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Rights MisunderstandingPosted Thursday, December 10, 2009, at 12:55 PM
I had quite a bit of fodder for blogs today. I was planning to lambast the Democrats in the Senate for selling Americans down the river in order to protect the poor defenseless insurance companies, but I don't know enough about the compromise right now to write about it so I will save it. The blog will eventually be written since it seems apparent that the public option, which polling still shows that the majority of Americans want, has been taken off the table for something along the lines of a non-profit similar to what government employees have. But like I said I will wait until the actual specifics to come out to criticize anyone.
What I thought I would talk about today is the numbingly loud cry that we have lost more rights under Obama than any other president. While this actually a factually incorrect myth (but what else is new) I will address what has happened under Barack Obama to the Bill of Rights.
I am going to list all ten amendments and then defend the fact that none of these rights have been diminished under Obama (in fact some have been broadened). I believe it to be an open and shut case, but I already know that I will be called a liar and quite possibly un American for defending an American president. So be it:
First Amendment: 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.
-This is pretty cut and dry here. The Obama Administration has not prohibited the free exercise of religion in any aspect. In fact any religious leader can preach politics from his/her pulpit (which is a clear violation of tax laws)including but not limited to one pastor wishing death upon Obama, without fear of losing their tax free status. No one's speech has been abridged (or silenced), the press hasn't been curtailed one bit. I know, before I get the angry responses, yes Obama did go after Fox News but he in no way has altered Fox News' freedoms. He hasn't passed any new laws forbidding Fox News from being shown. As for the petitioning the Government portion if you have paid any attention the Tea Party rallies or the protesters at town halls then you know that this portion also has not been limited by the Obama Administration. There have been president in that past that have kept protesters out of meetings or put up so-called "freedom" cages, but not this one.
2nd Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
-Because people believe that Obama will eventually try to pass laws limiting the right to bear arms they say he has already infringed on that right. The fact is he hasn't even mentioned any new gun laws, there hasn't even been a bill that has made it to committee let alone for a full vote. The only new gun laws that have been passed and then signed by Obama actually expanded on gun rights allowing people to take concealed fire arms into the national parks.
3rd Amendment: No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
-I actually believe this to be one of the few amendments in the Constitution that has never been infringed. I could be wrong but the only time it may have happened would have been during the Civil War.
4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
-Obama can actually be criticized for this one. The Administration has kept the much criticized practice from the Bush Administration of wire tapping American citizens that may have contact with terrorists. Wire tapping in America can not be performed without a warrant but the Bush Administration went around the 4th Amendment on this one and Obama has continued it. Since it wasn't a problem for some during the Bush Administration it shouldn't be a problem for the same people in the Obama Administration. I know that's a load but there you have it.
5th Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
-There is no evidence supporting Obama even approaching violation of this amendment.
6th Amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
7th Amendment: In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
8th Amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
-Again like the 5th Amendment there is no proof or any stories that have come out even supporting that the Obama Administration has violated these rights.
9th Amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
-The 9th Amendment like the 10th is famous for being very vague in what it is saying. Basically the 9th Amendment says that the Constitution can not be used to deny the rights of the people. This amendment is one of the reasons that the 18th Amendment was repealed. The 18th Amendment took the right of the people to drink wine and spirits away which is a clear violation of the 9th Amendment. It's also the reason that an amendment banning gay marriage would not work. The 9th Amendment bars the Constitution from taking away rights and if gay marriage is constitutionally banned than that is taking away the rights of people. Again Obama has not taken any of this away. No new Amendments have even been suggested by the Obama Administration to take anyone's rights away.
10th Amendment: 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.
-This one is causing quite the stir right now and it's mostly over taxes. If the 16th Amendment had not been passed which delegates the United States to collect taxes there might be a valid argument here. My question is, if you don't want to pay any taxes how do you expect anything to get done? We can't build anything without money and short of just printing new money taxes is about the only way to go. You can only get so far with cutting programs.
One of the big rallying points around the first annual Tea Party in April was that Obama in less than five months of being president had raised taxes. Whether they knew at the time or just simply chose to ignore it Obama had actually cut taxes for 95% of Americans. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak.
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