Equality with Justice

#NewDealOrNoDeal

#NewDealOrNoDeal, Bernie…



 

Political battle cry or no cry, Bernie Bros and Sandernistas. I hear the chants now:

“Pay-Go is no-go; New Deal or no deal; Pay-Go is no-go; New Deal or no deal”.

 

This article contains a solution to the Citizens United /McCutcheon Supreme Court rulings. I’ll break down the legalese for those who are less-versed in our legal system. Any desire to uphold the tenets found in the Preamble of our Constitution depends on repairing campaign finance and the next New Deal could be right around the corner, facilitated by MMT. But first, we need representatives in our government who want to do so.

 

I’m going to save you some time and cut to the chase.  If you understand our legal system and civics, you may get most of what I’m trying to get across out of these next two sentences. Be sure to catch my proposed solution at the end of this article. These would be the important parts to share when discussing the idea. Truth be told, we only need this next sentence, but the supporting sentence clarifies a reason the first sentence works:



 

US Congress must create a law naming living people as a protected class for purposes of invoking the Commerce Clause (Article 1 Section 8 clause 3 of our Constitution)  and Equal Protection Clause (Amendment 14), since the Supreme Court demands corporate 'persons' have the civil right of free speech and these corporate persons have an unjust and threatening advantage in interstate commerce.

If beneficial, register politicians and their Political Action Committees in Washington DC so all donations are transacted out of the originating state thus subject to the provisions of the Commerce Clause.



 

The important parts of the above citations to the Constitution are quoted below where I’ll be talking about rules, but we’ll get there soon enough.
 

I’m seeing a short window of opportunity that the US public should exploit. A somewhat recent degree in the legal field and a little legal experience opened my eyes leading me to comprehend certain root issues we face. I’m seeing that the public interest has a feasible path forward to capitalize on this proposal, and this opportunity needs to be exploited this election.  A benevolent future could be ours if we choose to claim it. 

 

METHODOLOGY: IRAC

 

There's a standard methodology in a legal analysis called: IRAC which stands for: Issue; Rule; Analysis, and Conclusion. It’s an analytical formula that organizes, simplifies, and avoids mistakes. I’ll use this formula to 1) Identify a root issue created by a set of facts and circumstances; 2) Consider the ruling authorities, which are our laws. Both codified (written) laws and previous court decisions are required; 3) Analyze the situation by applying these rules to this root issue, and; 4) Make a conclusion which will help us to identify a solution to the issue. 

 

I’m going to attempt a similar methodology in this same order, after which I’ll propose a way we can leverage the conclusion in order to give the public's cause some heft if such a strategy is embraced. 

 

1) THE ROOT ISSUE:

 

Are we the public simply screwed because repairing the Citizens United verdict requires a Constitutional Amendment, or can US Congress simply create a law to correct the injustice? Who does our government represent? Are our laws meant to favor the public first, or favor the private interests of only a few while depriving the public of similar access to our law? These subsequent questions elaborate on the first question, identifying one single issue.

 

That last question is definitive of political progressives. It epitomizes the clash between progressives and oligarchy. This oligarchy has caused grave damages, severely threatens more, and is an imperceptible step away from autocracy. This frustrates the spirit of our Constitution as is expressed in its Preamble.

 

2) THE RULES:

 

>Amendment 1.

“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech”.

 

>Article 1 Section 8 Clause 3, and Clause 18.

“The Congress shall have Power to…

(Clause 3) regulate Commerce among the several States”,

(Clause 18) make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution…”

 

>Amendment 14.

“No state shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”.

 

>Preamble of our Constitution
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

*NOTE- The Preamble is evidence of the spirit of our laws instead of a rule. None of this document relies on the Preamble, but it makes a necessary point.

 

Case law:

>Norman v. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co., 294 U.S. 240 (1935)

>Wickard vs Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)

>Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010)

 

These are the authorities (rules) I’ll focus on for purposes of this document. I’ll do so in the same order as above, marking each paragraph below containing one of these rules with an “>” arrow to distinguish it as a seperate rule. 

 

3) APPLICATION OF THE ABOVE RULES TO THE ISSUE:

 

>In Citizens United the court ruled that money can be used to amplify free speech. For most of our history courts have necessarily viewed corporations as persons for procedural purposes. This is so corporations can sue or be sued; they treat a land parcel as a person in the same way. However, in Citizens United, the court took it a step further by proclaiming this corporate personhood gives these entities civil rights in the form of free speech, found in Amendment 1. Although I believe the court got it wrong, the decision does open oligarchy to certain vulnerabilities.

 

It isn’t being discussed that if these corporate entities are persons with civil rights, then they are an advantaged class of people in our elections and the public accommodation of fair elections isn’t being enjoyed by our general public due to these corporate person’s expendable wealth being miles above the rest of us. If money is free speech, these corporate persons have a lot more of this speech than biological persons. The corrupting effects of this excessive money in politics have become a threat to public interest and safety.

 

The inverse of corporations being an advantaged class is that biological people are a disadvantaged class which are in need of protection. The consequences to the public that private interests have enjoyed, including rewriting our laws in their own favor via legislative “exchange councils”, demonstrates that as time goes by more advantages are enjoyed by a continually concentrating number of private interests. This is a cascade creating an oligarchy.

 

This injustice is deliberate. The actions of private interests have deprived us of fair elections and representation in our government. We require our Constitutionally guaranteed access to the due process of fair elections and equal protection of the law. Here is a well-written article describing such an unjust scheme, one concocted by James M. Buchanan.

https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/meet-the-economist-behind-the-one-percents-stealth-takeover-of-america?fbclid=IwAR1sQVtMvkaEc8MYFT0eOktv48hWo83YMxx_CBQURHmUvb_-Sk2bHr17vVQ

 

Congress is tasked with creating laws meant to protect citizens in our country as equally as possible. One of the tools it was given to accomplish this is the regulation of interstate commerce; a law termed the 'Commerce Clause'. This empowerment is found near the begining of the Constitution at Article 1 Section 8 Clause 3. This is one of seven Articles found before the Constitution's Amendments we hear so much about. The following link defines interstate commerce, describing how law regulates money exchanged between the states as well as into Washington DC and even Puerto Rico and other territories. 

https://definitions.uslegal.com/i/interstate-commerce/

 

>The Gold Reserve Act as well as the Civil Rights Act both get their authority from  Article 1 Section 8 Clause 3.  It provides the authority for Congress to regulate our commerce among the states, and Article 1 Section 8 Clause 18 demands that they do so. When the U.S. was on the gold standard, FDR’s Gold Reserve Act was Congress forcing the Federal Reserve as well as private gold hoarders cash in their gold to our national Treasury. Once all gold was secured and the former owners were compensated at the going rate of about $20 an ounce, Congress then changed the value of our dollar inflating it by 75% to $35 in comparison to an ounce of gold. Congress can, and does, use Article 1 Section 8 to regulate the flow and value of cash.

 

>Civil Rights Act uses Congress’s duty found in Article 1 Section 8 to regulate interstate commerce in conjunction with Amendment 14’s equal protection of the law guaranteeing everyone access to the law as a means to protect a disadvantaged class. This way persons of color would have equitable and impartial access to all public accommodations regardless of state lines where people on one side might otherwise use state laws to disadvantage a class of people on the other side, among Civil Rights Act’s other protective goals.  

 

To recognize a required consistency in our laws, we can compare the Civil Rights Act to our current situation. The imperiled class of black people in certain areas was prevented from enjoying our laws’ equal protection by the predominate white class regarding the use of public accommodations. An analogy can be made to today’s biological class of persons also being imperiled by the corporate class of persons created by the Citizens United decision, preventing the public accommodations of fair and impartial elections and representation.

 

>If Congress properly creates a law regulating campaign finance via interstate commerce, it would not impugn a corporation’s right to free speech making this a complete repair that would withstand court challenges. Corporations can talk all they want, but first, our public accommodation of fair elections and campaign finance laws would protect the public interest via Amendment 14. The FEC could then regulate money as they were intended to do in order to repair our equal protection of the law so the public gets the advantages of the spirit of our laws as expressed in our Constitution’s Preamble.

 

The following two case laws I mentioned are court decisions which confirmed Congress’s ability to provide these protections via the authorities provided in Article 1 Section 8.

 

>The first case law, Norman vs B&O RR, tested FDR’s Gold Reserve Act proving it to be a valid law. FDR commissioned Congress to write a law requiring the Federal Reserve as well as private gold hoarders to cash in their gold  aside from a couple exceptions like jewelry. Gold would now be kept in places like Fort Knox. The Gold Reserve Act also changed the value of gold from previously just over $20 an ounce, up 75% to $35 an ounce to economically “prime the pump” so Congress claimed. Creating this value in such a way has been termed as Chartalism back in those days and now its known as MMT demonstrating that the concept is valid.

 

Here is what I view as the relevant language verbatim from that court decision for you to skim over:

. . . . . . . “The broad and comprehensive national authority over the subjects of revenue, finance, and currency is derived from the aggregate of the powers granted to the Congress, embracing the powers to lay and collect taxes, to borrow money, to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States, to coin money, regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin, and fix the standards of weights and measures, and the added express power ‘to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution’ the other enumerated powers.” . . . . . . .

 

>In the 2nd case law, the Wickard vs Filburn case, a farmer was growing his own wheat to feed his animals. Congress had written a law limiting how much wheat a farmer could produce based upon acreage to protect fair interstate commerce. Farmer Filburn demanded that he was using the wheat only to feed his own livestock so it wasn’t even money, let alone interstate commerce. The court decided that although it wasn’t directly commerce, the effect of many farmers growing more than their allotted amount for similar purposes indeed would have a cumulative effect on interstate commerce so Congress was able to regulate the size of this single farmer's crop. The court relied on regulating interstate commerce via the Commerce Clause.  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn

 

This demonstrates how once it’s established that any number of private entities could affect interstate commerce, Congress can regulate this commerce regardless of whether any individual transactions are interstate or not.

 

>The Citizens United vs FEC case law itself establishes that corporations deserve civil rights which immediately creates these two separate classes, both of which the court currently recognizes as persons: the imperiled biological people class, and the advantaged corporate 'persons’ class.

 

4) IN DRAWING A CONCLUSION:

 

In respect to any questions regarding the circumstances, facts, rules, and logic chain above, it is obvious that Congress can and must protect the public interest. One effective way to achieve this would be by creating a law to name actual living people as a protected class for purposes of invoking the Commerce Clause as well as the Equal Protection Clause, and this is possible because the court found corporate persons have free speech. These corporate persons have an unjust and threatening advantage in interstate commerce.

 

To establish interstate commerce in the firsat place congress could require politicians and their Political Action Committees to register in Washington DC or even Puerto Rico so all donations are transacted out of the originating state, thus subject to these provisions of the Constitution.

 

We the public are not screwed because of the Citizens United verdict. We must demand US Congress to create a law to correct this injustice. Our laws are meant to favor our general public first before the private interests of only a few. This is demonstrated by recognizing that we don’t have a free speech right to yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater, where only one person would otherwise have free speech while everyone else would be put in harm's way.

 

We must demand the spirit of our laws to be upheld as proclaimed in the Preamble of our Constitution:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

 

CREATING A MANDATE

 

Our public needs to realize that we’ve been duped by the establishment who has taught that it would take a Constitutional Amendment to fix this, which would be too difficult. We must leverage this knowledge to our advantage.

 

FDR’s New Deal was premised and authorized on these same laws. We must do what the first political progressives did. They created a mandate by making a demand, then came to an accord with FDR agreeing to empower him with a compliant Congress. In return, he provided our public with a functional and just economy, banking structure, and other laws that protect and favor public interests first. THAT was the 'deal' in the New Deal

 

Progressives made the demand and FDR agreed to the terms. We empowered him as we promised, he performed his end the deal, and progressives continued to provide him with a compliant Congress in both the House of Reps and in the Senate in every election until he died in 1945. Any successor of his who campaigned on maintaining similar progressive tenets in the Democratic Party also enjoyed our loyalty until more recent times when the Third Way Think Tank subverted what was previously our party. This can be seen in the following graphic: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/Combined--Control_of_the_U.S._House_of_Representatives_-_Control_of_the_U.S._Senate.png

 

Many candidates have now announced their intentions to run for President. They will each have a platform proclaiming all the things they intend to do if we elect them; many basing their campaigns on promises of free healthcare regardless of their current desire to not provide it. It will be an illusory promise; a lie. The writing is on the wall when we hear them talk about things like Pay-Go, which is preventative of such an effort.

  
 

WE MUST MAKE A DEMAND

 

If we demand any presidential candidate wanting our votes to use the principles above to limit the influence of money  while simultaneously demanding the use of deficit spending (MMT) to fund necessary programs like green energy creation and a federal jobs guarantee among other repairs in the next New Deal, and request his or her endorsements of congressional candidates to facilitate this, we can become empowered into the future to discover actual representation of the public interest via future elections. It will have a compounding effect.  We will get a new New Deal.

 

If we demand these achievable goals with unbroken logic chains while candidates advocate for their platforms, their intentions will look weak by comparison.  We must let all presidential candidates know that we will support whoever puts forth their best and most feasible proposal toward achieving this demand. The public needs to be proactive and unite in this.

When he or she tells us who is needed in Congress, we must provide the necessary votes for these candidates in every state. Progressives must become uniform in our understanding, our demand, and our promises and we need to do this quickly. If we miss it this time, we’ll be waiting four more years to make a similar demand. The ecological timer of 12 years to reduce green house gas emissions by 45% to stave off the worst of climate change is ticking.

 

This demand repairing Citizens United would facilitate future required election results; MMT would facilitate funding any programs that are deemed necessary.

 

Regardless of what form it takes, the key  in making such a demand is in the simple framing of its roots: the requirement of repairing the Citizens United verdict and the use of MMT to facilitate our goals. This would provide us, in cooperation with an actual representative government, a way and the means to achieve these goals. This repair of Citizens United and MMT may be symbiotic in this way. This plan, or perhaps any feasible plan, might require both of these concepts.               



 
PROPOSED SOLUTION:
CREATE A DE FACTO NATIONAL REFERENDUM 

 

A feasible, evidenced, understandable, and effective demand needs to go viral. Trend the hashtag #NewDealOrNoDeal.

Challenge candidates to take the mantle of  front runner by demanding he or she implement the above repair of Citizens United/McCutcheon and promise to deficit spend (MMT), which we then empower either that person or one the contenders to do in order to create a guaranteed federal jobs program that addresses green energy among other goals. Let it be heard. If a candidate accepts this challenge, trend: #NewDealOrNoDeal followed by the candidate's name and the competition is on with us setting the rules.

Any candidate's acceptance of this would be hard to beat, but #NewDealOrNoDealBernie would bump it to a new level. Oregon’s US Senator Jeff Merkley or Nina Turner or Tulsi or any of several others could work too. The idea is to make them compete for our unity, regardless of who currently holds the mantle in the hashtag.

 

This document might be a task to read but the details need to be understood for the idea to gain support. However, those first two simple paragraphs at the top of this article contain, in brief, the entire legal argument to repair Citizens United.  The second half of the equation regarding the specific issues around MMT as the funding mechanism and its targets tend to be the appetizing parts. I don’t know how we can do one without the other due to power and greed.

 

This kind of populist demand has worked in the past circa the 1930s when they didn’t even have social media. Similar tactics are needed now. If progressives come to this understanding and push it with a Bernie Sanders’ crowd type of support, elections could be very promising in 2020 and well into the future.

  
 

Equality with Justice

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