The Constitution as a Limit on Executive Power

by Bob Barr

Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, July 25, 2008

Mr. Chairman and distinguished Members of this Committee, on which I was privileged to serve throughout my eight years as a Member of the House of Representatives, it is an honor to appear today to speak on the importance of the separation of powers in the federal government as a tool for protecting the people’s liberties. Many vital issues confront our nation, but few are more important than repairing and maintaining the constitutional bulwarks that guarantee individual liberty and limit government power.

Mr. Chairman, today I appear as a private citizen, and also as a former Member of this Committee and as a once-again practicing attorney. I am also honored to be serving as the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party.

It is axiomatic that no matter how much power government has, it always wants more. While the executive branch under George W. Bush has taken this truism to new heights, it is not unique in its quest for power. Unfortunately, the other branches of government have failed to do enough to maintain the constitutional balance. Particularly disturbing has been Congress’ recent reluctance, in the face of aggressive executive branch claims, to make the laws and ensure that the laws are properly applied. This failure has inhibited the operation of the separation of powers, necessary to provide the checks and balances which undergird our system of constitutional liberty.

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Limiting Government: A Reorganization

by Clay Barham

It is a project long overdue. We know how America runs best, when it worked best and what levels of government are most appropriate. We just need to back up and pare down. I do not know anyone who thinks the Post Office mentality operates any organization better than free people do.

We know our Declaration of Independence qualifies the role of free people and their government, and we know our Federal Constitution, as originally put forth, helped shape the way America functioned organizationally. If that is so, then we need only move back to a time when everything was best. America proved best for all people when compared to all other styles and forms of civil organization.

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One by One: Returning to the Constitution

The 10th Amendment to the US Constitution embodies much of what the founders envisioned for this country – a federal government strictly limited to only specific activities, with the rest being handled on state or local levels.

Some may call this states’ rights, others refer to it as decentralization or federalism.  Whatever you call it, it’s a system of government where politicians in Washington D.C. wouldn’t have the power to dictate to you how to live your life.

Period.

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States Rights Alive in California

Gay Marriage, Medical Marijuana, the Environment and more.

For many years, presidents have been assuming more and more power for themselves and for the federal government, but California has been taking the lead recently in the battle for States Rights against this growth Federal power.

Thomas Elias notes this trend in his recent Pasadena Star-News article, “California a key states’ rights battleground.” 

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Federalist #14: Strictly Limited Government

It’s commonplace these days for the government and its courts to consider the 10th Amendment to be nothing more than a “relic” – basically, not having any effect, or limiting the power of the federal government in any way.

These politicians and bureaucrats ignore the plain words of the 10th in an effort to grant themselves more and more power – at the expense of our incomes and our liberty.

A simple reading of Federalist #14 shows that the founders (even those accused of wanting too much federal power) understood that a Constitution was written as a strict limit on the power of government – and not as a grant of unlimited powers.

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The Double Trouble of Taxation

by Rep Ron Paul

Taxes were on the forefront of many Americans’ minds this week as they scrambled to meet the April 15th deadline to file their returns.  Tax policy in this country hurts taxpayers twice – once when they pay taxes, and then when the government spends the money.  Americans are sick and tired of the financial burden and the endless forms to fill out.

To add insult to injury, after collecting this money the government does some very detrimental things to the economy.

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Federalism: The Great Lost Concept

A “must-read” over at RonPaul2008.com on the principles of state’s rights; the 10th Amendment. Here’s an excerpt:

We are working to overcome a hundred years of indoctrination and increased dependency. The Founders would be appalled that, almost 221 years since our Constitution was written, we are now having to re-explain what a Republic is and how it works.

Federalism is the great lost concept.

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