Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review February 23, 2010 / 9 Adar 5770

Restore the balance of power the Founders intended

By Jack Kelly

>



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Founding Fathers had three purposes in creating the Senate. The one most of us are familiar with is that by dividing representation in the legislative branch into one chamber based on population and another in which the states were equally represented, a compromise between large and small states was made that made ratification of the Constitution possible.


Another reason was to prevent a temporary majority in "the people's house" from doing something rash. James Madison told Thomas Jefferson the Senate would be a "necessary fence" against the "fickleness and passion" that sometimes gripped the public. The Senate was "the saucer" in which we pour legislation to cool, George Washington is alleged to have said.


This cooling was to be achieved in part simply by the existence of a second body through which legislation must pass before it could become law.


It was also to be achieved by the manner in which senators were chosen. Unlike members of the House, who are elected directly by the people, senators were to be elected by state legislatures. This was a compromise between government by us, and government by the best among us, the theory being that legislators were more likely to choose the most able over the most popular.


There was another reason why senators were to be chosen by state legislatures. That was to provide corporate representation of the states in the federal government. This was undermined by the adoption, in 1913, of the 17th Amendment, which provided for direct election of senators.


Since then the federal government has run roughshod over the states, the 10th Amendment nothwithstanding. (The powers not delegated to the United States by the Consitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.)


According to a Rasmussen poll released Feb. 18, only 21 percent of Americans think the federal government today represents "the consent of the governed."

Letter from JWR publisher


Columnist Tony Blankley, a former aide to House Speaker Newt Gingrich, thinks the best way to restore the balance the Founders intended is to repeal the 17th Amendment.


"If senators were again selected by state legislatures, the longevity of Senate careers would again be tethered to their vigilant defense of their state's interest — rather than to the interest of Washington forces of interest," he wrote.


Mr. Blankley acknowledges the 17th Amendment was adopted because of rampant corruption in state legislatures. It was said in those days Standard Oil could do whatever it wanted with the Pennsylvania legislature — except refine it. But, he said, "corruption dispersed to the 50 state legislatures" is preferable to the corruption we see in Washington today.


I agree with Mr. Blankley on that point. But there's a better way to restore the balance of power the Founders intended. Nullification. Nullification has a bad taint because it's associated with slavery. It's most famous proponent was John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. He maintained states had a right to refuse to recognize a federal law if it were unconstitutional.


But nullification traces it origins to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 and 1799, in which Thomas Jefferson and James Madison declared states had the right to reject the Alien and Sedition Acts as unconstitutional.


The most vigorous assertion of a right to nullification came in Wisconsin, where the state supreme court declared the Fugitive Slave Law null and void in the Badger state (Ableman v. Booth).


When, in 1832, then Vice President Calhoun asserted the right of South Carolina to nullify a tariff law, President Andrew Jackson declared this to be treason, and threatened to hang his vice president if South Carolina persisted.


I agree with President Jackson that to permit an individual state to nullify a federal law is the path to chaos. But what if we approved a Nullification Amendment, which said that if, within a five year period, the legislatures of two thirds of the states pass resolutions to nullify a regulation promogulated by a federal agency, or a law passed by Congress, that regulation or law would be null and void?


This would, I think, be a way to provide a check on overweening federal power while retaining such benefits that direct election of senators have conferred upon us.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

Jack Kelly Archives


© 2009, Jack Kelly

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles