Constitutional Daily

Founding Principles

The Tenure Paradox - Robot pimp

Slap on the Wrist for "Non-Consensual Sex" - Lampshade, Esq.

Intelligence: The Gathering - Graphic and Gratuitous

Grads are the New Illegals - Robot Pimp

Meet Entitlement Eric - Robot Pimp

Wherein I Solve World Peace - Lampshade, Esq.

A Necessary Delusion - Shadow Hand

Do you even need to shave overhead? - Lawyerlite

LSAT Jenga - Publius Picasso

Time, Place, and Manner

...Should have some links here or something.


Your Congress: Business Wizards

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For people who can't balance a budget, your Congressmen have some amazing business savvy.

A new report shows that from 1985-2001, members of the House of Representatives invested in stocks and out performed the market by 6% per year. 6% a year, every single year, is a healthy return, but 6% over the market is down right amazing.

An early study, conducted by the same group of professors in 2004 found that members of the Senate did even better, about 11% above the market.

Both parties did well, but Democrats fared slightly better than Republicans. Maybe because they're smarter, maybe because they spend more time analyzing what corporations do instead of just bowing down to their corporate overlords, or maybe because they're he exact same types of cheats the Republicans are, but just happened to be in power more of those years than the Republicans were.

There are no laws against Congressmen using "insider" information that comes to them through the course of their jobs, such as who will land a lucrative contract, or which way the regulation of incandescent light bulbs will go.

[Washington Times]

DoJ Messes With Texas

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Texas HB1937, which would have made it illegal to conduct the TSA's new enhanced pat downs without probable cause, passed the State House with a 138-0 unanimous vote.

And then the DoJ stepped in and threatened to knock some heads around.

The Department of Justice threatened to cancel all flights if security personnel weren't allowed to conduct enhanced pat downs, which are given to only 3% of passengers. TSA agents weren't completely barred from pat downs, they just needed probable cause, but the standard prescribed by the Fourth Amendment was a little too high for their tastes.

Despite having wide spread support for the bill in Texas, the bill was pulled by sponsor Dan Patrick, a Republican from Houston.

A show down would have been interesting, with the issue at hand being our friend the Supremacy Clause. The Constitution makes itself, the laws of the federal government, and treaties the supreme law of the land. The Supreme Court has held that broad policy goals are not the law of the land, but also that state law cannot substantially impede the implementation of federal statutes.

So, where exactly does an agency's policy fall in this hierarchy? As far as we know, if federal marshals pull over your car, they have to abide by the same rules of criminal procedure as state police, even if you're on an interstate highway, and we hope no simple departmental policy could change that.

Unfortunately though, the DoJ played chicken with Texas, and Texas folded. Sad. We thought the name of the game was Texas Hold'em.


[Related: PolitiFact points out politician's Constitutional flub, but messes up the Supremacy Clause.]

Merda Ipsa Loquitur

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You have an office lease which states that in the event of damage to the building or other incident which prevents you from using your office, the landlord is not liable for your lost income unless negligence was involved.

One day you're sitting in your office at, say, 315 Madison Ave, and hear a loud bang outside. You step into the hall to find the source of the sound, only to find a broken pipe, spilling feces and urine into the hallway, making your office unusable for the rest of the day.

Does the presence of human waste in the hallway establish a res ipsa loquitur argument?


You can read about what happened to Dr. Rob here: Management Hates me, Possibly Because I’m a Shrink, Part 2

And, be sure to check out his upcoming book, Crazy, Notes On and Off the Couch.

Constitutional Literacy Critic is Constitutionally Illiterate

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We previous covered a flub by GOP Presidential hopeful Herman Cain, where he confused the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Cain mistakenly put the "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" bit in the Constitution. Not really a big deal, since he was discussing the principles we should govern ourselves by, and was not trying to use the Declaration as the basis for a statute.

What made the flub noteworthy was that Cain was giving a speech in which he scolded those who were in need of a rereading of the nation's founding document. Ooops.

PolitiFact, a non-partisan fact checking site, picked up the story, explaining the difference between the two documents:

"The Declaration is a statement of beliefs. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land."

...That's not actually true.

The Constitution is a supreme law of the land, but not the supreme law of the land. Let's turn to Article VI, Section 2 for some clarity:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

It's the Constitution, the laws that exist at the federal level, and treaties which are the supreme law of the land, not the Constitution alone.

It's an easy mistake to make, and one which we think should be easily forgiven. PolitiFact did get the gist right; the Declaration is about ideas and principles, the Constitution is about government structure.

But, if Cain's flub was noteworthy because he was criticizing people for being unfamiliar with the Constitution, then PolitiFact's flub criticizing Cain for being unfamiliar with the Constitution needs to get the same treatment.

No one criticize us if we make a mistake though, we're a bunch of drunken hoodlums, not a presidential candidate or a serious fact checker.


[Related: Roy Moore makes the same mistake while citing his legal expertise]

Page 244 of 342

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