Category Archives: Amendments

Articles about the Amendments to the US Constitution

The Kolbe Syllogism



ar15-tw-m15-ruger-682x382-1426183524This week the 4th Circuit Court, rulingĀ en banc, ruled that a Maryland State law banning “assault weapons” is Constitutional. The Court ruled that those weapons were “military” in nature and therefore they are not covered by the restrictions of the 2nd Amendment.

Conservatives are outraged. Progressives are ecstatic. Who is correct? Is it as simple as “I am conservative therefore the Court is wrong” or “I am progressive so the Court is right?” Did the 4th really ignore the precedents of Heller and other cases dealing with the 2nd Amendment?

In order to understand the issue, one has to consider two competing syllogism and their underlying axioms:

(A) All guns are military weapons.
Ownership of military guns should be restricted to the military.
Therefore the individual ownership of all guns should be restricted.

Or

(B) All guns are military weapons.
The Militia is a military unit.
Individual ownership of all guns are protected by the 2nd Amendment.

Remember that in order to reach a valid conclusion, the basic assumptions of the axiom must be true. If the underlying presumption is false, the logic, regardless of how brilliant, will reach an invalid conclusion.

Did the Court base its ruling in a good axiom or upon a flawed presumption?

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Plenary Power



gettyimages-632238364On Monday, Judge Leonie Brinckema, a Federal Appeals Judge in Virginia, issued an injunction against President Trumps Immigration Executive Orders on the basis that they are in fact, a Muslim Ban.

The Government has argued that the doctrine of Plenary Powers over National Security and Immigration should make the Orders unreviewable. But can such power be given under the Constitution? If the answer is no, then can statements made outside of the Orders by the President and his advisers be taken into account as to the intent of the orders?

If the answer is yes, are we prepared to accept a country where he sitting President has unchecked power which neither the Courts nor Congress can counterbalance?

It’s a Valentines day Tuesday episode of Constitution Thursday!

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Excessive Bail



Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed… 8th Amendment

In recent days, members of the California State Senate and Assembly have made the reformation of the Bail system a “Legislative Priority” in the State. Their reasoning is that on any given day, 63% of the people held in the States Jails have not been convicted of any crime. They are simply awaiting trial and cannot – for a variety of reasons – make bail.

The Legislative argument goes that the main reason that people cannot make bail is twofold. First that bail levels are set far too high in the State. Second is that the Bail system discriminates against those who are “poor,” in favor of those who have money. So the solution that at least two other States have elected to employ is to eliminate Bail requirements for some “low level” crimes.

The history of Bail in The United States traces its origins to 1689 and the Glorious Revolution. And, with just a single word change since, has been a cornerstone of those rights which we have held dear, both as Englishmen and as Americans.

So is Bail really discriminatory? Or is there a bigger problem? Or any problem at all? And why hasn’t the Supreme Court addressed it?

Today we look at Bail on Constitution Thursday.

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