Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Constitutional Convention Link Archive

These are outside links related to Constitutional Conventions.

These links are very narrow in focus.

They are designed to focus on the Bush 2006 impeachment, and the effort to revoke abused Executive powers and non-asserted Congressional powers.

[ There is a Constitutional Convention Archive Click ]


The Majority of Americans are against this President's continued abuse of power. We may lawfully amend the Constitution stripping the Congress of its power to make rules, and lawfully assert that we the People have the power to lawfully remove the President from office after trial for war crimes.

The Constitution does not forbid this; rather through the 10th Amendment we have the inherent power -- by a majority vote -- to decide that Congress and the President are in rebellion, and that they shall be forced to submit to a strengthened requirement that they be personally liable if they fail to assert their power.

People's Constitutional Convention

The People have the power to change the Constitution without using the Article V; Article V is merely the mechanism by which Government changes the law. Article V is not the only way to revise the Constitution
"the Preamble by its very deed implicitly affirmed that the people's right to amend ultimately required only a simple majority vote"
[91 Va. L. Rev. 2023] [94 Colum. L. Rev. 457]

Delegate decision

Nov 1, 1783 Committee Report Click

Basis for Constitutional Conventions being included in Article V.

Monroe report outlining problems with Confederation [ Click from Click]

Curious comment in re Guantanamo, Taliban, AlQueda in Monroe Report -- the defect of the Confederation matches what we have post 9-11, Bush has asserted/done the opposite of what Monroe concluded:
And provided lastly, that every act of Congress for the above purpose, shall have the assent of nine states in Congress assembled--of establishing rules for deciding in all cases, what captures on land or water shall be legalRef

Congress declining to investigate/prosecute, or Congress asserting the NSA has not violated the law amounts to a members of Congress self-appointing themselves as a judges:
. . .appointing courts for the trial of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and establishing courts for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases of captures; provided that no member of Congress shall be appointed judge of any of the said courts."Ref

Note the link between principles and power. Curiously, Monroe pointed out the problem with states having different interpretations of treaties, making it difficult to coordinate. This is the same problem with the President self-interpreting how the torture ban will or will not be enforced or adhered to
If the legislature of each state adopts its own measures, many and very eminent disadvantages, must, in their opinion, necessarily result therefrom. They apprehend it will be difficult for thirteen different legislatures, acting separately and distinctly, to agree in the same interpretation of a treaty, to take the same measures for carrying it into effect, and to conduct their several operations upon such principles as to satisfy those powers,

Note this comment about imbecility and indecision in re power, and how it echoes the Congressional inaction over the war crimes and NSA unlawful activity: "who avoid it merely from an opinion of their imbecility and indecision. " [ Ref ]

Keep in mind the problem in the 1700s was the problem of state coordination. Their individual arrangements defeated the purpose of the treaty. This applies to Presidential conduct which violates the laws of war and human rights; and identifies the commercial benefits -- Halliburton -- who benefit from violations of the laws of war in attacking Iraq where there was no legal basis. The goal was to get a false "official endorsement" of something that had no basis in fact.
And if the several states levy different duties upon their particular produce, exported to the ports of those powers, or upon the produce and manufactures of those powers imported into each state, either in vessels navigated by and belonging to the citizens of these states, or the subjects of those powers, it will, they apprehend, induce on their part, similar discriminations in the duties upon the commercial intercourse with each state, and thereby defeat the objects of those treaties, and promote the designs of those who wish to profit from their embarrassment. Unless the United States in Congress assembled, are authorized to make those arrangements which become necessary under their treaties, and are enabled to carry them into effect, they cannot complain of a violation of them on the part of other powers. And unless they act in concert, in the system of policy, which may be necessary to frustrate the designs of those powers who lay injurious restraints on their trade, they must necessarily become the victims of their own indiscretion.Ref

Note, the above has to do with shipping -- the UAE deal, but the principle applies also to the NSA: Congressional oversight.

Here's where we arrive at the confirmation of the intent of the Constitution: The remedy to the problem of the Articles of Confederation was that the states were dividing up the power and decisions; the solution was to ensure the Congress had the sole power to do this. This President has done what undermined the Articles of Confederation: Taken action that is not consistent with prudent and predictable treaties. Note this image: Congress shall have the solve power: There's nothing in there that mentions the President, nor is there anything that says the President has any implied power [ "Congress shall have the sole and exclusive right and power" Click ]

Going deeper, we find a problem with the unpredictability of transferring power. In the 1700s it was the unpredictable shifting power between the states and Congress; today the unpredictability is the transition between the Congress and the President.
A temporary power would not in their opinion enable the United States to establish the interests, nor attain the salutary object which they propose; the expectation that it will revert to the states and remain with them for the future, would lessen its weight with foreign powers; and while the interests of each state, and of the federal government continue to be the same, the same evils will always require the same correction, and of course the necessary powers should always be lodged in the same hands. They have therefore thought proper to propose an efficient and perpetual remedy. [ Ref ]

Broadside Collection [ Click ]

Pre-Constitutional Convention documents: [ Click ]

Basis for Monroe Report: Defects of the Articles of Confederation -- Mirror 2006 and 1776

Before 1776, the issue was the King; in 1789 the issue was the poor coordination with the states. Today, the issue is the poor check on the Executive.

1. "Congress Can Not Improve. . ." compliance with laws

2. "Congress Pleads with the. . ." executive to assent to rule of law

3. "Congress is Unable to Control. . ." the executive from violating the law

4. "devise means for"-test sounds familiar:
the weakness of Congress under the Articles of Confederation encouraged many delegates to pay far more attention to politics in their home states and to their personal affairs than to the nation's legislative body

Many excuses to do nothing Kos:

* * *

Prisoner Abuse Problem

[2006: Prisoner or enemy combatant contrast] with [1776: Protections afforded to captured British]: "In Congress, May 21, 1776 : Resolved, that all persons taken in arms on board any prize, be deemed prisoners" Click

MAY 21, 1776.

THAT all persons taken in arms on board any prize, be deemed prisoners, to be taken care of by the supreme executive power in each Colony to which they are brought, whether the prize be taken by vessels fitted out by the Continent, or by others.

That such as are taken be treated as prisoners of war, but with humanity

Also, note the different way that agent-attorneys for the prisoners are treated in 1776 and 2006
That David Franks, Esq; Agent to the contractors for victualling the troops of the King of Great Britain, be permitted to supply the prisoners with provisions and other necessaries, and to sell his bills for such sums of money as are necessary for that purpose.Ref

You'll notice the following contrasts between 1776 and 2006 in areas of prisoner conduct, inspections and information.

What permitted to do:
That the prisoners be permitted to exercise their trades and to labour in order to support themselves and families.[ Ref ]

That the Committee of Inspection and Observation, for the counties, districts or towns, assigned for the residence of prisoners, be impowered to superintend their conduct, and in cases of gross misbehaviour to confine them, and report to their respective Assemblies, Convention or Committees or Council of Safety the proceedings had on such occasions.[ Ref ]

That a list of the prisoners in each Colony be made out by the Committees of the counties, towns or districts where they reside, and transmitted to the Assembly, Convention, or Council or Committee of Safety of such Colony respectively, who shall send a copy thereof to Congress.[ Ref ]

* * *

Here's the issue: Nobody appears to have reviewed or publicly commented on this document in the context of 9-11, Guantanamo, or anything related to the Patriot Act or Rendition or Prisoner abuse in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib or the NSA or black sites. [ Ref ]

The United States in 2006 treats prisoners worse than the British Monarchy, and far worse than the American did who detained British Prisoners in 1776.

The Americans in 1776 made no distinction between prisoners in where they were captured; rather, the Americans affirmed the responsibility to treat all prisoners humanely. In 2006, Congress isn't sure whether it wants to impose the 1776-standard on the President. Rather, it wants to change the laws and say the example of 1776 can be ignored and is not a standard of conduct Americans need meet.

& & &

Federalist Papers

"If individuals enter into a state of society, the laws of that society must be the supreme regulator of their conduct." [ Federalist 33, Supremacy of Law Click ]

Method of guarding against encroachments by one department. [ Federalist 49, Click ]

Flawed assumption of Amendments: Presumed to be linked to organization of government not a needed change in power.
For my own part I
acknowledge a thorough conviction that any amendments which may, upon
mature consideration, be thought useful, will be applicable to the
organization of the government, not to the mass of its powers; and on
this account alone, I think there is no weight in the observation just

Also flawed is the assumption that the state legislators will be able to act as a check on Federal power.
We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the
national authority. Fed 85

POWERFUL INDIVIDUALS, in this and in other States, are enemies
to a general national government in every possible shape.Fed 85

Anti Federalist Papers

Check Anti Federalist 49.