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September 2017

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curiosity

"arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable" Congress

I knew I was appalled by the Regressive Congress passing laws to regulate a single individual. It just didn't seem right to me, but I hadn't realized they were in violation of the Constitution when they did it.

It turns out the framers of the constitution were also against passing laws aimed at specific individuals.
http://www.techlawjournal.com/glossary/legal/attainder.htm
The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed."

"The Bill of Attainder Clause was intended not as a narrow, technical (and therefore soon to be outmoded) prohibition, but rather as an implementation of the separation of powers, a general safeguard against legislative exercise of the judicial function or more simply - trial by legislature."  U.S. v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437, 440 (1965).

"These clauses of the Constitution are not of the broad, general nature of the Due Process Clause, but refer to rather precise legal terms which had a meaning under English law at the time the Constitution was adopted.  A bill of attainder was a legislative act that singled out one or more persons and imposed punishment on them, without benefit of trial.  Such actions were regarded as odious by the framers of the Constitution because it was the traditional role of a court, judging an individual case, to impose punishment."  William H. Rehnquist, The Supreme Court, page 166.

"Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligations of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. ... The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils.  They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less-informed part of the community."  James Madison, Federalist Number 44, 1788.

Bill of attainder

It is an "arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable" Congress that has thumbed their nose at the judiciary and the constitution.

This regressive government seems to have forgotten what The Separation of Powers is for, or the Veil of Ignorance for that matter.

It is really ironic how the Regressives go on about "liberals love big government". While it is true that liberals want the government to use its (our) collective resources to the benefit of society as a whole, liberals don't really trust the government. Liberals want Rule of Law. We want everything the government does to be by the book, regulated and out in the open where we can watch it.

Regressives on the other hand seem dangerously naive. "Arbitrary rulings in individual cases" and "a legislative act that singled out one or more persons" are what they are all about. They seem to think it is Ok to pass bad laws because "Hey, We're good people. You can trust us." With no thought to the fact that laws outlast the individuals and the situations that caused them.

And quick on the trigger finger. They got us into this mess in Iraq that is still racking up public dept (and loss of US lives) in exchange for private corporate profit. And now the Senate is going for the "nuclear option" to prevent Democratic filibusters. Talk about "arrogant, out-of-control, and unaccountable".

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Hi. Just a stranger, stopping by to promote my new Sharon Shinn Fan Community. I saw you were a fan, and wanted to invite you to join.


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