Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Necessary and Proper Clause

Questions for President Trump on Venezuela

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, August 16, 2018:

State flag of Venezuela.

State flag of Venezuela.

Inquiring minds are asking: what on earth is the US doing meddling in the affairs of Venezuela? The media has broadcast the rolling and accelerating disaster taking place there, with some even properly blaming it on socialist practices unleased by Marxist Hugo Chavez (they are called “Chavism” and its supporters are called “Chavists”) and his protégé, Nicolas Maduro.

Those policies, enforced with increasing vengeance upon a powerless citizenry, have all but destroyed a country that once was one of the most prosperous in South America.

Grant the point. But does this justify in any way U.S. interference? Does it justify sanctions, freezing of assets of Maduro and his henchmen, and removing the freedom of Americans to do business with him, or them? Notice please that the sanctions only apply to about 30 of Maduro’s people and not to any of the 20 or so American oil refineries currently supporting Maduro’s Marxist regime to the tune of a billion dollars a month.

Here are some other questions:

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Trump Doesn’t Rule Out Use of Military Force in Venezuela

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 14, 2017:

Following the issuance of the “Lima Declaration” on Friday stating that “Venezuela is no longer a democracy,” signed by nearly a dozen South American countries as well as Canada, President Trump had the opportunity to back off on previous threats of possibly using military force to oust its Marxist dictator Nicolás Maduro. Instead he ramped them up, declaring: “We have many options.… This is our neighbor. We are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and the people … are suffering. They’re dying. We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option, if necessary…. I’m not going to rule out a military option. Venezuela is a mess.”

But as Henri Falcon, the opposition governor of the Venezuelan state of Lara, responded, “This mess is ours! Sort out your own, of which you have plenty.”

Mish Shedlock, a Trump supporter, asked the president a number of questions about why he is threatening Venezuela:

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Questions for President Trump on Venezuela

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 14, 2017:

Português: Brasília - O chanceler da Venezuela...

Nicolas Maduro

Inquiring minds are asking: what on earth is the US doing meddling in the affairs of Venezuela? The media has broadcast the rolling and accelerating disaster taking place there, with some even properly blaming it on socialist practices unleased by Marxist Hugo Chavez (they are called “Chavism” and its supporters are called “Chavists”) and his protégé, Nicolas Maduro.

Those policies, enforced with increasing vengeance upon a powerless citizenry, have all but destroyed a country that once was one of the most prosperous in South America.

Grant the point. But does this justify in any way U.S. interference? Does it justify sanctions, freezing of assets of Maduro and his henchmen, and removing the freedom of Americans to do business with him, or them? Notice please that the sanctions only apply to about 30 of Maduro’s people and not to any of the 20 or so American oil refineries currently supporting Maduro’s Marxist regime to the tune of a billion dollars a month.

Here are some other questions:

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The “Necessary and Proper” Clause Needs Reigning In

Mike Rappaport: The Necessary and Proper Clause

Since the New Deal, progressive constitutional lawyers have argued that the [Necessary and Proper] Clause provides an additional step, or two, or three, beyond the enumerated powers of Congress.  Moreover, they have also argued that Congress’s judgments about these matters are entitled to great deference.  Both of these arguments have won favor in the Supreme Court.

Official 2005 photo of Chief Justice John G. R...

Official 2005 photo of Chief Justice John G. Roberts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was my privilege last week to spend time with Professor Rob Natelson, referred to by Mike Rappaport in his article, in considering the impact of the recent decision on Obamacare in relation to the Necessary and Proper Clause’s new restrictions in that decision.

Natelson was one of the first constitutional scholars to blow the whistle on Obamacare’s unconstitutionality, and was understandably disappointed in Chief Justice Roberts’ decision to uphold the mandate on the flimsy grounds of it being a tax and therefore it is ok.

What Natelson did, however, was express his delight in the court’s reining in, after lo these many years after Wickard v. Filburn was decided in 1942 that Roscoe Filburn’s raising wheat on his farm for his own personal consumption somehow impacted interstate commerce. He called it a “signal accomplishment” with which he personally had much to do. In his brief to the court Natelson spelled out, clearly and persuasively, that the Wickard decision was wrong, and the court’s majority bought his argument.

Natelson uncovered a clear exposition on the matter, a pamphlet written by one of the founders, Josiah Quincy, and Rappaport quoted Natelson’s comments on it here:

Perhaps the most interesting part of the pamphlet illustrates why, as has been documented extensively, the Founders understood the Necessary and Proper Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 18) to be a mere recital, and not an affirmative grant of power to Congress. At that point, Quincy was discussing the Boston Port Bill’s requirement that the Town of Boston reimburse the East Indian Company for the tea tossed into the harbor. Quincy pointed out (page 18-19) that it would be illegal for Boston to pay the Company, because another Parliamentary statute limited Town expenses to “maintenance and support of the ministry, schools, the poor, and defraying other necessary Town Charges.”

“Will any now say,” Quincy wrote, “that the monies appointed to be paid to the East-India [Company], come within the words of ‘necessary town charges?’ When did the town contract the debt, or how are they subject to it?”

This is perfect. The Necessary and Proper Clause has been conveniently stretched out of all proportion to meet the goals of the Supremes in the past to expand greatly the power of the central government. This recognition by the present court is a watershed moment. It’s too bad more light hasn’t been shed on the subject.

White House Shifts Legal Gears as ObamaCare Heads to Supreme Court

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe ...

The pressure of the continuing countdown to Monday, March 26, when the Supreme Court takes on the challenge to ObamaCare, has forced legal advisors to the White House to change their strategy in hopes of successfully rebuffing it and preserving the Obama administration’s key legislative victory signed into law in March, 2010.

It’s all about the mandate and whether it can be sustained by claiming justification for it under a generous reading of the Commerce Clause (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3) in the Constitution. Without that mandate, the administration claims that the rest of the law would necessarily fail due to its excessive costs. The Congressional Budget Office just reported that those costs would be double what the Obama administration touted in its cram-down of the law two years ago. And another CBO study said that, if implemented, millions of citizens—between 3 million and 20 million—would actually lose their present coverage, while public polls continue to show declining support for the whole idea of the federal government’s virtual takeover of the country’s health delivery system.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll taken in January showed that most of those polled think that ObamaCare, if implemented, will cost jobs, hurt the economy, and cost more than projected. Last week’s poll from the same source showed that two-thirds of those polled “say the U.S. Supreme Court should throw out either the individual mandate…or the law in its entirety.” According to the pollsters, “[T]he law has never earned majority support in ABC/Post polls—and this update…finds a strong sense its critics are dominating the debate. Seventy percent of Americans report hearing mainly negative things about the law…”

Another measure of the intensity surrounding the pending Supreme Court hearings (a record six hours are scheduled over three days next week) is the number of “amicus” or “friend of the court” briefs that have been submitted by parties who are interested in influencing the outcome of a lawsuit but who are not parties to it. Reuters reported that 136 briefs have been filed with the court (a stack about two feet high), a third more than

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2021 Bob Adelmann