Palin or Schwarzenegger Speaking at RPV Convention?

A well-placed source has informed HRGOP that negotiations are underway to bring either Gov. Palin or Gov. Schwarzenegger to speak at the convention this year.

“One of them will be speaking. Confirmation as to which one will occur sometime early next week.”

It is thought that bringing one of them to speak will increase turnout to this year’s convention.

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Secretary of State Clinton Unconstitutional?

Is it unconstitutional for Hillary Clinton to become Secretary of State? According to Article I Section IV she is precluded from being appointed to any civil office. “No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time: and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.”

During Hillary’s term in the senate the Cabinet’s salary went from $186,600 to $196,700. Bush did so through an executive order. Which some have argued will not affect or bar senators or representatives because they did not vote on it.

Similar situations have happened in the past. In the past the way around it is to have Congress vote to lower the pay to what it had been before, this is known as the Saxby fix. It is named after William Saxby who was appointed Attorney General by Nixon, but Congress had to vote to lower his pay to its previous level. Its roots reach back to 1909 during the Taft administration with the appointment of Knox to Secretary of State. The Senate Judiciary Committee came up with the idea of setting the salary to what it previously had been. It was unanimously passed by the Senate, but faced some trouble in the House where it was once defeated. Clinton also used it when appointing Lloyd Bensten to Treasury of Secretary.

Since the beginning the constitutionality of the Saxby Fix has been questioned since. The actual language of the prohibition is precise and does not allow for any exceptions. The fix seems to solve the problem without addressing the constitutional issue. The addition of a time ban was considered during the Constitutional Convention but was never added. Under the Reagan administration it was not deemed an adequate solution. This was for the appointment of Hatch to the Supreme Court. The US Assistant Attorney General Cooper deemed that the Saxby Fix did not meet constitutional requirements.

In December 2008 the Senate passed Joint Resolution 46 which provided for decreasing the Secretary of State salary to its previous level. Which is effectively a Saxby fix for Hillary. However, groups have already said they will contest the matter in the courts.

Such a case would be very similar to the case that was dismissed, to make Obama produce his birth certificate. The issue is who would have standing to bring such issues to court? The court’s answer, no one. Which seems absurd and one would think any citizen of the United States should have standing.

Standing is used to determine if a person has the ability and required personal interest to bring a case before the federal courts. There are three constitutional requirements that must be met: injury, causation, and redressability. The injury must be real or imminent, this shows that there is a concrete interest in the outcome. The second requirement is causation in fact, which means that there must be a connection between the injury and conduct. The injury must be caused by the defendant and not a third party. Redressability means that the court must be able to remedy the situation, and also that they are likely too.

There are also prudential requirements, judicially created. Congress can override these requirements by statute. These were created to help lighten the case load of the federal courts. The first is that one cannot bring the claims of a third party. However, there are exceptions. Such as the overbreadth doctrine which allows a party to challenge a law on the grounds that it violates a third parties First Amendment rights, there are substantial obstacles to the third party asserting their rights and it is deemed that an advocate would effectively represent them, and if there is a close relationship between the advocate and third party. Secondly is that one cannot sue over a generalized grievance. A common example is that being a taxpayer is not standing to sue. Finally, it must be within the zone of interest which is protected by statute in question.

Basically the courts have used the standing requirement as a convenient way to dismiss cases they do not want to hear or have come to court. If a United States citizen lakes standing to bring a case then who is able to? Any citizen has a direct interest (injury) in who becomes our commander in chief and those who are appointed to his cabinet. As was stated in the Constitution, “we the people”, are supposed to be the ultimate source of authority and act as a check on the government. But the courts have effectively removed one of those avenues. It is just one example of how power is being taken from the people and handled over to the government.

Abortion of Common Sense in 2008

This past presidential election seems to have left many trying to appease their conscious. The largest group seems to be prolifers who voted for Obama. These people tended to declare themselves prolife and yet in the same sentence managed to say that politics, especially this election would not really affect that issue. Their reasoning was, we had a Republican president for eight years and still have abortion.

Issues of policy are not easily overturned. But take time based on their legislative and case history. Abortion will require steps to change and overturn. It is easier to expand than restrict. Before voting, people need to inform themselves about the candidate, and the positions of the parties, especially when they claim to believe in, or an issue is important to them. One should not vote because of the suave appeal of the candidate, history has repeatedly shown where that leads.

To those who believed Bush did not have any effect on the abortion issue, and that Obama was not the most prochoice politician we have seen to date, pay attention to the coming years. Some of Bush’s policies on abortion were blasted across the news during his presidency. Bush passed and ordered numerous measures to curtail abortion.

In fact, he started within days of getting into office. One of the first things he did as president was to stop international funding for abortions. Bush did so through an executive order, in which he stated, “It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate or actively promote abortion, either here or abroad.” Obama however, has twice voted against bills prohibiting tax funding to be used to fund abortions.

Within the same year, he issued another executive order restricting federal funding on embryonic stem cell research. (One should note he did not forbid such research. For those supporting such measure it is still open to public funding…). Bush issued two vetoes in the previous years to reject legislation that would ease restrictions on the funding. Obama has said he will reverse such a decision. What is to prevent creating fetuses merely for their stem cells? Abortion could thereby be encouraged and justified because it provides the needed fetuses.

Bush supported the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. If a baby is born alive it is given the legal rights of a human under federal law. This is regardless of what stage they were born in or if the birth occurred during an abortion. The bill was to provide medical treatment for babies who survived premature inducement for the purpose of abortion, and for babies (not those to be aborted) who were born prematurely. Only 15 members of the house opposed, and it unanimously passed in the senate. NARAL Pro-Choice American did not even oppose the bill. During this same time, Obama was a state senator, and a similar bill came forward on the state level. Obama refused to support such legislation, his reasoning was he did not want to admit that such babies were people. Because if these babies, which were fully born and outside of the womb, where considered people, they would be protected by the Constitution under the 14th amendment.

The bill came before the Judiciary Committee, on which Obama was a member. The first time he voted present and the second no. The bill was then sent to the senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, which Obama chaired and he never called the bill up for a vote. Obama explained in 2001, “It would essentially bar abortions because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this was a child then this would be an anti-abortion statute.” However, this bill just like the federal one did nothing to overturn or even oppose Roe. Obama (along with numerous others) had been assured of, but still continued to use it as an excuse to oppose the bill and later to justify his opposition.

What Bush is best known for is the partial birth abortion ban. This was, and still is, a very controversial and contested issue in the media. It was immediately contested in various state courts, the main one in Nebraska. But in April 2007, the Supreme Court upheld the ban. The bill stops doctors from performing abortions on second and third trimester fetuses. The procedure this late in the pregnancy involves delivering everything but part of the fetus (usually the head), and at that point the horrid act is performed. Such a bill had been raised by the Republicans twice during the Clinton years but twice he vetoed it. Once the bill was finally passed under Bush the fight was far from over. Bush however, was not going to bow down to the courts and let liberals once again have their way. He stated, “the facts about partial-birth abortion are troubling and tragic and no lawyer’s brief can make them see otherwise. The executive branch will vigorously defend this law by any who would try to overturn it in the courts.” Finally they were victorious, but the fight is far from over.

Given Obama’s record measures to overturn will most likely be taken during the Obama years, and similar cases could overturn or modify this decision since the members of the Court are likely to change. Michelle Obama even sent out a letter in 2004, explaining how partial birth abortion was an important medical procedure and needs to be protected. When the partial birth abortion ban was up in the Illinois Senate he voted present twice.

Bush also signed the Unborn Victim’s of Violence Act of 2004. The bill is also known as Laci and Conner’s Law, after Laci Peterson and her unborn son. The bill lays out 60 federal crimes in which an unborn child can be considered a legal victim. An example was Scott Peterson, he was charged with double homicide, Laci and her unborn son. At its signing ceremony Bush said, “Any time an expectant mother is a victim of violence, two lives are in the balance, each deserving protection, and each deserving justice. If the crime is murder and the unborn child’s life ends, justice demands a full accounting under the law.”

Bush also appointed judges to the various courts that would uphold these positions, and largely those of his party. The Supreme Court appointments were a fierce battle in Congress because the democrat senators fight to keep anyone, no matter how qualified, off of the bench who may, even slightly, lean to the prolife side.

For those who used Bush’s abortion record to justify voting for Obama, I challenge you to look at what Bush accomplished and Obama’s opinion on these policies (most he has said he will reverse). There are reasons he was considered the most liberal member of the senate.

Cheney Responds to Biden

Cheney responded to Biden’s comments on his tenure as VP on FoxNews Sunday.

Vice President Cheney mocked Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s grasp of the Constitution, defended former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and said President Bush “doesn’t have to check with anybody” before launching a nuclear attack.

In a blunt, unapologetic interview on “FOX News Sunday,” Cheney fired back at Biden for declaring in October that “Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history.”

“He also said that all the powers and responsibilities of the executive branch are laid out in Article I of the Constitution,” Cheney said in a interview that was conducted on Friday. “Well, they’re not. Article I of the Constitution is the one on the legislative branch.”

“Joe’s been chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a member of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate for 36 years, teaches constitutional law back in Delaware, and can’t keep straight which article of the Constitution provides for the legislature and which provides for the executive. So I think I’d write that off as campaign rhetoric. I don’t take it seriously.”

See the whole article here.

Americans for Prosperity and State Director Ben Marchi Lead the Fight for Open and Honest Voting in the House of Delegates

AFP and its State Director are leading the charge for open and honest accountability in the House of Delegates:

In an article in the Virginian Pilot, Julian Walker writes:

Republican activists are pushing party leaders to abolish a rule that allows members of the House of Delegates to defeat bills without leaving any record of how they voted.

Under House rules, when legislators take action on bills in subcommittees, no votes are recorded. The practice has been used by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers over the years to kill bills without a leaving a voting trail.

Leading the effort to change the rule is the group Americans for Prosperity.

The Washington Post also highlights the effort:

Ben Marchi, state director for Americans for Prosperity, an anti-tax group, delivered a petition of more than 300 signatures to House GOP leaders this morning calling on them to record all subcommittee votes. Marchi, who said the signatures were gathered at the recent GOP retreat at The Homestead resort, called it a “transparency issue” so taxpayers know how their money is being spent.

“It is not a partisan issue,” Marchi said. “It’s a good government issue and government operates best when it operates openly.”

This is clearly an important issue and we need to give AFP our support. Please contact the Speaker’s office to share declare your support:

Speaker Bill Howell 
Virginia House of Delegates
General Assembly Building, Suite 635
P.O. Box 406 
Richmond, Virginia 23218 
Phone: (804) 698-1028
FAX: (804) 786-6310

Happy Thanksgiving from Hampton Roads GOP!

Here in America, we have many things to be thankful for.

We are still the greatest and country in the world, with all our faults. We are still a bastion of freedom.

Today we are free. If we are not vigilant, soon we may not be. Many have fought and died for our freedom.

Be thankful for each day that we have and do not take it for granted. Remember the price that was paid and is being paid by those currently serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and all around the world for our freedom. Be thankful and be vigilant.

With that in mind, enjoy your time with your family and friends.

From all of us here at HamptonRoadsGOP.com:

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! God Bless America!

Food for Thought

The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli
CHAPTER III Concerning Mixed Principalities

…BUT the difficulties occur in a new principality. And firstly, if it be not entirely new, but is, as it were, a member of a state which, taken collectively, may be called composite, the changes arise chiefly from an inherent difficulty which there is in all new principalities; for men change their rulers willingly, hoping to better themselves, and this hope induces them to take up arms against him who rules: wherein they are deceived, because they afterwards find by experience they have gone from bad to worse. This follows also on another natural and common necessity, which always causes a new prince to burden those who have submitted to him with his soldiery and with infinite other hardships which he must put upon his new acquisition. In this way you have enemies in all those whom you have injured in seizing that principality, and you are not able to keep those friends who put you there because of your not being able to satisfy them in the way they expected, and you cannot take strong measures against them, feeling bound to them. For, although one may be very strong in armed forces, yet in entering a province one has always need of the goodwill of the natives. For these reasons Louis XII, King of France, quickly occupied Milan, and as quickly lost it; and to turn him out the first time it only needed Lodovico’s own forces; because those who had opened the gates to him, finding themselves deceived in their hopes of future benefit, would not endure the ill-treatment of the new prince. It is very true that, after acquiring rebellious provinces a second time, they are not so lightly lost afterwards, because the prince, with little reluctance, takes the opportunity of the rebellion to punish the delinquents, to clear out the suspects, and to strengthen himself in the weakest places. Thus to cause France to lose Milan the first time it was enough for the Duke Lodovico to raise insurrections on the borders; but to cause him to lose it a second time it was necessary to bring the whole world against him, and that his armies should be defeated and driven out of Italy; which followed from the causes above mentioned.