14th Amendment Outcomes, Illustrated

“Personal rights . . . are a species of rights of the most sacred kind.  [Anyone who would use his wealth] or presume upon the influence it would give him, to dispossess or rob another of his property or rights, uses that pecuniary property as he would use fire-arms, and merits to have it taken from him.” – Thomas Paine, 1795

Using money and its influence is now “business as usual” for most of our United States and State and local governments.  With sufficient wealth, you can buy low taxes and new assessments, accept stolen property, dispossess whole neighborhoods of their homes and small businesses, force code changes and escape regulations, compel your competitors out of business, and a great number of other abuses.

You can also purchase the right of Personhood for your corporation, creating a straw man cum scape goat for your personal and corporate evils.  It is very little wealth and a great deal of influence used to bury the rights of individuals with the shovel of willing government.

Outside of purely illegal miscarriages of absent justice without challenges, almost all of these pecuniary “rights” can be attributed to the 14th Amendment.  (Usually in conjunction with the commerce clause, but 500 words is the goal for article length.)  After one of the judicial horrors (Citizens United vs FEC, a case worthy of its own article and special attention for its convoluted and stupid reasoning at another time) Justice John Paul Stevens was so incensed by the 5-4 decision that he read part of his dissent from the bench to reprimand his fellow Justices.

Stevens declared from the bench that the inexcusable majority opinion in this case “threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution.” Our nation and government, he stated, “cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.

Bought and sold indeed!  The most distressing and disgusting aspect of this case, though, has little to do with the decision itself. It was rejected by Stevens, but his dissent was joined only by Breyer, Ginsberg, and Sotomayor — the three most liberal partisans on the court and the most eager to kill the case.  Its support came from the Conservatives, though the case has the most un-conservative nonsense written into it.  It includes bench legislation, insufferable stupidity, ignorance of their own established law, and as much irrational and circular logic as any case in the history of the Court.

It also covered two sets of facts: one set offered in Court, the second argued only by the Justices in their decision (wrongly.)  It was such a bad decision that Chief Justice Roberts felt obliged to write a second opinion to defend the majority opinion and explain the bad reasoning.

Nobody, but nobody, argued for legitimate reasons, and the express constitutional justifications were utterly and inexcusably ignored in favor of further partisan perversion of our sacred document by a thoroughly corrupt court.

We have since lost Stevens, a great and honest man, impartial Juror, and perhaps the last truly fair and decent Justice who will ever serve on that now disgusting body of cheap legal opinion.  Much worse, however, is that his replacement was the partisan who argued badly for the losing side: Elena Kagan.

Broad Strokes and Agendas

How Slavery Became Blacks, Homosexuals, Politicians, a Privacy Clause, and Big Business

“Due Process denies unjust and arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the government.” That is the general dictionary opinion in this millennium. The two word clause appears in two places in the US Constitution: the 5th Amendment,

No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law …

and again in the 14th Amendment,

[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law …

Seems like solid and desirable stuff until you consider the broad brush interpretations the Supreme Court has mangled into these two clauses. For one thing, the Supremes consider not one, nor even just two “due process” clauses to be present here, but four. They see a procedural due process, substantive due process, a prohibitive due process, and as the vehicle for the incorporation of the Bill of Rights. And that makes eight, because they apply the same principles differently for the national and State governments. What began as the law to end slavery and support the reunion of the USA became the means to remove the Bill of Rights, deny virtually all (or at least, any) State law, and permit the feds to “order our liberties” to exclusively conform with the goals of government.

The procedural issues are mostly criminal court stuff — whether the bad guy heard his rights read to him, whether police announced themselves properly, etc. This may be the most obvious portion of legal protections, simply because it makes certain that laws are followed and obeyed. Then it gets funny.

Substantive due process deals with the nature of power, as in “who has what control over which legal action and which part of society.” The originating principle was to distinguish what laws Congress could legally pass, and what authority the President had to enact laws. Due to the 14th, the courts removed all authority from the States. This means the most frightening element of “substance” is left to the broad opinion of the Supremes themselves.

Very much along the same lines, prohibitive due process supposedly restricts vague laws. It is illegal and immoral to write a law that says, “you must be nice,” because “nice” is entirely too vague to interpret. In fact, the word that annoyed the Supremes was the word “annoy” in Coates vs Cincinnatti. They sided with a fellow determined not guilty because at some point everybody is annoying to somebody.

Incorporation begins with corruption and ends with federal usurpation, despotism, and the denial of the Bill of Rights. At the bottom line, “incorporation” is what the Supremes have done to remove all rights from States and We, the People, and give them to the federal government. Not to the protection of federal government, but incorporation hands the rights over wholesale. A few Justices have said so outright. Black, Harlan, and Frankfurter agreed that the only rights of citizens are those “fundamental to a scheme of ordered liberty.Ordered liberty was the initial standard for deciding what provisions of the Bill of Rights would be upheld by the states through the due process clause of the bastardized Fourteenth Amendment.

If the Bill of Rights are “fundamental to a scheme of ordered liberty” only, then the more “ordered” our liberty, the less of it we are allowed. This should scare the living daylights out of you and every American. We left to assume that abortion, Homosexual marriage, sexual, religious, and lifestyle favoritism, the Electoral College, voting rights, and a few specially named “privacy concerns” have special compelling interest for our “ordered liberty.” Now it gets real funny.

Ordered liberty was the minority opinion until it just was. Black, Harlan and Frankfurter, mentioned above, were the THREE solitary Justices who carried such a despotic view of rights for the first 50 or so years after the 14th Amendment. Somehow — no doubt some cause fundamental to a scheme of ordered liberty — it became the published opinion of the Supreme Court . . . except they forget to formally or officially publish it or tell us how or why.

But wait until you hear how corporations became people! Better still, free people!

Unlike us. The 14th Amendment in the hands of a corrupt Judiciary makes us all slaves to the ordered liberty of the United States federal government and hundreds of global corporations and other governments.

Isn’t that funny?