Monday, March 28, 2005

The Imperial Legislature

The Terri Schiavo case is almost over. Her parents have given up their legal challenges, and the media frenzy seems to be subsiding. The case is truly tragic, It should wake up people to the fact that they should have a living trust completed or at the very least, written instructions of your wishes if you are brain dead or in a state like Ms. Schiavo. Although the "right to die"aspect is very important to a libertarian like myself, it is not the primary issue. The right to die issue will be dealt with in a future article.

My primary concern is the usurpation of authority and power by the Federal government, in particular, the Congress and President. During the media frenzy, the US Congress passed an unconstitutional bill transfering Ms. Schiavo's case into federal court and the President, in his crass opportunist style, flew back to Washington from his ranch in Crawford, Texas to sign the bill. The case is clear. The state of Florida has a legislature, courts, a governor, and last time I checked doctors to evaluate this case. Now my personal belief is that even the state of Florida's intrusion in the case is wrong because it is a personal ,private, family matter that happens every day in the USA. That aside, Florida would still be constitutionally the proper venue for this case.

Congress and the President's behavior reminds me of another tyrannical legislature and executive. From 1764 to 1776 the American colonists revolted against what they perceived as the central government in London, consisting of the British Parliament and King, depriving them of self government. This was done through tyrannical acts like the Declatory Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, the suspension of the New York legislature in 1767, the Intolerable Acts closing the Port of Boston, and the Stamp Act. All of these laws exaulted the supremecy of the British Parliament as stated in the Declatory Act " to bind the colonies in all cases whatsoever". The revolt against taxation was one of many issues mainly related to a large tyrannical foreign central government depriving the people of self government. This in essence was the main crux of the American Revolution. Now let's fast forward to today.

Today the Federal government exercises power over the ordinary lives of the American people in ways that the British Parliament would never have dreamed of. Today Congress totally ignores Article 1, Sec 8 of the US Constitution which deliniates it's powers. Instead they pass laws on health care, labor relations, intrastate commerce, divorce, child custody issues, marriage, common law crimes ( murder, robbery etc) , and race relations. All of these areas and more ,violate the Jeffersonian principle of a limited government bound "by the chains of the Constitution" and instead set up an unlimited government. There is now no area that Congress does not regulate.

We must get our central government under control before it completely destroys the very liberty the American Revolution was meant to secure. The President and his corrupt allies continue to appeal to their evangelical base who show no opposition to centralized government, as long as they control it. We must learn from this tragic case that centralized government is never the answer, nor the solution to any of our personal matters. Governments exist to secure our natural rights and protect us from harm, not to steal our liberty.

Let's hope we can all learn from this case. If not, we will be ruled from Washington by the Imperial Legislature.

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