Monday, September 24, 2007

Taking Issue

Some responses to folks who just got it plain wrong.

Isaac Smith
Last week Smith threw a tantrum because the Senate rightly voted to condemn's Betray Us ad but did not pass the The Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007. He says:
So let me get this straight: The Senate doesn't think the right of habeas corpus applies to everybody, nor does it think our soldiers deserve adequate time to rest between deployments, nor that the taxpayers of the District of Columbia are entitled to a vote in the U.S. Congress. It does, however, think that criticizing a general in a newspaper ad is beyond the pale.

Sorry Isaac, I hate to break it to you, but habeas corpus does not apply to "everybody". That is, our government is not bound to respect habeas corpus for those who do not have rights under our constitution, as in alien enemy combatants, which the proposed act tried to return the cases of these people to district court. Isaac, before you get upset, try checking that pesky little document called the constitution.

The Baltimore Sun Editorial Page
Like Isaac Smith, The Sun did not bother to consult the constitution before setting off on a spittle-flecked tirade against Republicans. In an editorial misleadingly titled politics vs. principle the Sun laments the failure of the DC voting rights bill in the Senate. The Sun says "much of the opposition to the current bill is rooted in politics and not principle. Riiight, no Republican opposition could have been rooted in constitutional principle to a bill that was so blatantly unconstitutional. Nope, and the prospect of an additional safe Democratic seat in the House could not possibly be a political motive for Democrats.

So for the Sun's edification. Congress lacks any constitutional authority to grant DC voting rights via legislation. The constitution does grant Congress the power to apportion seats, however it states specifically that representatives shall be apportioned among the several states; According to the constitution, DC is not a state. There are only four options, constitutional amendment, statehood, retrocession to Maryland, or exempting DC residents from federal taxation.

The fourth option seems to be the best and easiest to achieve. Plus it would be a bonus for DC residents. Think about it, pay no federal taxes with an ineffective delegate, or pay federal taxes with three ineffective representatives.

The Sun also accuses Republicans of tactics that are a throwback to the "tactics used against major civil rights legislation more than 50 years ago" oh you mean the racist Democrats who used those tactics. Democrats like senator and former Klansman Robert Byrd who opposed this current bill.

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