Slacktivist analyzes what’s going on with that paradox of political chicanery (claiming to be an ‘outsider’ while actually being yet another beneficiary of inherited political wealth), Rand Paul:
As William Faulkner wrote, “The past isn’t dead. It’s not even past.”
In the last couple of weeks we’ve seen a host of stories scrutinizing Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan due to her association with the late Justice Thurgood Marshall. Marshall was, Kagan’s critics say, an “activist judge” and a “liberal.”
Those critics are Republicans. Republicans, as everyone knows, are opposed in principle to “judicial activism.”
But what exactly do they mean by that? What they object to, specifically, is Marshall’s contention that the federal government has both the authority and the responsibility to ensure that the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution are enforced. That belief, Marshall’s Republican critics say, leads to an intrusive, too-powerful federal government that threatens states’ rights and private property rights.
The instructive spectacle of tea-party libertarian-ish Senate candidate Rand Paul arguing against anti-discrimination legislation provided another explicit case of this same conflict. Property rights, Paul insists, must outweigh intrusive, activist federal legislation against discrimination. And like his tea-party supporters, Rand Paul insists that his position is “constitutional” — that the Congress does not have power to enforce such laws.
The final sentence in the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments is this: “The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” But that doesn’t alter Paul’s stance because he doesn’t regard those amendments as wholly legitimate and he doesn’t regard most any legislation as appropriate.
The only difference between Little Lord Rand and the psycho-right is that he’s in really, really plain sight. There has always been an element in this nation that believes the Fourteenth Amendment does not actually exist.
And the scary reality is that that element actually encompasses most Republican elected officials. However, they have learned to play the game of never actually ‘going there’ in public, even while setting the stage for ‘equal protection of the laws’ to be erased from our nation’s organic law (if Robert Bork was on the Supreme Court right now instead of Anthony Kennedy, the Fourteenth Amendment would already be dead; in your hearts, you all know that neither Scalia nor Thomas nor Roberts nor Alito believe that any human being has any rights, much less the right to ‘equal protection’.)
Here are some of the anti-14th-er screeds that one can find:
- The Unconstitutionality of the 14th Amendment
- 14th Amendment: Tool of usurpation
- EQUAL PROTECTION LAW OR TOOL OF USURPATION
- There is No “Fourteenth Amendment”!
Now, I’ll only quote from the first of those (and the last dates back to the 1950s – though, remember, that’s the world in which Rand Paul’s brain lives, a world in which only ‘the market’ was necessary to sort out the problems created by American apartheid; the fact that ‘the market’ had not only not done so in the century following the Civil War but, in reality, had made things regressively worse, is immaterial because the only thing that matters to people like Rand Paul is the purity of the market’s theoretical essence and not the reality of real people’s lives):
THE 14th AMENDMENT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
The purported 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is and should be held to be ineffective, invalid, null, void and unconstitutional for the following reasons:
1. The Joint Resolution proposing said amendment was not submitted to or adopted by a Constitutional Congress per Article I, Section 3, and Article V of the U. S. Constitution.
2. The Joint Resolution was not submitted to the President for his approval as required by Article I, Section 7 of the U. S. Constitution.
3. The proposed 14th Amendment was rejected by more than one-fourth of all the States then in the Union, and it was never ratified by three-fourths of all the States in the Union as required by Article V of the U. S. Constitution.
Even some not-so-nutty people have wondered about how the status of the vanquished terrorist states of the south should be factored in, but I’ll just look at the presentment argument.
Sorry, but it loses.
That applies to laws, not proposed amendments – which are covered in Article V:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress….
But five is a key number for another reason too.
All that the property-rights-trump-human-rights crowd needs is five full-blooded fascists on the Supreme Court to completely erase the Fourteenth Amendment.
Right now, they have four.