It’s hard to believe that we are coming up on ten years of Constitution Thursday…
September 17th is, of course, Constitution Day, the day that the framers signed the proposed Constitution of the United States. It is also the birthday of one John Rutledge, a member of the Convention that proposed the new Constitution. He would go on to be one of the original Associate Justices of the Supreme Court but left to become the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Court. A few years later, after Jay resigned as Chief Justice to become the Governor of New York, President Washington used the Recess Appointment Claus of the new Constitution to appoint Justice Rutledge back to the Court, this time as the Chief Justice. As the Senate would not be back in session until December, the new Chief Justice took his oath and then did something that virtually no other Chief Justice has ever done – he gave a very public speech in which he suggested something that in today’s Social Media world would have gotten him instantly fired. After, of course, numerous apologetic tweets and the de rigueur screaming from chat Radio talking heads, like myself, who would alternately explain what he did or did not mean by what he said.
The Senate, which finally came back in December, was not impressed. And the first Recess Appointment to the Supreme Court discovered that the People of the United States will always have the final say, even over George Washington…
The recent decision by the 10th Circuit court has renewed interest in two things: first, the Electoral College and the possibility of so-called “Faithless Electors.” Second, the idea of the interstate compact known as “The National Popular Vote.”
The idea of the second is to “guarantee” that the person who gets the most “popular votes” wins the Presidency. We’ve talked about it before and nothing has changed my opinion that is is an unwise idea, an unconstitutional idea and most of all, a completely unworkable idea. Even if you get the necessary States to agree to it, it will only work until California is forced to give it’s electoral votes to a Republican. That day will come, maybe not in my lifetime, but it has and will happen again. When that happens, the whole thing would unravel in a barrage of lawsuits and sudden realizations that it was unconstitutional, to begin with.
But for today, there is an idea floating about that the 10th Circuit Courts ruling about electors is a death knell to the NPV. If you follow the logic, it kind of makes sense. but – and this happens far too often – the whole picture isn’t being taken into consideration.
At the end of the day, the Supreme Court will have much more to say about both issues than anybody seems willing to accept right now…
Benjamin Harrison barely registers a twitch on the needle of “Famous Presidents.” He wasn’t a particularly successful President, even though he had a Party Majority in both Houses of Congress. Somehow or another, things just… didn’t get done.
There were however at least two things that should make him more appreciated. First, he was the driving force behind the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Of course, he also appointed the Supreme Court Justices who would help to gut the legislation, and he never held any of the Congressmen who voted FOR it accountable for its enforcement. So while its remnants are still on the books today, it wasn’t the Trust-busting panacea it was supposed to be when he signed it. Read the rest of this entry