Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Unbalanced Branch

The writers of the constitution thought of additional rights that were so important that they immediately added them to the articles they had already written; thereby giving us the Bill of Rights and the first 10 amendments to our Constitution. Several of these amendments have been getting pummeled a bit, but one has been all but pounded into dust. This is the 10th amendment and a very important one. In fact, it was the violation of this amendment in the abolition of slavery (a very good violation but a violation all the same) that caused this country to split and erupt into civil war. But did we learn from this? Nope. And who has been the most guilty in the violation of this amendment? Why the very branch of our government whose sole purpose is to protect and uphold it. And now the Legislature, which the Judiciary is supposed to keep in check, has also decided that the 10th amendment no longer exists.

The wording of the amendment is, as you'll see, so very complicated that it's easy to understand how it could be misinterpreted. The amendments states; "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Easy to see how this could be misinterpreted isn't it? Perhaps this is why the Supreme Court and Congress read this to mean that anything not prohibited by the Constitution is covered under the Constitution and any state law against it is in violation of the Constitution. Perhaps this is why Congress now thinks that they can give money to the states and tell the states exactly how that money should be sent. Perhaps this is why Congress thinks that they have the right to dictate what programs the states will have and how they will be run. Perhaps.

Each branch was set up with a check and a balance by our founding fathers in an effort to keep any one branch from gaining too much power. However, the balance we have for the Judicial branch is simply who is appointed. The problem with this has become pretty obvious. The Executive branch has appointed Judges that will interpret the Constitution in these broad terms and these appointments are approved by a Congress who wants the same. Therein lies the lack of balance. When the other 2 branches appoint Judges who will rule in violation of the Constitution instead of in support of it, then our system of checks and balances is out of balance. And when that amendment is violated by our Supreme Court, who do you complain to? What recourse do we have?

The only control we have is to pay attention to who is appointed and to speak out. Let your Congressmen know how you feel. Absolutely let them know whenever they do anything you don't agree with. They are there to serve as a representative for you. They are supposed to be representing your views. How can they do that if you don't let them know what they are. Read the Constitution. Know it. Teach it to your children for the schools may not. Educate yourself and those around you. Serve as the final balance in our system to counter that out of balance branch.

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