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Merry Christmas, ACLU! Part II

In my earlier piece, I took a look at the first half of the Bill Of Rights and how the American Civil Liberties Union views them. Now it's time to take a look at the 6th through the 10th Amendments.

Amendment VI

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.

The rights guaranteed above can be condensed thusly: a speedy, impartial trial; an impartial jury; to know the accusation; to subpoena witnesses; and counsel. This is another one the ACLU is rather fond of. I agree with them on most of their efforts, but again they go way too far. They've expanded the right to counsel to "the right to competent counsel." Again, I agree with them. But now it seems that their definition of "incompetent counsel" is "a lawyer that couldn't get an acquittal."

Amendment VII

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.

The right to trial by jury in civil cases. Pretty simple, too simple for the ACLU to screw up. I'll give them another pass.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Here's another one where the ACLU has gone bananas. They have latched on to the "cruel and unusual" and have ridden that horse into the ground. In particular in regards to capital punishment.

The death penalty is clearly Constitutional. The 5th Amendment explicitly refers to "capital crimes" and "deprived of life... without due process of law," so the Founding Fathers intended for capital punishment to be legal.

The ACLU, in their zeal to make sure no innocent person gets executed by mistake, has fought against nearly every capital case it has found. Then they expanded their efforts on behalf of those who "should not" suffer the ultimate sanction. They have succeeded in limiting executions to being very rare, and only after years and years of lengthy legal battles.

And they've used their victories to further their battle against the whole concept of capital punishment. They have used the fact that executions are so uncommon to argue that they violate the "unusual" provisions of the 8th Amendment. It's rather convenient how they overlook the dependent word "and," inextricably linking "unusual" with "cruel," but as has been shown, they're rather good at overlooking inconvenient words and phrases in the Constitution before (see John Kalb's expose' of their rewriting of the First Amendment on their own web site.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The "unenumerated powers" amendment. The Constitution states that the above list of rights is not to be construed as the only rights of the people. This has generally been a good thing, but again the ACLU has taken it and stretched it beyond all recognition. This is where the whole concept of new, nebulous "rights," such as the right to "privacy" come from. It's a gray area at best, and I personally give the ACLU about a 50/50 chance on any given issue of being either right or simply projecting their ideology into the Constitution.

Amendment X

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 the favorite of many Conservatives, and the bane of many liberals. It says that the Federal Government only has those powers spelled out in the Constitution, and no more. Anything else is the rights of the States or the People (and here is a valid argument for the "collective right" case that the ACLU espouses for the 2nd Amendment). The ACLU often argues that this doesn't apply in most of its cases; it says that the government has such powers of necessity; otherwise, certain rights and duties are meaningless without the government being able to enforce them. But again, this is a huge stretch, and usually serves to mask the flimsiness of the asserted "rights."

Well, that's enough for now, ACLU. I've spent way too much of my holiday working on your behalf -- it's time for me to actually enjoy the spirit of the day. I hope you appreciate the effort I put into this, your gift.


Comments (4)

Extremely Well Done. Hope t... (Below threshold)

Extremely Well Done. Hope that yours is a very Merry Christmas!

- The IX and X amendments (... (Below threshold)

- The IX and X amendments (the often forgotten and conveniently ignored paragraphs) are the wooden stake through the heart of the ACLU vampire. they were quickly added very shortly after the original 1797 ratification, which was the plan all along ,and agreed to by both the Federalists and anti-Federalist before they would all sign. Contrary to a lot of scholarly hogwash, the Federalists such as Hamilton and Jay, were NOT in favor of giving too much power to the Union. That aspect was agreed too by both sides. The biggest worry centered on "special interests". Sound familiar....
- They state clearly, and are intended to maintain, all the real power in the States rather than the confederate union. The Federal has no powers if they are not spelled out and signed by the States. Anything not written cannot be done, whereas the States have all powers, written or otherwise. In that sense you are a citizen of your state first and then a citizen of the United States, which raises some interesting questions about loyalties. Its interesting that the Constitution was basically framed from out of the ashes of our "first" civil war in 1812, and finalized proficiously just 65 years before our second.....

- Read it and weep ACLU'ers/Atheists/Socialists/Progressives/Marxists/Communists/Fascists/Theists/Monalists/polyists/thespians and any other nists/ians.....

Ever notice that whenever y... (Below threshold)

Ever notice that whenever you get a group together for some cause or even a business they make up a set of rules for those under or around them. After they have set the ball in motion there is not much left for them to do. They then get together to make up new rules to justify their existence. Usually this just pisses off the people under and around them. I think the ACLU is kind of like that. They do a few good things,but they can't help trying to justify being a large group 24/7 by making up crap for everyone else. Imagine if your admin people decided that all memo's and emails should be hand written because they feel that employee's appreciate a human touch. Great idea except for the secretaries and smuck's under them with a ton of work and deadlines that have to take the time to carry out the policy. Sometimes you just have to let the business run itself.

The ACLU has just frightene... (Below threshold)

The ACLU has just frightened, by threat of poverty by defense against lawsuit, nearly all public institutions, such that that explains (mostly) the overwhelming nonsense that many in public schools and local governments are going to lately to remove all mention of Christianity in "public" venues...not that they have to by any other reason other than most can't bear the costs involved to just defend themselves against ACLU harassment by court order.

Seems that a lot of ACLU sympathizers have deep pockets and really hate the Constitution, so they throw a lot of money at the process of intimidating others who have Christian religious beliefs.

Like I write a while ago, when going to my local Post Office a few weeks ago to buy stamps, and asking for "any special Christmas stamps" that they might have, all I was offered was something about Kwanza and something else about Native American arts. No Madonnas, no crosses, no nativities, not even a "Merry Christmas" stamp.

This whole "pc x-mas" thing has got to stop. People actually appear AFRAID to mention Jesus Christ, or the word Christmas, for fear of some sort of repurcussion or "bad judgement" response, which is completely stupid and alarming.

Merry Christmas, everyone!






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