(L60) The Constitution, State Power & Nullification

1.) What is the idea of a “living Constitution”? In what way could it be argued that the American Revolution was a war against a “living Constitution”?

The idea of a “living, breathing Constitution” supports that the law of the Constitution must be interpreted (and changed by Judges) to suit current times. The American Revolution was a war against a “living Constitution” because the colonists were arguing that government action violating longstanding (unwritten) traditions was unconstitutional. Changing the Constitution to suit the times is a gross perversion of its original intent.

2.) What is nullification? Discuss one example from U.S. history in which the a state or group of states acted in the spirit of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798.

Nullification is the act of making a political action legally void, or cancelling it out. One example of nullification in U.S. history can be found through the years of 1808-1809, when Jefferson’s embargo was imposed by the federal government stating that American cargo ships could not travel to foreign ports. In January of 1809, Massachusetts declared this act unconstitutional. Following closely after in February, the governor of Connecticut ordered state officials to be uncompliant in regards to Jefferson’s embargo. Lastly, in March, Rhode Island declared that it’s (state) government would protect any and all of it’s people against this unconstitutional exercise of power by the federal government.

(L15) The Welfare State – Immoral and Unconsitiutional

In your opinion, does the state have the right to redistribute wealth from some people to others? Why or why not?

Property redistribution, (also known as the welfare state), is not only immoral, but a legal obstruction of my inalienable (birth) rights to liberty and property. Should another person have a greater need for my property (money) more than I do, it would be up to me to voluntarily help that other person. For the government to step in and take a portion of my income and give it to someone else is theft by coercion (threat of force). The welfare state impedes upon both my rights to not have my property stolen, and to not have my freedom (liberties) obstructed.

Have Your First Amendment Rights Been Violated? (L50)

Should the police be allowed to enforce a politician’s verbal restriction against making a video of him at an open meeting?

The police should not be allowed to enforce a politician’s verbal restriction against videotaping him at an open meeting because it is an unconstitutional act, and it directly violates the rights of those trying to properly document a public event. The first amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” (First Amendment Rights). Freedom of (speech and) press, as stated, grant that if one is on public property, they may lawfully photograph (or videotape) anything in plain view. This includes persons within range of sight, whether they be located on private or public property. The only way that a politician could lawfully restrict the use of video cameras or photography during a meeting would be if both the photographer and the politician were located on private property; in this case, the property owner is within their rights to personally set rules and standards for what they will allow on their land (Know Your Rights).

 

Bibliography

“First Amendment Rights.” Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association. Web. 04 Feb. 2015. <http://www.ushistory.org/gov/10b.asp&gt;.

“Know Your Rights: Photographers.” American Civil Liberties Union. American Civil Liberties Union, July 2014. Web. 04 Feb. 2015. <https://www.aclu.org/kyr-photo&gt;.