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What happened to the Constitution?

November 19th, 2012

Here’s a good little summary of how the US Constitution got betrayed, in an interview with Judge Andrew Napolitano, from, Judge Napolitano on the Virtues of Private Justice.

Well, I think that the problems with the Constitution began in the Lincoln administration, when he drilled people for doing what the founding fathers did, which was seceding from an overbearing central government. In the so-called Reconstruction years, which really were the years of military occupation in the South – Reconstruction is just a euphemism for that – the military directed daily life in the South for 10 years. That really whetted the federal government’s appetite for more power. Now we see a recession in that power for the next 30 years and then it comes back in the Progressive Era, and the progressives are so all-encompassing that they sit even on the courts. And the courts let Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson get away with things like, ‘we are not going to let the Constitution stand in our way’ for what the people need. That’s utterly inconsistent with their oath to office.

Of course, the real serious troubles with the Constitution are with the FDR years. FDR has eight members on the Supreme Court and they are doing bizarre things like saying that wheat to the farmer, which grows in his backyard, which is ground into flour and made into baked goods all of which are consumed by his family, somehow constitutes interstate commerce, and people accept that with a straight face. That’s, of course, the infamous, Wickard v. Filburn case in 1942. From and after that case, all bets are off and the Congress now knows that its authority to regulate even minute behavior will be held up by the court, even behavior so infinitesimal that it’s not measureable by standard economic mechanisms. Because Wickard v. Filburn basically says if small infinitesimal activity ended up with other small infinitesimal activity, that’s how the entire country could affect interstate commerce and the government could regulate even the small, infinitesimal parts of it. This would send Jefferson and Madison to the madhouse if they learned that the Supreme Court did this and the Congress acted upon it but as we know, that’s what happened.

Read the rest of this interview here on Judge Napolitano on the Virtues of Private Justice

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