Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

June 13, 2011

Quote Of The Day

by Brad Warbiany

Coyote, on the limits of government and the Amendment process:

While I am sympathetic to issues folks have with taxation, from a legal and Constitutional perspective the income tax actually comes from a better, almost more quaint time. Why? Because instead of dealing with the Constitutional problems with the income tax by having a series of judges stare at the Constitution with their eyes crossed until the problem disappears, they actually wrote and passed a freaking Constitutional amendment.

In fact, the 18th Amendment (prohibition) and the 21st Amendment (its repeal) were the last times the Constitution has been amended to give or take away Federal powers (everything since has been related to voting and elections). Ever since 1933, we have effectively added non-enumerated powers by essentially ignoring the Constitution, such amendment process being seen as too much of a hassle to stand in the way of critical regulations on seat belts or marijuana.

Everyone knows it took a Constitutional Amendment to get alcohol prohibition, but think about this in today’s world. Would we even bother? No way! Congress has taken on the power to regulate or prohibit just about anything it wants by stretching the commerce clause form its original meaning of preventing states from setting up barriers to interstate trade to an all-encompassing power of fiat to do anything Congress freaking wants.

In those “quaint” times, one might suggest that a Constitutional amendment would be required to begin a War on (some) Drugs. It was done without one, and now it’s threatening to take the 4th Amendment down with it.

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