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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Constitutional Violations of George W. Bush

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Part I of II
The first written Constitution of the United States is known as the Articles of Confederation. It is the blueprint and the map of how our new government is to be established and operated. It is also a charter of a Republic. It spells out roles of Congress, of the Courts, and of the Executive Branch – the White House. Not many years after the Articles of Confederation the Bill of Rights was established as a set of amendments to that original Constitution, each no less important than the other. The President of the United States of America is the principle guardian of the Constitution, one could say that this is his or her first priority as President. Many of our Presidents have been exemplary in protecting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But one in particular, George W. Bush, has seemingly fought to undermine the documents since his first month in the office of President. It is almost as if he and his cabinet officers despise the very purpose of the Constitution. Despise it because it holds them back, as it is supposed to, from wielding too much power, from exploiting the citizenry, from manipulating congress.
Articles of Confederation, Article II, section I, paragraph VIII :
“Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he (the newly elected President) shall take the following Oath or Affirmation."
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Article II, section III,
“ . . he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed . ."
Constitutional Violation 1: States Choose Electors
Not the Federal Courts
December, 13, 2000. The Supreme Court in Gore v. Bush, unprecedented in a 5-4 decision, with 2 of four deciding judges sitting appointed by George W. Bush’s father George H.W. Bush, clearly override the Constitution and decides upon an election dispute in the State of Florida, what’s own Supreme Court was already handling the case. The high court ruled in favor of “ . . no vote count in Florida," essentially handing the presidency to George W. Bush. His own attorney was quickly awarded the position of Solicitor General of the United States.
Nine months after the Constitutional raping by conservative justices, to impose the election to the Conservative candidate a consortium of newspaper companies completed an eight month investigation of all disputed ballots. Using every methodology proposed by both sides, the consortium concluded that in 6 of 9 methods of recount, especially in the state-wide recount that had been ordered by the Florida Supreme Court, Al Gore would have won the 2000 presidential election. In the New York Times the news was announced on page 16-A and not distributed to the public in the wake of the 9-11 attacks for fear of undermining the sitting president. So afraid was the consortium of press that the words below were deeply placed more than 10 paragraphs below the headline. So afraid that the article actually appeared to the fast-reader, the glancer, that Bush was found to be legitimate:
“If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards, and combined with the results of an examination of over-votes, Mr. Gore would have won, by a very narrow margin. For example, using the most permissive ''dimpled chad'' standard, nearly 25,000 additional votes would have been reaped, yielding 644 net new votes for Mr. Gore and giving him a 107-vote victory margin . . . Using the most restrictive standard -- the fully punched ballot card -- 5,252 new votes would have been added to the Florida total, producing a net gain of 652 votes for Mr. Gore, and a 115-vote victory margin."


“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector."
The Constitution does not provide for the federal Supreme Court to conduct the business of electioneering for the States. “Electors," are the state legislators business only. Who to send to Washington to represent the vote of the citizens of their states is supposed to be up to them. By giving the Florida election to George W. Bush, or by even taking the case to begin with, the Supreme Court of the United States violated the intent and letter of the Constitution. Thus begins the Constitutional deconstruction of the George W. Bush administration – with a Constitutional violation occurring because of his actions before he even enters office.
Constitutional Violations 2 and 3:
Respecting an Establishment of Religion /
Condoning a Religious Test for the Public Trust


February, 2001, George W. Bush established the Office of Faith Based Initiatives.

The harmless good intent conveyed in the title of this program took everyone for a veritable loop and most importantly rested any concern among the general populace of a coming theocracy. A premier organization dedicated to keeping Church and State separate expresses it’s concern:
“If proposals to force taxpayers to fund religious ministries are implemented, the consequences would be a sweeping assault on the First Amendment's separation of church and state."

- Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
.
These ministries are allowed to discriminate in hiring, as part of their first amendment right to practice their religion freely. An atheist wishing to work in the Christian soup kitchen is denied hiring. An accountant who is Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu, is denied a job, no matter how qualified.
Article VI
“ . . no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
Just to have headed the new office within the White House walls, you had to have “believed," in your mission. Be a believer in Jesus and God. How could you not? This clause makes every single person hired directly to the Office of Faith Based Initiatives a violation of the “religious test clause." Worse, it makes every single parishioner, every single soup kitchen volunteer handling food and equipment purchased and maintained with tax-dollars through this religious program, complicit in the Religious Test, and of handling the Public Trust.
The funding has been distributed in the billions of tax payer’s dollars since the program inception in 2001. Day care centers bathed in religiosity, prison programs aimed at converting convicts to Christianity, teen disciplinary camps indoctrinating young minds towards Christianity. The possibilities may be endless.
Because more than %70 of all religion is of the Christian affiliation, tax payer’s dollars are distributed to Christian groups. Jewish or all other faiths have not applied for Faith Based Initiative Funding. Several cases are currently pending represented by Americans United, unfortunately six to ten years of litigation and appeals is common in fighting government armies of lawyers.
Constitutional Violation 4: Violation of a
Congressionally Ratified Treaty
June, 2002. Bush officially severs the United States from the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty, the “ABM."
This was a treaty fought long and hard for by the Nixon administration. The treaty was defended by the Carter and Reagan and Bush I and Clinton administrations. This treaty, brokered by the office of the President, was passed through Constitutionally specified means, by a majority 2/3rds vote of the U.S. Senate. It was for all intents and purposes a law.
Article II, section II
“He (the President) shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur . . ."
Article VI,
“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, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding."
The power to make agreements or treaties has warped to leniency beyond the pale. Law has since been written to allow the president to make agreements prior to notifying congress and being given twenty days to consult the lawmakers. But many treaties have been approved by normal constitutional means in keeping with the meaning of Article II, section II. Whether or not violating an international treaty with unitary power of the executive branch, has not been determined by the high court. Whether or not breaking such a treaty that has been ratified by the people’s Senate is constitutionally legal is a greater more serious question. For that would be disrespecting the very system of Republic that we all place trust in.
“In Goldwater v. Carter, 444 U.S. 996 (1979) Congress challenged the constitutionality of then president Jimmy Carter's unilateral termination of a defense treaty. The case went before the Supreme Court and was never heard; a majority of six Justices ruled that the case should be dismissed without hearing an oral argument, holding that "The issue at hand ... was essentially a political question and could not be reviewed by the court, as Congress had not issued a formal opposition." In his opinion, Justice Brennan dissented, "The issue of decision making authority must be resolved as a matter of constitutional law, not political discretion; accordingly, it falls within the competence of the courts." As it stands now, there is no official ruling on whether the President has the power to break a treaty without the approval of Congress." -Wickopedia
You decide if the ABM violation by George W. Bush was unconstitutional. If you agree with the 1979 SCOTUS, that the matter is one of “political," ask yourself then, why did the founders think it important enough to include Senate ratification? If it looks like a Constitutional violation, smells like a Constitutional violation, and walks like one . . . you know.
Constitutional Violations 5, 6, 7: Multiple Privacy Infringements
/ Obfuscating Congress’ Constitutional Role
as Arbiter to the Executive Branch
Eloquently put in a recent column by Paul Krugman:
“Much of this project involves the assertion of unprecedented executive authority -- the right to imprison people indefinitely without charges (and torture them if the administration feels like it), the right to wiretap American citizens without court authorization, the right to declare, when signing laws passed by Congress, that the laws don't really mean what they say."
This essay will continue in later days with the extensive Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment, and Separation of Powers (article 1) violations by this “President."

Watch this Weblog for Part II of
The Constitutional Violations of George W. Bush.