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Is HR 2499 fair to Puerto Rico?

Timex (11710) writes | more than 4 years ago

Democrats 53

Under HR 2499, Puerto Ricans would vote on the issue of statehood for the fourth time since 1967. The last three times, they preferred their present status as an independent commonwealth in association with the U.S. over becoming a state.Under HR 2499, Puerto Ricans would vote on the issue of statehood for the fourth time since 1967. The last three times, they preferred their present status as an independent commonwealth in association with the U.S. over becoming a state.

The last statehood vote, held on Dec. 13, 1998, failed to yield an acceptible majority vote on any of the five options:

  • Enhanced commonwealth (0.29 percent)
  • Statehood (46.4 percent)
  • Independence (2.5 percent)
  • Free association (0.06 percent)
  • None of the above (50.3 percent)

According to the rules set up by HR2499, the people of Puerto Rico would be looking at a two-step vote. The first step would ask voters to choose between two options: Staying where they are or changing Puerto Rico's terms of affiliation with the United States. The second vote, if it goes that far, would give voters only three choices: Independence from the United States, Sovereignty in Association with the United States (Puerto Rico and the United States should form a political association between sovereign nations that will not be subject to the Territorial Clause of the United States Constitution), and Statehood.

Congress is taking a huge gamble here. They're counting on the people of PR to be fed up with the failing of their local government (they recently had to furlough 30,000 government workers), hoping the people there will choose statehood.

Let's assume that's what happens. What then?

It's important to realize that voting on statehood is a right that the people of Puerto Rico certainly do have, and they should utilize it. Whether or not the people of PR would benefit from statehood is something only they can decide.

It is also important to realize that something like this (that is, of Democrats attempting to rig something like this in this sort of economic climate) can hardly be a surprise. This has been in the planning stages for quite some time, certainly long enough where members of Congress voting on the health care bill were aware of HR 2499 being in the works.

If Puerto Rico chooses to become a state at this time, with the economic problems that the mainland and the island are having, what effect would PR statehood have on the spending forecasts that Obama quoted so enthusiastically? (I'll ignore the fact that the "numbers" changed almost daily, even when Obama was quoting them.)

I think we can chalk this up under "lack of planning" on the part of Congress.

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53 comments

Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033472)

... to just have a series of votes, and each time, remove the least popular option?

This way, it's the voters who decide what the final 2 choices will be.

After all, control the question, and you control the vote ...

Also, this brings up another question ...

From the previous list:

  • Enhanced commonwealth (0.29 percent)
  • Statehood (46.4 percent)
  • Independence (2.5 percent)
  • Free association (0.06 percent)
  • None of the above (50.3 percent)

Couldn't other states argue that this changes composition of the United States, and that they should have either:

  • a right to veto, or
  • a right to hold a vote with the same options for THEIR state, so they can decide if they want to be part of a USofA that includes Puerto Rico as a state?

If we were to substitute Puerto Rico for, say, China or Russia, I could easily picture many states demanding the right to either a veto or the right to withdraw from the Union. (I know, if we used Canada as an example, the response would be "BFD, what would change?").

Or are we still operating under the "Hotel California" theory of government?

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32034400)

Are you friggin kidding me? First past the post voting is a crucial component to maintaining oligarchies. Even in Europe, where it enjoys its best support, it's still taken decades to make minimal inroads. Don't fuck with the golden rule.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037968)

The story of mouseland. The mice keep electing cats, because if they don't vote for one cat, the other cat, who is even worse, might get in. Then a few years later, they vote for the other cat to get rid of the first cat. But eventually, they get fed up with the first cat again, and vote the second cat back in.

"Why don't you vote for someone other than a cat? You're mice!" "Because if we don't vote for a cat, the other cat might get in."

2-party systems suck the life out of countries.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038846)

Couldn't other states argue that this changes composition of the United States

I'm sure that someone WILL bring that up, but I (thankfully) don't think there are any issues going on in the United States that would compare to the level of requiring another Missouri Compromise [ourdocuments.gov] .

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039692)

Couldn't other states argue that this changes composition of the United States

I'm sure that someone WILL bring that up, but I (thankfully) don't think there are any issues going on in the United States that would compare to the level of requiring another Missouri Compromise [ourdocuments.gov] .

The states are represented by the Congress, and according to the Constitution (Article IV) statehood requires consent of Congress and each state which has jurisdiction over at least part of the territory involved. (West Virginia had to obtain consent of Congress, and Virginia to become an independent state.)

As no part of the proposed State of Puerto Rico is subject to any existing state, they only need consent of Congress. Statehood process typically holds producing a list of rules and provisions that the states must comply with. Typically, this involves drafting a constitution which meets certain guidelines. (New Mexico was forced to draft their constitution in English, and draft all laws in English.)

The Supreme Court has also held that states would violate the Constitution by seceding. To quote Wikipedia:

Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) was argued before the United States Supreme Court in 1869. The Court held in a 5–3 decision that the Constitution did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were "absolutely null". However, the decision did allow some possibility of the divisibility "through revolution, or through consent of the States".

So there is no real legal mechanism other than revolution for a state to secede.

So it doesn't matter HOW upset the individual states might be about Puerto Rico becoming a state (and pretty much requiring an absolute recognition that the United States are not exclusively English speaking) they may not simply decide that they are going to leave the US jurisdiction.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039832)

The states are represented by the Congress, and according to the Constitution (Article IV) statehood requires consent of Congress and each state which has jurisdiction over at least part of the territory involved. (West Virginia had to obtain consent of Congress, and Virginia to become an independent state.)

As no part of the proposed State of Puerto Rico is subject to any existing state, they only need consent of Congress. Statehood process typically holds producing a list of rules and provisions that the states must comply with. Typically, this involves drafting a constitution which meets certain guidelines. (New Mexico was forced to draft their constitution in English, and draft all laws in English.)

Ah, but the reference to the Missouri Compromise was because at the time, there was a big concern over equal power in Congress as it pertained to the slave trade. Because of that, members of Congress allowed for the creation of Missouri from the Missouri Territory [wikipedia.org] if, and only if, a "free state" were created. Maine was somehow selected, possibly because of its physical separation from Massachusetts proper.

Since we don't have any similarly-divisive issues today (Democrat-vs-Republican doesn't count), I seriously doubt that there's any need for a "balance of power".

That said, Congress still has to grant permission for a territory to apply for statehood. I'm not certain that Congress has the ability to set the terms by which the conclusion is reached within the territory, as long as the vote is held fairly.

So there is no real legal mechanism other than revolution for a state to secede.

There never has been a Constitutional means provided by which a state may break from the Union, but that won't stop it from happening. There surely would be war, just as there was about 145 years ago. The trick is whether or not it would create a stronger union, or two or more countries, by its end.

So it doesn't matter HOW upset the individual states might be about Puerto Rico becoming a state (and pretty much requiring an absolute recognition that the United States are not exclusively English speaking) they may not simply decide that they are going to leave the US jurisdiction.

I'd love to see how you managed to jump to the conclusion that admitting Puerto Rico as the 51st state would result in states threatening secession from the Union.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32041220)

I'd love to see how you managed to jump to the conclusion that admitting Puerto Rico as the 51st state would result in states threatening secession from the Union.

It's not my opinion, it was an option given by the OP:

"a right to hold a vote with the same options for THEIR state, so they can decide if they want to be part of a USofA that includes Puerto Rico as a state?"

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066424)

It's not my opinion, it was an option given by the OP:

"a right to hold a vote with the same options for THEIR state, so they can decide if they want to be part of a USofA that includes Puerto Rico as a state?"

Ah. Gotcha. Remember, Hudson is (proudly, if you ask) a Canadian. :) Hudson was asking IF other states could change their respective constitutions to include such language. I suppose they COULD, but I seriously doubt they would. To do so would require time (which they wouldn't have a lot of, as far as state constitutional amendments go) and a reason. "Because we don't like Puerto Rico" is a pretty foolish reason, if you ask me.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067828)

It's not my opinion, it was an option given by the OP:

"a right to hold a vote with the same options for THEIR state, so they can decide if they want to be part of a USofA that includes Puerto Rico as a state?"

Ah. Gotcha. Remember, Hudson is (proudly, if you ask) a Canadian. :) Hudson was asking IF other states could change their respective constitutions to include such language. I suppose they COULD, but I seriously doubt they would. To do so would require time (which they wouldn't have a lot of, as far as state constitutional amendments go) and a reason. "Because we don't like Puerto Rico" is a pretty foolish reason, if you ask me.

Well, not just time. The Supreme Court has established that it would require a successful rebellion.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32068456)

The Supreme Court has established that it would require a successful rebellion.

Of course. What sort of government would it be, if a condition of joining was "Oh, if you don't like it here, you are welcome to leave when you decide to"?

The Feds get some of their power by limiting the options available to those they govern. Sometimes (as in states joining the Union) that can be a Good Thing(tm), other times (like mandated heath care with non-governmental agencies) it can be a Bad Thing(tm). It's a situational thing.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069526)

The Supreme Court has established that it would require a successful rebellion.

Of course. What sort of government would it be, if a condition of joining was "Oh, if you don't like it here, you are welcome to leave when you decide to"?

The Feds get some of their power by limiting the options available to those they govern. Sometimes (as in states joining the Union) that can be a Good Thing(tm), other times (like mandated heath care with non-governmental agencies) it can be a Bad Thing(tm). It's a situational thing.

Meh... if you want to drive a car, you're mandated to purchase car insurance, and since no state offers a state-run car insurance system, it's forcing you to buy something from the private sector.

The argument from the right should never have been that it is a mandate policy, but rather their argument should be that it's outside of the bounds of the Federal government... each state still is allowed to establish the exact same mandates.

For instance, Massachusetts has a mandate to purchase healthcare as well, and it was pushed out by the right-winger Romney.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32074428)

Meh... if you want to drive a car, you're mandated to purchase car insurance, and since no state offers a state-run car insurance system, it's forcing you to buy something from the private sector.

This is not entirely correct. With car insurance, you still have the option making use of public transportation, walking, or something along that line. You're not required to buy car insurance unless you intend to make use of the public roadways with a private or commercial vehicle. Even then, state minimums generally protect victims of an accident, not the operator of the vehicle responsible.

If you do not have car insurance (because you only operate a car on your own property or do not have a car at all), you cannot be penalized in any way.

The health insurance bill that was rammed down our throats, on the other hand, will require everyone to have insurance, or you will be fined, and it will likely be tagged a "felony" due to its hook to the IRS. How bloody generous of Congress, don't you think?

The argument from the right should never have been that it is a mandate policy, but rather their argument should be that it's outside of the bounds of the Federal government...

It is a "mandate policy", and it is outside the scope of the Federal government to enact a law like this, at least the way that they did it.

each state still is allowed to establish the exact same mandates.

For instance, Massachusetts has a mandate to purchase healthcare as well, and it was pushed out by the right-winger Romney.

I live in Massachusetts, and I am well aware of this factoid.

The Constitution makes it painfully clear that any function not specifically granted to Congress is reserved for the states or the people. Legislating health care falls under this rule, and should be left to the states to decide. What the Commonwealth of Massachusetts chooses to do for health care may not be well-suited well for the people in the Ohio or California.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32074922)

Mandating health insurance is intended to protect the interests of society at large, and healthcare providers more specifically, more so than the individual themselves. There are already laws the require medical intervention be given regardless of ability to pay, if the individual's life is in danger.

Forcing them to have health insurance insures that should they incur medical debt, that the creditor can collect... the same reason for car insurance.

it will likely be tagged a "felony" due to its hook to the IRS.

WHAT? ... Shut up and talk to a lawyer about this... you're making a retarded legal argument.

NB: some lawyers trying to prove a point at all costs will cite technicalities and shit. (Wisconsin DA telling teachers they might be criminally liable for contributing to the delinquency of a minor for providing sex ed) While these technicalities are technically true, (that's why they're called technicalities) the likelihood that any judge would uphold any particular technicality is pretty damn low.

So, unless you're committing fraud by under reporting your income in an attempt to avoid the mandate, there is nothing about this mandate that will cause you to face criminal charges.

It is a "mandate policy", and it is outside the scope of the Federal government to enact a law like this, at least the way that they did it.

Ok, let me explain again. The argument never should be that this is a mandate policy, because it is, and that doesn't necessarily make it wrong. As you've already states that you know, Massachusetts already has an equivalent mandate.

The issue isn't "ZOMG, they passed a mandate policy!" but rather, "Is it legal for the federal government to issue this particular mandate policy?"

And that is something for the courts to decide.

Also, avoid the phrase "ram it down our throat", because it's such an overused right-wing talking point that it sounds ridiculously clichéd.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32075778)

Mandating health insurance is intended to protect the interests of society at large, and healthcare providers more specifically, more so than the individual themselves. There are already laws the require medical intervention be given regardless of ability to pay, if the individual's life is in danger.

Forcing them to have health insurance insures that should they incur medical debt, that the creditor can collect... the same reason for car insurance.

Sigh. Stop comparing this to car insurance. The two are very different, in scope and magnitude.

some lawyers trying to prove a point at all costs will cite technicalities and shit.

...because, after all, technicalities don't mean anything, right?

the likelihood that any judge would uphold any particular technicality is pretty damn low.

You can't know that until it's been tried. There are some things that are written off as "technicalities" by proponents just because they are trying to gloss-over what would otherwise be a "show stopper".

So, unless you're committing fraud by under reporting your income in an attempt to avoid the mandate, there is nothing about this mandate that will cause you to face criminal charges.

Refusing terms of the mandate means you are breaking the law, and that you are then subject to penalties. I don't know how that escapes being considered "criminal charges".

WHAT? ... Shut up and talk to a lawyer about this... you're making a retarded legal argument.

Let's put this in layman's terms. The Christian Science Monitor [csmonitor.com] wrote an article [csmonitor.com] about the healthcare reform bill. They said:

Are there penalties if you don't buy insurance?
If you ignore this mandate and don’t get health insurance, you’ll have to pay a tax penalty to the federal government, beginning in 2014. This fine starts fairly small, but by the time it is fully phased in, in 2016, it is substantial.

An insurance-less person would have to pony up whichever is greater: $695 for each uninsured family member, up to a maximum of $2,085; or 2.5 percent of household income.

"Tax penalty" is the operating term here. If you are the type of person that tweaks your taxes so that Uncle Sam doesn't take the maximum amount possible, that makes it likely that you'll owe at the end of the fiscal year. If you don't pay-up, guess what happens? By 2016, you're looking at jail, fines, or both, because that's what happens to tax evaders. I don't need a lawyer to explain that to me.

The issue isn't "ZOMG, they passed a mandate policy!" but rather, "Is it legal for the federal government to issue this particular mandate policy?"

And that is something for the courts to decide.

But you just finished telling me it's a "technicality". Which is it?

Also, avoid the phrase "ram it down our throat", because it's such an overused right-wing talking point that it sounds ridiculously clichéd.

I don't give a rat's butt what the right-wing uses as a talking point. Congress (specifically Speaker Pelosi, Senator Reid, and their respective lemmings) started formulating this bill, people across the nation spoke out against it rather vehemently, and they passed it anyway. Meetings regarding the bill were held behind closed doors, with only Democrats permitted to enter. The bill could not have been more partisan. I can't think of a more apropos term than "ramming down our throats". If you don't like it, too damn bad.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (2, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32079994)

Sigh. Stop comparing this to car insurance. The two are very different, in scope and magnitude.

When you make the argument against a "de novo" creation of a "mandate policy", it is fair to look at legal constructions that are in some ways similar.

States obviously might have their right to produce a mandate policy, just like car insurance, and just like health insurance in Massachusetts.

Again, the argument here shouldn't be "zomg, mandate policy!" but rather the limitations of federal government.

When people on the same side of the argument as you sit there and say "this is the first time government is forcing you to buy something from the public sector", it is actually outright wrong.

Refusing terms of the mandate means you are breaking the law, and that you are then subject to penalties. I don't know how that escapes being considered "criminal charges".

If you continue to contumaciously refuse to pay taxes that have been duly assigned to you, then yeah, that's tax evasion, but it's usually just fines... you have to start really making an ass of yourself (like making frivolous arguments, inciting others to follow your scheme, etc) before the IRS starts seeking jail time.

If you show that you didn't have insurance because you can't afford it, (should be easy, because the IRS is privileged to all your financials anyways) then "zomg tax cut". So, the only argument left for violating the mandate is "I have the money, but I don't want to."

Boo hoo, the "I don't want to" legal defense hasn't worked since Gragnok vs. Glug.

An insurance-less person would have to pony up whichever is greater: $695 for each uninsured family member, up to a maximum of $2,085; or 2.5 percent of household income.

Actually, this puts it the wrong way around. The tax is 2.5% of one's income (I.R.C. 59B (a)), but not to exceed the average premium (I.R.C. 59B (b)(1)(A)). (The CSM is likely simply calculating that value for you, but this will change year to year as premiums change.)

"Tax penalty" is the operating term here. If you are the type of person that tweaks your taxes so that Uncle Sam doesn't take the maximum amount possible, that makes it likely that you'll owe at the end of the fiscal year. If you don't pay-up, guess what happens? By 2016, you're looking at jail, fines, or both, because that's what happens to tax evaders. I don't need a lawyer to explain that to me.

This is not a "tax penalty", it is a simple tax.

If you don't want to pay this tax, then get health insurance.

Nothing about this is stopping someone from calculating their minimum tax burden, and reducing their withholdings to match.

People typically go years (like 3 years-ish) accruing tax penalties and fine, and don't go to jail. Again, you have to be seriously contemptuous to get jail time for not paying taxes.

But you just finished telling me it's a "technicality". Which is it?

When you're discussing why things are illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional, arguments can be sorted into two groups, "wrong" and "correct".

Arguing that it is wrong simply because it creates an individual mandate is an "wrong" argument, because that alone cannot succeed. (Massachusetts's law holds that an individual mandate might be legal.)

Arguing that it is outside of the scope of the federal government is a "correct" argument, as it asks a question that has not been definitively ruled out.

For example: Arizona SB 1070 models Federal law, and thus does not make it per se illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional. The Federal law has already passed that muster. The "correct" argument is that SB 1070 is beyond the authority of a state government.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32080656)

While informed, this is still just my opinion. I am not perfect, and some of this may be wrong.

You might care to remember this tagline of yours...

When you make the argument against a "de novo" creation of a "mandate policy", it is fair to look at legal constructions that are in some ways similar.

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm not some ignorant turd on the side of the street either. Are you a lawyer, Ms Snowgirl?

When people on the same side of the argument as you sit there and say "this is the first time government is forcing you to buy something from the public sector", it is actually outright wrong.

Prove it. Show me where the Federal government has previously required all citizens to enter into a contract with a non-governmental agency, with no options to refuse to enter into said contract.

If you don't want to pay this tax, then get health insurance.

I see. It's not a mandate after all: It's extortion!

Arguing that it is wrong simply because it creates an individual mandate is an "wrong" argument, because that alone cannot succeed. (Massachusetts's law holds that an individual mandate might be legal.)

You might like to remember a couple things: The United States of America and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are, for the most part, two different things, each governed by their own constitutions.

The United States Constitution and the constitution for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts each have a different scope, the first governing a collection of states, the other a state by itself. The US Constitution limits the powers of those who govern at the federal level. One such point of limits is found in the Tenth Amendment. Read it sometime. It might surprise you.

Arguing that it is outside of the scope of the federal government is a "correct" argument, as it asks a question that has not been definitively ruled out.

It makes a point that apparently begs to be brought before the Supremes, largely because those currently running things in Congress lack the brain cells to realize that maybe, just maybe, what they're doing might be wrong and should be avoided. Instead, they figure that if they make it a law, then it must be "right", and there are people in this country that are just dumb enough to accept it. Why? Because they (those that blindly accept whatever Congress does) are ignorant of the limitations imposed on Congress (and, for that matter, the president and the members of the Supreme Court) by the Constitution itself.

For example: Arizona SB 1070 models Federal law, and thus does not make it per se illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional. The Federal law has already passed that muster. The "correct" argument is that SB 1070 is beyond the authority of a state government.

"If the federal authorities will not accept the responsibility to enforce federal laws, then we'll do it for them by making enforcement of those laws our state law." Hmmm... Nope. Sounds good to me.

Arizona is only looking to enforce the laws already on the books within Arizona itself. They aren't going to do it in Texas, New Mexico, or even California. It doesn't sound like they're overstepping their boundaries in the least. (Find Arizona police in CA or NM trying to chase-down illegals, and you'll have a point. Until then...)

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32081688)

You might care to remember this tagline of yours...

I do... you may remember my previous tagline: "I'm not a lawyer, I'm just that pedantic."

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm not some ignorant turd on the side of the street either. Are you a lawyer, Ms Snowgirl?

No, but I'm read under the law, and I try very hard to not make assertions about law that are beyond my understanding.

When people on the same side of the argument as you sit there and say "this is the first time government is forcing you to buy something from the public sector", it is actually outright wrong.

Prove it. Show me where the Federal government has previously required all citizens to enter into a contract with a non-governmental agency, with no options to refuse to enter into said contract.

Please read my statement again. I did not say "Federal government", I said "government".

I thought the example of Massachusetts would be so well established that I wouldn't need to point it out to you, because, I don't think you're stupid.

Also, there are the Slaughterhouse cases, which establish that the government can force a particular business to purchase service from a monopoly.

I see. It's not a mandate after all: It's extortion!

Extortion requires a benefit to the individual or entity performing the act. The US is not engaged in extortion by forcing you to buy health insurance... it might be coercive, but it's not extortion. If the US used extortion ever, it would typically not stand up to a lawsuit, because it would be a violation of due process. (NB: It happens to people who cannot defend their own rights in court.)

You might like to remember a couple things: The United States of America and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are, for the most part, two different things, each governed by their own constitutions.

Again, this is why it is apparently legal for Massachusetts to pass an individual mandate, yet questionable as to if the US Federal government can. There have been numerous claims along the way that something that the federal government is doing is outside of their constitutionally assigned powers. However, some of these have not been shot down in the courts.

It is insufficient in US Law - being based on Common Law doctrines - to be able to interpret a law from strictly just how it is written. Case law colors all laws and statutes, and constitutional text.

Reading some of the prior cases hinging on the 10th amendment, I expect fully that this mandate will be upheld. (Likely in a 5-4 decision or so.)

It makes a point that apparently begs to be brought before the Supremes, largely because those currently running things in Congress lack the brain cells to realize that maybe, just maybe, what they're doing might be wrong and should be avoided. Instead, they figure that if they make it a law, then it must be "right", and there are people in this country that are just dumb enough to accept it. Why? Because they (those that blindly accept whatever Congress does) are ignorant of the limitations imposed on Congress (and, for that matter, the president and the members of the Supreme Court) by the Constitution itself.

Or maybe, the majority of them being lawyers, they understand that it is not the job of Congress to limit their own powers, it is the job of the executive, and private citizens to enforce their rights.

As well, as mentioned above, Common Law doctrines require that one consider case law as well as just what is written.

"If the federal authorities will not accept the responsibility to enforce federal laws, then we'll do it for them by making enforcement of those laws our state law." Hmmm... Nope. Sounds good to me.

8 U.S.C. 1357 dictates the exact procedures by which a state or local official or agent may enforce immigration law. SB 1070 does not follow these prescribed laws

I thought the intent was to enforce the laws, not break them?

How is this different from "the US won't process my immigration papers justly, so I'll just do it myself"?

Arizona is only looking to enforce the laws already on the books within Arizona itself. They aren't going to do it in Texas, New Mexico, or even California. It doesn't sound like they're overstepping their boundaries in the least. (Find Arizona police in CA or NM trying to chase-down illegals, and you'll have a point. Until then...)

Again, as I stated above, the Federal statutes declare exactly how a local and state official can enforce these laws, and their laws violate those provisions.

Arizona police are not allowed to enforce immigration law within its own boundaries without proper permissions from the US government. The same as they cannot print their own money (unless made of silver or gold coin) even within their own borders.

States are not supremely sovereign. They have restricted rights, and one of those is that they may not develop or enforce immigration.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32084616)

No, but I'm read under the law, and I try very hard to not make assertions about law that are beyond my understanding.

  • I am a firm believer that words have meaning. I was one of those "geeks" growing up who read the dictionary and encyclopedias for fun.
  • The laws of the land are written in English, and I'm armed with dictionaries (online and dead tree editions) to work out what is said.
  • I know there is a difference in the legal uses of "shall" and "will".
  • Legalese is subtle. I won't pretend to understand it all, but I understand enough.
  • It is important to know what words mean(t) when a law is written. Meanings change over time. A classic example of this would be seen in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, a subject that books are written about.

Please read my statement again. I did not say "Federal government", I said "government".

If you really are pedantic, you would know that there's a BIG difference between "government" and "federal government". What is within the scope of federal government is not necessarily within the scope of the state or local government, as you like to imply with the Arizona issue of late.

Local and state governments have more leeway in what they can do than the federal government does, by design, and this is why the "mandate" is such an issue.

Prove to me that the federal government has gone to this level with the American people, and I'll concede that you are right. In the mean time...

I thought the example of Massachusetts would be so well established that I wouldn't need to point it out to you, because, I don't think you're stupid.

Thank you. Massachusetts (as well as every other state), as I pointed out above, operates on a different scope than the federal government, and therefore has privileges that the federal government simply does not have.

Also, there are the Slaughterhouse cases, which establish that the government can force a particular business to purchase service from a monopoly.

Businesses are logical entities, not physical entities. (I'm drawing a parallel here to hard drives and partitions on them. I'm assuming you're familiar enough with that.) Would you feel comfortable with the federal government passing a law that says that everyone must use one operating system over all others for personal or business use?

Extortion requires a benefit to the individual or entity performing the act. The US is not engaged in extortion by forcing you to buy health insurance... it might be coercive, but it's not extortion.

Who benefits from required health insurance? The health insurance agencies. Not doctors, not (necessarily) the patients. Like I said, it's extortion.

this is why it is apparently legal for Massachusetts to pass an individual mandate, yet questionable as to if the US Federal government can.

Isn't this what I've been saying all along?

Reading some of the prior cases hinging on the 10th amendment, I expect fully that this mandate will be upheld. (Likely in a 5-4 decision or so.)

In past posts, you said it wasn't a "mandate" and now you say it is. Which side are you on? :D

As for whether or not it would be upheld, we can't really know for sure until it's tried, which I'm all for. We can make educated guesses, but they're still "guesses" until it's actually done.

Or maybe, the majority of them being lawyers, they understand that it is not the job of Congress to limit their own powers, it is the job of the executive, and private citizens to enforce their rights.

...except that the sitting head of the executive branch is closely-aligned with the leaders of Congress, and attempts by the private citizens to make their voice heard gets them classified as potential terrorists and "tea baggers".

As well, as mentioned above, Common Law doctrines require that one consider case law as well as just what is written.

I could write a few dozen JEs on the Pandora's Box this statement represents... :D

How is this different from "the US won't process my immigration papers justly, so I'll just do it myself"?

The individual is not recognized as a government unto (him|her)self, and therefore does not have the authority to do that.

Arizona police are not allowed to enforce immigration law within its own boundaries without proper permissions from the US government

So if Congress decided to write laws that mirror state laws, the states would not be allowed to enforce them anymore? What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

The same as they cannot print their own money (unless made of silver or gold coin) even within their own borders.

That is a different matter, as the currency system needs to be unified across the nation. If one state decided to enforce laws on the books (since the feds won't), the only thing that really does is force other states to either step up to the plate and do the same, or they will find themselves dealing with those that choose to break those laws.

In this case, illegal immigrants are moving to other states, notably California, where they have a lesser chance of being arrested. California is already sitting under the proverbial 20-ton weight financially, so the likelihood they will shoot themselves in the foot by trying to actually enforce immigration laws is extremely slim.

States are not supremely sovereign. They have restricted rights, and one of those is that they may not develop or enforce immigration.

Article 1, section 10 of the US Constitution [usconstitution.net] describes those things a state cannot do. I don't see anything there about controlling immigration. Do you?

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32092778)

I'm glad that you have the basic competencies to understand legal English. However, as mentioned, in a Common Law system reading what the law says only tells you part of the story. The "Case Law" surrounding that law is also fundamentally necessary to a proper understand of the law.

I'm going to answer some stuff out of order, because some points are more quickly dealt with than others.

In past posts, you said it wasn't a "mandate" and now you say it is. Which side are you on? :D

None of my posts stated that it was not a mandate. Rather, my posts stated stop complaining that it is a mandate, and start complaining that it is outside of the bounds of the Federal government.

As for whether or not it would be upheld, we can't really know for sure until it's tried, which I'm all for. We can make educated guesses, but they're still "guesses" until it's actually done.

I attempted to use language such that it would indicate that I was making a statement of opinion.

As well, as mentioned above, Common Law doctrines require that one consider case law as well as just what is written.

I could write a few dozen JEs on the Pandora's Box this statement represents... :D

Unfortunately, your Pandora's Box is already open, because what I stated is a fact about the nature of our legal system.

Actually, your right to sue a company for making a defective product came down to some "activist" judge deciding that a person could sue a soda company for a slug being in a drink she was given from a friend. (I'm not kidding.)

Most of these originally entirely-spontaneously-created-by-judges acts and torts and writs and such were codified, and we've narrowed them down some, and reformulated them, however this is where the rights come from.

The reason why Embezzlement isn't Theft is also a result of an "activist" judge ruling that because of a technicality money willingly given and wrongfully used isn't theft/stealing/robbery.

If you really are pedantic, you would know that there's a BIG difference between "government" and "federal government". What is within the scope of federal government is not necessarily within the scope of the state or local government, as you like to imply with the Arizona issue of late.

I know about this difference. I was generalizing government in order to state that there is nothing implicit about a mandate that makes it so that a government cannot do it. Slavery on the other hand violates a recognized natural right, and thus is entirely outside the rights of any government (inside the US.)

This is what I'm trying to point out, there are laws that are outright invalid because no government can make/enforce them, and there are laws that are not outright invalid because some governments can make/enforce them. Then the question becomes "which governments?"

As to if the Federal government may do this is up to the Supreme Court to decide, as one side of the debate is not patently inferior.

I will and have constantly noted that your side has an argument as to if this is within the abilities of the federal government.

However, I must point out that your side does not have an argument to invalidity because this is forcing individuals to buy something.

Pedantic doesn't mean that I don't use generalizations... it means that if I want to make a point, then I will ensure to the full best of my ability to ensure that the premise conditions given are accurate. e.g. "government can establish a criminal code", but "only state government can establish a criminal code for acts performed exclusively within their state."

Businesses are logical entities, not physical entities. (...)

Since you said you love terminology, the terms are "legal person", opposing "natural person".

Would you feel comfortable with the federal government passing a law that says that everyone must use one operating system over all others for personal or business use?

There is a fundamental question of if they have a right to assert such a monopoly, unfortunately, the Supreme Court has kind of indicated that this could potentially be the case.

Fortunately, our right to privacy typically ensures that we are free to use whatever product we want in our private affairs.

However, they could conceivably require all interstate commerce to be performed on a particular operating system...

The individual is not recognized as a government unto (him|her)self, and therefore does not have the authority to do that.

And neither does Arizona have the authority to legislate immigration. (Two cases have already decided that local governments do not have this authority.)

Article 1, section 10 of the US Constitution [usconstitution.net] describes those things a state cannot do. I don't see anything there about controlling immigration. Do you?

A Syllogism (long form):

1. Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 provides the US Congress the authority to establish uniform Rules of Naturalization.

2. The Congress has established uniform Rules of Naturalization under Title 8 of the U.S.C.

3. 8 U.S.C. also provides for how state and local governments may gain authority to enforce federal immigration law.

4. Federal law is supreme as long as it is found to be valid, no matter what a state Constitution or law says. (US Constitution Article VI, "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States ... shall be the supreme Law of the Land ... any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.")

5. Thus, Federal immigration law supersedes all state and local immigration laws.

Thus, Arizona must follow all of 8 U.S.C. when enforcing federal immigration law. And, this requires each individual official to gain written authorization, and be under the supervision of the Attorney General of the United States.

This same syllogism is why even though Medical Marijuana is legal in various states, the D.E.A. can still break in and seize your crop.

So, again, the US Constitution is not the only source of "what states cannot do". If the Federal government has authority to legislate on something, then they can deny concurrent authority from the states.

This is why I say law is much harder than just reading the text of the law you're looking at.

attempts by the private citizens to make their voice heard gets them classified as potential terrorists and "tea baggers".

Meh, I don't think any of the private citizens who are speaking out currently against this have been labeled terrorists... that was a term pushed out by the conservatives against their dissenters. (Or at least "in bed with..." or "-lover" etc.)

As for "tea baggers", they kind of chose that term themselves. Would you prefer "right-winger"?

So if Congress decided to write laws that mirror state laws, the states would not be allowed to enforce them anymore? What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Yes, the states are still able to enforce their laws... THEIR laws. But not the federal version.

In some cases states can pass parallel laws to the federal laws, and enforce those laws. A lot of 1st amendment rights are concurrently enforced through state and federal constitutions.

Here is the difference, if I want to sue a state law for violating the state constitution, I must bring the case in state court, while if I want to sue them for violating the federal constitution, I must bring the case in federal court.

If I want to sue a federal law for violating the state constitution, I bring it to federal court, and they point out that the US constitution holds that Federal law trumps state constitutions. Thus, for example, health plans established through Federal laws do not have to obey state discrimination laws (even if they're in the state's constitution), only federal ones.

There actually have been people who were denied care because their protected group (typically sexual orientation or such) is only protected by state law, and not federal law.

Imagine that, it's legal for some (not all) health care plans to flat out say, "we're not going to cover you because you're gay."

That is a different matter, as the currency system needs to be unified across the nation.

The naturalization process (and thus by extension the immigration process) must also be unified across the nation, because any valid naturalized individual or legal immigrant has to be allowed free unrestricted travel among the individual states.

Imagine this: you arrive in Massachusetts, receive your valid visa, then travel to Texas, and they attempt to deport you, because they don't recognize your visa.

If one state decided to enforce laws on the books (since the feds won't), the only thing that really does is force other states to either step up to the plate and do the same, or they will find themselves dealing with those that choose to break those laws.

Perhaps... but the Federal government still has the authority to establish uniform rules of naturalization (and by extension, immigration). In doing so, they stated how state and local governments may obtain permission to enforce immigration law.

AZ SB 1070 does not meet these requirements.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106384)

I'm glad that you have the basic competencies to understand legal English. However, as mentioned, in a Common Law system reading what the law says only tells you part of the story. The "Case Law" surrounding that law is also fundamentally necessary to a proper understand of the law.

Congratulations. In one simple statement, you've managed to put all Law outside the realm of the common man, who (without the immediate aid of a lawyer) is doomed to getting screwed by The Man.

Case law is useful so far as it seeks to have a unified interpretation of law by the court system. How one district reacts to a law may be influenced by how other districts have decided, but it is by no means a guarantee.

As much as the courts like to go on "precedent", there are occasions when a court rules in a way that goes completely in the face of anything said by past courts. Whether or not the courts get called on these seeming contradictions seems to be influenced by the social climate at the time.

Any law that requires a lawyer to properly understand it should be scrapped and/or rewritten.

Rather, my posts stated stop complaining that it is a mandate, and start complaining that it is outside of the bounds of the Federal government.

Read through past JEs, and you'll see that I've been doing exactly that since Congress started scheming the whole thing.

Most of these originally entirely-spontaneously-created-by-judges acts and torts and writs and such were codified, and we've narrowed them down some, and reformulated them, however this is where the rights come from.

"Rights" come from the Constitution and its amendments, not the Law itself. Laws are relatively simple matters to repeal, so any "right" they seem to grant aren't really rights, but "privileges". Constitutional rights, on the other hand, are much more difficult to take away, though Congress (and to some extent state and local authorities) have been slowly chipping away at them for more than a hundred years.

However, I must point out that your side does not have an argument to invalidity because this is forcing individuals to buy something.

Why not?

Would you feel comfortable with the federal government passing a law that says that everyone must use one operating system over all others for personal or business use?

There is a fundamental question of if they have a right to assert such a monopoly, unfortunately, the Supreme Court has kind of indicated that this could potentially be the case.

Fortunately, our right to privacy typically ensures that we are free to use whatever product we want in our private affairs.

It is much the same with health care: if I chose to utilize a strictly homeopathic approach to medicine, then I shouldn't be required to buy health care insurance, because I wouldn't need it. According to this law, I would be required to buy health care insurance, whether I used it or not.

To apply this to your favorite "car insurance" example, it would be exactly like requiring you to buy auto insurance, even if you don't own a car or have a license.

However, they could conceivably require all interstate commerce to be performed on a particular operating system...

...and if they did, it would only show just how completely incompetent they are: information does not now, nor has it ever, required any particular operating system to be transmitted. :) The format of any electronic documents, that's something else entirely different, and has recently been touched upon [groklaw.net] .

... If the Federal government has authority to legislate on something, then they can deny concurrent authority from the states.

This is why I say law is much harder than just reading the text of the law you're looking at.

...and why it is critical that the law-makers be held responsible for their work. Having the sort of power you have (rightly) explained is not difficult to abuse.

Meh, I don't think any of the private citizens who are speaking out currently against this have been labeled terrorists...

Oh?

Shall I continue? It's all over the place, if you Google for "Obamacare terrorist" [google.com] .

As for "tea baggers", they kind of chose that term themselves. Would you prefer "right-winger"?

Uh, no. The term they chose was "Tea Party". The term "tea bagger" is rather derogatory [washingtontimes.com] .

Perhaps... but the Federal government still has the authority to establish uniform rules of naturalization (and by extension, immigration). In doing so, they stated how state and local governments may obtain permission to enforce immigration law.

...and if the feds are going to have a law on the books, they should either enforce it or remove it from the books. Challenging Arizona on this matter should result in one or the other.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107308)

Congratulations. In one simple statement, you've managed to put all Law outside the realm of the common man, who (without the immediate aid of a lawyer) is doomed to getting screwed by The Man.

No, I didn't do it. It's how the law is designed in this country. I'm entirely serious, go ask a lawyer.

Because precedent can be broken, (or even conflicting) is the reason why not even lawyers are perfect at law.

The Common Law system is built upon tradition, and not strictly codified laws.

Any law that requires a lawyer to properly understand it should be scrapped and/or rewritten.

If you want to be able to be able to read a law and know exactly what it means, move to a place where the Civil Law system is practiced.

In France (a nation with a Civil Law system) their supreme court cannot hand down legally binding precedents. The opinions returned by their highest court are very short, brief and say "of the two laws presented, law XY prevails in this particular instance."

This is however, unlikely to occur in the USA, because lawyers are in power, and they will use the legal mechanics to stay there. (For instance, the government decided it would only pay people according to the level of degree that they have earned. So, Lawyers switched from getting a second bachelor's in law to getting a doctorate of law.)

"Rights" come from the Constitution and its amendments, not the Law itself. Laws are relatively simple matters to repeal, so any "right" they seem to grant aren't really rights, but "privileges". Constitutional rights, on the other hand, are much more difficult to take away, though Congress (and to some extent state and local authorities) have been slowly chipping away at them for more than a hundred years.

"Rights" as a legal term does not meet your definition. As an example, if someone has standing to sue, then they are said to have a "right of action".

You have numerous rights granted by statutes and common law traditions. If you have possession of property (meaning you live somewhere, whether or not you own it) you have a right of entry, a right of passage, among the more recognized right of privacy.

A court of law cannot take your right of entry to a property that you possess without due process. This is why you have to evict even squatters, (an individual who took possession of your property illegally).

However, I must point out that your side does not have an argument to invalidity because this is forcing individuals to buy something.

Why not?

Again, as I've said before, because some governments can force individuals to buy something.

It is much the same with health care: if I chose to utilize a strictly homeopathic approach to medicine, then I shouldn't be required to buy health care insurance, because I wouldn't need it. According to this law, I would be required to buy health care insurance, whether I used it or not.

To apply this to your favorite "car insurance" example, it would be exactly like requiring you to buy auto insurance, even if you don't own a car or have a license.

Actually, if you object to health care for religious reasons you have an exception from getting health insurance.

...and if they did, it would only show just how completely incompetent they are: information does not now, nor has it ever, required any particular operating system to be transmitted. :) The format of any electronic documents, that's something else entirely different, and has recently been touched upon [groklaw.net].

No, it does not require physically any particular operating system, however they could require it as a legal compulsion to do business. And this would likely be upheld on the same grounds as the slaughterhouse cases.

...and why it is critical that the law-makers be held responsible for their work. Having the sort of power you have (rightly) explained is not difficult to abuse.

Or, rather than using the word "abuse", just "use" in general. There was never any belief that 8 U.S.C. is an abuse of Federal power against the individual states.

I'm going to simply tell you that if you think states have the right to legislate immigration that you can cry me a river, because that's about all anything you can do is worth.

Shall I continue? It's all over the place, if you Google for "Obamacare terrorist" [google.com].

Obamacare is a right-wing term that the left-wing doesn't use except to make fun of the right-wing for. Your first example had "terrorist" in quotes , which places it in a grammatical case of "so called", as in... we're not using this term of our own choice.

If the left calls a right-winger a terrorist because he disagrees with government, it's because we're mocking the way that they called their opposition terrorists... as evidence, see your first link.

As for the Times Square bomber, there's no question that some homegrown terrorists have attacked in order to advance their political agenda... a certain plane flying into an IRS building comes to mind.

We do not blatantly assume though that every person from the Tea Party is going to blow something or someone up in order to prove their point.

Uh, no. The term they chose was "Tea Party". The term "tea bagger" is rather derogatory [washingtontimes.com].

The media assigned the term before they were aware of its negative connotations. When I see "tea bagger" I don't think someone stuffing their balls in someone else's face, I think of a person who is a part of the Tea Party.

However, I will personally stop using it since you all get offended by it... however, they did use the term "to tea bag [a politician]" a lot before it was pointed out to them what the negative connotation was.

...and if the feds are going to have a law on the books, they should either enforce it or remove it from the books. Challenging Arizona on this matter should result in one or the other.

Governments selectively enforce all sorts of laws. When is the last time you heard of someone being arrested for jay walking? Speeding 5mph over? Following too close? Too fast for conditions?

There are certain laws that are there only to assess guilt after the shit hits the fan.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119502)

No, I didn't do it. It's how the law is designed in this country. I'm entirely serious, go ask a lawyer.

That's like asking children if they should be allowed to operate a candy store.

In France (a nation with a Civil Law system) their supreme court cannot hand down legally binding precedents. The opinions returned by their highest court are very short, brief and say "of the two laws presented, law XY prevails in this particular instance."

This is however, unlikely to occur in the USA, because lawyers are in power, and they will use the legal mechanics to stay there.

...and why Tort Reform gets talked about but never actually done.

The importance of words (what they mean, why they're chosen, etc) is because there are always going to be gits like Massachusetts Supreme Court Judge Margaret Marshall [mass.gov] , who make judgments that include South African law. If it were impossible to properly understand law, then sites like GrokLaw [groklaw.net] are wasting their time. Fortunately, I vehemently disagree with you.

"Rights" as a legal term does not meet your definition. As an example, if someone has standing to sue, then they are said to have a "right of action".

Do you have a "right" to a driver's license? If you were to drive in a manner that led to your license being revoked, do you still have that right, or is it a "privilege"? Last time I heard the difference explained, a judge explained it. Maybe he was just off his rocker and you're right after all? Nah.

A court of law cannot take your right of entry to a property that you possess without due process. This is why you have to evict even squatters, (an individual who took possession of your property illegally).

I know what a squatter is, thanks. :) You're forgetting to mention that often, that "due process" can happen even without your being aware of it. When you do find out about it, the time has passed, and you're screwed. Sometimes (and this happens often with municipalities taking private land by eminent domain for the purpose of handing it over to a land developer) it doesn't matter what you say or do. It happens anyway. Why? Because lawyers make use of loopholes, counting on people like you to not really "get" what the law says or means, because you have it in your head that only lawyers can possibly understand it.

Geez. That sounds awfully familiar... Oh yeah... Catholic priests, when they didn't want the masses said in the language of the people, and when they didn't want the Bible translated to the local language(s). Even today, many Catholics argue that the Bible doesn't really mean what it appears to mean unless a priest says so. (I've actually had that conversation with a Catholic man once. It completely flabbergasted me.)

Actually, if you object to health care for religious reasons you have an exception from getting health insurance.

Why does it have to be only for religious reasons?

Obamacare is a right-wing term that the left-wing doesn't use except to make fun of the right-wing for. Your first example had "terrorist" in quotes , which places it in a grammatical case of "so called", as in... we're not using this term of our own choice.

You really are a lost cause, aren't you? I'm getting the idea that you're only here to argue, in which case we can finish this right quick.

As for the Times Square bomber, there's no question that some homegrown terrorists have attacked in order to advance their political agenda... a certain plane flying into an IRS building comes to mind.

So it's okay to generalize and say that all "right wingers" are terrorists because some nut-job does it and happens to have right-leaning connections? Ask people that are admittedly Conservative if they agree with what those people did, and you'll find that the people acted on their own volition, not because it is the agenda of the Right to destroy buildings or otherwise terrorize. There's nothing in the GOP platform that reads anything close to "Destroy anything affiliated with Demoncrats, at all costs!".

You almost make me want to return to the Republican Party, just to spite you.

We do not blatantly assume though that every person from the Tea Party is going to blow something or someone up in order to prove their point.

That's not the impression I get from listening to the likes of Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.

Governments selectively enforce all sorts of laws. When is the last time you heard of someone being arrested for jay walking?

"Jaywalking" is not illegal in Massachusetts. In fact, if a driver does not yield to a pedestrian (in a crossing walk or not), s/he can be stopped and fined.

Following too close? Too fast for conditions?

I've been stopped for both of these.

There are certain laws that are there only to assess guilt after the shit hits the fan.

Yeah, I know about those, too.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32122386)

Do you have a "right" to a driver's license? If you were to drive in a manner that led to your license being revoked, do you still have that right, or is it a "privilege"? Last time I heard the difference explained, a judge explained it. Maybe he was just off his rocker and you're right after all? Nah.

No, one does not have a right to a driver's license.

Do you understand that law can grant privileges and rights?

Again, you cannot argue that if I have a standing to sue someone that I have a "right to action", because that's what the definition of "right to action" means.

If it were impossible to properly understand law, then sites like GrokLaw [groklaw.net] are wasting their time. Fortunately, I vehemently disagree with you.

It's not impossible to properly understand law, but it can be hard. The reason Groklaw exists is to explain the law that has been going on with SCO (and some other cases) to lay people.

Why does it have to be only for religious reasons?

Because "I don't want to" is not a valid legal defense in life.

You're forgetting to mention that often, that "due process" can happen even without your being aware of it. When you do find out about it, the time has passed, and you're screwed.

Due process cannot typically happen without your knowledge. In particular, since you use the example of Imminent Domain, they must give notice about their intent to seize your property, and what they're intending on providing as compensation for it. Now, if you get this notice, and fail to do anything about it, then you're screwed. It was your own fault for ignoring it.

So it's okay to generalize and say that all "right wingers" are terrorists because some nut-job does it and happens to have right-leaning connections?

I never said (quote) "all". I intended to explicitly say not all. When I said right-wingers, I used quote so say that I didn't consider them right-wingers.

ally "get" what the law says or means, because you have it in your head that only lawyers can possibly understand it.

Oh, I get it enough that I understand that we need lawyers to interpret the law, because it's that fucking complicated.

You seem to fail to realize how complicated the legal system is, and it pisses me off.

You appear to have your head up your fucking ass so far that even when someone is providing correct legal explanation to you, you just want to fucking blow it off.

SB 1070 is invalid because it is superseded by US federal law. Until you understand this simple legal process and reason you don't have a fucking CLUE or CHANCE to understand SHIT about law.

I'ms seriously fucking done with this, because you just refuse to fucking listen.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32132702)

No, one does not have a right to a driver's license.

Do you understand that law can grant privileges and rights?

The distinction between the two is often overlooked by many who treat a driver's license as a "right". There are too many on the roads of this nation that really shouldn't be, because of that.

Again, you cannot argue that if I have a standing to sue someone that I have a "right to action", because that's what the definition of "right to action" means.

There's no "again": I never said that one did not have a "right" to sue. It is considered part of "due process".

It's not impossible to properly understand law, but it can be hard.

I know this. I never said I had an easy time of it. I simply stated that I find it reasonable to expect people to be able to understand law, even if they aren't lawyers.

The reason Groklaw exists is to explain the law that has been going on with SCO (and some other cases) to lay people.

I know this, too. I've been following GrokLaw almost from its inception. I've learned a lot from that site.

Why does it have to be only for religious reasons?

Because "I don't want to" is not a valid legal defense in life.

Ah, but it can be a valid excuse to boot the idiots out of Congress that are in the habit of supporting intrusive legislation, favoring people that (theoretically) would repeal such bone-headed ideas. Of course, what usually happens is that the new guy arrives, makes a good show of doing the right thing for a while, then gets corrupted and becomes as bad as his predecessor.

So it's okay to generalize and say that all "right wingers" are terrorists because some nut-job does it and happens to have right-leaning connections?

I never said (quote) "all". I intended to explicitly say not all. When I said right-wingers, I used quote so say that I didn't consider them right-wingers.

You did imply "all". Follow me here:

Let's take the term "right-wingers are terrorists" as a hypothetical statement. Though it does not use the word "all", it is implied because of a lack of exceptions. This is a common problem with generalizations.

  • There are some right-wingers that are likely terrorists.
  • There are some terrorists that are right-wingers.
  • Members of NAMBLA are perverts.

The first two are statements with a higher likelihood of truth. They show that there are exceptions to each group.

The third statement is a red herring, whether it is true or not. (I'm not getting into that in this thread.)

Oh, I get it enough that I understand that we need lawyers to interpret the law, because it's that fucking complicated.

You seem to fail to realize how complicated the legal system is, and it pisses me off.

Are lawyers necessary? Yes. Are they necessary to properly understand the law? No. Anyone with the time and resources could delve into the black morass that is Law and figure out almost anything. How often have imprisoned criminals studied the law books and found loopholes that got their happy tail out of jail? I have in my mind a certain person who lives within ten miles of me. He is a sex offender, lives near an elementary school (!!), and managed to get out of having to wear a tracking bracelet because of a loophole he found. Is he a lawyer? No. He managed to figure out what he was doing and he convinced a judge that he was right (on that point). He got what he was looking for: no bracelet.

You appear to have your head up your fucking ass so far that even when someone is providing correct legal explanation to you, you just want to fucking blow it off.

Hehehe... You didn't take very long to blow your vocabulary into the gutter, eh?

I'ms seriously fucking done with this, because you just refuse to fucking listen.

I hear what you're saying, but I seriously disagree with you. You aren't listening to me. Your mind is rusted shut to the idea that you might be mistaken, no matter what.

I have news for you: Not everyone is like you. Some people are able to adapt to situations, to learn from them. Others, not so much. Figure out which side of the fence you're on, before you fall off and get hurt.

I won't bend on something that I am certain that I know what I'm talking about. I don't have to. If you don't like it, don't follow my JEs. ;)

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32136314)

I hear what you're saying, but I seriously disagree with you. You aren't listening to me. Your mind is rusted shut to the idea that you might be mistaken, no matter what.

Please see my communication with a lawyer regarding copyright.

I do change my mind, and alter my conceptions. I simply fail to do so without a compelling argument.

Your argument that AZ can do SB 1070 because it is not restricted by Article I, Section 10 fails, because it fails to account for all the other ways that federal government may restrict state jurisdiction.

Hehehe... You didn't take very long to blow your vocabulary into the gutter, eh?

It's because I'm fucking annoyed at trying to explain a bunch of this stuff, and you blowing me off. You're arguing with me seemingly just to spite me.

ZOMG, can lay people sit down and learn law? Duh, otherwise we would never have lay people become lawyers. This specific individual that you talked about studied a very very narrow band of law. There are tons of individuals who are jailed and don't make a pro se plea that gets them out of jail.

These pro se interpretations also take a lot of work to look into them. How much of the laws surrounding the SB 1070 issue have you read? Have you read even a single sentence out of 8 U.S.C.? You cannot simply point to Article I, Section 10 and declare "I win". You have to evaluate your opponents argument as well as your own.

Don't think I have a mind that is rusted shut. If you made a cogent and logical argument as to why SB 1070 should not be superseded by 8 U.S.C. 1357? I'd listen to you and consider your point of view.

But until you make a statement that cannot be dismissed with 5 seconds of legal evaluation... I'm just going to blow it off.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32142848)

I do change my mind, and alter my conceptions. I simply fail to do so without a compelling argument.

That's within your right to do so.

It's because I'm fucking annoyed at trying to explain a bunch of this stuff, and you blowing me off. You're arguing with me seemingly just to spite me.

This is MY JE. It's about MY OPINION(S), whether they are correct or mistaken.

I'm not "blowing you off" as much as you might think. Your points regarding the law itself is a Good Thing(tm), but I simply refuse to put lawyers on some sort of pedestal on your say-so or anyone else's. If lawyers are making laws so complicated that they cannot be understood, then the lawyers need to be removed from the law-making process, and leave it to people that intend laws to be understood.

Legalese is not a separate language, in and of itself. Not yet, anyway. Last time I checked, laws in the United States of America were written in English. The procedures in courts are where you tend to find Latin uttered freely, and that, I will admit, takes some training.

If Law were as complicated as you purport it to be, why bother taking the "common man" to fill jury seats?

These pro se interpretations also take a lot of work to look into them. How much of the laws surrounding the SB 1070 issue have you read? Have you read even a single sentence out of 8 U.S.C.? You cannot simply point to Article I, Section 10 and declare "I win". You have to evaluate your opponents argument as well as your own.

No, I haven't. Yet here you are, going off on a complete tangent about this, as though the Arizona lawmakers haven't a clue about what they can and cannot do with regard to the State of Arizona. How perfectly pompous of you.

But until you make a statement that cannot be dismissed with 5 seconds of legal evaluation... I'm just going to blow it off.

Good bye.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32144262)

This is MY JE. It's about MY OPINION(S), whether they are correct or mistaken.

You're entitled to your own opinions. You are, however, not entitled to your own facts.

but I simply refuse to put lawyers on some sort of pedestal on your say-so or anyone else's.

I don't call for putting them on some sort of pedestal. However, if you're trying to figure out why a building fell down, you don't go to a layperson, you go to an engineer. Sure, I and you are capable of understanding the simple ideas, but we simply do not have the training that an engineer would to properly evaluate the event.

Legalese exists because the English necessary in laws and contracts must be as exact, and as unambiguous as possible. As such there is specific jargon and grammatical constructions used to indicate precise meanings, ensuring the contract applies as broadly as desired, but not any more broadly, and as narrowly as desired, but not any more narrowly.

Using simple English in contracts would likely result in a great many more loopholes, and a general lack of ability to produce good "consensus ad idem" (more commonly known now by its English equivalent "meeting of the minds" ... but jargon is still just as entirely opaque to the reader if it's Latin or English.)

Contracts can however be drafted in plain English. But if said contract is every found to be in dispute, then a lot of assumption will have to occur on the part of the arbitrator (judge or otherwise). The sort of thing like, "there's no way he would have agreed to the interpretation that you suggest for this contract."

People can also fuck themselves over by attempting to perform some legally risky action on their own. "Why are you arresting me for breeching my no contact order? She's invited me over to her house." (They really try to put it in the biggest and boldest lettering that they can, that it is still a violation even if they invite you.)

Good legal advice is difficult to get, just like getting good architectural advise is hard to get. If you're going to add an addition onto your house, even if you do all your drawings yourself, and they're perfect, you still need to pay an architect to sign off on it. Because you simply lack the sufficient training necessary to operate in the appropriate capacity with any amount of trust.

If Law were as complicated as you purport it to be, why bother taking the "common man" to fill jury seats?

Because juries decide on matters of fact, not on matters of law. Judges settle all questions of law, while both sides present their purported statements of fact to the jury and the jury returns simple answers.

As to if a certain piece of evidence may be presented in a case, it is a matter of law, and thus the jury is entirely not involved with this process.

No, I haven't. Yet here you are, going off on a complete tangent about this, as though the Arizona lawmakers haven't a clue about what they can and cannot do with regard to the State of Arizona. How perfectly pompous of you.

I have no clue if they've evaluated what they can and cannot do. However, I think that they have been pressured by lobbyists advancing an agenda that the states do have the rights.

You speak of me being pompous, but you presume that a single lack of statement in the US constitution is sufficient argument in favor of the law being valid... you're being just as "pompous" as I am.

Plus, this isn't my argument against SB 1070, it is the argument presented by the lawyer of Martin H. Escobar in his suit against Arizona in Federal District Court.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (0, Offtopic)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32188892)

I don't call for putting them on some sort of pedestal. However, if you're trying to figure out why a building fell down, you don't go to a layperson, you go to an engineer. Sure, I and you are capable of understanding the simple ideas, but we simply do not have the training that an engineer would to properly evaluate the event.

Ah, but claiming that only a lawyer could "properly interpret a law" is essentially saying that there's no point in reading so much as a driver's handbook without a lawyer present to hold our hands through the "learning process".

What I am saying is that laws, in and of themselves, are not difficult for anyone to understand, and that things only get overly complicated within the confines of a courtroom, where plaintiffs and defendants are bucking for position over loopholes and such things as "what the framers of the law really meant". If you are smart enough to know how to use a dictionary, a thesaurus, and maybe even Google to pick at legal definitions, it is not hard to follow and you needn't be a lawyer to do it.

Legalese exists because the English necessary in laws and contracts must be as exact, and as unambiguous as possible. As such there is specific jargon and grammatical constructions used to indicate precise meanings, ensuring the contract applies as broadly as desired, but not any more broadly, and as narrowly as desired, but not any more narrowly.

Yawn. I knew this already. Remember when I said something about a subtle difference between "shall" and "will"?

Contracts can however be drafted in plain English. But if said contract is every found to be in dispute, then a lot of assumption will have to occur on the part of the arbitrator (judge or otherwise). The sort of thing like, "there's no way he would have agreed to the interpretation that you suggest for this contract."

It could be "drafted in English", but legal nuance would be applied if it ever got contested (one way or another) within a courtroom. That nuance, if not accounted for, can screw you. I know about that, too.

Because juries decide on matters of fact, not on matters of law. Judges settle all questions of law, while both sides present their purported statements of fact to the jury and the jury returns simple answers.

The pertinent laws are presented and the jury decides if the facts apply to the law as they understand them. Having sat in a jury about two years ago, I know first-hand that the judge was particular about what was allowed to be considered and what wasn't. (Some things were stricken because of objections, for example.) The law was provided for consideration, and we had to decide whether or not the plaintiff fulfilled his obligation to prove the defendant guilty of breaking the law.

If the jury were not able to understand what the law meant, then they would not have been able to do their job, and the system would be a farce from beginning to end.

I have no clue if they've evaluated what they can and cannot do.

...and for this reason alone, you are completely off base in telling me that the state legislature of Arizona is wrong in doing what they did. If you expect me believe what you say here, then at least do your homework before trying to sway my opinion. :)

You speak of me being pompous, but you presume that a single lack of statement in the US constitution is sufficient argument in favor of the law being valid... you're being just as "pompous" as I am.

Nope. I'll go out on a limb here and say that there are times when I'm probably more pompous than you could dream of being, and that's why I know "pompous" when I see it.

Plus, this isn't my argument against SB 1070, it is the argument presented by the lawyer of Martin H. Escobar in his suit against Arizona in Federal District Court.

Ah. You admit to plagiarism then? This is the first time I recall you giving credit to a legal position.

At least my opinions are drawn on my understanding of things, whether they are right or wrong. :\

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32189596)

Ah, but claiming that only a lawyer could "properly interpret a law" is essentially saying that there's no point in reading so much as a driver's handbook without a lawyer present to hold our hands through the "learning process".

What I am saying is that laws, in and of themselves, are not difficult for anyone to understand, and that things only get overly complicated within the confines of a courtroom, where plaintiffs and defendants are bucking for position over loopholes and such things as "what the framers of the law really meant". If you are smart enough to know how to use a dictionary, a thesaurus, and maybe even Google to pick at legal definitions, it is not hard to follow and you needn't be a lawyer to do it.

Yeah, you can totally pick up a law, and read it, and understand it. But that doesn't mean that you should rely upon that reading. You haven't accounted for all the other laws, legal history, nor case law.

There are lots of laypersons who knuckle down and defeat lawyers in court. However, this is not the common case.

Ah. You admit to plagiarism then? This is the first time I recall you giving credit to a legal position.

At least my opinions are drawn on my understanding of things, whether they are right or wrong. :\

Maybe you totally neglected my Journal Entry that covers this topic.

It is not plagiarism to state 2+2=4.

This legal argument is a matter of public record, and my JE has a link to the actual text.

Unlike your apparent pride in having an argument that is solely devised of by yourself, I understand that law is built upon other people's arguments.

Originality and ingenuity are not what wins in court. They can help, but they do not win a court case. Rather, one's ability to correctly read and interpret the words of others, and apply it to a situation is what wins in court.

Don't be proud that your argument is yours and yours alone... because it SUCKS.

...and for this reason alone, you are completely off base in telling me that the state legislature of Arizona is wrong in doing what they did. If you expect me believe what you say here, then at least do your homework before trying to sway my opinion. :)

No, I am not completely off base. I have already shown you the legal argument being used to say that SB 1070 is a usurpation of federal supremacy.

I don't care if you have your opinions, or if you have your opinions about what the drafters of the law intended.

It is superseded by federal law, and thus invalid. This has already been settled by two District Court justices. One in Texas, the other in Pennsylvania. And this interpretation will hold through the Supreme Court.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32195860)

Yeah, you can totally pick up a law, and read it, and understand it. But that doesn't mean that you should rely upon that reading. You haven't accounted for all the other laws, legal history, nor case law.

I seriously doubt that there's a lawmaker in the history of this nation that does his (or her) job with the mindset of "We'll just write this and let the courts work out the exact meaning of what this is supposed to be about." To do so would be a complete and utter FAIL of epic proportions. I believe that lawmakers write the laws within their understanding of English, including any "legal nuance" that is necessary to close foreseen and unintended loopholes. It doesn't mean they get all the loopholes, and that's where the courts come in.

A law that is properly written is easy enough to understand by anyone with the time to parse it, and will be obvious to a vast majority of the cases that it might cover. There will always be the occasional situation that might "skirt around the issue", but generally speaking, they should be few and far between.

Maybe you totally neglected my Journal Entry that covers this topic.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I haven't read anyone's JE, on this or any topic, in quite some time.

Unlike your apparent pride in having an argument that is solely devised of by yourself, I understand that law is built upon other people's arguments.

Phooey on you. Laws are written. According to you, those laws, even if they haven't been challenged or exercised in a courtroom, can only be properly understood by a lawyer. That understanding is a falsehood from its very core. I will refuse to accept it, and there's nothing you can say to change that fact.

Once the courts get involved, then things have the potential to get hairy. That's because different districts may (or may not) interpret certain laws differently, depending on the arguments (and evidence) presented to them. The direction a decision goes depends heavily on (1) the approach of the plaintiff and the defendant, (2) the judge and/or jury, and (3) the exact wording of the law in question. When a decision is made, YES that will affect future understanding of the detail(s) of the law, but only because there was a reason to question the law in a certain application. What you're completely missing is the fact that the law itself hasn't changed, but the case law affects future application of the law in special cases. General application is what it is.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32198196)

I seriously doubt that there's a lawmaker in the history of this nation that does his (or her) job with the mindset of "We'll just write this and let the courts work out the exact meaning of what this is supposed to be about." To do so would be a complete and utter FAIL of epic proportions. I believe that lawmakers write the laws within their understanding of English, including any "legal nuance" that is necessary to close foreseen and unintended loopholes. It doesn't mean they get all the loopholes, and that's where the courts come in.

A law that is properly written is easy enough to understand by anyone with the time to parse it, and will be obvious to a vast majority of the cases that it might cover. There will always be the occasional situation that might "skirt around the issue", but generally speaking, they should be few and far between.

This entire block fails to recognize the Common Law traditions of the United States. Judges do use legislative intent to figure out what a law was intended to mean. However, as they apply their readings, those readings and rulings build upon each other building CASE LAW.

How are you so fucking retarded as to ignore CASE LAW... it's like the biggest part of why being a lawyer is hard, and it's all over tons of everything, laws are annotated with CASE LAW, entire books are published with CASE LAW, and court cases are constantly built upon existing CASE LAW.

I'm not arguing this any further until you recognize CASE LAW.

Phooey on you. Laws are written. According to you, those laws, even if they haven't been challenged or exercised in a courtroom, can only be properly understood by a lawyer. That understanding is a falsehood from its very core. I will refuse to accept it, and there's nothing you can say to change that fact.

CASE LAW.

Once the courts get involved, then things have the potential to get hairy.

Because of CASE LAW.

That's because different districts may (or may not) interpret certain laws differently, depending on the arguments (and evidence) presented to them.

This is called... CASE LAW.

The direction a decision goes depends heavily on (1) the approach of the plaintiff and the defendant, (2) the judge and/or jury, and (3) the exact wording of the law in question.

The jury only decides matters of fact. The Judge settles all matters of LAW. Typically, an argument by a plaintiff and defendant will include a lot of CASE LAW as president.

The exact wording of the law, as well as the legal definitions of terms, as well as CASE LAW establishing the limits and bounds of definitions and various laws.

Example, if a contract is boiler plate (essentially presented to you without any opportunity for you to negotiate on it) then the contract must be read as strictly as possible AGAINST the drafting party.

When a decision is made, YES that will affect future understanding of the detail(s) of the law, but only because there was a reason to question the law in a certain application.

This idea is called Stare Decises, and it DOES NOT APPLY in Civil Law traditions. In those cases, each case is handled entirely new, and each case evaluates the facts against the laws directly.

This makes understanding the law easier, because there IS NOT CASE LAW. However, there are still other laws, and their interactions.

What you're completely missing is the fact that the law itself hasn't changed, but the case law affects future application of the law in special cases. General application is what it is.

There is CASE LAW based on nothing more than someone did this before. They can create laws and obligations, and rights entirely out of thin air.

An individual's right to privacy is not protected explicitly in the US Constitution, nor any federal law. One's right to privacy was read into the Constitution as implicit in the requirements on searches and seizures... CASE LAW.

The whole fact that the courts can declare laws as invalid, unenforceable, or otherwise void is because of CASE LAW. Nothing in the laws anywhere say that they have the right, or privilege to do this.

AGAIN I'LL FUCKING EXPLAIN THIS AGAIN:

A lay person can read and understand law, but this is HARD. It is DIFFICULT, it is NOT EASY, this is why lawyers are paid well. Lawyers have spent a lot of time and effort setting up a baseline to be able to catch up on the legal matters for a specific case quickly. Doing this yourself will take MORE TIME AND EFFORT than a lawyer would spend.

Lawyers are a necessity. You can totally shoot yourself in the foot by asserting your position on law in court. Most issues don't need to go to court.

But if you are heading into a legally risky area, YOU NEED TO READ A LOT OF MATERIAL ABOUT THAT AREA BEFORE YOU DO IT.

Otherwise, you're going to read some shit into the law that says that the US has a volunteer tax program, so you don't need to pay unless you want to. And then you get hit with an extra $5,000 for being a total fucking idiot and making one of the most retarded arguments available that the courts have already struck down many times before, and they're getting sick of hearing it.

Your argument against the Health Care Reform bill is RETARDED.

Your argument for SB 1070 is RETARDED.

Your argument against the necessity of lawyers is RETARDED.

Your argument for ease in reading law is RETARDED.

You have NO FUCKING CLUE what you're talking about and you're talking like a RETARD.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32198456)

How are you so fucking retarded...

...and with this, this conversation is ended. You have gone over the edge.

Re:Wouldn't it be fairer ... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32198664)

How are you so fucking retarded...

...and with this, this conversation is ended. You have gone over the edge.

CASE LAW YOU FUCKING RETARD.

More information please... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32035870)

You went so far as to pin this as some sort of Obama-Democrat conspiracy - even tagging your JE under "democrats" - but you didn't complete the story. What are you proposing that the democrats have to gain by adopting Puerto Rico as a state? Are you suggesting that PR is solidly democratic enough to be a substantial addition to the democratic voter total? Or are you trying to get to something else altogether?

Re:More information please... (2, Insightful)

RailGunner (554645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32036230)

What are you proposing that the democrats have to gain by adopting Puerto Rico as a state?

5 to 7 representatives, 2 senators, and some electoral votes, obviously.

Re:More information please... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32036976)

Greetings friend, great to see you're back! I haven't seen you around here for a while, I thought you had given up on us. We should work together on tossing up big softball journal entries [slashdot.org] more often - did you see that one pulled in 142 comments? We even got Pudge to come out of the woodwork for that one.

We shouldn't have too much difficulty finding other undefined conservative word-bites for discussion. Maybe you should offer up something about the financial bill, and see if we can make the conservatives squirm over the meaning of "government takeover"?

Re:More information please... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038796)

5 to 7 representatives, 2 senators, and some electoral votes, obviously.

Yeah, pretty much.

Of course, the pendulum could swing in PR as much as as it has in Massachusetts. The Liberal Congress seems to be doing whatever it thinks it can get away with to keep things leaning in their favor.

I wonder if it will be settled in time for them to keep momentum? Nah...

Re:More information please... (2, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039774)

What are you proposing that the democrats have to gain by adopting Puerto Rico as a state?

5 to 7 representatives, 2 senators, and some electoral votes, obviously.

But the 5 to 7 representatives would actually come from some other states. The number of members of the House of Representatives has been fixed for quite a while now. The low population rural states tend to be more conservative, and would be the least likely to have a significant change in population...

I'd have to do some math to look at it, and without the 2010 Census Data, I can't really say what it would be... why I don't get back to this with the 2000 Census Data in a bit.

Re:More information please... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066438)

But the 5 to 7 representatives would actually come from some other states. The number of members of the House of Representatives has been fixed for quite a while now.

No, each state is guaranteed a certain number of Representatives in the House, based on the population of the state. Each state is also guaranteed two Senators. This guarantee comes from the Constitution, which trumps most everything else.

These numbers wouldn't "come from some other states", unless those states no longer counted their Puerto Rican residents as "theirs". Fat chance on that one.

Re:More information please... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067820)

But the 5 to 7 representatives would actually come from some other states. The number of members of the House of Representatives has been fixed for quite a while now.

No, each state is guaranteed a certain number of Representatives in the House, based on the population of the state. Each state is also guaranteed two Senators. This guarantee comes from the Constitution, which trumps most everything else.

These numbers wouldn't "come from some other states", unless those states no longer counted their Puerto Rican residents as "theirs". Fat chance on that one.

No, it's not. Each state is guaranteed at least one representative, and each representative is apportioned by relative population of each state, however the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at no more than 435.*

Yeah, I know that this appears to directly violate the terms of the constitution, however no one has challenged this in court, and it has been that way for over one hundred years now.

Perhaps I recommend returning to GOVT 101?

*: See Public Law 62-5 of 1911, though Congress has the authority to change that number. The Reapportionment Act of 1929 capped the size of the House at 435.

Re:More information please... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32068490)

No, it's not. Each state is guaranteed at least one representative, and each representative is apportioned by relative population of each state, however the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at no more than 435.*

Yeah, I know that this appears to directly violate the terms of the constitution, however no one has challenged this in court, and it has been that way for over one hundred years now. ...
*: See Public Law 62-5 of 1911, though Congress has the authority to change that number. The Reapportionment Act of 1929 capped the size of the House at 435.

There are a few things that could affect this, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • Alteration of the law by Congress. It wouldn't be the first time, it wouldn't be the last...
  • Reapportionment of the size of a Representative's constituency
  • Constitutional amendment

I would think that either of the first two (or even a combination of the two) are most likely.

Perhaps I recommend returning to GOVT 101?

You will recall that I said that the Constitution trumps most everything else. If push comes to shove, this would be one of the times the Constitution would win.

Besides that, I seriously doubt that a "101" class would delve into the rat's nest that is Congressional Law.

Re:More information please... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069486)

True, the Congress could add more representatives to the house in response to a new state. However, due to Apportionment paradoxes, it's possible that a state could still lose representatives, or could even gain some.

As for the content of a GOVT 101 class, no, I don't expect that a Government class would go into the rat's nest of Congressional law, however I'm certain that it covers the fact of the number of congressional members being limited.

Re:More information please... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039684)

You went so far as to pin this as some sort of Obama-Democrat conspiracy - even tagging your JE under "democrats" - but you didn't complete the story.

Sorry. I keep assuming that readers of my JE can figure out that connection for themselves.

I'll make a better effort to leave nothing to chance next time. Maybe. ;)

Re:More information please... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32043358)

Sorry. I keep assuming that readers of my JE can figure out that connection for themselves.

I didn't want to make assumptions when you did not specify the basis of your opinion. However others are suggesting that the conservative viewpoint is that democrats want Puerto Rico as a state to gain votes.

If that is what you are implying, then I have a follow-up question for you. Why can't the republicans gain votes there? Why can't they compete? Aren't most Puerto Ricans Catholic? [wikipedia.org] That should be a pretty easy win on the anti-abortion/anti-gay-rights motion right there, right? So why then would the republicans automatically assume Puerto Rico to be a loss?

Re:More information please... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32052268)

That should be a pretty easy win on the anti-abortion/anti-gay-rights motion right there, right? So why then would the republicans automatically assume Puerto Rico to be a loss?

A racist assumption that Latinos are statistically democrats? Actually, New Mexico, with the highest percentage of Hispanics, and as a result, Catholics. Yet Hispanics still generally vote more towards Democrats than Republicans.

The problem is that while a lot of individual beliefs align, Republicans tend to push what can be perceived as racist ideas, such as English-only ideas.

The idea of "English only" will fail even worse once we have a state where 90% are Spanish-only speakers.

Re:More information please... (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066464)

I didn't want to make assumptions when you did not specify the basis of your opinion. However others are suggesting that the conservative viewpoint is that democrats want Puerto Rico as a state to gain votes.

The articles I read on the matter implied that the Democrats had the most to gain, yes.

If that is what you are implying, then I have a follow-up question for you. Why can't the republicans gain votes there? Why can't they compete?

I think what my sources were going on is the fact that statistically, given certain economic conditions, people tend to vote Democratic, though it is certainly no guarantee.

Aren't most Puerto Ricans Catholic? That should be a pretty easy win on the anti-abortion/anti-gay-rights motion right there, right?

Apples and Oranges. You've apparently not been paying attention to how Massachusetts votes, especially during the Kennedy reign.

So why then would the republicans automatically assume Puerto Rico to be a loss?

Shy of doing a study on the current political climate in Puerto Rico, I couldn't begin to tell you.

Re:More information please... (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 4 years ago | (#32042796)

Are you suggesting that PR is solidly democratic enough to be a substantial addition to the democratic voter total?

Yes. And a Dem-controlled congress wouldn't be looking for ways to finagle PR into becoming a state if they didn't think so as well. See also: The District of Columbia.

The Puerto Ricans have one big advantage right now (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 4 years ago | (#32036880)

No federal income tax.

Voting for statehood changes that. I don't expect that the Puerto Ricans will want to change that, regardless of the perceived benefit to Democrats to add them as a state.

Re:The Puerto Ricans have one big advantage right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32037278)

You can bet the feds will offer up all kinds of sugar to manipulate the vote. Then of course, renege. I hope they'll see through it.

Re:The Puerto Ricans have one big advantage right (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038750)

...Then of course, renege.

You must be new here. The American government has mastered nothing, if it has not mastered going back on its word. It's been doing that with the members of the Military almost from the beginning.

Re:The Puerto Ricans have one big advantage right (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038740)

No federal income tax.

As I understand it, PR residents do not pay federal income tax earned from island-based income (or something like that), though they do pay into medicare and social security.

Voting for statehood changes that. I don't expect that the Puerto Ricans will want to change that, regardless of the perceived benefit to Democrats to add them as a state.

It would depend heavily, I would imagine, on what spin is applied by the pro-statehood faction. I'm more worried that they'll go to "step two", then go with Independence, and summarily get invaded by Cuba or something.

At this point in the conversation, I'm sure some idiot will accuse me of being one of those "imperial Americans". The funny thing is that the US, to the best of my knowledge, has not resorted to "imperialism", as compared to England, Italy, France, and Spain, and to some extent, Portugal. All we did is take over a few islands, and most of those were spoils of the Spanish-American War [britannica.com] .

Re:The Puerto Ricans have one big advantage right (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039736)

If it is true that they must pay into Medicare and Social Security, then this is because these are not defined as "taxes". In fact, I believe all my W-2s report income tax withholdings in different boxes from Social Security and Medicare payments.

This isn't a bunch of legal footwork either... For instance, they no doubt still must pay for stamps.

I highly doubt that Puerto Rico would be invaded by Cuba, and likely they would have a defense agreement with the USA (such as what Japan has.)

"to some extent Portugal"... Portugal had Brazil... the largest country in South America. Even the Netherlands had a bunch of imperialism going on (South Africa).

I'll definitely agree that the USA though hasn't really done anything worthy of labeling them as "imperialistic."

Re:The Puerto Ricans have one big advantage right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32041840)

The funny thing is that the US, to the best of my knowledge, has not resorted to "imperialism"...

Eh, colonialism turned into economic alliances, and let the locals do the dirty work for you. Besides really, the entire world had been conquered by the time the states came on the scene. All the factories and refineries were already up and running. So now it's basically the US/Brazil/Europe, Russia, and China, and all three trying to score what they can from this Islam bullshit while working Africa/South Asia. The only reason they're going to want a big war now is to simply cull the population. Surprise, India! We never for the world thought a cell phone could set off a nuke! Didn't know y'all had so many of 'em scattered around like that.. oopsy-daisy

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