Andrew McCullough's Blog

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our Constitutional Freedoms

May 26, 2010

With all the fuss about "tea party" candidates, and their alleged dedication to the "original intent" of the Constitution, there is much to say. Here in Utah, many Republicans celebrated loudly over the defeat of the so-called "RINO" Republican Senator, Bob Bennett. One of the issues that was important there is that of "illegal immigrants". That term seems to get people all excited, though I wonder exactly why. A couple of years ago, the Feds made a big noise when they raided a meat packing plant near Logan and seized a number of "illegal immigrants" working there. I cannot easily imagine a less enjoyable job than working in a meat packing plant. The simple fact is that Americans won't work there, so the jobs go to Mexicans, who need the work so badly that they are willing to do it. The same goes for the back-breaking work of picking fruit and vegetables. Americans simply will not do it, so Mexicans come up and do it for us. Does anyone really think we are safer or better off financially when groups of these workers are rounded up and deported?

The bedrock of American Constitutional protection against an overreaching government is found in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. It is what protects us from unreasonable actions of State governments. And here it is, in all its majesty and simplicity:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Prior to its enactment at the end of the Civil War, there was no really American identity. Citizenship was a State issue; and therefore States were at liberty to treat their citizens as they pleased. And members of the LDS Church bore the brunt of that fact when the State of Missouri issued an "extermination order" for Mormons. And all pleas to the Federal government were met with the answer "Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you."

Now both Republican Senate candidates want to "reinterpret" the Fourteenth Amdmendment to say that not "All persons born . . . in the United States" are citizens, but only the ones LEGALLY born here. WOW! I wonder if they have given much real thought to the constitutional upheaval that this will create. And they want to "reinterpret" the Consitution by act of Congress! Sorry guys, but Congress does not have that power. The plain language of the Constitution says "all persons". Is that hard to understand? Amend it if you must, but do not tell us that the Constitution does not say what it says. I for one do not understand the fear that drives these efforts. Unfortunately, the recent Republican administration in Washington made the politics of fear a cornerstone of its policy. I cannot fully express the sadness that I feel as a result of that policy.

From Tim Bridgewater's website:

"Eliminate the “anchor baby” loophole. In general, it should be harder–not easier–than it is to become a citizen of the United States. Children born to non-citizens should not receive automatic citizenship. There are arguments to be made that changing the current practice will require a constitutional amendment, but I think there is a strong case that it could be done by statute, and I would pursue that avenue vigorously as Senator. If it can’t be done by statute, I would support a constitutional amendment to achieve the goal."

From Mike Lee's website:

"Clarify the original intent of the citizenship clause through legislation specifying that children born to illegal-alien parents in the United States are not entitled to automatic citizenship;"

We ALL agree that a change in immigration law and policy is needed. But please think again before you give into the climate of fear that has brought us SB1070 in Arizona, and promises of more to come. This is not the America we love. Is it?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

News and politics

May 19, 2010

Wow, it has been a while since I blogged here; and I do not have a good excuse. I have, however, been busy. Today I put the finishing touches on a request to the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision of the Utah Supreme Court on Utah's "sin tax". I recently filed an appeal with the New York Appellate Division over a similar tax issue there. Everybody wants to tax sin; and then the "family values" crowd sneaks around and hopes not to get caught. (Another Republican "family values" champion, Congressman Souder of Indiana, resigned this week after disclosing an affair with a staff member). Always lots to do; and I have got to start putting together a campaign for Governor as well. I have no chance of being bored in the near future.

In perhaps the first real shot of my campaign, I was interviewed recently by the Salt City Weekly newspaper, about politics. What was published today has some inaccuracies (I am still a member of the LDS Church, though not active; I went to BYU as an undergrad, not for law school; I do not own a denim shirt; Candy is not "left over -- she was a gift from Doctor John; and I would NEVER refer to my clients as "strippers", "prostitutes" or "johns" -- they are adult entertainers). But, all in all, it is pretty good at capturing who I am; and it will certainly introduce me as a candidate to many who had no idea I was running.

The first poll of the year, a few weeks ago, had my support pegged at 1%; but in that same poll, a full 15% could not identify the current Governor of Utah. So, lots to do; but it is always a lot of fun. Another chance to "stick it to the man". Join me in my efforts.
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