Democrat claims, context and vital information was left out.  The Times omitted critical pieces of information. The alleged victim refused to be interviewed by the Times, and her friends say she didn’t recall the incident.

The Times admitted that error in an editor’s note, but not before 24 hours had gone by.

And there’s another problem with the story. The man who claimed he witnessed the incident, Max Stier, had a long personal rivalry with Kavanaugh, having served as a defense attorney for President Bill Clinton in the 1990s when Kavanaugh worked on the opposing side with independent counsel Kenneth Starr during the Clinton impeachment. The Times failed to disclose this.

Another day in life in these United States when dealing with the liars, cheaters, and crooked Democrats.

The Times straight up botched the story, and they did it on purpose.

This is the same exact pattern we saw last year, and it is the same pattern we see on all issues when it comes to the Democrats.  The reporting is one-sided, and sometimes the lies catch up with them, and inconsistencies emerge.  The Democrats and the crooked media are working in cahoots with each other to make sure you think a certain way, that a particular narrative is fed to the public, hoping that the normal people won't notice the media’s shoddy and slanted coverage during the hearing, and every other issue that rises up.

The thing is, in this case, it wasn't just The New York Times.  They are all accomplices.  The New Yorker, CNN, and The Washington Post played their parts, too.
Now, with the left clearly willing to impeach Kavanaugh, given the opportunity, the media is once again sloppily throw darts at him in the hopes that one will actually stick.
All because Donald J. Trump dared to recognize the sins of the establishment, and then he vowed to expose their sins, and dismantle the political machine it sits upon.

President Trump is tireless in his nonstop war against progressive cultural control of the American System.

They don't know how to deal with Trump’s unorthodox and combative take-no-prisoners style. Critics detest his crude and unfettered assertions, his lack of prior military or political experience, his attacks on the so-called bipartisan administrative state, and his intent to roll back the entire Obama-era effort of “fundamentally transforming” the country leftward.

And as they attack him, Trump has still been working at his job as President of the United States.  Despite their obstructionism, Trump's economy is booming as never before in the new 21st century, championing near record-low unemployment, a record number of Americans working, increases in workers’ wages and family incomes, low interest rates, low inflation, steady GDP growth, and a strong stock market.

The Democrats don't care about all of that.  They don't want what's best for the country.  They want what's best for their agenda.  They want to usher into existence an elite postmodern progressive world.  Bondage for all.

A new America under the leadership of the Democrats is supposed to be dawning right about now.  The new America has your energy use under strict scrutiny by the government, Americans stepping out of their fossil fuel cars so that they can ride their bikes, an end to the Second Amendment, a Marxist-style redistribution of income, identity politics and open borders, free indoctrination through a college education for all, free health care, and abortion on demand because they are way behind on their child sacrifices to Molech.

Except, insomniac Trump stands in the way, taking the fiery darts and throwing them back, fighting for Americans, for as he reminded us, it is not him they are after, it is Americans who embrace liberty the Democrats are trying to defeat and destroy.

And under the onslaught, Trump continues to win more than he loses, and they can't figure out how. 

In the process, the Democrats are outing who they really are.  President Trump has so enraged his Democratic adversaries that the candidates to replace him have moved farther to the left, and their socialism is now clear and recognizable.

In the end, it is a battle for American Liberty.  If Trump continues to stand firm, his victory could very well finish off the Democrat Party.  But, I won't hold my breath on that one.  Remember, there is no rest for the wicked.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Friday, October 25, 2019

Is Hillary Running?

Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

With a weak field of candidates against a very popular Donald J. Trump, the Democrats are getting nervous about 2020.  Some of them are so nervous that when Hillary Clinton hinted she may return to the campaign trail, many have gotten excited. The other day somebody asked me, "Is Hillary running?"

I responded, "No, she can't, she'll have to be carried."


-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Transgenderism, Child Abuse, and a Dark Path

Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

When I talk about today's political madness during one of my public speaking engagements, I often joke, "Heck, this generation doesn't even know what bathroom to use."  I always get a few chuckles, but the seriousness of this latest sick and twisted development in our culture is something even the best prognosticator could not have dreamed up as possible only a short while ago.

It is one thing to try to give cross-dressers the "right" to be as freaky and different from the fray as possible.  Don't get me wrong, I get it.  People want to "be different."  When I was into the punk rock thing when I was a teenager, I wore a pin that said, "Why be normal."  But, as with anything where we begin pushing the envelope, now the cross-dressers are having their genitals medically mutilated for the purpose of actually transitioning into the sex they like to dress as.  How crazy is that?  How crazy is it to voluntarily have a doctor chop off your manhood, or fashion one for you if you are a female?  What is worse is that they are encouraging it to be done to children, too.  Never mind that now that they've been doing it, those who have gone through the transition are beginning to believe it was a mistake.  Politically, the hard liberal left Democrats have grabbed a hold of the issue, and it is now being considered discriminatory to disagree with the madness.  It is stupid, sick, and evil, but if I say so in public, there could be some serious cultural consequences.

In Texas, a mother wants to allow her "gender-confused" son, a seven year old boy named James, to become the female version of himself.  "Luna" wants to dress up like a girl, perhaps gets along with girls better than boys, and may even like to play with girly toys, but that does not mean the child then should be given drugs that manipulate his hormones, or that the child should be irreversibly cut on (or chemically castrated).  

Study after study shows that most kids who are "gender-confused" in their childhood grow out of it, and one study I read said that over 98% of them become comfortable with their biological gender by the age of thirty.  Most studies place the numbers between 65% to 94% once the still developing child reaches a better age of understanding.

My grandson wants to be a fireman when he grows up, and I encourage him to be thinking about what he will be doing when he grows up.  But, he's also wanted to be a policeman, a race car driver, and an FBI agent.  He's a kid.  He's still learning about who he is, and what interests him.  That doesn't mean he has to become a fireman no matter what because at ten years old he wanted to.  He may.  He may not.  Down the road, life will lead him where he needs to go.  The same thing goes for all of the other things in their lives.  My granddaughter likes to play with Lego sets and cars.  She wants to play baseball, loves the rough and tumble game of soccer, and prefers to wear pants.  But, that doesn't mean she's a dude, or that she should (at eight years old) suddenly go through painful and confusing treatments to transition to that.  Heck, my best friend in the sixth grade was a girl.  We climbed trees, raced on our bikes, and played with G.I. Joe dolls and toy tanks as we played war in the dirt.  She was what they call a tomboy.  But, she was still a girl.  While I never really thought of her that way, later in life I bumped into her, and trust me, while she was a late bloomer, she bloomed magnificently.  She became a very beautiful, capable, and in many ways feminine, woman ... with that tough edge that still clings from her tomboy days.  And that's fine.  But in the end, biologically she's a woman.

In the case of James, the child in the court case in Texas, you can do all of the physical medical garbage all you want, create breasts, castrate him, and put lipstick on him, but his biological footprint will always be male.  God made him a boy.  Some men are not as masculine as others, and that's fine. Some are more masculine than others.  That's fine.  But to then say that a child should be able to decide if to go through life-changing surgeries to change their gender during a time when they are still not sure if they want to be a fire fighter, cop, or FBI agent, is crazy.

The jury in Texas disagrees.

The mother supports James wanting to become Luna, and she plans to enable the chemical castration, and other barbaric chop shop madness, this child has planned.  The father believes it to be the madness that it is, and he wants custody so that he can intervene in the gender transition of his 7-year-old son.

The Washington Examiner reports, "Jeffrey Younger had petitioned a court in Texas to grant him sole custody of his twin sons, James and Jude, in part to avoid a plan to infuse James with female hormones. James, who would like to be called Luna, has been the center of controversy in the heated debate among his parents and others.

"Anne Georgulas, the mother of the two boys, has advocated for James to transition into Luna and has strongly backed the idea of chemically castrating her son and beginning hormone replacement therapy.

"The court has ruled that Georgulas will maintain sole custody of her two children and go forward with plans to give James life-altering medical procedures. Her original court filing had sought to limit her ex-husband's visits with their children and require that he now refer to James as Luna. She further asked that [James] not be exposed to any people who would not confirm his female identity."

Let's stop there, for a moment.

The problem with the leftwing ideology, and everything that they support, is that in the end it is always naturally authoritarian by consequence.  To achieve what she wants, the mother asked the court to order the father to "refer to James as Luna" and through the force of law that the little boy "not be exposed to any people who would not confirm his female identity."

Legal authoritarianism and child abuse.  That's what this is.  Even in the courtroom a number of expert witnesses expressed doubt that James was fully convinced that he was inherently female in testimony. "There is still some fluidity in his thinking," said Dr. Benjamin Albritton in sworn testimony. "Neither child appears to be depressed, anxious or aggressive ... He [James] gave no indications of other significant psychological difficulties."

Since there are no laws currently preventing a legal guardian from giving a minor puberty blockers or hormones, the only way to stop the mother from this kind of abuse against her child was for the father to step in to stop it.  Except, the court thought otherwise.

Georgulas, to defend her choice to castrate her son so he can chase something he'll likely grow out of within the next decade (and statistically, will likely commit suicide over it), provided a letter of recommendation for transition for James from a woman associated with a gay children's therapy center.

Did you see that?  Gay children's therapy center?  What kind of sick conversations do you have with little children to convince them they are gay?

All is not lost.  Texas Governor Gregg Abbott has announced that the case of James Younger was being "looked into by the Texas Attorney General's Office and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services."

Along with the studies showing that almost all persons suffering from "gender dysphoria" grow out of it by their adulthood, we have recently been seeing cases of adults who went through the transition calling it the biggest mistakes of their lives. The majority feel they wished they had just undergone therapy.

An upcoming Supreme Court case "will hear a pivotal case ... on sex, gender identity, and discrimination: R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As both sides build their cases, numerous influential organizations and individuals have filed amicus (friend of the court) briefs to aid the members of the Supreme Court in their understanding on this topic.

"One brief, in particular, stands out. It’s so powerful, it should not only persuade the Supreme Court but influence people on both sides of the transgender debate, particularly the mainstream media.

"Almost every single person in the brief said they stopped being transgender with the help of therapy. It didn’t just help them heal, but also revealed that deeper emotional traumas were often the cause of their gender dysphoria and the reason they chose transgenderism in the first place. All of the people claim that those who proposed or helped them transition often (unknowingly) created more pain."

Wait, aren't the democrats trying to outlaw any therapy that may help people with their homosexual or transgender behavior?  Now, these people are saying they wish they had gone through therapy, rather than go down the sick and twisted path of physically altering their bodies into a different sex.

"One person in the case, 'Shupe', suffered from PTSD after nearly 20 years of service in the military. The brief reads, Mr. Shupe argues that his gender transitions were the result of his mental confusion and that he should have been treated with therapy rather than fictional identities. 'I should have been treated. Instead, at every step, doctors, judges, and advocacy groups indulged my fiction.'"

"The brief describes Heyer’s journey as both a former transgender person and one who now counsels so many who struggle. From both perspectives, Heyer believes current transgender medical protocols fail to treat the root causes.

"Heyer now informally mentors people who also regret attempting to identify as a person of the opposite sex, such as by adopting a different name and opposite-sex pronouns, wearing clothing and hairstyles typically associated with the opposite sex, using sex-segregated spaces and engaging in sex-segregated activities that correspond to the opposite sex, and changing their appearance to more closely resemble the opposite sex through makeup, clothing, surgery, and hormones.

"Heyer has seen firsthand the harm that can come from encouraging people down that path. Every person Heyer has mentored has concluded that he or she was not born transgender. They believe transgenderism is a learned behavior, a social ideology, not an innate condition from birth. Heyer says he has seen too much unhappiness and regret over the years from hormone therapy and surgeries to think otherwise."

Yet, in Texas, a child, who is not mature enough to be trusted to make these kinds of decisions for himself, is not only being urged to do so, but a parent who sees the madness in it is being told he must legally conform with what the child wants, or be silenced.

Trangenderism, however, is only a symptom of a much larger problem.  The normalization of homosexuality, the rise in violence on the streets and against our police, the sexualization of our children through pornographic sex education programs, abortion, euthanasia, legalization of drugs, and the desensitization of society by games, entertainment and the mainstream media all point to a common cause.  A common ill that has lead us down this road to ruin.

Benjamin Franklin warned that only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.  John Adams advised us that our system of liberty as established by the U.S. Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  Samuel Adams explained that if we abandon our virtuous nature and become universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves.  George Washington provided that of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.

We have lost our way, and the downward spiral is speeding up.

As we decline morally, the attacks against traditional morals are becoming more frequent and pronounced.  As a result, debauchery is on the rise, as is suicides, mental illness, and drug addiction.

The worst part of it all is this has been orchestrated, and purposely fed to Americans through education and media since the beginning, by the hard left.  It is their aim to destroy American Liberty, to create chaos, to construct death and mayhem until it leaves our culture in ruin.  Then, as the chaos screams as loudly as it can, and the people call out for some kind of order, they plan to then rebuild America into a system of authoritarian and global Marxism from the rubble.  And the craziest part of it all is the people will be crying out for it, calling out to government to put them into bondage.  They have been trained to cry out for it.  We are all being indoctrinated, and slowly convinced that government rule over every aspect of our lives is the only true freedom.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr calls it “organized destruction.  Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.”

We are falling head first into moral decline.  Let me rephrase that.  We have fallen head first into moral decline.

Congress is pushing that men who say they are women be allowed to compete in women's sports.  We are castrating our little boys, and murdering our babies in the womb all the way up to the day they are due to be born.

Meanwhile, we have convinced the children that survive that they have no future.  Climate change is going to kill them, our President colluded with Russia in order to get elected and he's a white supremacist who wishes to kill everyone by denying climate change, and if the world doesn't end soon, it's bound to during their lifetime.

Through the fear and chaos being fed to our children, in the name of a leftist political ideology, we have stolen their childhood, and now, while they are afraid they won't even reach adulthood, mental illnesses like gender dysphoria are being encouraged, and they are literally being cut on so that they can no longer physically be who God created them to be biologically.

We are being led down a dark path.  It is a Marxist path designed to strip us of our humanity and fashion us into a culture of mindless automatons.  We are being molded into a country of collectivists with no identity, no individuality, and an inability to reason beyond what the liberal left has told us to think.

We are too unwilling to admit it.  What I am writing here is too shocking for most to be willing to believe.  "Not in America," I hear people say.  "You are just a conspiracy theorist," others tell me.  And any leftist that has read this has determined in their mind that I must be silenced.

Planned obsolescence.

Do we have another explanation?  Is there another reason for the evil that has gripped our society?  Can we now finally admit we are in the midst of spiritual warfare, and the scales over the eyes of the liberal left is leading them down a dark and evil path?

We are under siege, but most Americans are too bothered with the rigors of life to notice, or to be willing to do anything about it.  Our churches have been infiltrated, and our moral code has been hijacked. We murder babies.  We celebrate debauchery, and work to silence those who call it a sin.  We use government to steal from one group and give to another.  We covet, we have taken God's name, and everything He's Created, in vain.  We have lost our way, we have abandoned our biblical principles, we no longer hold people accountable for their behavior and we accept excuses for fear of offending them.  And then we wonder why everything is in such turmoil?

Someday this will be history.  It is our job to write that history.  Question is, will that history view today as a crossroads?  Will it be a turning point?  Will it be the moment that we return to our moral foundations, or the moment that we enter a new dark age?

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Legal Amendments: Temecula Constitution Class

Temecula Constitution Class
Wednesdays 6:00 pm
28120 Jefferson Ave.
Temecula, CA  

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs

Lesson 15
The Legal Amendments
Amendment IV
Warrants, Searches, and Seizures
The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution was added as part of the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791. It was written with the purpose of protecting people from the government searching their homes and private property without properly executed search warrants.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
What this means is that the federal government, in order to search a person's home, business, papers, bank accounts, computer or other personal items, in most cases, must obtain a search warrant signed by the proper authority, which usually means by a judge.
The issuance of a warrant must accompany reasonable belief that a crime has been committed and that by searching the premises of a particular location, evidence will be found that will verify the crime. The government officer does not have to be correct in his assumption, he just has to have a reasonable belief that searching someone's private property will yield evidence of the crime. The task of determining whether or not the officer's assumptions are a reasonable belief falls on the judge who is considering issuing the search warrant.
The concept that citizens must be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures goes back into English history. The British Crown was known for performing searches and seizures that were unlawfully conducted. Often, these searches were conducted by the king's representatives.
The British government saw the American Colonies as a source of revenue. As a result, taxation against the American colonies was a continuous practice, in the hopes of generating as much money from the colonists as possible. The colonists resented this and engaged in substantial smuggling operations in order to get around the customs taxes imposed by the British government.
The King responded to the Colonist's smuggling activities by using writs of assistance, which were search warrants that were very broad and general in their scope. British agents, once obtaining these writs, could search any property they believed might contain contraband goods. They could enter someone's property with no notice and without any reason given. Tax collectors could interrogate anyone about their use of goods and require the cooperation of any citizen. Searches and seizures of private property based on very general warrants became an epidemic in colonial America.
In 1756, the Massachusetts legislature passed search and seizure laws outlawing the use of general warrants. The friction created between the Royal Governor and the people of Massachusetts grew with each passing moment.
In 1760 James Otis, a Boston lawyer, strongly objected to these arbitrary searches and seizures of private property and consequently resigned his position with the government, and then became the lawyer for a group of over 50 merchants who sued the government claiming that the writs of assistance were unjust.
James Otis represented these merchants for free. His speech condemning British policies, including writs of assistance and general search warrants, was so powerful and eloquent, that it was heard of throughout the colonies and catapulted him to a place of leadership in the swelling tide of disillusionment toward Great Britain.
Twenty-five year old John Adams, who would become the second president of the United States some time later, was sitting in the courtroom and heard Otis' famous speech that served as a spark that led to igniting the American Revolution.
The 4th Amendment, a part of The Bill of Rights, became law on December 15, 1791.
The 4th Amendment applies only to the federal government. State constitutions are written similarly, and States also have laws that are consistent with the intention of the 4th Amendment. The 4th Amendment provides protection from illegal search and seizure by federal government officials, but not by private citizens. So, if an employer unreasonably searched your possessions at work, the 4th Amendment would not have been violated, but local laws may have been.
In recent history The PATRIOT Act was seen as a breach of the 4th Amendment because it allowed the federal government to pursue a number of strategies in their search for terrorists that includes warrantless phone taps, access to phone logs, and monitoring of online communications such as email. The debate still goes on regarding the constitutionality of The PATRIOT Act, with both sides presenting reasonable arguments, ranging from the constitutional necessity of the law for the purpose of "providing for the common defense," to the argument that the authorities offered by the law allows the federal government to unconstitutionally intrude on the right to privacy of all Americans.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2014 builds on the powers seized by the federal government through the PATRIOT Act, allowing unrestricted analysis and research of captured records pertaining to any organization or individual "now or once hostile to the United States." The definition of "hostile to the United States" is broad, and can include political opposition. Under NDAA 2014 Sec. 1061(g)(1), an overly vague definition of captured records enhances government power and guarantees indefinite surveillance.
The Internal Revenue Service is another arm of the federal government that routinely violates the 4th Amendment, doing so under the auspice of ensuring all taxes are paid.
Search Warrant - The Search Warrant specifically requires that the government demonstrate to a judge the existence of probable cause of criminal activity on the part of the person whose property the government wishes to search. The Fourth Amendment commands that only a judge can authorize a search warrant.
Writs of Assistance - British search warrants that were very broad and general in their scope. British agents, once obtaining these writs, could search any property they believed might contain contraband goods.
Questions for Discussion:
1. What actions by the British prior to the American Revolutionary War inspired the Founding Fathers to include this amendment in the Bill of Rights?
2. How would our legal system act if Search Warrants were not considered necessary?
3. How does the Fourth Amendment influence today's thinking regarding government actions, such as with The PATRIOT Act?
How Congress Has Assaulted Our Freedoms in the Patriot Act by
Andrew P. Napolitano, Lew Rockwell.com: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/napolitano2.html
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
Paul A. Ibbetson, Living Under the PATRIOT Act: Educating a Society;
Bloomington, IN: Author House (2007)
Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder's Constitution -
Volume Five - Amendments I-XII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).
Amendment V
Due Process and Eminent Domain
            Due Process
The majority of the Fifth Amendment provides additional reinforcement to the concept of due process. The language of this Amendment was designed to assure those who feared the potential tyranny of a new centralized government created by the United States Constitution that the federal government would be restrained in such a way as to ensure that the government did not perpetrate bloodshed against its citizens.
The first part of the 5th Amendment reads: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital crime, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury. . ."
The 5th Amendment attests to the Founding Father's understanding that this is a nation of property owners. As a republic of property owners, when in jeopardy of legal trouble, our rights and properties must be safeguarded. Therefore, an American Citizen in the American legal system has a right to a jury, as well as a right to the presentation of evidence. Conviction is not reached with a majority vote, either. Conviction requires a unanimous agreement among all of the members of the jury. These concepts reinforce the concept that one is innocent until proven guilty (A concept found in the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 19, Verse 15), and that the United States of America is a Republic. Mob rule is not allowed, for as the amendment provides, a person cannot be held until given the opportunity of due process.
Not all persons, however, are awarded this opportunity. The next part of the amendment reads: ". . . except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger. . ."
The military does not fall under the U.S. Constitution. Personnel serving in the armed forces are governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Instead of a civilian trial, a military service member is normally afforded a court martial. If a civilian trial is deemed appropriate by the U.S. Military, a service member can still stand trial in a civilian court, but the military has the authority to decide whether or not the member shall stand such a trial.
Having a sense of independence, individuals must be protected, then, from the tyrannical trappings of a governmental system that may try to use the judiciary against them (as the King of England had done often). The protective mechanism, or the rule of law, would be the U.S. Constitution and clauses like the 5th Amendment, which were designed to provide protection to the populace from unfair legal practices.
One such protection is provided in the next part of this amendment: ". . . nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life and limb. . ."
Protection against Double Jeopardy enables us not to be continuously tried for the same offense, which was a technique often used in some parts of Europe during the eighteenth century. The idea was that if a person was prosecuted enough, either they would weary of the process and break down, or the defendant would become unable to financially continue, hence unable to defend themselves.
The next part of the amendment serves as a large influence on today's Miranda Rights. The section reads: ". . . nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property."
Miranda Rights are named after the U.S. Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona (1966). Miranda Rights are a warning given advising the accused of their right to remain silent, their right to an attorney, and the right to an appointed attorney if they are unable to afford counsel - prior to conducting a custodial interrogation. From the 5th Amendment: ". . .nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Miranda Rights exist to secure the 5th Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination, and to make the individual in custody aware not only of the privilege, but also of the consequences of forgoing it. The judicial opinion from the Miranda v. Arizona case also indicated that in order to protect the person's life, liberty or property with the due process of law, the individual must have the right to an attorney. With a lawyer present the likelihood that the police will practice coercion is reduced, and if coercion is nevertheless exercised the lawyer can testify to it in court. The presence of a lawyer can also help to guarantee that the accused gives a fully accurate statement to the police and that the statement is rightly reported by the prosecution at trial.
The words of the Founders continues to resonate today as the majority of the American people seem to firmly agree with the Founding Father's insistence that no one should be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. We can take satisfaction that most of our fellow citizens in our republic still hold these truths to be self-evident.
            Eminent Domain
The provisions of the 5th Amendment are there to keep our courts honest, and the powers of the government constrained. The last phrase of the 5th Amendment, however, is considered too general by many, and it has been used in a manner by the federal government that is extremely troublesome, because it gives the government the right to take property if there is just compensation.
How is just compensation determined? Is it based on the market value of the property? How does the government officials involved in eminent domain calculate the non-intrinsic value? How do they compensate for the value on which nobody can put a price?
Just compensation was intended to be based on what the property owner deemed to be just. If the property owner did not deem the offer to be just compensation, then the government, from a constitutional viewpoint, is out of luck.
Capital Crime - A crime for which the punishment is death. Punishment for a Capital Crime is called Capital Punishment.
Double Jeopardy - The act of putting a person through a second trial for an offense for which he or she has already been prosecuted or convicted.
Due Process - The essential elements of due process of law are notice, an opportunity to be heard, the right to defend in an orderly proceed, and an impartial judge. It is founded upon the basic principle that every man shall have his day in court, and the benefit of the general law which proceeds only upon notice and which hears and considers before judgment is rendered. In short, due process means fundamental fairness and substantial justice.
Eminent Domain - The power to take private property for public use by a State, municipality, or private person or corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property.
Grand Jury - A group of citizens convened in a criminal case to consider the prosecutor's evidence and determine whether probable cause exists to prosecute a suspect for a felony. At common law, a group of persons consisting of not less than twelve nor more than twenty-four who listen to evidence and determine whether or not they should charge the accused with the commission of a crime by returning an indictment. The number of members on a grand jury varies in different States.
Infamous Crime - A crime which works infamy in the person who commits it. Infamous crimes tend to be classified as treason, felonies, and any crime involving the element of deceit.
Just Compensation - The value of a property deemed to be just by the property owner.
Miranda Rights - A warning given advising the accused of their right to remain silent, their right to an attorney, and the right to an appointed attorney if they are unable to afford counsel - prior to conducting a custodial interrogation.
Mob-Rule - A government ruled by a mob or a mass of people; the intimidation of legitimate authorities; the tyranny of the majority; pure democracy without due process.
Republic - Form of government that uses the rule of law through a government system led by representatives and officials voted in by a democratic process. The United States enjoys a Constitutional Republic.
Rule of Law - The restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws; Laws of Nature and of Nature's God; self-evident standard of conduct and law.
Questions for Discussion:
1. How is property rights affected by Due Process?
2. Why do military members not fall under the protections of the U.S. Constitution?
3. Why is protection against Double Jeopardy important?
4. What was the inspiration for our Miranda Rights?
5. Who determines if compensation for one's property is just?
6. How is Eminent Domain being used for environmental reasons?
7. Is Eminent Domain constitutionally in force if a property is rezoned for environmental conservation, forcing the value of the property to be reduced due to the fact that it can no longer be developed?
8. Is it constitutional for government to use Eminent Domain for the use of the land by private development projects?
Definition of Due Process, Family Rights Association:
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder's Constitution -
Volume Five - Amendments I-XII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).
U.S. Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966)
Amendment VI
Personal Legal Liberties
The 6th Amendment affords criminal defendants seven discrete personal liberties. "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."
Rights afforded in all criminal prosecutions are set forth in this amendment. The word "all" at the beginning of this amendment establishes a special characteristic regarding this article of the Constitution. The Constitution applies only to the federal government, unless it states otherwise. The 6th Amendment, by providing the word "all" in the regard to cases, establishes that this amendment is not only to be applied to the federal courts, but to the State, and lower, courts as well.
As for the rights afforded to the accused:
            Speedy Trial
The concept of a speedy trial was an English concept of justice. A speedy trial allows for conditions that disallow the powerful from abusing the court system, forcing defendants to languish in jail for an indefinite period while awaiting their trial. Ensuring a speedy trial minimizes the time in which a defendant's life is disrupted and burdened by a criminal proceeding, and reduces the likelihood of a prolonged delay impairing the ability of the accused to prepare a defense.
Historically, when trials are postponed or drag out for long periods of time, witnesses disappear, and evidence is often lost or destroyed. Memories of the incident in question are also not as reliable as time passes.
A person's right to a speedy trial arises after the arrest, indictment, or otherwise formal accusation of a crime.
            Public Trial
The right to a public trial was inherited by the Americans from Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence. Public criminal proceedings would operate as a natural check against malevolent prosecutions, corrupt judges, and perjurious witnesses. A trial that is out in the open also aids the fact-finding mission of the judiciary by encouraging citizens to come forward with relevant information.
The right to a public trial is not absolute. Persons who may disrupt proceedings may be banned from attending the trial because they present a substantial risk of hindering a trial. A disallowance of the media attending falls under the concept of "potential disruptions," but otherwise, under normal circumstances, both the public and media have a qualified First Amendment right to attend criminal proceedings. The right to a public trial does not require the presence of media, and because courtrooms have limited seating, judges may attempt to maintain decorum. For media, with today's technology, the media does not have to be in the courtroom to see or hear the proceedings of the case.
            Right to Trial by an Impartial Jury
A part of the effort in achieving an impartial jury is the process of determining who will serve on the jury through a series of questions and observations, in an effort to eliminate biased jurors. The concept of protecting the defendant from a biased jury can be traced back to the Magna Carta in 1215. In the United States, the requirement for a trial by an impartial jury does not apply to juvenile delinquency proceedings, or to petty criminal offenses, which consist of crimes punishable by imprisonment of six months or less. In Great Britain, and Canada, a jury is not required for cases with potential penalties of two years or less, and the concept of an impartial jury is not entertained in the same way as in the United States. Canada and Britain choose jurors randomly, and then in an open court the jurors for a specific case are selected from the jury panel by ballot. A juror may be challenged once in the box for bias, but an extensive process to eliminate possible biased jurors before selection through a series of questions and observations is not normal practice.
The Sixth Amendment entitles defendants to a jury that represents "a jury of the defendant's peers," which means the jury should be a fair cross section of the community. From the jury pool, the presiding judge, the prosecution, and attorneys for the defense are allowed to ask members of the jury pool a variety of questions intended to reveal any latent biases, prejudices, or other influences that might affect their impartiality. The presence of even one biased juror is not permitted under the Sixth Amendment.
It is possible that the potential bias of a juror may be affected by sources outside the courtroom, so jurors are instructed to not consider newspaper, television, and radio coverage before or during trial, and are instructed not to discuss the trial with even family members, when evaluating the guilt or innocence of the defendant.
Jurors are not permitted to begin deliberations until all of the evidence has been offered. Deliberations do not begin until after the attorneys have made their closing arguments, and the judge has read the instructions. Premature deliberations have shown the potential, historically, to create early biases, or a juror may form a preconceived notion that they will then compare all evidence to, which they may have entertained as a result of premature deliberations.
            Notice of Pending Criminal Charges
The 6th Amendment guarantees defendants the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against them. Defendants must receive notice of any criminal accusations that the government has lodged against them through an indictment, information, complaint, or other formal charge. Defendants may not be tried, convicted, or sentenced for a crime that materially varies from the crime set forth in the formal charge.
The requirement by the 6th Amendment to inform a defendant of the nature and cause of the accusation is an attempt by the Founding Fathers to create fundamental fairness that was not necessarily present in civil and criminal proceedings in England and the American colonies under English common law. Receiving notice of pending criminal charges in advance of trial permits defendants to prepare a defense in accordance with the specific nature of the accusation. In tyrannies, defendants are all too often incarcerated without being apprised of pending charges until the trial begins. Requiring notice of the nature and cause of the accusation against a defendant eliminates confusion regarding the basis of a particular verdict, which in turn decreases the chances that a defendant will be tried later for the same offense.
            Confrontation of Witnesses Against Him
The 6th Amendment requires that defendants have the right to be confronted by witnesses who offer testimony or evidence against them, as well as the opportunity to subject them to cross-examination.
Today's courts have established rules that are enforced at the discretion of the judge who forbids questioning that pursues areas that are irrelevant, collateral, confusing, repetitive, or prejudicial. Defendants are also forbidden to pursue a line of questioning solely for the purpose of harassment.
            Compulsory Process for Obtaining Witnesses In His Favor
The 6th Amendment recognizes a defendant's right to use the compulsory process of the judiciary to subpoena witnesses that may be favorable to the defense. Courts may not take actions to undermine the testimony of a witness who has been subpoenaed by the defense. Any law that attempts to establish particular persons as being incompetent to testify on behalf of a defendant is not allowed.
Defendants can also testify on their own behalf, a right not afforded in the American Colonies, or Great Britain, prior to the United States dissolving the political bands connecting them to the Crown. Common law presumed all defendants to be incompetent to give reliable or credible testimony on their own behalf. The vested interest in the outcome of the trial, it was believed, would taint the testimony of the defendant. The 6th Amendment does not require, a defendant to testify on his own behalf, but does not prohibit it, either.
            Right to Counsel
The 6th Amendment states that criminal defendants have a Right to Counsel. A defendant's right to counsel does not become an issue until the government files formal charges. However, in the 5th Amendment a person has the right not to be compelled to be a witness against himself, allowing him to remain silent until he has counsel present.
In many instances, defendants have the inability to obtain counsel be it because of financial or other reasons. The 6th Amendment, by listing that assistance of counsel for his defense is a right, has compelled the government to institute a program where counsel can be assigned to a defendant if the person is unable to afford counsel, or obtain counsel for any other reason. In the occurrence of a defendant unable to afford counsel, the trial judge appoints one on his behalf. If it turns out that the defendant has financial resources previously unknown to the court, he may be required to reimburse the government for a portion of the fees paid to the court-appointed lawyer.
Defendants are not required to have counsel. Defendants have a right to counsel. Defendants also have the right to decline the representation of counsel and proceed on their own behalf. Defendants who represent themselves must present a waiver of the 6th Amendment right to counsel before a court will allow them to do so. The waiver must reveal that the defendant is knowingly making the decision, and understands the potential consequences.
Questions for Discussion:
1. Why is having a speedy trial so important in a free society?
2. How does a public trial better enable the fact-finding mission of the trial?
3. How is the concept of an impartial jury different in the United States than it is in other countries?
4. Why is it important for a defendant to be able to confront the witnesses against him?
5. How is a defendant's right to counsel enabled in today's court system?
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder's Constitution -
Volume Five - Amendments I-XII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).
Amendment VII
Right of Trial by Jury in Civil Suits
"In suits at Common Law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."
The 7th Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial in most civil suits heard in federal court. Remember, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, apply only to the federal government unless the document states otherwise. The 7th Amendment serves to preserve the historic line separating the province of the jury from that of the judge in civil cases by separating cases that should have a jury in federal court, from those that are smaller cases, and may not require a jury. During the time the amendment was ratified, a case requiring a jury was one where "the value in controversy" exceeded twenty dollars. The cutoff in the court system today is $75,000. Any disputes that involve amounts less than $75,000, in fact, will not even be handled in a federal court.
State courts don't have to honor this provision in the 7th Amendment, and often don't. People bringing a suit do not have to have a jury trial. Individuals can waive their right to a jury trial if they so choose.
The 7th Amendment also expressly forbids federal judges to re-examine any "fact tried by a jury" except as allowed by the common law. This means that no court, trial or appellate, may overturn a jury verdict that is reasonably supported by the evidence.
Prior to the Declaration of Rights in 1689, English judges served the King of England. These judges showed bias towards the King, resulting in unfair rulings. Judges in the American colonies were also biased towards the king, and when King George III got rid of trials by juries in the Colonies, the colonists viewed the decision as more kindling for the fire of independence that had been blazing in the pubs, churches and meeting halls of the Colonies. The Bill of Rights applied what the Framers learned under the rule of Britain to the American System. In the American courts the Framers believed it was important to have a fair court system, so the right to have a trial by jury is mentioned a number of times, and is a fundamental part of the United States legal system.
Together with the due process clause of the 5th Amendment and the right to an impartial jury enumerated in the 6th Amendment, the 7th Amendment guarantees civil litigants the right to not just a jury, but to a jury who is not biased for any reason.
Bill of Rights - The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution; a formal summary of those rights and liberties considered essential to a people or group of people.
Declaration of Rights - Enacted in 1689, the English Bill of Rights is one of the fundamental documents of English constitutional law, marking a fundamental milestone in the progression of English society from a nation of subjects to a nation of free citizens with God-given rights. The evolution began with the Magna Carta in 1215.
Questions for Discussion:
1. What historic line does the 7th Amendment preserve?
2. Must the States abide by the 7th Amendment?
3. Can a person bringing suit waive the right to a jury trial?
Amendment VIII
Excessive Bail, Cruel and Unusual Punishment
The 8th Amendment reads, "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."
As a nation founded on honorable Judeo-Christian principles, the United States legal system is expected to be fair and just. This means that Americans should insist upon a due process that protects individuals from excesses and abuses by the judicial system. Such expectations include that no individual should be singled out, or treated differently, in the eyes of the courts. A fair and equitable judicial system includes no excessive bails or fines, or cruel and unusual punishment, for one person while others guilty of similar crimes do not receive similar treatment.
Today's definitions attempt to set a limit on where "excessive" or "unusual" lies. When a harsh penalty is applied for a crime, even when it is similar to the punishment received by others for the same crime, challenges are launched regarding if the penalty matches the crime. These challenges are fine, and an important part of the American judicial system seeking to adjust itself in regards to its fairness, but the debates during the Federal Convention and State ratification conventions did not focus so much on where the line between excessive and not excessive, or unusual as opposed to usual, exists as much as are the bails, fines and punishment consistent with the bails, fines and punishment consistent with others guilty of the same.
Questions for Discussion:
1. In the context of the time period during which the 8th Amendment was written, what was meant by "cruel and unusual punishment?"
2. How has the original definition of "cruel and unusual punishment" changed since the founding of the United States?
3. How does the 8th Amendment apply the concept of uniformity to cases?
4. Why would the Founding Fathers see the need to enumerate the right of an individual to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment?
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder's Constitution -
Volume Five - Amendments I-XII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).
Copyright 2015 Douglas V. Gibbs