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GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

'87 Sir

Thirty years of service ----USNA Class of 1987 '87 Sir

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mining for Nuggets in the Federalist Papers

Here are a couple of more interesting, but still pretty pedestrian papers..Federalist and Anti-Federalist #14.  As always, the bold and italics are mine.

Federalist #14, written by James Madison continues to answer critics of the new democratic republic form of government by attempting to codify the differences between democracies and republics, and, more importantly continues to make the case of a United States to not only inhibit foreign encroachment on the new nation, but to protect the somewhat nebulous frontiers of the new nation.

WE HAVE seen the necessity of the Union, as our bulwark against foreign danger, as the conservator of peace among ourselves, as the guardian of our commerce and other common interests, as the only substitute for those military establishments which have subverted the liberties of the Old World, and as the proper antidote for the diseases of faction, which have proved fatal to other popular governments, and of which alarming symptoms have been betrayed by our own. All that remains, within this branch of our inquiries, is to take notice of an objection that may be drawn from the great extent of country which the Union embraces. A few observations on this subject will be the more proper, as it is perceived that the adversaries of the new Constitution are availing themselves of the prevailing prejudice with regard to the practicable sphere of republican administration, in order to supply, by imaginary difficulties, the want of those solid objections which they endeavor in vain to find.
Of course, the Founders intended the new government to exercise power cautiously, and only when provided for in the ACTUAL Constitution:
it is to be remembered that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any. The subordinate governments, which can extend their care to all those other subjects which can be separately provided for, will retain their due authority and activity. Were it proposed by the plan of the convention to abolish the governments of the particular States, its adversaries would have some ground for their objection; though it would not be difficult to show that if they were abolished the general government would be compelled, by the principle of self-preservation, to reinstate them in their proper jurisdiction.
 Hmph, yea, limited government, that's the ticket....here's my favorite quote:
Is it not the glory of the people of America, that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience? To this manly spirit, posterity will be indebted for the possession, and the world for the example, of the numerous innovations displayed on the American theatre, in favor of private rights and public happiness.
IN OTHER WORDS, Obama and his gang should stop trying to make us into some milquetoast,  European socialist democracy (loosely considered) where half the population supports the other 49% of OWS, welfare queens, illegal immigrants types AND the 1% of government bureaucratic elites who look down their noses at the peasants who are toiling for the bread, or arugula, for their betters.

So are are better of as one country..sure...did our Founding Fathers try to unite instead of divide us?  YUP, so what the hell our the current denizens of the White House trying to do...set up a race based PAC to try and reelect Barrack Obama.

Wonder what would happen if Rick Santorum set up a Sweater Wearing White Guy PAC?  Hmmm, think Maureen Dowd might have a little problem with that?   YA THINK???

But I digress...on to Anti-Federalist #14

Okay, to be honest this is another one of those papers only a lawyer or Constitutional scholar could love.  Oyyy, more legal jargon detailing opposition to the Federal appellate and Supreme Court plan as described.  Not that I do agree that our legislative courts are majorly hosed and need to be pretty much torn down and start over.

HOWEVER, there are always some interesting tidbits.
I believe it is a new and unusual thing to allow appeals in criminal matters. It is contrary to the sense of our laws, and dangerous to the lives and liberties of the citizen. As our law now stands, a person charged with a crime has a right to a fair and impartial trial by a jury of his country [county?], and their verdict is final. If he is acquitted no other court can call upon him to answer for the same crime. But by this system, a man may have had ever so fair a trial, have been acquitted by ever so respectable a jury of his country; and still the officer of the government who prosecutes, may appeal to the supreme court. The whole matter may have a second hearing. By this means, persons who may have disobliged those who execute the general government, may be subjected to intolerable oppression. They may be kept in long and ruinous confinement, and exposed to heavy and insupportable charges, to procure the attendence of witnesses, and provide the means of their defence, at a great distance from their places of residence.
Read this passage a couple of times and think about it...remember those LA cops in the Rodney King trial?  They were found not guilty by a jury of their peers and THEN retried in Federal court for violating poor ol' coke head King's CIVIL RIGHTS.  Now, one can debate the merits of the case, but this has been a recent tool of politically motivated FEDERAL lawyers to bring Federal suit in politically charged cases, usually involving race, gender, or sexual orientation when a state or local jury verdict did not produce the DESIRED result for some lefty interest group.  AND of course, let's not forget the absolute madness of enviro-whacko groups Federal judge shopping to stop their pet projects at the state and local level.

Hmmmm, maybe there's more to this than I thought.

Here's a particularly prophetic statement...from the 1780s no less:
The costs accruing in courts generally advance with the grade of the court; thus the charges attending a suit in our common pleas, is much less than those in the supreme court, and these are much lower than those in the court of chancery; indeed the costs in the last mentioned court, are in many cases so exorbitant and the proceedings so dilatory that the suitor had almost as well give up his demand as to prosecute his suit. We have just reason to suppose, that the costs in the supreme general court will exceed either of our courts; the officers of the general court will be more dignified than those of the states, the lawyers of the most ability will practice in them, and the trouble and expence of attending them will be greater. From all these considerations, it appears, that the expence attending suits in the supreme court will be so great, as to put it out of the power of the poor and midling class of citizens to contest a suit in it.
From these remarks it appears, that the administration of justice under the powers of the judicial will be dilatory; that it will be attended with such an heavy expence as to amount to little short of a denial of justice to the poor and middling class of people who in every government stand most in need of the protection of the law; and that the trial by jury, which has so justly been the boast of our fore fathers as well as ourselves is taken away under them.
Ain't it the truth....OJ gets away with murder cuz he can hire an army of lawyers...while some other gang banger gets a public defender...tired old TV cliche, but nonetheless true....not that I'm a fan of lawyers or anything, but you can bet a rich man has a better chance of getting "justice" than a poor man...or how about a corporation.  Again, not that I'm a fan of trial lawyer, but the Byzantine system of appeals courts seems to be to have one purpose---make judges powerful and lawyers rich.

Hmmmm..

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