Thursday, March 19, 2009

Don't Tamper With The Constitution

The House of Representatives voted today on a bill that would tax the bonuses to AIG executives at a rate of 90%.

It is so scary that our legislators either don't understand the U.S. Constitution or have blatantly chosen to ignore it. Either way it looks as if under Obama and a Democrat dominated Congress, we are striving to become a clone of Argentina or Venezuela. Is a clearly abusive distribution of bonuses worth the tampering with the Constitution?

The Constitution clearly states: No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed. This means that we cannot enact a bill that has a negative effect on a single person or group (Attainder) nor enact an ex post facto bill (Formulated, enacted, or operating retroactively). Justice Chase interpreted ex post facto in Calder v. Bull:

1st Every law that makes an action done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal; and punishes such action. 2d. Every law that aggravates a crime, or makes it greater than it was, when committed. 3d. Every law that changes the punishment, and inflicts a greater punishment, than the law annexed to the crime, when committed. 4th. Every law that alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less, or different, testimony, than the law required at the time of the commission of the offense, in order to convict the offender.

For those who might accuse me of taking something out of context, here is a copy of Article 1, Section IX of the Constitution which deals with the legislative branch. Please notice the highlighted 3rd paragraph:

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.) (Section in parentheses clarified by the 16th Amendment.)

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.

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