We Live & Labor Under An Illiberal Administrative State. Is It Constitutional?

Constitution, Federalism, Government, libertarianism, Republicans

Libertarians have a healthy contempt for government agencies and department, most of which are not mentioned—and were not intended—by the Constitution. Republicans are responsible for the creation of quite a number of wealth-consuming, freedoms-gobbling agencies. Belatedly, they’ve discovered just how deeply crooked and dangerous is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a fact Republicans were less inclined to admit under Genghis Bush.

So does the Constitution authorize all of the many law-making departments under which we labor? Over to Laurence M. Vance onThe Constitution versus the Executive-Branch Departments“:

It is apparent from reading Articles I and II of the Constitution that six of the current executive-branch departments have no constitutional justification whatsoever for their existence, four of them are apparently authorized by the Constitution, three of them might possibly be authorized by the Constitution, two of them should be combined with one of the other departments, and one is missing.

The Post Office Department that existed from 1792 until it became just the Postal Service in 1971 is clearly authorized by the Constitution in Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 7, where Congress is given the power “to establish Post Offices and post Roads.” It certainly makes more sense to have a Post Office Department than some of the other cabinet-level departments that are clearly unconstitutional.

The departments of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security should both be subsumed under the Department of Defense, since that is what they relate to. We had military veterans for 200 years before the Department of Veterans Affairs was created in 1989. There is no reason that legitimate functions of this department could not be handled within the Department of Defense, instead of a bloated federal bureaucracy that is second in size only to the Department of Defense itself.

The same is true of the Department of Homeland Security. In only 10 short years it has grown to become the third-largest federal department. What is the point of having a Homeland Security Department if we already have a Defense Department? Any legitimate functions of the Department of Homeland Security (and they would certainly not include FEMA or the TSA), could and should be part of the Department of Defense.

There are three executive-branch departments whose constitutionality is dubious at best.

The only possible constitutional justification for the Department of Commerce is two mentions in Article I of the Constitution of Congress regulating commerce (Section 8, Paragraph 3 and Section 9, Paragraph 6). But if a cabinet-level department is needed to do that, then what did the government do without a Department of Commerce until 1903? The truth is that the government had no need of a Commerce Department until it started regulating commerce in an unconstitutional way beginning with the establishment of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887.

The Department of Transportation can only barely justify its existence by appealing to the previously mentioned phrase in Article I of the Constitution giving Congress the power “to establish Post Offices and post Roads.” But that means that the Department of Transportation should be limited to just “post Roads,” not mass transit and aviation. And of course, establishing “post Roads” could be done under the auspices of a Post Office Department.

The Department of the Interior is mainly concerned with federal lands. It now includes agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Bureau of Reclamation — the largest wholesaler of water in the country and the second-largest producer of hydroelectric power. But if ever we needed a Department of the Interior it was when the United States acquired the Northwest Territory (present-day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota) after the Revolutionary War and purchased Louisiana from France (all or part of 15 current U.S. states).

And since there is no reason for the U.S. government to own more than 25 percent of all the land in the United States (with ownership exceeding 50 percent in some states), and no constitutional authority for the government to have anything to do with fish and wildlife or supplying water and power, it would be more constitutional to have one of the Department of the Interior’s agencies — the Bureau of Indian Affairs — elevated to cabinet-level status and most of the other functions of the department eliminated. But of course, the State Department could handle U.S. relations with the Indian tribes without having a separate bureau or department.

The Department of Defense can be justified by appealing to several paragraphs in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. Paragraph 11 gives Congress the power “to declare War.” Paragraph 12 gives Congress the power “to raise and support Armies.” Paragraph 13 gives Congress power “to provide and maintain a Navy.” Paragraph 14 authorizes Congress “to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.” Paragraphs 15 and 16 authorize Congress to call forth, organize, arm, and discipline the Militia. What cannot be justified by the Constitution is a Department of Offense, which is what the Defense Department has become. All nondefense spending (foreign wars, foreign bases, foreign occupations, foreign interventions) should be eliminated and the department shrunk in size.

The Department of Justice seems reasonable, since the federal crimes of counterfeiting, piracy, and treason are mentioned in the Constitution. However, given that Congress didn’t see the need for a Justice Department until 1870, that most federal crimes should just be state crimes, that the abuses of the FBI and federal prosecutors are well known, and that the Justice Department agencies of the DEA and the ATF shouldn’t even exist, the Justice Department should be scaled back considerably.

The Department of State seems to be the most logical department for a government to have. It was the first federal department established under the Constitution. Article 2, Section 2, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution mentions making treaties with, and sending ambassadors to, other countries. The Department of State is one of the smallest executive-branch departments. However, it could be much smaller if U.S. foreign policy was not so interventionist.

The Department of the Treasury can also be justified by appealing to several paragraphs in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. Paragraph 1 gives Congress the power “To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises.” Paragraph 2 authorizes the Congress “To borrow Money on the credit of the United States.” Paragraph 5 gives Congress the power “To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures.” And then there is Section 9, Paragraph 7: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” What cannot be justified by the Constitution is Congress’s creating the Federal Reserve System. Any legitimate functions of the Fed should be handled by the Treasury Department. The main problem with the Treasury Department, of course, is that it includes the IRS. Abolish it and the Treasury Department would be much more acceptable.

The departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor cannot be justified in any way by the Constitution. Where in the Constitution is the federal government authorized to have anything to do with agriculture, education, energy, health, housing, or labor? Much of the welfare state is maintained by these departments. The Department of Agriculture is responsible for WIC, SNAP (food stamps), and farm subsidies. The Department of Health and Human Services handles Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The Department of Housing and Urban Development facilitates wealth redistribution by providing various kinds of housing assistance.

All of that means that if the Constitution is going to be followed, of the 15 cabinet-level executive-branch departments, only 7 can be justified in some way by the Constitution, and there really need to be only 4, or 5 if the Department of the Post Office is restored.

The problem is a simple one: Few previous congressional candidates or current members of Congress from either party have any desire to follow the Constitution in every respect or even the majority of the time.

Republicans are the worst because they talk about the Constitution the most. They have talked about eliminating the Department of Education since the days of Ronald Reagan, but they have never done anything but raise its budget. They criticize welfare, but won’t touch the biggest welfare programs in the federal budget — Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. They condemn Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), but accept Bushcare (the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act).

The U.S. government is a monstrosity. From a libertarian perspective, the Constitution is an imperfect document. However, if the federal government actually followed its own Constitution, it would be a tremendous improvement over the bloated, expensive, intrusive, and authoritative government we have now.

UPDATED: Gen. Flynn’s Sin: Lying To Liars, Not Colluding With Russia

Donald Trump, Government, Individual Rights, Law, Logic, Natural Law, Rights, Russia, The State

SOME MORAL CLARITY: Gen. Flynn’s sin is lying to liars, not colluding with Russia.

Since the US Government has a monopoly over justice, the easiest way for it to create criminals is to make it a crime to lie to the biggest liars on earth, the US Federal Government’s KGB, aka FBI. (The Deep Statists themselves)

Likewise, Martha Stewart was sent to jail not for insider trading, but for becoming frightened and lying to the same liars, the SEC via the FBI. See “INSIDER TRADING OR INFORMATION SOCIALISM?”

UPDATE: A tool in the Deep State kit: they leaned on Gen. Flynn’s son, Flynn Jr., to get daddy to confess The rule of law? What law? And what a joke.


Soldiers are trained to resist:

UPDATED (12/2): Lay Off The Hebrew Bible, Bleeding Hearts: Here’s What Leviticus 34 Instructs Re Illegal Aliens

Christianity, Hebrew Testament, IMMIGRATION, Judaism & Jews, Justice, Nationhood

There is nothing in the Hebrew Bible, Leviticus 34, in particular, that would exempt illegal aliens from the law of the land (as Kate Steinle’s killer was exempted).

The stranger that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

And, contrary to Rev. Ryan M. Eller’s dissembling and misleading “interpretation” of the tract, on Tucker Carlson’s show, Leviticus 34 makes very clear that the reference is to individuals who are TEMPORARILY in your country.

What does “sojourn” mean, Rev. Eller? It means “A temporary stay; a brief period of residence.” The reverend glibly translated the word “sojourn” (presumably) to mean citizens living among you.

No!

The Hebrew Testament is not the New Testament. It’s all about distinguishing the Jews and their homeland from the rest of the world. Don’t apply the Christian “We Are The World” dogma to the Hebrew Testament. Our Bible is a tough document. It’s full of ground-breaking exploration of natural justice; and some not-so-merciful meting of justice. But it’s not meant to meld the Jewish People with the World.

Leviticus 34 reminds the Hebrews that they suffered in Egypt as slaves to the Egyptians. Therefore, the people of Israel are to be kind to the temporary visitor among you. (They’ll soon be gone.)

UPDATE (12/2):

And this is not Jewish:

UPDATED II (12/6): The Kate Steinle Verdict: A Nation Of Laws? What Laws? Cui Bono?

BAB's A List, Ethics, IMMIGRATION, Law, Left-Liberalism

By Dr. Boyd Cathey

After the decision by a San Francisco jury in the Kate Steinle murder case and the acquittal on all murder charges of the five times illegal immigrant and seven times felon, Jose Garcia Zarate, American citizens—at least the ones who still care about the rule of law and about the future of this country—should be rightfully outraged. Not even found guilty of the lesser murder charge, involuntary manslaughter, which given Zarate’s defense should have been what he might have hoped for—the California jury found him innocent on all counts of murder, with a slap on the wrists for possession of a purloined firearm. That’s it. And the jury was not even permitted to take into consideration the illegal Mexican’s history of criminality—repeated felonies and multiple illegal entries (each time returning across the porous California border to commit more crimes).

Here is how Ron Woodard, of NC Listen, an immigration reform organization, characterized what happened:

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the illegal immigrant who murdered Kate Steinle in San Francisco, was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges but found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.  San Francisco has in effect urinated on our Constitution and the rule of law as Kate Steinle’s parents grieve again as the murderer of their daughter will likely serve only 2-3 years in California prison.  Assuming California does not turn Zarate lose yet again after serving in their prison, Zarate may serve a couple of additional years in federal prison for having been deported so many times, but again the total prison time given the crime is a slap on the wrist.

“I actually met Kate’s Mom in Washington, DC this past September while attending a FAIR event along with meeting with staff members of Republican members of Congress from North Carolina and Senator Richard Burr.  Please pray for Kate’s family as they suffer again due to today’s gross miscarriage of justice.

“Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and the federal government was seeking to deport him a sixth time when he was instead released by San Francisco authorities under their sanctuary policy restricting cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Kate Steinle’s death was totally preventable and a stain on our judicial system.  This is another sad day for our nation.” [November 30, 2017; ronwoodard@ncisten.com]

As he has been in jail for nearly two years awaiting trial and the minimum he can get for the firearms violation is two years, possibly in a month Zarate will walk free—once again. True, the federal immigration authorities will probably deport him one more time, but, who is to say that within a month or so he won’t be back in Sanctuary City San Francisco, or at least back in Sanctuary State California, which have become like illegal immigrant Meccas in horse pastures to swarms of nutrient-seeking flies? And which new victim will die needlessly next time?

San Francisco and California have made it very clear to any and all illegals, whether violent criminals or not, that they are welcome, and that the state and municipal governments will do everything in their power to protect and coddle them, including providing top drawer legal counsel for the basest of criminals—if they are illegal immigrants.

Yet, the simple fact is this: Zarate and others like him are not American citizens. How can they—how does he—merit attorneys paid-for-by-American-taxpayers, indeed, the very best lawyers that most Americans could never afford? What kind of “justice” system is that? And what kind of system is so degenerate that, with passion and zeal, it basically drops all other concerns to spend its time, efforts and money on defending a murderer who, had he been a regular white male citizen, would no doubt have been thrown to the dogs?

But it goes further than this. After the verdict was reached and defense attorney Matt Gonzalez and his co-counsel went to the microphone to comment, they could not resist turning this judicial circus into a vicious ideological attack on President Trump and anyone who believes in protecting our borders. Indeed, instead of a case which should have been about justice for the murdered Kate Steinle, both men attempted to convert it crassly into a political circus, which undoubtedly for them it was. They launched into a defense of illegal immigration and an assault on the president and his agenda as “racist” and “bigoted.” In other words, if anyone raises even the slightest question or doubt, not just about the verdict but about illegal immigration, itself, then ipso facto, that is a manifestation of the now unforgivable sin of racism.

The jury verdict and the comments by Zarate’s attorneys were an affront to millions of hardworking, law-abiding citizens, and one more illustration of the nature of this nation’s immigration system. But they also clearly indicate the ideological significance of the country’s growing illegal population and the uses to which that population is put by America’s political elites. And it is not just limited to manipulation by Leftist Democrats searching for “replacement” voters to take the place of former blue collar Democrats in places like Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania who have finally figured out where their essential interests lie, but it embraces much of the Republican establishment and “conservative” movement and their inability to actually deal with the problem (or if they do, to basically cave to Open Border zealots or to the enticements from Big Business).

Thus, it is no exaggeration to state that the blood of Kate Steinle and thousands like her does not just weigh down on and indict the legal system and leaders of San Francisco and California, it also is an indictment of culture traitors like Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, and the reprehensible Thom Tillis from North Carolina, securely snuggled away in the deep pockets of the Chambers of Commerce and big agri-business, with their reassuring belief in “universal equality and human rights” as somehow conservative values. Their misplaced “humanitarianism” and their subservience to their major donors is both shameful and potentially fatal to the very existence of the American nation.

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~ DR. BOYD D. CATHEY is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.

UPDATE (2/12):

UPDATE (12/6):