Thursday, May 17, 2018

Why Originalism Matters (Part I)

I have written about originalism before, but there are sufficient reasons to clarify why we need judges who interpret the meaning of the text of the Constitution. This is referred to as textual meaning originalism which is vastly different than intent originalism. All evidence indicates the Founders wanted the Constitution to be interpreted through its textual meaning and not the intent of the Founders. Paul Brest and H. Jefferson Powell wrote articles pointing out the defects of originalism. According to Brest “The act of translation required involves the counterfactual and imaginary act of projecting the adopters’ concepts and attitudes into a future they probably could not envision.” Powell asserts that original intent was not an appropriate strategy and the Founding Fathers did not agree with it. Brest and Powell make valid points, but they are rejecting intent originalism, not textual originalism. After all, there is nothing “imaginary” about the meaning of the Constitution. Madison said “What a metamorphosis would be produced if the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense.” In other words, the textual meaning of the Constitution at its founding is the correct way to interpret the document. In Marbury v. Madison, decided in 1803, Chief Justice John Marshall argues for both originalism and judicial review in his “principles and theory of government”. Although this decision is widely accepted today for its judicial review precedent, judicial scholars neglect its originalism precedent. In fact, most people incorrectly interpret the Marbury decision by declaring the Judicial Branch as being more powerful than the other branches of government. That is not correct, all branches of government are on equal footing. In fact, the Federalist Papers insist the Judicial Branch was to be the weakest branch of government, but the power of judicial review was the equalizing factor. The Marbury decision provided the Supreme Court the power to null and void unconstitutional Congressional laws (judicial review), but it never ceded “judicial superiority” to mandate Congress act on the orders of the Court. This misconception of “judicial superiority” can be found in many Supreme Court decisions where Congress is directed to carry out the Court’s mandates, regulations, and legislation.

Other arguments against originalism include the Founders are dead and cannot rule from the grave and the Founders were only white males and are not representative of the American population. Moreover, many Founding Fathers were slaveholders and therefore were both racist and sexist. But keep in mind the Constitution binds the action of government and not the action of citizens. The Founders were not writing a Constitution to protect the rights of white males, but to protect all citizens from government intrusion (slavery is not mentioned in the document). Besides, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, which has been used extensively by both the right and left, says “This Constitution shall be supreme law of the land.” Furthermore, it proclaims that “judges in every state shall be bound thereby.” In other words, the Constitution declares judges interpret the Constitution in its original form. Therefore, any interpretation other than originalism is unconstitutional, especially for any judge that has used the Supremacy Clause.

Both Brest and Powell argue that the text of the Constitution is “open ended”. If that were true then the original meaning of the Constitution would be sufficient to justify any liberal law instead of inventing jurisprudence to validate the law. Some clauses such as the Ninth Amendment or the Privileges and Immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment are certainly “open-ended” and would allow for the discretion of Justices to add Fundamental Rights (Yes, I am changing my view of the Ninth Amendment from some previous writings). On the other hand, the Commerce and Necessary and Proper Clauses are not open-ended, but that did not stop the Court from turning these static clauses into elastic or dynamic clauses to cover anything Congress desires or imagines. To find proof of this disobedience one would only have to evaluate cases such as Wickard v. Filburn or Raich v. Gonzales to see how the Court used its imagination to broadly apply the Commerce Clause to restrict the rights of American citizens. Further examples including Berman v Parker and Kelo v. New London illustrate how the Court used its imagination to broadly apply the Takings Clause to restrict the rights of American citizens. These are bad decisions that the Constitution’s original text was written to prevent, but unfortunately, that is not how elitist Justices accomplish their political ends. What’s worse, the precedent of such decisions leaves one to wonder are there any limits to federal government power? Kelo makes any government takings for private reasons possible and Wickard and Raich make regulations against any personal backyard garden possible. Finally, nobody understood the function and structure of government better in American history than our Founding Fathers. Acceptance of the Founding Fathers older theories is much easier to tolerate than those ideas of brain dead modern political and judicial leaders such as Obama, Bush, Trump, Ginsberg, Kennedy, Scalia, Sotomayor, Schumer, Kagan, Stevens, Alito, Pelosi, McConnell, Ryan, and others. Only Justice Thomas interprets the Constitution correctly.

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Court Randomly Changes Methodologies to Meet Political Ends

In recent writings I have talked about the issues associated with elevating Fundamental Rights as well as the Court using personal opinions to draw up methodologies to produce the favored political result. The 2016 decision between Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstendt is a good example of such a case. In this case, the majority held that a Texas statute aimed at increasing the safety of women having abortions was unconstitutional because it created “an undue burden on abortion access”. The Court struck down every provision and failed to sever provisions that were constitutional (a common Court practice) especially for laws written specifically with a severability clause. In essence the Court found provisions that patients “be treated with respect, consideration, and dignity” and patients should not be given any “misleading” information, and facility fire safety codes must be up to date are examples of provisions of the law that were found unconstitutional. Why? Because the majority held determining the constitutionality of all clauses in the statute would be too burdensome. Justice Breyer’s opinion is so bad it contains the following statement “determined wrongdoers, already ignoring existing statutes and safety measures, are unlikely to be convinced to adopt safe practices by a new overlay of regulations.” This statement basically rules out the need for any regulations of any kind. Why place gun regulations on felons if they will refuse to abide by such regulations? This is a dangerous statement. Justice Ginsberg concurring opinion states: “When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstance may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners.” This “may” or “may not” be the case because these facts were not in evidence. Justice Ginsberg is merely injecting personal opinion. This should not happen in any case, let alone in a case being heard in the highest court of land.

What is important to focus on in this case is Justice Thomas’s dissent because he points to all that is wrong with the Court’s methodology in evaluating complicated cases such as this one on abortion. First, Thomas points out that the Court “invented” the “undue burden” standard for evaluating abortion cases in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). However, this case rewrites the “undue burden” standard developed in Casey in several ways. For example, the Court in Whole Women’s Health “balances benefits with burdens” which it did not do in Casey. Another new wrinkle in the Whole Women’s Health decision is for the first time the Court fails to leave medical science regulations up to the legislators who confer with medical professionals. Finally, states have always been given the benefit of the doubt if it acts in a rational way then they are not imposing an undue burden. Thomas points out that “The majorities undue-burden test looks far less like our Casey precedent and far more like the strict-scrutiny standard that Casey rejected.” In other words, the majority had to find a way to strike down this law and had to change their own precedent and rules to do so (Breyer wrote the majority opinion and heard both cases). This decision is dangerous for many reasons. First, “the majority reappoints this Court as ‘the country’s ex-officio medical board with power to approve and disapprove medical and operative practices and standards throughout the United States.” Hence, the ever growing power of the monopolized government gets bigger and more powerful with this decision.

Secondly, Thomas points out that many standards created by the Court over the decades are becoming increasingly “meaningless formalism”. Some of the standards used by the Court are strict scrutiny, intermediate scrutiny, closest scrutiny, rational basis, and undue burden to name a few. Thomas says “As the Court applies whatever standard it likes to any given case, nothing but empty words separates our constitutional decisions from judicial fiat.” Moreover, the Court uses these standards randomly even though “The Constitution does not prescribe tiers of scrutiny.” The “Court has a tendency to relax purportedly higher standards of review for less-preferred rights.” By incorrectly elevating abortion as a Fundamental Right in Roe v. Wade (1973) it has force the Court to transform “the tiers of scrutiny into an unworkable morass of special exceptions and arbitrary applications.” Thomas concludes by saying “Unless the Court abides by one set of rules to adjudicate constitutional rights, it will continue reducing constitutional law to policy-driven value judgments until the last shreds of its legitimacy disappear.”

Finally, the Court "Ordinary [does not allow] plaintiffs filing suits to vindicate constitutional rights of others." No women had filed suit against the new abortion safety regulations.

Bravo to Thomas, he is the only Justice interpreting the Constitution as it should be: through its text. Without the text the document has no limits. Interpreting the Constitution differently is just opinion, policy making, and making up the law as you go. The Court’s ad-hoc way of deciding cases needs to go, it is unfair to the people and the states.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Is the Second Amendment a Second Class Right?

I have said it a hundred of times: all Fundamental Rights need to be treated the same and judged with the same standard of scrutiny. One Fundamental Right that the Court wrongly treats different from other Fundamental Rights is the right bear and keep arms for self-defense (Second Amendment).

Since Heller v. D.C. (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Court has declined to hear numerous Second Amendment cases dealing with anything from safety and storage regulations to assault weapons. This changed last year when the Court decided Caetano v. Massachusetts without hearing oral arguments. The lower court decision was an egregious judicial error that the Court stepped in to correct matters. In this ruling Jamie Caetano was convicted because she used a “stun gun” to defend herself against an abusive boyfriend (she never used the stun gun, only threatened to use it). The lower courts obviously misapplied Heller. In fact, the lower courts told Ms. Caetano that she would not have been charged if she used a handgun. Justice Alito said “Courts should not be in the business of demanding citizens use more force for self-defense then they are comfortable wielding.” A “stun gun” was ruled unconstitutional because it was both “dangerous” and “modern”. A “stun gun” should be a type of weapon promoted for self-defense because it is non-lethal and therefore much less dangerous than any gun. To say (modern) electronic stun guns are “exempt from the Second Amendment protection” is equivalent to saying “electronic communications are exempt from the First Amendment, or electronic imaging devices are exempt from the Fourth Amendment.” Massachusetts is a liberal state and they blatantly violated the rights of Caetano merely because they had a low opinion of the Second Amendment.

Also in 2016 in Voisine v. United States the Court held a Maine statute which denied persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from possessing a firearm. Maine’s statute prohibits “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury or offensive physical contact to another person.” In Heller, the Court held regulations prohibiting felons and mentally ill persons from owning a firearm would be permissible. The problem with the Maine statute is it very broad and would restrict the rights of many persons who merely paid a fine or penalty for their misdemeanor crime. A mother slapping the face of her 18 year old son or a person who got in a fender bender because they were texting while driving would all be denied their right to self-defense. One can understand trying to keep guns out of the hands of violent persons, but these are not assaults, they are misdemeanor offenses. Since the law is so broad some readings of law may be Constitutional and others may be Unconstitutional. The “doctrine of Constitutional avoidance commands courts, when faced with two plausible constructions of a statute – one constitutional and the other unconstitutional – to choose the constitutional reading.”

For the first time in over a decade Justice Thomas broke his silence in oral arguments: “Can you give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right? He got no acceptable answer. He then asked “Let’s say that a publisher is reckless and violates a law against the use of children in ads which is misdemeanor violation. Could you suspend that publisher’s right to ever publish again?” Of course not. But liberal interpretations of the Second Amendment can prohibit a traffic ticket violator from their right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. Some of the misdemeanor infractions covered by the Maine statute are so minor that a citizen may qualify for a jury trial to prove their innocence. Any violation of someone’s rights is a travesty and an injustice that cannot be tolerated. But it is worse when the monopolized government is the one violating those rights. Oddly, only Justice Sotomayor joined Thomas’s dissent.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

When Moral and Social Justice Unite

Moral and Social justice are often seen as polar opposites similar to conservative and liberal philosophies. However, these philosophies do unite from time to time. For example, both moral and social justice have common themes over crime, but they tend to differ over retribution. There are even times when the two dangerous philosophies unite in Supreme Court cases. One such case is Taylor v. United States (2016) where the Court held that the Hobbs Act which “makes it a crime for a person to affect commerce or to attempt to do so by robbery” was constitutional. Taylor was convicted of robbing two drug dealers in Virginia. Taylor did not get away with any money or marijuana, but instead stole a few household items.

The Commerce Clause has been a heaven for social justice. The Court has used the Commerce Clause to regulate everything that is economic including hourly wages, maximum hourly work days and weeks, as well as to allow workers to unionize. The Commerce Clause has even been misapplied to uphold the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (should have used the Fourteenth Amendment). Liberals believe the reach of the Commerce Clause goes beyond the regulation of economic activities to include the regulation of government mandates, gun laws at schools, and crime against women. So it should come as no surprise all four liberal justices sided with the majority opinion and the federal government’s power grab.

But why would three Conservative justices side with the liberals in this case (if Scalia were alive he would have sided with the majority too)? Only Justice Thomas dissented. Well, the answer is simple, the moralistic code or philosophy of conservativism is to side with 1. Harsher penalties for crime and 2. Always rule against drug crimes.

Taylor v. United States shows the pettiness of both the Liberal and Conservative sects of the Court. It also illustrates the discriminatory flaws in both the moral and social justice aspects of our monopolized government because rulings violate the rights of some individuals but not others. In his majority opinion Justice Alito based his ruling on the Court’s precedent in Raich v. Gonzalez (2005), which was also a bad decision (Liberals and Conservative united over social and moral justice). Alito wrote: “the activity at issue, the sale of marijuana, is unquestionably an economic activity”. However this point neglects modern Commerce Clause principles in United States v. Lopez; United States v. Morrison, and United States v. Bond which implies: “the Constitution requires a distinction between what is truly national and what is truly local.” The Constitution’s Commerce Clause (or any clause) does not “allow Congress to punish robbery.” Allowing Congress to have national police power “would subvert the basic principles of federalism and dual sovereignty”. What is more troubling is Alito statement: “proof that the defendant’s conduct in and of itself affected or threatened commerce is not needed”. That is a remarkable statement because as Thomas points out in his dissent that this “effectively relieves the government of it central burden in a criminal case – the burden to prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means “today’s decisions weakens longstanding protections for criminal defendants.” Moreover, Alito says “Our holding today is limited to cases in which the defendant targets drug dealers for the purpose of stealing drugs or drug proceeds.” However, the Court’s “reasoning allows for unbounded regulations.” If Taylor can be convicted for violating a federal law that states a person cannot “delay, obstruct, or affect” commerce without any burden of proof, what is to stop the government from treating any local robbery with the same methodology. Worse yet, the Court may apply the law differently depending on what was stolen. This is the definition of discrimination.

Since any robbery is economic in nature, what is to stop the government from applying the Hobbs Act to any theft? And think about the implications if the Court treats “drug robberies” different from other types of robberies? And if all this is not bad enough think about the fact that Taylor never stole any drugs or drug money, but was convicted based on what he intended to steal. What would happen if everyone was arrested for intending to break the law? Wait, it gets worse, the government did not have any burden of proof to show that Taylor broke the law or intended to break the law. This is “guilty until proven innocent” and more innocent people will be jailed if the standard of proof switches to the defendant. This is the power of what happens when moral and social justice unite in one ruling. This is not the only time the Court used the commerce clause to impose stricter standards on a specific type of crime. In 1971 in Perez v. United States, the Court applied federal jurisdiction to the illegal activity of loan sharks. This is scary stuff. Remember, Taylor and Perez would be punished under state statutes and laws, they would not get off without punishment. This case is important because it provides the federal government more police power at the expense of the States. This means the federal government monopoly continues to garner more strength and when that happens nobody’s rights are safe since criminal protections are becoming extinct.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Fundamental Rights Should be Inalienable Rights (Part V)

Let’s briefly examine the Conservatives view that our inalienable Fundamental Rights may be infringed by our government monopoly so long as it is in support of morality issues. Conservatives may accomplish this task either by elevating moralistic Fundamental Rights (traditional marriage or procreation) or through legislation. For instance, laws that prohibit gambling, drinking, drugs, and sex. I am not saying all moralistic laws are wrong and uncalled for (crime that violates the rights of others must be enforced), but when a government monopoly makes those decisions, there will be errors in judgement and enforcement. In 1986 the Court upheld Georgia anti-sodomy laws in Bowers v. Hardwick. Georgia did not enforce the law, nor did most states with anti-sodomy laws. Bowers was originally charged for violating the statute but the chargers were dismissed. One reason these laws are unenforceable is because they are generally done in private. Any sexual act in public (sodomy or not) would be a criminal act: lewd or offensive behavior. My point is that moral conservatives can go overboard with legislation that can infringe on individual rights including the freedom of contract between married couples to have sexual relations in any matter they want in private. Bowers v. Hardwick was overruled in 2003 with Lawrence v. Texas. However, the Court elevated sodomy as a Fundamental Right to do so. This too was wrong, sodomy is a right between consenting adults but it is not a Fundamental Right. In both cases, the Court of our monopolized government erred. One final example is marijuana laws. I am against marijuana and voted against it. But it was decided by the people of my state and it should be a decision made by each state on how to enforce and regulate marijuana use. The federal government monopoly should be more concerned with more dangerous and addictive drugs that make it into the United States. Sure, I have an opinion about sodomy and marijuana and neither is something I would promote. But the United States is a democracy and not a tyranny to force or coerce others into our way of thinking. Morality teachings are the job of the family or support groups like schools, churches, or other organizations within the community. Forced and coercive morality teachings should not be the job of the government. Of course, families may fail to teach their children proper morality goals, but that mistake is far less intrusive than when the government fails to enforce morality laws properly: Innocent people will be jailed and have their rights violated. Remember, liberals are not completely free from “morality” enforcement abuse. They have placed a war on cigarette smokers and manufacturers as well as producers of sugar products to name a few.

Finally, let’s briefly examine the flaws in the Liberal view of social justice or what they believe should be a fundamental right: Distribution Justice (socialism). Distribution justice means our government monopoly has the right to forcibly or coercively take property from one citizen and give it another. Of course the Fifth Amendment says differently. The Fifth Amendment says that government can take property only for public reasons and with just compensation. Distribution justice is quite different and obviously violates many inalienable Fundamental Rights such as the right to property and the freedom of contract. There are many specific issues with Distribution Justice. First, who makes the decisions and defines what Distribution Justice actually means (power principle discussed earlier). We have seen and heard many different definitions and a wide variety laws, but it never seems to be enough to satisfy liberals. Distribution justice is a continually moving target whose main objective is to violate the rights of hard working law abiding citizens. Secondly, distribution justice suffers from the partiality principle discussed earlier. Those receiving benefits will be partial to their cause and demand bigger payments and those giving benefits will be partial to their cause and want to limit payments. This leads to class warfare and leads to warrantless claims of the “filthy rich” and “deadbeats”. The bottom line is distribution justice divides Americans. Part of the reason for this is the third issue with distribution justice and that is the interest principle. Most people do not have a problem giving to local causes that help people they know or family members. On the other hand, most people do not want to give blindly to strangers they do not know since they have no interest in their situation. Think of it this way, if a family member dies it hits us hard, but if a typhoon killed thousands of people in Japan we probably will not lose a minute of sleep (even if we give to charities to help those affected). Fourth there will be enforcement errors and abuse when a government monopoly can coercively use force or even violence to distribute wealth. There will undoubtably be innocent people fined and jailed (justice is not perfect) meaning laws will be incorrectly applied. And can anyone deny that government will misuse the massive amounts of data it obtains to implement any distribution scheme. For instance, ObamaCare web sites were not properly secure leaving millions of people vulnerable to fraud and identity theft. Inevitably distributive justice creates chaos and fraud because both sides of the equation will hire lawyers and lobbying firms to win “more rights” for their clients. Distribution justice simply does not work on a very large scale especially when it is enforced by government monopolies (IRS) that use coercion and force to violate the inalienable rights of law abiding citizens for the benefit of strangers. Using coercion instead of consent and power instead of rights accomplishes resentment, jealousy, and overall chaos.

In summary, Fundamental Rights should be inalienable rights or property or contract related. Elevating too many Fundamental Rights creates conflict and chaos in the justice system. A Fundamental Right is common and beneficial to all individuals and therefore Fundamental Rights elevated by the Court should not set off bitterness, resentment, and argument. Finally, our monopolized government should do a better job protecting our Fundamental Rights and rights in general.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

2018 NFL Mock Draft

1. Cleveland (0-16) — Sam Darnold, QB, USC, So.

2. N.Y. Giants (3-13) — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St., Jr.

3. N.Y. Jets from Indianapolis (4-12) — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA, Jr.

4. Cleveland from Houston (4-12) — Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State, Sr.

5. Denver (5-11) — Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame, Sr.

6. Indianapolis from N.Y. Jets (5-11) — Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio St., Jr.

7. Tampa Bay (5-11) — Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama, Jr.

8. Chicago (5-11) — Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech, Jr.

9. San Francisco (6-10) — Derwin James, SS, Florida St., So.

10. Oakland (6-10) — Vita Vea, DT, Washington, Jr.

11. Miami (6-10) — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma, Sr.

12. Buffalo from Cincinnati (7-9) — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming, Jr.

13. Washington (7-9) — Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia, Jr.

14. Green Bay (7-9) — Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville, Jr.

15. Arizona (8-8) — Connor Williams, OT, Texas, Jr.

16. Baltimore (9-7) — Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame, Sr.

17. L.A. Chargers (9-7) — Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama, Jr.

18. Seattle (9-7) — Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio, Sr.

19. Dallas (9-7) — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama, Jr.

20. Detroit (9-7) — Derrius Guice, RB, LSU, Jr.

21. Cincinnati from Buffalo (9-7) — James Daniels, C, Iowa, Jr.

22. Buffalo from Kansas City (10-6) — Leighton Vander Esch, OLB, Boise St., Jr.

23. L.A. Rams (11-5) — Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA, Jr.

24. Carolina (11-5) — Justin Reid, FS, Stanford, Jr.

25. Tennessee (9-7) — Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College, Sr.

26. Atlanta (10-6) — Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan, Sr.

27. New Orleans (11-5) — Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota St., Sr.

28. Pittsburgh (13-3) — Ronnie Harrison, SS, Alabama, Jr.

29. Jacksonville (10-6) — Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville, Jr.

30. Minnesota (13-3) — Will Hernandez, OG, Texas-El Paso, Sr.

31. New England (13-3) — Rashaan Evans, OLB, Alabama, Sr.

32. Philadelphia (13-3) — Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M, Jr.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Fundamental Rights Should be Inalienable Rights (Part IV)

In a perfect world Fundamental Rights would not be necessary. Fundamental Rights are a necessary evil to protect our Liberties. More Fundamental Rights means a much more complex and expensive justice system. If, for example, it was a Fundamental Right to purchase coffee think about how much law enforcement would be needed to investigate violations of this right. More Fundamental Rights means more chaos and actually less Liberty for everyone.

The biggest threat to our Liberty and Fundamental Rights are government agency monopolies since legislation and judicial precedent is long lasting. Government is a necessary evil, but unfortunately much of what they do is an unnecessary evil. In past writings, I have pointed out the evils of the Supreme Court whose sworn duty is to protect us from bad legislation but instead they have become a “rubber stamp” for government power grabs. The Court has also unsuccessfully defended federalism and separation of powers that were designed to protect us from government monopolies and unnecessary power. Government is a monopoly and therefore they can do things (or get away with things) that ordinary citizens would be jailed for. Conservatives view government monopolies as necessary (maybe smaller in size) to prevent corruption of human behavior: gambling, cigarettes, drinking, drugs, crime, homosexual behavior and so forth. Conservatives want government to force moral legislation to control human behavior. Liberals, on the other hand, want a big monopolized government to prevent one group of people from taking advantage of another group of people. Liberals view government power necessary to protect minorities, illegal immigrants, women, Muslims, and so forth. Both groups will use absolute power to attain their goals even if it means violating the Liberty and Fundamental Rights of citizens.

Consider the Conservative want for a strong military. With our current military enrollment at low levels, conservatives may see a need to institute a draft. However, any draft would violate the Thirteenth Amendment which outlaws slavery and indentured servitude. The rights of cigarette smokers have been violated with higher taxes and restrictions on smoking areas (even on public property). This is discrimination, but cigarette smoke does affect persons in close proximity to the smoker. Conservative government has backed consumption taxes on many so called immoral activities: gambling, alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Liberals have done the same, including implementing “sugar” taxes on dozens of products. Conservatives back the monopoly police force in our country to prevent crime. However, monopolies are never efficient since they face little competition. The actual clearance rate (percent of crimes solved – Burglary, Theft, Robbery, Rape, Assault, and Murder) is less than 40% and even more violators will get off at trial since the justice system presumes innocence (another necessary evil to protect against wrongful convictions). The police have a tough job and I would not want to do it, but these conviction rates are not very good. On the other hand, liberals will protect the rights of an illegal alien over a U.S. citizen. Any illegal alien who accepts government funding, fails to pay taxes, and or accepts a job that would otherwise go to a U.S. citizen is violating the rights of U.S. citizens. Liberals providing preferential treatment to a minority group through legislation such as diversity, affirmative action, or a quota based system is violating the rights of majority groups. Liberals support the taking of private property to be distributed for private reasons is also violating a person’s rights. Many companies are providing Muslims with preferential treatment over other religious groups by providing them with prayer rooms and foot baths. And there is little that can be done to stop a monopolized government and judicial system from violating the rights of one group of people at the expense of another.

Providing competition against government monopolies can help resolve some of these rights violations. UPS and Fed Ex have competed against the Post Office with success. Hence, it is plausible to compete against other government monopolies. For instance, many private citizens are using their Fundamental Right of freedom of contract to employ private security personnel and systems to protect their rights that the police have been pursuing unsatisfactorily. Also, the Fundamental Right to self-defense would reduce crime. Criminals are more afraid of confronting a potentially armed victim than being caught by the police. Criminals (as do most people) place a priority on the present and neglect contemplating future consequences. This explains why steeper penalties do not deter criminals. As for the justice department monopoly there are private court systems that are competing against our inefficient public court system with success. It would also be useful to change payment methodologies in public courts where the losing party would pay for all Court fees. This would provide restitution to victims, provide relief to the wrongly accused, and eliminate abuse within the system. Using private prisons (instead of public ones) where inmates can work and pay restitution to victims helps protect the rights of victims and would also deter crime. Clearly in areas like Chicago where the violent crime rate is so high, citizens should be able to practice their Fundamental Right of “freedom from contract” to withhold tax money that can be used instead to employ other security options. People have no say over how their taxes will be used and that should change to hold government agencies accountable. When government agencies fail, citizens should have the right to withhold tax dollars. Government monopolies are coercive by nature because they know people will have to pay taxes or be jailed. Hence, there is no motivation or incentive for agencies to perform adequately, but there is plenty of incentive to be wasteful and even corrupt. Further preventions against government monopolies should allow jurisdictions the power to succeed from the Union if the government is failing them (another federalism power the Supreme Court has denied). Think about the dissolution of the old Soviet Union. Nations succeeded from Russia because their government was failing them. Of course, Southern states succeeding before the Civil War puts this power in question when it is done for the wrong reasons (slavery).