Friday, December 26, 2008

Give Me Liberty...

I was reminded of the Quote that Patrick Henry said "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" And began to ponder on what exactly is Liberty.

Now, such a word obviously has multiple interpretations, not to mention how many things have the word liberty in their title.

What I found was this: Liberty is the

  • Freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control

  • Freedom from external or foreign rule; independence

  • Freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc.; according to choice

  • Freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint.

I also looked at our family dictionary (Websters circa 1968) and it states: Freedom or release from slavery, imprisonment, captivity, or any other form of arbitrary control.

So, back to Patrick Henry's quote. One can assume that he was referring to freedom from oppression by the English Monarchy. But, it begs the question, "How does the unalienable, God given right to Liberty apply to today's political climate?"

With "Big Brother" looking over our shoulders at all times, how is Liberty maintained? Our Government has been set up to monitor our lives down to the littlest details. We can't drive down the street without a policeman running our plates to see if they have a reason to pull us over. We can't say "One Nation, Under God..." in the pledge of allegiance because it might offend a minority. How is that protecting the Liberty of those that want to say "Under God"?

Liberty is an all encompassing thought that governs our daily life. Without Liberty, we are no longer America, land of the Free. The Bill of Rights is a list that attempts to define some of our Liberties that cannot be taken away. The Founders did not attempt to write all of our unalienable Liberties down because the felt that it was understood by all at the time what was meant. Now, learned men attempt to twist and corrupt the meaning of those few articles of Liberties prescribed by our Founding Fathers into a way to manipulate and control the people.

Liberty is something that can only be taken away if you commit a capitol crime. Otherwise, we all have the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution and it's Bill of Rights found therein. Liberty is what this great country was founded upon. Liberty is what our Founding Fathers fought for. Liberty is what our ancestors died for. Liberty is what we are losing in today's political climate.

Do you feel that the government is acting in accordance with the basic Liberties of the very citizens it's sworn to protect? Are our politicians fighting for out Civil Liberties in Congress? If Liberty is unalienable, how are we as citizens protecting it from the government?

I'm reminded of a quote a friend uses "I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees!"

"Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Cost of the Loss of Rights

Recently I read an article on the ACLU site that talked about One in Every Thirty-One Adults having a criminal record. They quoted the report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) which, to give you the gist, states that numbers are up for people on parole/probation.

I bring this to your attention to illustrate a simple idea that occurred to me. If you took the 7.8 million offenders that the report talks about, and gave them the ability to be productive members to society, what would the influx of tax monies entail? Think on it this way; if you took each offender and multiplied it by an imaginary number of $10,000 (roughly the taxes to be paid by someone making $50,000), what would you get? Roughly 78 BILLION dollars. Now, if we had received the taxes on theses people in this amount for the last 10 years, would we have needed a Federal Bailout?

But, with the criminal record and the loss of rights that each offender has received as part of their sentencing, they lose the ability to become productive members to society.

Now, some offenders are unable to control themselves and recidivate. Those will be perpetually in the system. But, those offenders who learned their lesson, and have tried to return to society to gain employment have found it difficult to get jobs because of their record and our publics perception.

Recently I learned of a program that helps offenders get back on their feet. In the manual for that program, I learned that persons with Criminal Records and are on welfare, make up 46% of the welfare population. This program is designed to help overcome the "barriers" these offenders have in getting employment and getting off of welfare.

If the public perception wasn't so strong against those that have criminal records, they might have an easier time at getting work. Then, they would be able to contribute to society. And a lot of them would make more than $50,000 in a year. Some would make upwards of six figures.

So, with such a sizeable chunk of our population unable to gain meaningful employment, and unable to pay their potential in tax revenue, our Country is continually losing out on some serious revenue potential.

Do you think that offenders who have learned their lesson and are trying to reintegrate with society should be segregated from the other potential candidates for employment? If an ex-offender has the potential to contribute to society more than they currently are, shouldn't the door be opened for them? If 1 in 31 has a criminal record, and has lost their rights, wouldn't voting on new laws be skewed from their true potential?

Is ostracism effective?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Complacency: The Freedom Killer (Part 3)

"The greatest obstacle to those who hope to reform American education is complacency."

---Diane Ravitch

Complacency has the ability to lull us into thinking that everything is OK. It provides a sense of false security. A security which, if unchecked, has the potential to rob us of our very foundation as a country.

In our effort to understand this vicious and quiet disease that is plaguing America, we have learned that not only does it teach us ignorance as Citizens, but that we also can potentially lose our ability to fight back.

In this final segment, we are going to discuss how the loss of our ability to fight back and our ignorance leads to us losing our Rights.

There is another quote that I've been meaning to share:

"You need to have a redesign because familiarity breeds a kind of complacency."

---Timothy White

In the "Civil Rights" Movement, we all became accustomed to hearing about Civil Rights. Some, even to the point of rolling their eyes. We all became "familiar" with the concept. Now, we are complacent to the idea of reformation in the area of Civil Rights.

The familiarity is where the ignorance comes from. In our familiarity, we stop caring enough to pay attention. While we are not paying attention, we quietly and slowly lose our ability to fight back. Laws are passed and judgements are made in Court that slowly and silently remove our ability to say "No!"

The intent of the article is to bring to attention the dangers of allowing ourselves to become complacent with anything in our lives, let alone becoming complacent with our Civil Rights.

Do your research, study up on what's going on around you. Become active. It's the only way for things to turn around. I cannot remember where I heard it before, but it's been said that "The only way for Evil to win is for enough good people to do nothing."

Don't be one of those that stood by and did nothing only to kick yourself later in life for failure to act. Complacency is (in my opinion) the leading cause of the failure in our Legislative Branch to create new and better laws. We see many many laws being passed that waste money, create hardships for citizens, and set precedence for future equally absurd laws.

Are you willing to continue to let this happen? Are you willing to stand up for no one else but yourself? Does the direction of the country worry you? Do you feel that things are being handled the way you think they should? Do you realise that a phone call to your local Senator makes a HUGE difference?

Complacency creates danger in all of our lives.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Complacency: The Freedom Killer (Part 2)

"I hate to see complacency prevail in our lives when it's so directly contrary to the teaching of Christ."
---Jimmy Carter

The United States of America was founded on the principles of Christianity. Some may not be Christians or even believe in God. But the truth is, all men were created equal. In that equality, we all have a certain set of "inalienable" or "natural" rights. These "natural" rights come directly from God.

These natural rights have never been put into a complete list. Simply because it was presumed at the time of the Constitution that people knew what these rights were. For the sake of trying to prevent the Government they were trying to establish, the founding fathers put a few on paper.

This is known as the Bill of Rights.

The first 10 listed in the Bill of Rights are a pretty straight forward and simple list. What many people may not know, is that there is a bigger list of substantive rights. These substantive rights are the extension of the basic rights listed. For example, Freedom of Speech gives us the right to say what we want, when we want it. What people may not realise is that they also, under freedom of speech, have the right to: freedom to assemble, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom to petition. All of the minute and infinite rights that are protected under those are considered to be substantive.

These substantive rights are vitally important to the continued success of the American people and the "dream" that is America. For example, imagine the loss of the right to petition. We would no longer have the right to gather signatures for important matters. This would effectively stop the citizens from helping to create legislation. Imagine the havoc that would create and the doors it would open for the Government to bring in a different style of government.

So, in understanding that we have a need to fight for our rights and to protect them. Even if it means that a law that "feels good" or looks good on paper needs to not be passed, it's the greater good of protecting our rights that is more important.

Complacency breeds a need for bigger government, more "security", and allows us to turn on our fellow men.

Complacency by the people will be the downfall of this great nation.

Do not let complacency rule your life. Can you imagine what will happen if you keep on with the same things you are doing? Can you imagine what will happen if you don't stand up for your rights?

It reminds me of a poem I know of:

When the Nazis came for the communists,

I remained silent;I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,

I remained silent;I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,

I did not speak out;I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,

I remained silent;I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,

there was no one left to speak out...

Are you going to allow this to happen to you?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Complacency: The Freedom Killer (Part1)

"I have absolutely no idea what my generation did to enrich our democracy. We dropped the ball. We entered a period of complacency and closed our eyes to the public corruption of our democracy."

---Wynton Marsalis

Many an author has written about the disgraceful state of mind called Complacency. Few have managed to stir people to action. We all aspire to create a burning need in the hearts of Man to get up and do something to change their world.

The more I read on personal development, the more that I learn that change always, and only, begins inside of one's self. Leo Tolstoy says "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

To understand complacency, we need to only examine the pace of our lives. Most people spend their time pretty much the same way. Few people actually strive to grow as individuals. Most are too busy trying to stay afloat in life to move forward personally. That, believe it or not, is stagnation. Also known as Complacency. They are complacent with their lives, how they live their lives, their surroundings, and where they are headed overall. The problem with that is that if one only thinks about today and how you are doing, you'll never see the speed bumps of tomorrow.

Complacency programs our brains into accepting that the dreams and goals that we sought after while we were children are unreachable. Or that we lack the power within ourselves to change and become the person that we always dreamed of.

How does complacency affect you? Think of it this way. If the Constitution is slowly and quietly being taken out of our country, and you are OK with how things are today, you'll never recognize the danger that lurks around the corner as our liberties are slowly eaten up.

As our liberties are taken away, you might think "It's not that bad" or "It sucks to be that guy" when you see him affected by the loss of liberty. But what you fail to realise is that as one right is effectively taken away, it sets us up to lose more.

"The only way for Evil to prevail is for enough Good people to do nothing" is a quote that I've heard many times. The more we think that this won't happen to us, or that it's the other guys problem and not mine, we lose our ability to stand up and say "That's not right!"

If we stay complacent, and do nothing, then nothing changes. Have you ever heard the saying "Nothing changes if nothing changes"? If you don't change, then the way the world is headed will not change.

Complacency will kill our ability to fight for our Freedom's granted by the Constitution of the United States of America. There is a sentence I recently found in the book called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People that I'd like to share with you. It's found on page 60 and 61, "Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or by emotional appeal."

So I humbly ask, Open your Gate. Let the change begin in your heart. In John C. Maxwell's book Thinking For a Change, he has a quote in there that states, "A belief is not just an idea that you possess; it is an idea that possesses you." Believe that you can make a change in your own life. Believe that you have the voice to stand up and be heard. Believe that through small changes in ourselves, big changes in our world can happen.

Fight for your Freedoms before they are all gone. Don't let the hubbub of life keep you stuck in the "rut". Stand up and be heard. Take complacency out of your life and replace it with belief and purpose.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Series on the Loss of Rights: Due Process

"Due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person according to the law of the land, instead of respecting merely some or most of those legal rights. In the laws of the United States (U.S.), this principle gives individuals a varying ability to enforce their rights against alleged violations thereof by governments. Due process has also been frequently interpreted as placing limitations on laws and legal proceedings, in order for judges instead of legislators to guarantee fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty. The latter interpretation is analogous to the concepts of natural justice and procedural justice used in various other jurisdictions."

There are two kinds of "Due Process", Procedural and Substantive. Procedural is the process by which things are done. Due process by procedures. Substantive on the other hand, are the rights given by the Constitution that are byproducts of the Bill of Rights.

Most everything you read these days is geared towards protecting your established rights. What you don't read about is the establishing of those rights.

Congress in it's near limitless power in creating a new law, often takes it upon themselves to use a House Rule to pass laws and not follow the Constitutional processes.

For example, the Senate is to have a Quorum when creating major legislation. In the definition of a Quorum, the Senate "presumes" that a Quorum is present unless someone calls for a roll call. Basically meaning that 1, 2, 5, or so people could be present to pass legislation. And unless one of those people is dumb enough to ask for a roll call vote, they can pass any legislation they want to. Couple that with Adjournment Sine Die, you get a Congress that does what it wants, when it wants, without the benefit of checks and balances.

Congress is supposed to have a quorum present (51%) when creating or passing major pieces of legislation. Congress is supposed to close it's doors at the end of their season. The Senate IS NOT to create legislation, they are to be the "cooling plate" for the House of Representatives.

So here's the question of the day. If Congress uses the House Rules to pass major legislation, are they following Procedural Due Process in the creation of laws? If they are not, are those laws considered to be Constitutional? Should they be "re-argued" with a true Quorum present? Are they completing their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution in the creation of these laws? Are our rights as citizens under the Constitution being protected when they create laws this way?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Nation Trained to Fear.

I found this on another site and found it to be appropriate for here...


A Nation Trained to Fear
By kiokwus, published Oct 19, 2008

Rating: 4.0 of 5

Sex Offender. A term that causes the hair on "decent" people to stand on end, bring out the cold sweat of uncontrollable loathing enough to make a person sick with revulsion. A term used by politicians to justify submission of proposals, totally opposite what this country was based upon, to further degrade, chastise, regulate, demoralise, restrain, those labeled sex offenders to a life of abject poverty as well as hopelessness beyond measure.

What constitutes a sex offender? Is it the 5 year old boy who while giving his teacher a hug, moves his face back and forth between her breasts? The 8 year old's "comparing themselves" to each other? The 12 and 13 year old boy/girl friend that are both charged against each other as both being victim and offender when the girl became pregnant? Or the high school teen lovers that are a few years apart and the boy turns 18? What about the girl who takes pictures of herself and sends it to her boyfriend and friends? Or the boys "slapping the rears" of girls while running down the hallway in school? (Girls did the same) How about the people forced to urinate in the bushes after the local DA locked the public rest rooms, to pounce on these unfortunates and charge them with indecent exposure? Or the old man chasing after young girls?

In our world today, they all are labeled as sex offenders.

From the young 5 year old to the old grandfather, a label of sex offender sticks upon them forever. It matters nothing of when the offense took place, the circumstances, how long they "must" register, nothing removes this stigma from their lives. Contrary to when the officials tell you, this stigma affects not only the individual, but every person associated with this person. Entire families are subjected to the painful applications deemed appropriate for the offense committed. The justification? To save the children of course.

There are those who firmly believe that anyone labeled a sex offender, deserves the most horrendous punishment that can be handed down by the courts of law. Stipulations are given, requirements must be fulfilled, restrictions are put in place, rules are to be followed, demands are to be kept, and changes come without notice that extends all of these so there really is no end in sight. The public believes that anything is justified, for the sex offender "destroyed" the life of the victim. When then does punishment end and forgiveness begin? Not all "victims" feel there should be unending punishment.

In many cases, the victim is a family member and over time, the family has worked diligently to be reunited. Once reunited, the family should be able to live life once again without constant harassment's and stipulations. But this is not to be so. Now the horror placed upon the stigma of sex offender, affects all the members of the family including the "victim". What is demanded of the offender, is now demanded of the victim and family. Housing restrictions do not mean just the offender. It also includes the family. The option of the offender again leaving the family unit is undesirable as all the work to reunite to family is for naught.

Many communities have passed laws or ordinances that stipulate just that. Additionally, many children services across the nation now feel they have the right to demand the offender leave, regardless of what the courts and counselors approved. Not doing so may cause the children to be removed from the family unit, the spouse to be charged with child endangerment or a host of other crimes, and the offender ousted into the cold once again.

Many states, in the frenzy of finding anyone who ever had a sex offense, has created laws governing the application, retroactive to 50 or 60 years before or longer. Those who have been caught up in this roundup, may have never done another crime, yet now their lives are to be destroyed as if the offense took place yesterday. The impact of such not only destroys everything this person has ever done in his or her life, causes the community to now fear this person and react according to this fear. Horror enters the persons life, fear that someone will take matters into their own hands becomes a daily fear. What had been punished and satisfied from many years ago, now resurfaces bringing all today's horrendous requirements into play. Why is such to be?

Truth is, there are those who do belong behind bars, to be monitored for life. Those who have committed such horrible crimes that cannot be satisfactorily punished regardless of what the courts dictate. Those who do commit over and over the crimes against children and adults as well, exist. How many? That I cannot answer. What can be stated is the majority of "sex offenses" are well beyond common sense. Not every action is a sex offense, though the elected leaders would have you believe so.

The application of sex crime is out of control and more "offenses" are dreamed up and included daily. When is the public to understand the actions of today may become the crime of tomorrow? The innocent baby pictures that are taken and exist for oh so many years, today could be and would be considered child porn under the standards set by those in power. You could be charged with child pornography without even understanding the why of the charge.

Halloween is once again upon us. Everywhere you look today, the unfounded fear that sex offenders are out in droves to molest or steel your children has brought "restrictions" that sex offenders are mandated to follow. Anything from reporting to jail, probation parole offices, locking their doors, turning off the lights, to placing "pumpkins" in their windows or on their doors exist. Special "visits" by the police are scheduled to insure sex offenders are following the "rules" or be subjected to immediate arrest. Sex Offenders are forbidden to partake in any activities to include those within their own families.

There has never been a case of any child being molested or stolen by a sex offender on Halloween.

Every holiday, this is becoming the "norm" in today's society. From those in power to the media, the standard is to keep the horror of sex offenders alive, to have the public fear for their children, to amass in rallies or other groups, demanding that those officials do something to drive the sex offender and family out of their neighborhoods. What is the justification? Sex offenders can never be changed, they will always commit another crime. Our anger and the safety of our children give us license to do what ever it takes against any sex offender and if they have a family, that family is either stupid, or like the offender and should be punished the same.

November 1st, all this will behind us once again. No one was molested, no child stolen. Things can calm down for a few weeks. Then we can start it all again come Thanksgiving, then Christmas, New Years. New demands will be voiced. New restrictions submitted. Further disenfranchisement of sex offenders and families be put into place. The public is unwilling to learn. The fear ingrained into them is much to powerful to allow opposing views and facts enter. The blinders remain.

Not every offense is a sex crime, not every person is a sex offender, not every person will commit another sex offense. Education works. Counseling works. This travesty must come to an end.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Adjournment Sine Die

Adjournment sine die - The end of a legislative session "without day." These adjournments are used to indicate the final adjournment of an annual or the two-year session of a Congress.

This interestingly bland detail introduced itself to me yesterday. As far as I can understand it (not being a Congressman or a Lawyer), this tool is used to close Congress and stop the ability for Congress to pass laws until the next scheduled session.

In case you didn't pick up the connotation there, if it's not used, then any member of Congress can sneak in, and pass laws using trickery. There are documented cases of this. Many laws that are effectively screwing up America today are caused by this very detail. I would elaborate on which ones, but I'm not ready to present such Nationally destructive info as of yet. (stay tuned as I slowly elaborate and give my evidence)

Under the original intent of the Constitution, Congress was only able to act with a Majority. That came to a screeching halt when the South seceded from the Union. Which meant that the southern states were not in Congress. Therefore, not majority could be reached. So, Lincoln wrote a writ to allow Emergency Powers to Congress so that they could get back to writing laws.

One of those nasty powers granted under the writ Lincoln wrote was a little thing called: Suspension of Rules.

I've written about Suspension of Rules before, but here's a brief synopsis. Suspension of Rules allows for the Congress to set aside the normal rules of making laws and pass laws without the normal checks and balances.

After researching this suspension of rules, I became aware that it's existence is tracked back to the 1870's, which would imply the time of the Lincoln writ. Under the Constitution and on major pieces of legislation, it states a need of a 2/3 majority vote. Congress should not have the ability to use the Suspension of Rules to pass major legislation.

Congress does have the ability to create it's own rules in the passage of laws within each House and Senate, but those rules are to help in the making of laws.

The Suspension of Rules is one of those "house rules" that is supposed to be used only on mundane things like the naming of Post Offices and whatnot. It was not meant to be used on major Constitutional issues.

I bring up the Suspension of Rules to illustrate a problem with not adjourning Congress at the end of the session. If Congress is not "officially" closed for the session, someone can come in and use things like Suspension of Rules to pass legislation while most of Congress is not present.

Adjournment Sine Die is important for keeping Congress honest. We may not even have the ability for Congress to use Adjournment Sine Die because we are at a State of War. We have been at a State of War since September 11th, 2001, because the President keeps renewing this decree. While we are at "war", Congress cannot convene.

So, if a controversial law is passed using a "house rule" and not using the Constitutional Rule, should it still be a valid law? Or, should it be considered unconstitutional because Congress didn't use procedural due process to pass that law? If Congress cannot convene, are we given due process when someone in Congress passes a major legislative piece while the session is supposed to be over?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Human Nature v. Activism

As I delve deeper in to the realm of Constitutional Law and Activism, I am constantly reminded of our human nature and peoples fear of the unknown. I've heard it all over that the greatest fear of man is the fear of change.

Feeling the call of duty that I feel, I continually strive to set an example and push forward in my activism. Knowing as I do that there are those that are so scared that they won't even read information to enlighten themselves, there are those that read but don't respond, and there are those that respond, but don't do anything.

The exceptional few have heeded the call and have stepped forward to fight the fight. At times, these "warriors" get tired and need a break. With so few people joining the ranks of the "warriors", there are gaps left in the wake of someone taking time to recharge their batteries.

Also, after a few of these times of recharge, people begin to question why they continue. I for one, will never stop, but I know of a few people that have grown bitter as time has gone on.

So I sit here pondering how to possibly appeal to peoples sense of impending doom or even their willingness to answer the call...

I'm afraid that people are so inclined to bury their heads in the sand that they are willing to run with the masses and not step out of the crowd to let their voices be heard.

The more people that step out, the more voices heard. The more we get the Government to stop and listen, the more we will get these laws changed.

I pray every day in my heart that people will wake up to the injustices that are happening to us every day. When will we stand up and say "No More Will I Sit Back And Do Nothing"?

I've heard it said that the only way for Evil to win is for enough Good People to do nothing.

Too many good people are doing nothing right now... How can we let the Evils of this world continue by standing by and letting it happen? Are we so scared about people knowing how we really feel that we will succumb to the mob mentality and watch as atrocities are committed in the name of the public good?

Do you feel that you could be doing more but are to scared to stand up and be heard?

Does knowing this allow you to sleep well at night? Or do you have internal struggles plaguing your every waking, and sometimes sleeping, moments?

Can you, and are you going to sit by and watch the world crumble? Or are you going to stand and fight?

I for one, chose to fight.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Judicial and Jury Nullification

I just found this on another blog...

Jury Symposium

The Northern Illinois Law Review recently (Summer 2008) had a symposium, The Modern American Jury:

  • Paula L. Hannaford-Agor, Judicial Nullification? Judicial Compliance and Non-Compliance with Jury Improvement Efforts, 28 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 407-424 (2008)

  • Irwin A. Horowitz, Jury Nullification: An Empirical Perspective, 28 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 425-451 (2008)

  • Kirk W. Schuler, In the Vanguard of the American Jury: A Case Study of Jury Innovations in the Northern District of Iowa, 28 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 453-501 (2008)

  • Elizabeth Dale, People v. Coughlin and Criticisms of the Criminal Jury in Late Nineteenth-Century Chicago, 28 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 503-536 (2008)

  • Frank A. Perrecone & Lisa R. Fabiano, The Federalization of Punitive Damages and the Effect on Illinois Law, 28 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 537-557 (2008)

  • I always find good stuff like this after the fact. Murphy's Law I suppose...

    Thursday, October 9, 2008

    A Series on the Loss of Rights: A Right to Vote

    With the 2008 Presidential Elections less than a month away, I am getting more and more emails about our Right to Vote. Feeling compelled to clear up some misconceptions Americans have on our "Right to Vote", I find myself giving you yet another article in the series.

    Our Right to Vote is a basic Constitutional right as set forth in the Fifteenth Amendment. What most people will miss is the second part. "The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

    Appropriate legislation has turned into a "who's allowed to vote and who's not allowed". Even tho the "United States nor any State" can take away that right. Even based on a persons "previous condition of servitude". Interesting how most people with any type of criminal background are excluded from voting.

    But I digress.

    Here is a basic understanding of the voting process.

    The President is elected by Electoral College votes and not by Popular vote. Just like in 2004. Al Gore won the popular vote, but Bush won the electoral vote.

    So, why does it do any good to vote anyways? The more votes, the more electoral college points allotted to a state.

    Here is another problem most people aren't aware of. We used to have the right to "write in" a candidate. Now with invention of electronic voting, we no longer have the option (at times) to "write in" a candidate. Not to mention all of the voting machine fraud.

    So the question at hand remains. If neither candidate in the Presidential Election is worthy of holding office, what is the public to do? With the voting fraud, votes are shuffled from one candidate to another. And if the vote is for a third person, it may not even be counted at all. And not voting just reduces the numbers and therefore raising the percentages that a candidate has...

    Then we have Obama busing people to get registered to vote, and vote in the same day. The ACLU is sending out messages both on their blog and in emails trying to get people to vote (their agenda is for the Constitution itself).

    And this seasons elections are highly important. We are voting on a man who has acknowledged that he wouldn't mind being a dictator, and another who has close friends that are known terrorists. Who do we vote for to hold the highest office in the land? Who is "best qualified" to lead our Nation? If we write-in a candidate that we feel would do the job right, would our votes even make it.

    Is voting a guaranteed right? Or just a motion to be gone through by the people to placate them into believing that everything is ok? Is the outcome of the Vote predetermined by some other group we are unaware of as citizens?

    And with the reduction in eligible voters (people with a criminal record), do we really have a correct representation of the public in the voting system?

    This years vote will be the most important vote that some will ever make. I pray that those voting do their homework and know who they are voting for.

    Now is not the time for mistakes.

    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    A Series on the Loss of Rights: Right to a Jury Trial

    In the Constitution, under Amendment #7 (for common law cases) and Amendment #6 (for criminal cases), we as Americans have a right to a jury trial.

    A Jury Trial is a group of our peers (12 to be exact) that will hear the facts against us and determine our guilt of the crime or accusation brought against us.

    In this trial, the jurors are screened to make sure they are "willing and able to follow the law as instructed by the court". If a potential juror is deemed to be unable, or just plain unacceptable, they are removed from duty. (This removal can happen all the way up to the reading of the verdict)

    Jurors are asked to decide based on the law and the facts of the case if the person is guilty, or not guilty. What most people don't know, is that in the beginning of this country, and all the way up until the 1900's, the jurors were also asked to decide if the law itself was just or not. They had the power and the right to decide if a law should be "nullified" or not.

    Here are some quotes to get you thinking:

    Thomas Jefferson said, "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which government can be held to the principles of its Constitution."

    Alexander Hamilton proclaimed, "Jurors should acquit even against the judges instructions . . . if exercising their judgment with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction that the charge of the court is wrong."

    It was designed into the structure of the Constitution for the jury to decide not only guilt or innocence, but also the validity of a law.

    But, if the case never makes it to trial, then there will be no jury. No decision by a group of your peers... No justice the way it was designed.

    Plea Bargains are the culprits these days. One fact I found is that more than 90% of all cases never make it to trial because of the plea bargaining system.

    Here is a quote from the above linked article:

    "The rarity of jury trials is not the result of criminals who
    come into court to relieve a guilty conscience or save taxpayers
    the costs of a trial. The truth is that government officials
    have deliberately engineered the system to assure that the jury
    trial system established by the Constitution is seldom used. And
    plea bargaining is the primary technique used by the government
    to bypass the institutional safeguards in trials."

    With the Prosecutors and the Public Defenders working hand in hand (so to speak), it's no wonder we have the highest prison rate in the WORLD.

    With this erosion of a system meant to continue the belief "innocent until proven guilty", we see more and more people being bullied into accepting plea deals, missing out on their right of a jury, and also the safeguards that are provided by said jury trials.

    With fewer jury trials, people are seeing an astronomical rate of imprisonment. Rates of recidivism are blown out of proportion to their "true" figures because of a watering down of the prison system with people who don't really belong there. Legislators are reacting to give the people a feeling of security. And these laws are being passed without the jury having the ability to dictate how they apply to the court cases. Our Judicial System is in danger of losing it's ability to maintain the "innocent until proven guilty" aspect. Without our juries there to decide cases, the Government perpetuates the cycle of corruption of the system.

    Do your part. Ask for a jury trial.

    Judicial Nullification and It's Implications

    Judicial Nullification is a right of the Judges to nullify a law if they feel it is to harsh (even the manditory minimums) for the situtation it is being applied to.

    Although it is highly frowned upon, Judicial Nullification is allowed in our Judicial System. There is a test to see if nullification is acceptable in a case:

    "Let us deploy this two pronged test, derived from the intuition that the wrongness of any governmental action can always be explained either as a violation of rights or a disservice to the public good. If it is wrong for courts to nullify the law, then nullification must either violate one or more background moral rights held by particular citizens (i.e., rights that are independent of positive law [16]) or else it must have on balance bad consequences for the public weal."

    So, if it violates a Civil Right, or it is not in the best interest of the public good, then the nullification is illegal.

    Judicial Nullification, just like Jury Nullification, isn't widely practiced in the courts these days. One, because of a lack of knowledge by the lawyers who assume the Honour and responsibility of being a Judge. Two, because these days, we see the courts siding with the legislators more and less with upholding the Constitution as it was written and the intent behind it.

    As a Constitution Voter, I find it my duty to try and inform people of their rights in court, no matter what type of court, or for what circumstances they might be there for.

    Judicial Nullification, Jury Nullification, two very important rights/powers to help send the legislators that we are tired of laws that steal our civil rights and seperate the Government from the people.

    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Jury Nullification

    In my effort to learn about obscure points of law, I discovered Jury Nullification. After googling it to learn it's true meaning, I ran across an alarming trend. But first, let me help you understand what exactly Jury Nullification really is.

    Jury Nullification is the acquitting of a defendant by a jury in disregard of the judge's instructions and contrary to the jury's findings of fact.

    Basically, a jury has the Constitutional Right to nullify a charge against the defendant based on the prescribed punishment being either too harsh for the situation, or the law that they broke was in essence unjust. Also, if enough juries find a certain law to be unjust, they can set a precidence for that law to be challenged in court.

    In the beginning of the United States of America, juries were almost always told about their right to Jury Nullification, but in the last 110 years, Judges often times severely discourage this knowledge. Recently, it's been upheld that a Judge can actually remove a juror if he feels that the intent of that particular juror is to nullify. So the consensus of late is that Judges and Congress really don't want us to know that we have a right to nullify.

    I also ran across this on youtube.

    I also found a site that provides just about everything you'd need to know about being on a jury. They give resources for if you are facing charges, if you are called for Jury Service, and they even have a Juror's Handbook.

    There is alot of support out there for informing juries of their rights. Especially their right to nullify.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Ultra Vires and Quo Warranto

    The inspiration for this post is a long series of mounting congressional laws that are making it increasingly difficult to live under said laws. Now, being a problem solver by nature, I wanted to know by what authority was congress allowed to make such laws, and was it within their scope of the law? And in so questioning, I stumbled upon two different yet essentially identical phrases: Ultra Vires and Quo Warranto.

    Ulta Vires

    By definition: Ultra vires is a Latin phrase that literally means "beyond the powers". It is used as a legal term in a number of common law contexts.

    Interesting. Beyond the powers... And as I understand it, if it's beyond their powers, then all subsequent laws based upon that one ultra vires falls under the same term respectively. Kinda like dominoes falling...

    Quo Warranto

    By definition: Quo warranto (Medieval Latin for "by what warrant?") is one of the prerogative writs, that requires the person to whom it is directed to show what authority he has for exercising some right or power (or "franchise") he claims to hold.

    In essence, questioning the authority of said person to prove their authority/power. If they don't have the authority/power to create a law or uphold it, then the result of "non-compliance" is null and void.

    So, here we have two terms that question the authority of an entity or person.

    If on one hand, they have the power and authority, but act outside the scope of their boundaries, then that law or result is void. If they don't have the power or authority, then it's a moot point anyways.

    So the question remains, do they have the authority? And if so, did they act within their bounds?

    A series on the Loss of Rights: Freedom of Speach

    The First Amendment states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    Now, most Felons lose their rights upon a plea of guilty. But does the freedom of speech fall under that category? I've heard of the loss of the right to bear arms (understandable in most cases), the loss of the right to vote (not sure how that works), and a few others I can't remember at the moment. But, somewhere along the way, some states decided that it was ok to eliminate the right to gather signatures (as in setting up a petition to the Government). And others, the right to gather certain types of criminals (mainly sex offenders) into a group.

    The latter two are part of the first amendment. One of our unalienable rights guaranteed by the Constitution. And as a part of the freedom of speech amendment comes our substantive rights: freedom of association, freedom to participate, freedom of movement, freedom of privacy, and freedom of choice to name a few.

    But most states would have you believe that you are not worthy or allowed to have such rights as those guaranteed by the very Constitution that gives them power over the people. And based on what? Infamous Crime. Infamous Crime is what allows them to take away those rights.

    What is Infamous Crime? Infamous Crime is any crime that is punishable by death or imprisonment in a state penal institution, with or without hard labor for more than one year. Catch that? Any crime with a sentence of more that a year. You know those misdemeanors that have a sentence of a year and a day? They can be considered to be "infamous crime" and allow for the removal of your civil rights.

    And the very rights that they take away were put there to allow us to redress our sins before the courts. Without the first amendment, we lose the right "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." We lose the ability to gather about us the qualified amount of signatures it would take to present a new initiative to the legislature. We lose the ability to create change. We fall victim to the fear mongering and hate machines created by the media and the legislative branch of our Government.

    Fortunately for some, their state constitution is worded different than most. It allows the felon to gain back their civil rights at the termination of their probation.

    For the rest? Goodbye freedom of speech and all that falls under its umbrella.

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    Federal Domestic Spending Bill Cuts Crime Funding Program by 67 Percent

    Federal Domestic Spending Bill Cuts Crime Funding Program by 67 Percent
    State Representatives try to get the Adam Walsh Act, SORNA, sex offender registration notification act, signed into being in each state, citing the loss of Federal Grant monies if their state does not comply.

    But as Paul Harvey would have said, they do NOT tell you the rest of the story.

    What little funding any state might have received, has been drastically cut. Leaving states which implement the Adam Walsh Act to ask all the residents of the state to agree to pay MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO FUND THE legislation, and only get back a few thousand dollars. Chart and Graph Below.

    An example of what a state would have spent and received Prior to the cuts:States stand to lose 10 percent of Byrne Grant money if they do NOT implement SORNA.

    Louisiana's Cost of Implementing SORNA ……..$6,963,401
    Louisiana Byrne Money 2006……………………………….$3,514,704
    Louisiana 10 percent of Byrne money……………………..$351,470

    On December 27 President Bush signed the 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, a $555 billion domestic spending package that included short-term funding for US troops and an estimated $10 billion in pork-barrel projects. The raft of earmarks prompted Bush to say he was “disappointed” by Congress’s inability to “rein in government spending.”

    But the bill did include major funding cuts, including, notably, a 67 percent reduction in appropriations (from $520 million to $170 million) for the Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program. According to the Justice Department, the program “allows states and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and to improve the criminal justice system.”

    How will this cut affect states’ and municipalities’ ability to protect public safety? That’s a supremely wonky (and supremely politicized) question–but it’s a good one, I think.

    Walter Phillips Jr., chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, offered a tentative answer today. Pennsylvania received $11.7 million in Byrne JAG funds in 2007; the two-thirds reduction for 2008 drops that number to $3.9 million. “Let there be no mistake,” Phillips warned, “this cut in federal funding will hamper justice improvements and innovations which ultimately help to protect our citizens.”

    Wisconsin, too, has weighed in. The state’s Office of Justice Assistance (which is charged with disbursing federal justice and homeland security grant funds) says it uses Byrne JAG funds to “support the operations of multi-jurisdictional drug task forces, prosecutors, help crime victims and reduce racial disparities in Wisconsin’s justice system”; it is facing a $4.1 million cut, from $6.48 million to $2.37 million. David Steingraber, who directs Wisconsin’s Office of Justice Assistance and serves as president of the National Criminal Justice Association, said recently that “communities everywhere” will suffer from the cuts. “Congress has just made the job of every police officer in this country more difficult,” he adds.

    I’ve got a related (admittedly wonky, politicized) question, one that will probably betray my ignorance on the subject. I ask it because I don’t know enough about how and under what conditions JAG funding is disbursed, and because I haven’t seen much commentary on this subject since the bill was signed into law. If these grants are primarily being applied to help police “toughen” up on crime and, say, bolster the victims’ rights lobby, then I’d conclude that cutting them by two-thirds might not be such a terrible idea. But if they’re expressly used to support the kind of reform efforts youth advocates and criminal defenders champion–and if increased funding could relieve, or work in tandem with, the nonprofit organizations that have stepped up in the absence of federal leadership–then I’d have a very different opinion on the matter.

    So, how will this cut affect efforts at reform?

    Cost of Implementing Adam Walsh Act
    Fact Sheets Examine Impact of Sex Offender Registries

    Impact of Sex Offender Registries

    Author(s): Justice Policy InstituteTopic(s): Juvenile Justice, Public Safety

    Author(s): Justice Policy InstituteTopic(s): Juvenile Justice, Public Safety

    Author(s): Justice Policy InstituteTopic(s): Juvenile Justice, Public Safety

    Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    An Alarming Trend...

    Recently I became aware of 2 articles that might surprise people with some of the content they have. One is the ACLU's article titled "What Seven Years Have Taught Us" and the other is from another blog and the article is "Investigation into Whether America Is Still a Constitutional Government."

    Both of these articles are talking about essentially the same thing. We have been at War for 7+ years now due to the declared State of Emergency from the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01. This State of Emergency give the President powers almost akin to that of a dictator.

    Some of the powers he gains are:
    • seizure of property
    • organize and control the means of production
    • seizure of commodities
    • assign military forces abroad
    • institute martial law
    • seize and control all transportation and communications
    • regulate the operation of private enterprise
    • restrict travel
    • and, in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all American citizens

    One might ask how that has any bearing on Sex Offender laws. With the ability to "institute martial law" and "regulate the operation of private enterprise," he can in effect, create a law that will stop Sex Offenders from going anywhere or getting any jobs.

    One way this happens is by a tricky little piece of Legislation called a Suspension Calendar. You can find a decent deffinitioin of that on the ACLU site with the article "Congress-ese: A Suspension of…Rules." The suspension calendar is for mundain bills coming forth like the naming of post offices and whatnot. It was never meant for major bills like the Patriot Act or FISA or the AWA.

    The other piece of the puzzle is the Unanimous Consent used in Legislation as well. Check it out at the ACLU site with the article called "The Golden Child of the Legislative Process." Unanimous Consent allows the Congress to take a "voice vote" which allows them to call out Yeah or Nay. This is not recorded, and there is no way to know which direction a Legislator voted (or even if someone else voted for them...)

    Both of these were brought into precidence with the Patriot Act. It was used with the AWA and also FISA.

    The President has allowed our country to be ruled by laws that don't work, and give the Government more power than the Constitution has set forth. This Declaration of a State of Emergency or Declaration of War has allowed the President to bypass the checks and balances system built into the Constitution.

    I think that there should be a Committee of Legislators (from both houses) and from the Judiciary Branch to sit down and look at the state of affairs and decide if a Declaration of War/State of Emergency is still warranted.

    The Constitution was set up to protect the citizens from the Government. Not allow the President total power over how the country is running by the simple Declaration of War/State of Emergency. This power has allowed precidence in the Judicial system to be set. Their hands are tied. They must follow the flow of things until there is a case braught before them that challenges the Constitutionality of this Power...

    Monday, September 8, 2008

    The Bill of Attainder Argument

    I wrote this in late July. For some reason I forgot to post it. So here you go...

    July 30th, 2008
    To Whom It May Concern:

    I write this letter with the intent of bringing to light some constitutional issues that have arisen in our country in the last decade. Congress has begun the eroding of our rights, one at a time. They are hoping to establish a precedence of the people relying on the government for protection of all rights. This gives an air of an implied or awarded rights and not an inalienable right. This is against the very nature of the constitution that we hold as the basis of all laws in this nation. This matter has come to a boiling point in the last 2-3 years. No longer are people sitting by and complaining. Now we are starting to see an emergence of advocates on many different issues. All of which are in regards to Civil and Human Rights.

    In writing this letter, I hope to evoke some thought as to the erosion of Human Rights in this country, mostly, in the arena of criminals. That is where Congress is starting, most specifically, with Sex Offenders.

    According to Federalist Papers #57:

    “The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.”

    This shows that Congress was meant to show wisdom and discernment in the making of new laws. They were also supposed to stay “virtuous” while still in office.

    It goes on to say:

    “I will add, as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.”

    This shows that the Congress is not supposed to pass any law that is not applicable to them as well. And if they try to, how is it to be combated? Here is the response:

    “If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America, a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.”

    And with the tolerance shown by today’s society, here is the response to that as well:

    “If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate anything but liberty.”

    We have shown that Congress is there to create laws for which we are all to live by. Originally, Congress helped in the creation of the Constitution. The Constitution was put in place to help govern the people. It was set up to give us the structure we needed, but also the freedoms that we would live by. It was signed by the Framers as a contract between the citizens and the government sworn to protect them. With the passage of laws in the last four decades, we have started to get away from the intent set forth by the Framers. The government was created as an entity of support and protection. Not a tyrannical establishment bent on seizing the rights of the free, and especially those that have sinned against the common good.

    In the Contract Clause of this very Constitution, it states:

    The Supreme Court laid out the test for whether a law violates the Contract Clause. The test is a three part test.

    · First, the state regulation must substantially impair a contractual relationship.

    · Second, the State "must have a significant and legitimate purpose behind the regulation, such as the remedying of a broad and general social or economic problem." 459 U.S. at 411-13

    · Third, the law must be reasonable and appropriate for its intended purpose.
    This test is similar to rational basis review.

    Never has our Constitution “substantially impaired” our contractual relationship. Never has there been a “significant legitimate purpose” for “remedying” our Constitution. The Bill of Rights, yes; the Constitution, NO! The new “laws” have proven themselves to be unreasonable and inappropriate for their “intended purpose.” These laws are proving themselves to be more punitive in nature than the regulatory one that the States would have us believe it to be.

    What is the difference between punitive and regulatory you may ask? I’ll answer your question.
    But first, a little background on the two stages we will be talking about.

    Regulatory Action

    According to,

    Civil law courts provide a forum for deciding disputes involving torts (such as accidents, negligence, and libel), contract disputes, the probate of wills, trusts, property disputes, administrative law, commercial law, and any other private matters that involve private parties and organizations including government departments. An action by an individual (or legal equivalent) against the attorney general is a civil matter, but when the state, being represented by the prosecutor for the attorney general, or some other agent for the state, takes action against an individual (or legal equivalent including a government department), this is public law, not civil law. In public law the objective is usually deterrence, and retribution. The victim, or people secondarily harmed by the wrong, do not get compensated, except with that vague notion called 'closure.'

    So, as we see here, Civil Law is for disputes with contracts. Torts, contract disputes, probate of wills, trusts, property disputes, administrative law, commercial law, and private matters are all between two “people” and are set with no punishment (aka no punitive action).

    Criminal Law on the other hand…

    According to,

    Criminal law is distinctive for the uniquely serious potential consequences of failure to abide by its rules. Every crime is composed of criminal elements. Capital punishment may be imposed in some jurisdictions for the most serious crimes. Physical or corporal punishment may be imposed such as whipping or caning, although these punishments are prohibited in much of the world. Individuals may be incarcerated in prison or jail in a variety of conditions depending on the jurisdiction. Confinement may be solitary. Length of incarceration may vary from a day to life. Government supervision may be imposed, including house arrest, and convicts may be required to conform to particularized guidelines as part of a parole or probation regimen. Fines also may be imposed, seizing money or property from a person convicted of a crime.

    Five objectives are widely accepted for enforcement of the criminal law by punishments: retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation and restitution. Jurisdictions differ on the value to be placed on each.

    Retribution - Criminals ought to suffer in some way. This is the most widely seen goal. Criminals have taken improper advantage, or inflicted unfair detriment, upon others and consequently, the criminal law will put criminals at some unpleasant disadvantage to "balance the scales." This belief has some connection with utilitarianism. People submit to the law to receive the right not to be murdered and if people contravene these laws, they surrender the rights granted to them by the law. Thus, one who murders may be murdered himself. A related theory includes the idea of "righting the balance."

    Deterrence - Individual deterrence is aimed toward the specific offender. The aim is to impose a sufficient penalty to discourage the offender from criminal behavior. General deterrence aims at society at large. By imposing a penalty on those who commit offenses, other individuals are discouraged from committing those offenses.

    Incapacitation - Designed simply to keep criminals away from society so that the public is protected from their misconduct. This is often achieved through prison sentences today. The death penalty or banishment have served the same purpose.

    Rehabilitation - Aims at transforming an offender into a valuable member of society. Its primary goal is to prevent further offense by convincing the offender that their conduct was wrong.

    Restitution - This is a victim-oriented theory of punishment. The goal is to repair, through state authority, any hurt inflicted on the victim by the offender. For example, one who embezzles will be required to repay the amount improperly acquired. Restitution is commonly combined with other main goals of criminal justice and is closely related to concepts in the civil law.

    The word punishment is found many times in the Criminal Law. Punishment is not a Regulatory Action. It is punitive in nature.

    So, back to the question at hand.

    What is the difference between punitive and regulatory?

    Regulatory is meant to do just that, regulate. There is no “punishment” associated with regulation. Regulations provide direction and information on how to do something. If a regulation has a “punishment” attached to it, it ceases to be regulatory and becomes punitive. Punitive is meant to punish and rehabilitate. Punitive does not show you how to do something, or even direct you. It is there for one purpose only. Punish.

    If a punitive law is passed and it is meant to be retroactive, it falls under the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution.

    An ex post facto law or retroactive law, is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law. In reference to criminal law, it may criminalize actions that were legal when committed; or it may aggravate a crime by bringing it into a more severe category than it was in at the time it was committed; or it may change or increase the punishment prescribed for a crime, such as by adding new penalties or extending terms; or it may alter the rules of evidence in order to make conviction for a crime more likely than it would have been at the time of the action for which a defendant is prosecuted. Conversely, a form of ex post facto law commonly known as an amnesty law may decriminalize certain acts or alleviate possible punishments (for example by replacing the death sentence with life-long imprisonment) retroactively.

    The constitution has a strict policy on this. It says “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” In theory, this should stop any bill from being passed retroactively. Unfortunately, this is not what happens in the creation of today’s laws.

    Another piece that these laws are inhibiting is Due Process of Law.

    Due Process of Law has two parts to it, Substantive and Procedural.

    Substantive Due Process:

    Substantive Due Process is the inherent freedoms mentioned in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It also takes into consideration those secondary rights allotted by these same documents.

    In the words of the definition is as follows:

    “Substantive due process concerns specific behaviors of individuals that, according to the Court, are generally beyond the reach of government power, such as the free exercise of religion or participation in private organizations that petition the government about public problems and issues. The government may not regulate these actions, not even by the use of the fairest legal procedures, because to do so would violate the most fundamental rights of individuals in a constitutional government, such as rights to liberty, property, and equality under the law. If government officials want to regulate these kinds of usually protected actions, they must demonstrate that they cannot achieve a legitimate public purpose by any other means.”

    Some of these rights are:

    · Freedom of Association
    · Freedom to Participate
    · Freedom of Movement
    · Freedom of Privacy
    · Freedom of Choice

    This is just a partial list of the Rights we have that Substantive Due Process provides for.

    Procedural Due Process:

    Procedural Due Process is the process by which our rights are maintained. Precedence and procedures are the basis for this right.

    According to the definition is as follows:

    “These rights of the accused are examples of procedural due process, and they are constitutional limits on the power of government designed to protect the rights and liberties of individuals.Procedural due process—the idea that government must follow fair and generally accepted legal procedures in its actions against individuals—has been traced to the great English charter of liberty, the Magna Carta (1215). By signing this document, King John of England agreed to “obey the law of the land.” This idea developed into the legal guarantee of procedural due process of law to protect people against arbitrary or lawless punishments or penalties imposed by the government.”

    Some of these rights are:

    · Freedom of Assembly
    · Freedom to Vote
    · Freedom to Travel
    · Freedom from Search and Seizure
    · Freedom of Property
    · Freedom from Bodily Invasion

    Basically, if Congress doesn’t follow “fair and generally accepted legal procedures,” then it is not following the law of Procedural Due Process.

    This leads us to the issue of Civil Rights and how they are allotted.

    In the Civil Rights Act of 1871, they were specific as to what would happen, or be allowed to happen, if Congress were to take one of our rights away.

    “Every person who under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, Suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.”

    Later, the United Nations also came out with a Bill of Rights that the United States of America signed.

    The document can be found at But the basic gist of the document reads that no Nation shall usurp the Rights of its citizens as these are inalienable rights handed down by God.

    Some of our inalienable rights can be found in the Constitution, and some in our own Bill of Rights.

    One of the main inalienable rights is Liberty.

    “Liberty is divided into four types: natural, personal, civil and political. The first two are inalienable; the latter two are government granted. Natural liberty is absolute freedom, limited only by the laws of nature. It is exercised upon one's private property or upon unclaimed property (anywhere else would be a trespass). Personal liberty is the right of locomotion, the freedom to travel upon public roads and waterways; limited only by the requirement to not infringe another's right to travel. Civil liberty is the permission from government to do that which would otherwise be a trespass, a tort or not allowed by law. A license to practice medicine is an example of a civil liberty (inflict injury without criminal liability). Political liberty is the permission to vote and hold office. In countries with socialist / communist governments that abolish private property rights, natural and personal liberty does not exist. Permission (license) is required for most activities and actions.”

    Other inalienable rights have already been discussed in this letter.

    To take these rights away, there has to be a great reason for doing so.

    The problem lies not so much in surrendering your rights once you have broken the law, it’s the continued loss of these rights as well as new ones after the fact. This continual loss of rights is a punishment greater than that set aside for us in any plea bargain we may sign or have signed.
    To punish someone like that, creates a punitive action. Any bill that is passed by Congress with the intent to punish, or has punishing capabilities is illegal. Congress’ right is to create laws, not enforce them. That is the job of the Judiciary Branch of the Government set forth in the very Constitution of these United States of America.

    Some examples of Congress’ intent for punitive action:

    Rep. Virginia Brown-Waite [R-FL]:
    “That is what this bill is all about; it is going after those, as someone once described, pond-scum predators.”

    Sen. Orrin Hatch [R-UT]:
    “The bottom line here is that sex offenders have run rampant in this country and now Congress and the people are ready to respond with legislation that will curtail the ability of sex offenders to operate freely.”

    Sen. Charles Grassley [R-IA]:
    “Child sex offenders are the most heinous of all criminals. I can honestly tell you that I would just as soon lock up all the child molesters and child pornography makers and murderers in this country and throw away the key.”

    Rep. James Sensenbrenner [R-WI]:
    “…the bill increases criminal penalties to punish and deter those who prey on children.”
    As well as this:

    “The bill also increases criminal penalties to punish and deter those who prey on children…” (Stated in two different parts of his speech)

    Here we have a bill that is Civil, yet creates and intent of punishment, which is Criminal.
    Any time Congress creates a law that is meant to punish (either with intent by the legislators creating the law, or in fact with the wording of the law) it falls under the Bill of Attainder Clause found in the Constitution under Article 1, sections 9 and 10.

    Bills of Attainder:

    According to

    ''Bills of attainder . . . are such special acts of the legislature, as inflict capital punishments upon persons supposed to be guilty of high offences, such as treason and felony, without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings. If an act inflicts a milder degree of punishment than death, it is called a bill of pains and penalties. . . . In such cases, the legislature assumes judicial magistracy, pronouncing upon the guilt of the party without any of the common forms and guards of trial, and satisfying itself with proofs, when such proofs are within its reach, whether they are conformable to the rules of evidence, or not. In short, in all such cases, the legislature exercises the highest power of sovereignty, and what may be properly deemed an irresponsible despotic discretion, being governed solely by what it deems political necessity or expediency, and too often under the influence of unreasonable fears, or unfounded suspicions.'' The phrase ''bill of attainder,'' as used in this clause and in clause 1 of Sec. 10, applies to bills of pains and penalties as well as to the traditional bills of attainder.

    Basically, if Congress passes a law that has a punishment attached to it, and it singles out a person or “easily ascertainable group,” then it falls under a Bill of Attainder. This is providing that the punishment is handed out without the benefit of a Jury Trial.

    Also, this comes to mind:

    “They inflict punitive sanctions in disregard of judicial methods of proof designed to insure fairness in fact‐finding. The history of bills of attainder has also shown that their passage was often induced by popular passion or motivated by unproved suspicions.”

    With Congress and the media continually misquoting recidivism rates for the sex offenders, it’s no wonder that these laws are flying through our Legislative system. One bill that I know of, from introduction to the Senate, to the passage in the House of Representatives, was a total of eight and a half months. This time included only 120 minutes of total discussion time collaboratively between the House and the Senate. It was brought under a suspension calendar which is only supposed to be used for the mundane things like the naming of post offices. It was never meant to be used for major controversial issues of the current day. Those need to be debated thoroughly to make sure that no rights are infringed upon. But in this case, that was purposefully pushed aside in an attempt to rush the bill to vote.

    Specifically, we are talking about the Adam Walsh Act. This is a collection of popular issues with the focus being on sex offenders. The issue of sex offenders was used to piggyback the other topics. Then the bill was placed on suspension calendar which didn’t allow for amendments, or debate. Many times over, according to the Congressional Record, it was shown that the intent was to “punish” the “pond-scum predators.” Congress was intent on finding ways to “regulate” these offenders by giving them greater “punishments.” That’s a mix of Civil Law and Criminal Law. Also against the Law they are sworn to uphold.

    On one hand, it’s a Bill that needs to be voiced. But, on the other hand, the way in which it was passed, the lack of Congressional Record to the final vote cast, or the submission of the passed bill to the President, screams of something foul.

    There were Legislators for and against. We’ve heard from some that were for it a moment ago.

    Now let’s hear from some that are against it.

    Rep. Fortney Stark [D-CA]:
    “Once again, this Congress is attempting to address very serious and complicated problems with a law that substitutes the talking points of "tough on crime" politicians for the wisdom of judges, prosecutors, treatment professionals and child advocates.”

    That seems to say that Congress is trying to institute themselves as the Judge and Jury while pushing out those that are supposed to cover that arena.

    Also from Rep. Stark:
    “I cannot violate my Constitutional duty to protect our independent judiciary nor can I support extreme, dangerous policies, so I will vote against this bill.”

    Rep. Barney Frank [D-MA]:
    “…it is being dealt with in a manner in which no amendments are allowed, in which only 40 minutes total of debate are allowed. And it is a bill brought forward because the committee leadership didn't like what happened when the House actually voted on it in a democratic manner.”

    Also from Rep. Frank:
    “This is a shameful example of the degradation of the democratic process that has befallen this House. What happens is what has happened in the past: things get put in here that cannot be individually examined, they cannot be debated. Members will feel pressured to vote for the overall package. Members, and this is the goal, put a lot of things in here that are very important and very good, many of which I have voted for in the past, many of which I want to vote for. But Members have put in a few other things that are very controversial and do not allow this House to approach looking at things individually and saying an amendment here, yes or no. And then if Members do not buy the whole package, then you go after them.

    The Republican majority has decided to legislate in the same manner in which you give a pill to a dog: you take something that the dog wants and you stick a couple of pills in it and you ram it down its throat. That is an inappropriate way for this democratic House to proceed.”

    Here he is speaking of the underhanded tactics of some people in Congress to slyly pass this highly controversial bill. He speaks of a lack of following procedure in the House and how it shames said House.

    Rep. Robert Scott [D-VA]:
    “Now, with no more basis than we had before, just the name of the crime and the continuing political appeal of appearing tough on sex offenders, we are again greatly increasing penalties with more death penalties and increased mandatory minimums, including more mandatory minimums for teenagers having consensual sex.”

    On one hand, he is referring to the ridiculousness of having consensual sex teenagers having to register. But, on the other hand, he shows the intent of the Congress to gain more votes by the passage of new Sex Offender Laws for the mere appearance of being “tough on predators.”

    This effort to appear to be tough on predators has launched a barrage of laws that have created serious problems in our society. Many studies show that offenders without support networks, jobs, friends, family, significant others, and the basic human right of self esteem, are at an increasingly high risk to reoffend. When an offender has nothing to lose, he can become dangerous indeed. These new laws are creating that effect, whether intentional or not.

    With Congress using the suspension calendar to review and vote on so sensitive a topic as sexual abuse, it flies in the face of tradition. Due Process of Law by procedure is a valuable tool in the assurance of rights for all. Are we not afforded the same courtesy when a new law is being written as well? Are we not allowed the right to have laws passed by tradition and precedence? The AWA was passed without that consideration. And on the Substantive side of things, it takes away several of our human rights set forth in the constitution. The law is applied to ALL sex offenders, regardless of when they were convicted. This falls under the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has ruled several times that according to Smith v. Doe (Alaska ruling) that the Registry is “regulatory” and not “punitive.” Well, just recently, Alaska ruled in Doe v. Alaska, that the registry when used to apply to someone convicted prior to the passage of the law is in fact a punitive action. Therefore, the AWA is punitive for anyone convicted prior to its passage and target effect date. The AWA also falls under the Bill of Attainder clause found in the Bill of Rights as well as the Constitution. This law was passed with the intent and the effect of punishing hundreds of thousands of people in an “easily identifiable class” and their families as well. This can also be seen as a cruel and unusual punishment as well as falling under the Double Jeopardy Clause for punishing those offenders after they served their sentence and time.

    Congress has the moral obligation to protect ALL of the citizens. These laws need to be written to help the offenders get rehabilitated, not solely to punishing them at every turn. Congress has gotten away from its intended purpose of creating legislation for the greater good of all. They are bent on finding ways of using hot topics to further their careers and ride the backs of those people who have made poor choices in life. They ceased to be a party of the people, by the people, and for the people. They are now a party of greedy people looking to cement their names in history.

    Lately, there has been a strong call to restore the original intent of the Constitution and the ideas for which it stands for. This letter is intended to help facilitate that action. Repeal the AWA and send the message that people of these United States of America are tired of being deceived and lied to for political gain. The people are tired of oppression, and they are tired of corruption. Now is the time to stand and fight for our God given rights as human beings. If we continue to sit back and allow things to happen, no longer will be allowed our basic human rights. No longer will this be a Free Nation, but one of Dictatorship and Tyranny.

    Now is the time to cement your name in history by creating a just and fair law that will stand the test of time. Create a law that works towards the rehabilitation and reunification of sex offenders into our society as productive members. Create groups that will offer support for offenders in need of counsel. Show that this country can be not only just, but compassionate as well. We need fairness and equality more than ever in our Legislation. Use the true facts, not just the ones made up to create a fear factor among the public. Show them the true colors that make up America. Show them the greatness that lies within. Show them, before it’s gone forever.

    Thank you for your time.

    A List of Resources:

    The Federalist Papers:

    Bill of Attainder:

    Congressional Record:

    Due Process:

    A list of further resources is available upon request.