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US Constitution

US Supreme Court May Take Aim At Whistleblower Protection Law

The False Claims Act in the United States allows individuals with evidence of fraud against government agencies to bring lawsuits as qui tam whistleblowers. They can bring a case even if the US Justice Department has no interest in fighting the alleged corruption. But on June 21, Courthouse News Reported that the US Supreme Court will determine whether the government has the authority to dismiss a whistleblower lawsuit brought under the False Claims Act when the government has declined to intervene in the case. In other words, the Supreme Court could help corporations shut down independent whistleblower lawsuits that the Justice Department does not want to pursue.

Why Just Statues? Why Not Topple the US Constitution As Well?

There’s no point toppling slaveholders without toppling what slaveholders wrought, up to and including their greatest achievement of all – the U.S. Constitution. This is the document that not only governs life in the United States down to the tiniest legal detail but, thanks to America’s global hegemony, undergirds the international system as well. Yet the Constitution is a plan of government created by slaveholders for slaveholders in order to maintain their wealth and perpetuate their grip on power. Of the 55 delegates to the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention in 1787, twenty-five were slaveowners, which was more than enough to give them an effective veto over the proceedings as a whole. Slaveholders were economically predominant in six of the thirteen states – Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia – which was more than sufficient to stop the constitutional process in its tracks since Article VII stipulated that nine had to approve the new constitution before it could become law.

Impeach The U.S. Constitution

By Paul Street for Truth Dig - I am always darkly amused when I hear one of my fellow Americans call for a return from our current “deep state” plutocracy and empire to the supposedly benevolent and democratic rules and values of the nation’s sacred founders and Constitution. Democracy was the last thing the nation’s founders wanted to see break out in the new republic. Drawn from the elite propertied segments in the new republic, most of the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention shared their compatriot John Jay’s view that “Those who own the country ought to govern it.” As the celebrated U.S. historian Richard Hofstader noted in his classic 1948 text, “The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It”: “In their minds, liberty was linked not to democracy but to property.” Democracy was a dangerous concept to them, conferring “unchecked rule by the masses,” which was “sure to bring arbitrary redistribution of property, destroying the very essence of liberty.” Hofstader’s take on the founders was borne out in historian Jennifer Nedelsky’s comprehensively researched volume, “Private Property and the Limits of American Constitutionalism,” in 1990.

Police Without Warrants Searched Low Income Housing

By Llowell Williams for Care2. Longmont, CO - Though the United States strives to realize justice and equality for all Americans, it is an unfortunate truth that when it comes to people of lower socioeconomic status, the reality is often far short of that. A rather stark example of this was recently exposed in the Colorado town of Longmont, a community located north of Boulder and Denver. In Colorado, landlords have the legal right to conduct inspections and perform maintenance on their rental units provided they issue a notice beforehand. In Longmont, however, management for low income housing took this right too far, resulting in the gross violation of tenants’ constitutionally guaranteed civil rights. In one such notice issued by the Longmont Housing Authority, as provided by a renter to NBC affiliate KUSA, a renter was told their apartment would be undergoing an inspection that would include a police officer and a drug-sniffing dog.

Omnia Sunt Communia: May Day 2017

By Peter Linebaugh for Counterpunch. The constitution of the U.S.A. began when an assembly of rich white bankers, lawyers, and slave owners gathered behind closed doors in Philadelphia in 1787. They organized a government which in the first instance monopolized money-making and war-making and in the second instance did so with a series of legal mechanisms to minimize democracy – the Electoral College, the 3/5s clause, the Senate, the Supreme Court – so familiar to us. They were led by “the father of the constitution,” a man owning more than a hundred slaves, James Madison. He makes clear the fear that underlay this constitution; it was omnia sunt communia. The states ratified this constitution over the next two years in no small part because of the tireless efforts of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison collected in The Federalist Papers. The tenth of these papers tells it all. There Madison expresses his fear of “theoretic politicians,” that is, those who advocated an “agrarian law” or equalization of land, those who favored “perfect equality,” those who were “equalized in their possessions.” In brief, the U.S.A. was to become a massive state against the commons. This was an appeal to the men of property, the men of private property, the men who commanded property as capital.

Mississippi Parents Demand An Answer: Are Charter Schools Constitutional?

By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams - Mississippi parents are challenging the public funding of charter schools on the grounds that it's not constitutional. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an advocacy group, filed a motion for a summary judgment this week on behalf of the parents, for a speedy answer to this question. The only debate in the case is that of constitutionality, which makes it prime for answering, SPLC told Hinds County Chancery Judge Dewayne Thomas.

A Legal Precedent For A More Equitable Society

By Edward Campbell for Op-Ed News. Article One sections 9 and 10 of the Constitution forbids the grant of any "Titles of Nobility". In promoting the adoption of the Constitution of the United States of America, Alexander Hamilton named these Article One clauses the "Cornerstone of Republican Government". He went on to observe that as long as "titles of nobility" were excluded, there could never be a serious danger that the government will be any other than that of the people. "Titles of Nobility" were terms familiar in the language of the times indicating social and economic superiority and political power. The Nobility restrictions referred to equality. In the words of the early Constitutional Scholar, Joseph Story, born towards the end of the Revolution (1779) and a member of the Supreme Court from 1811 to 1845, that as perfect equality is the basis of all our institutions, state and national, the prohibition against the creation of any title of nobility seems proper, if not indispensable, to keep perpetually alive a just sense of this important truth.

TPP The Great Grandchild Of The Worst Of US Constitution

By Staff for POCLAD, It’s not only whether the TPP is akin to NAFTA and previous corporate governance agreements but also how much it can be likened to a “child,” even a “great, great grandchild” of our own U.S. Constitution. This may rub people the wrong way, believing as many do that the Constitution is a most democratic document. While there are elements of the Constitution worth keeping, it has disturbingly similar anti-democratic features as the TPP that favor giant business interests and serve those of extreme wealth and privilege. The Constitution has been covered in a blanket of reverence and the myth of a democratic republic that offers freedom and justice for all. We have failed to examine our Constitution objectively, unemotionally and in comparison with the models of other nations. This is our collective challenge. If we fail to meet it we’ll continue to face brand new, same old stories.

Veterans For Peace Building Right To Assembly

This video by Inside Out Ptv focuses on members of VFP who have been arrested at the Vietnam War Memorial in New York City repeatedly in recent years. Their first arrest was at peacekeepers working in support of the Occupy movement when it was holding a General Assembly at the memorial to discuss political issues impacting the nation. Members have been arrested for the last two years on the anniversary of America's longest war, the War in Afghanistan, to protest that war as well as to remember the war dead -- not only US troops but people who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as native peoples killed in the war of Manifest Destiny -- the roots of US Empire. Veterans and their allies have arrested while reading the names of those who have died and prosecuted for exercising their Constitutional Right to Assemble and exercise their Freedom of Speech. Another purpose of these protests is to protect those rights for future generations.

Senate Shreds Constitution To Advance Nominee

CODEPINK and others have long been working hard to block David Barron's nomination to the First Circuit Court, just one step below the Supreme Court, because of memos he wrote that show a clear disrespect for the Bill of Rights and the rule of law (see another link at bottom, article by Medea Benjamin). Like Brennan and Jeh Johnson, Barron has written legal "justifications" for drone assassinations, including the killing of US citizens without charge or trial. This afternoon, without a quorum present, the Senate voted (closure) to advance Barron's nomination WITHOUT DEBATE. Only 2 Senators tried to discuss relevant, issues, like due process and Constitutional rights; both were Republicans. Each senator takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Partisanship seems obvious when no Democrats have spoken out against the administration's shredding of that Constitution, whether through executive assassinations (by drone, JSOC, cruise missile, or other means), or unlawful NSA surveillance, or the NDAA, "Patriot" Act, etc.

Manning: Security State Is Undermining The US Constitution

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that the dangers of withholding documents, legal interpretations, and court jurisprudence from the public that pertain to the right to “life, liberty, and property” of a state’s citizens is as fundamental and important to protecting against such human rights abuses. When the public lacks the ability to access what its government is doing, it ceases to be involved in the governing process. There is a distinct difference between citizens, in which people are entitled to rights and privileges protected by and from the state, and subjects, in which people are placed under the absolute authority and control of the state. In essence, this is the difference between tyranny and freedom. To echo a maxim from Milton and Foes Friedman: a society that puts secrecy – in the sense of state secrecy – ahead of transparency and accountability will end up neither secure nor free.
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