Posts Tagged With: unconstitutional

Mich. judge calls Detroit bankruptcy unconstitutional; AG to appeal….


DETROIT — It took less than 24 hours for the legal wrangling to start around the Detroit bankruptcy filing.

First a county judge ruled the filing unconstitutional under Michigan law.

Then the state’s attorney general said he would appeal the ruling and asked that the judge’s orders be stayed until the appeal.

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said the bankruptcy filing violated the state’s constitution, which she says prohibits actions that will lessen pension benefits of public employees, including those in Detroit.

She ordered Gov. Rick Snyder to ask Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr to immediately withdraw the bankruptcy filing and that no further Chapter 9 bankruptcies be filed that threaten pension benefits of public employees.

“I have some very serious concerns because there was this rush to bankruptcy court that didn’t have to occur and shouldn’t have occurred,” Aquilina told the Detroit Free Press.

Later in the day Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said he will appeal Aquilina’s ruling and ask for a stay so that the bankruptcy can proceed until the appeal is heard.
Aquilina has a Democratic background. Snyder is a Republican.

Earlier in the day, an adamant and focused Snyder said he decided to authorize the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history because “now is our opportunity to stop 60 years of decline” in Detroit.

Snyder cited years of financial mismanagement, deterioration of city services and a decade of having the worst crime rates in the nation as reasons to file for bankruptcy.

“The city is basically broke. It is $18 billion in debt,” Snyder told a packed news conference at Wayne State University in Detroit.

It was the governor’s first public appearance since the filing of a 16-page document on Thursday to place Detroit in Chapter 9 federal bankruptcy protection.

The expectation is that the bankruptcy will allow Snyder, Orr and Detroit city leaders to set aside lawsuits and work on gaining financial stability for the beleaguered city by offering protection from creditors and unions.

Snyder said the decision to file for financial protection was a difficult one but one that had to be made.

“It’s been a long period of decline,” he said. “It’s time to do something about it.”

Orr, who spoke to the media alongside Snyder, blamed years of mismanagement on the city’s economic decline.

“The depth of some of the practices … and the tolerance of this behavior for decades is, at its best, unorthodox,” said Orr, who was given 18 months when he took office in March to find a financial fix for the city. “I wish there had been a lot more outrage over the last 10 to 20 years.”
Orr was asked if he had discussed Detroit’s financial difficulties with the White House, and he declined to comment.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said during a briefing later in the day in Washington, D.C., that senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan have been in conversations with leaders in Detroit and Michigan.

Carney said he was unaware if President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden have been involved in any of those conversations.

“I would simply say that clearly the situation in Detroit is unique at this time given the declaration and the size of the city and the size of the challenges that Detroit faces,” Carney said.

Snyder and Orr took questions from local and national media for about 45 minutes behind a simple podium adorned with a photo of the city’s iconic skyline and the slogan “Reinventing Detroit.”

Several of the questions focused on which of Detroit’s prized assets, or city “jewels,” including artwork and city parks, would be sold to appease creditors.

“Right now there is nothing for sale, including Howdy Doody,” Orr said referring to the TV puppet that is in storage at the Detroit Institute of Arts that some say is worth $1 million.

Synder touted the investment in the city from benefactors such as Quicken Loans chairman and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who has bought up millions of square feet of real estate in the heart of the city and invested about $1 billion to move the city into a technology hub of the Midwest.
He also credited Detroit Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch for years of investment in the city and a new commitment to build a new hockey arena downtown.

“There are so many tremendous things going on,” Snyder said. “Young people are moving to Detroit.”

Both Synder and Orr said the process will involve working with creditors, pension fund managers, civil servants, citizens and government leaders to improve neighborhoods and get the city back on a solid financial foundation.

“People may say this is the lowest point in Detroit’s history,” Synder said. “This is the day to stabilize Detroit.”

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Court: Obama NLRB recess appointments unconstitutional…..


A federal appeals court panel unanimously agreed that President Obama violated the Constitution last year by appointing three members to the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was not technically in recess, circumventing Senate Republicans who had held up his picks for months.
The D.C. circuit court’s ruling could also raise questions about Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is being challenged in a separate case.
If the ruling stands, it would invalidate all the decisions made by the NLRB since the appointees joined the board.

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How do we kill Obamacare now?


It is very simple……House Republicans alone have it in their power to kill Obamacare, cut $1 trillion in borrowing and spending and start the nation’s return to constitutionally limited government with one vote.
That vote is a rejection of raising the debt limit – thereby denying Obama the funds he needs for Obamacare and “a thousand other programs that are wasteful, unconstitutional, immoral and about to take the country off the fiscal cliff.”
Americans need to rise up in big numbers and demand it of them,” “Republicans have it in their power. They only need an injection of courage.”

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Supremes docket income tax challenge…outcome if accepted could change the IRS


The government calls those who argue the income tax has no legal foundation “tax protesters” and labels their arguments “frivolous.” And usually judges toss their arguments out of court, assess them court costs on top of taxes, interest and penalties, and sometimes even threaten them if they file further cases.

But now the U.S. Supreme Court – the nine judges who sit on the bench in Washington by virtue of their selection by presidents and confirmation by the U.S. Senate – has docketed exactly that type of case.
The results? Who knows, considering the radical arguments offered by the pro se plaintiff, Jeffrey Thomas Maehr, a Colorado chiropractor who has been involved in a number of business ventures, including PureHealthSystems.com.

Among Maehr’s contentions is that while the government has the legal authority to tax, the Internal Revenue Service has used “unlawful, unconstitutional, unfair and biased” manipulations to assess income taxes on that which is not income – essentially salaries and wages.

Basing his argument on 10 years’ worth of research into tax law, he concludes that salaries and wages are the result of the mutual agreement among participants to exchange labor for money – and that’s not income.

Income, he said, is the increased value of an asset, such as interest on money in a bank account, which can be subjected to income tax.

He told WND his arguments repeatedly have been tossed from courthouses – in his case, nine times over the years – and he’s anxious to see what the Supreme Court justices may decide.

In his petition to the court, he said, “The gravity of these fundamental law questions have never been properly adjudicated, and the evidence in fact available proves without a doubt that the taxation scheme being implemented against petitioner, and all Americans, is fundamentally and profoundly unlawful, unconstitutional, unfair and biased, and is evidence of ongoing, willful, deliberate, and unconscionable fraud.”
WND contacted the office of the U.S. Solicitor General, listed on the Supreme Court website as the defense counsel for the IRS, and office staff who answered the phone refused to comment. WND was transferred to an office for the U.S. attorney general, where officials also declined to comment.

Maehr says information about the case is at the Foundation for Truth in Law.

Officials with the Supreme Court said while the case has been docketed, and a response from the IRS already has been scheduled, the justices still must hold a conference on the case to determine whether, in fact, they will review the arguments.

Maehr wrote in his petition for judicial review that he’s been the victim of administrative bludgeoning used by the IRS to quell citizens with objections as well as questions.

“Petitioner was denied due process, over and over again. Petitioner’s evidence was dismissed without consideration. Petitioner was unlawfully assessed outside lawful means. Petitioner’s evidence that ‘income’ is not wages or payment for labor is clearly supported by court precedent. Petition was mistreated, and the courts unlawfully ruled without regard to respondent’s standing to be acting against him,” he said.

“Respondent is taxing outside clear constitutional parameters, presumptively labeling he, and all Americans as ‘taxpayers,’ apart from any mechanism of law. Respondent is wantonly promoting the mandatory filing of the 1040 form which is clearly in violation of the Paperwork Reduction Act. Respondent has not produced the law with the IR Code which makes petitioner or any American ‘personally’ liable for filing the 1040 form, let alone other ‘requirements.’”

A copy of a ruling from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, before judges Michael Murphy, Bobby Baldock and Harris Hartz, was included in Maehr’s filing. It appears to support Maehr’s argument, because the judges, without responding to his questions and challenges to the constitutionality of the issue, labeled the claims “frivolous” and claimed Maehr’s petition “contains no valid challenges.”

Maehr’s arguments cite a wide range of historical court and congressional statements regarding taxes. For example, Blacks Law Dictionary calls income tax “a tax on the yearly profits arising from property, professions, trades and offices.”

Maehr argues wages are not “profits”; they are simply the result of an exchange of labor for money. Pointing out that businesses routinely pay taxes on “profits,” he noted taxes are not assessed on the expenses of the business.
Simply, the labor of an individual is the “expense” required to obtain the money, so it is not “profit.” To determine otherwise would be to subject corporations such as Wal-Mart to “income taxes” on 100 percent of their cash register receipts, he argues.

The court itself said an 1883 case, “It has been well said that, the property which every man has in his own labor, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable.”

In 1969, the court ruled: “Whatever may constitute income, therefore, must have the essential feature of gain to the recipient. This was true when the 16th amendment became effective. … If there is no gain, there is no income. … [Income] is not synonymous with receipts.”

And a 1946 case stated, “Reasonable compensation for labor or services rendered is not profit.”

“The elements of this case involve respondent/IRS administrative functions being implemented under color of law,” Maehr wrote. “In 2003, petitioner began requesting answers to constitutional questions regarding respondent’s positions in application of its taxation process, but which, since 2003, have been completely ignored and labeled as ‘frivolous’ and he was told that if he wanted any answers, it would have to be found ‘in the courts.’

“The essential, foundational, original intent of Congress regarding ‘income’ taxation and tax authority has been slowly perverted over the decades with actions under color of law,” Maehr continued. “The original intent was known long ago, and supported by this honorable court, but which have been twisted to mean something completely different today. Despite the quoted cases by respondent in response to petition, claiming arguments were only ‘frivolous,’ none of these cited court cases have ever had evidence in fact entered into the record, or presented as evidence to refute petitioner’s, or anyone else’s, lawful challenges to ‘prove’ them ‘frivolous’ outside hearsay and presumption.”

Among the specific questions raised: Is income tax a direct or indirect tax? What defined “income” when the income tax was adopted? What is the constitutional status of the IRS, and when do the IRS administrative procedures violate due process?

“The logical question to ask is, if petitioner is violating any laws … why is he NOT charged with criminal actions? Why is respondent taking the circuitous route using ‘administrative’ ploys, summons, and alleged ‘deficiency’ notices? The answer is because it has deceived the courts, and knows it has accomplices in committing this easy fraud using them, and it knows it cannot bring criminal charges against petition due to the record created by petition proving no such ‘failure’ would stand up in court, but would expose the ‘income’ taxation scam.”

The Supreme Court said the government’s response is due Oct. 11.

Maehr told WND that the IRS bases its existence on the “premise that the 16th Amendment allows direct unapportioned taxes on people, which it does not.”

The fight is over the fact that when one individual exchanges a $10 bill for two $5 bills from another person, there is no “profit.” Substituting labor for either side of that agreement also does not create “profit,” he said.

It’s actually not the first time the challenge has been in court. WND reported in 2007 when the Internal Revenue Service lost a lawyer’s challenge in front of a jury to prove a constitutional foundation for the nation’s income tax.

At the time, lawyer Tom Cryer told WND after a jury acquitted him of two criminal tax counts that the IRS was a “fraud, backed up by intimidation and extortion and by the sheer force of taking peoples property and hard-earned money without any lawful authorization whatsoever.”

Cryer, who has since died, told WND that the simple truth is income is not necessarily any money that comes to a person, but a rather category such as profit and interest.

He said the free exchange of labor for compensation has been upheld as a right by the Supreme Court, but that doesn’t necessarily make the compensation income.

He said at the time if ever such an argument were to be presented widely, there could be huge changes required in the way the federal government operates.

“The Founding Fathers intentionally restricted the taxing powers of the new federal government as a measure of restraint on its size. By exceeding that limited taxing authority the federal government has been able to obtain resources beyond its intended reach, and that money has enabled the federal government to exceed its authority,” he said.

The jury in U.S. District Court in Louisiana voted 12-0 to find Cryer, of Shreveport, not guilty of failure to file income taxes for two years. He had been indicted in 2006 on charges of failing to pay $73,000 to the IRS in 2000 and 2001.

At the time, spokesman Robert Marvin in Washington’s IRS office told WND the Internal Revenue Code provides for taxation on salaries or wages, but when pressed for a specific citation or constitutional provision, he said, “I can’t comment.”

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Obama States: Detention “OK” for 1st Amendment ‘activities’


Judge’s Order preventing enforcement appealed by Department of Justice.
============================================
The Obama administration is battling to restore a controversial provision of a new federal law that it admits could have been used to arrest and detain citizens indefinitely – even if their actions were protected by the First Amendment.

A federal judge this week made permanent an injunction against enforcement of Section 1021 of the most recent National Defense Authorization Act, which was declared unconstitutional.
The judge expressed dissatisfaction with what one observer described as the arrogance of the Department of Justice in the case.
The Obama administration then took only hours to file an appeal of the order from U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, and attorneys also asked her to halt enforcement of her order.

In her order, Forrest wrote, “The government put forth the qualified position that plaintiffs’ particular activities, as described at the hearing, if described accurately, if they were independent, and without more, would not subject plaintiffs to military detention under Section 1021.”

But she continued, “The government did not – and does not – generally agree or anywhere argue that activities protected by the First Amendment could not subject an individual to indefinite military detention under Section 1021.”

The case was brought last January by a number of writers and reporters, led by New York Times reporter Christopher Hedges. The journalists contend the controversial section allows for detention of citizens and residents taken into custody in the U.S. on “suspicion of providing substantial support” to anyone engaged in hostilities against the U.S.

The lawsuit alleges the law is vague and could be read to authorize the arrest and detention of people whose speech or associations are protected by the First Amendment. They wonder whether interviewing a member of al-Qaida would be considered “substantial support.”

“Here, the stakes get no higher: indefinite military detention – potential detention during a war on terrorism that is not expected to end in the foreseeable future, if ever. The Constitution requires specificity – and that specificity is absent from Section 1021,” the judge wrote.

Dan Johnson, a spokesman with People Against the NDAA, told WND it took only hours for the government to file an appeal to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

“It most definitely tells us something about their intent,” he told WND.

He cited Obama’s signing statement, when the bill was made law, that he would not use the provision allowing detention of American citizens without probable cause in military facilities.

“Just because someone says something doesn’t mean they’re not lying,” he said.

Bloomberg reports the Obama administration also is asking Forrest for a stay of the ruling that found the law violates the First, Fifth and 14th Amendments.

The judge expressed dissatisfaction with what one observer described as the arrogance of the Department of Justice in the case.

Forrest asked the government to define the legal term, noting the importance of how they apply to reporting and other duties.

“The court repeatedly asked the government whether those particular past activities could subject plaintiffs to indefinite military detention; the government refused to answer,” she wrote.

“The Constitution places affirmative limits on the power of the executive to act, and these limits apply in times of peace as well as times of war,” she wrote.

She said the law “impermissibly impinges on guaranteed First Amendment rights and lacks sufficient definitional structure and protection to meet the requirements of due process.”

“This court rejects the government’s suggestion that American citizens can be placed in military detention indefinitely, for acts they could not predict might subject them to detention, and have as their sole remedy a habeas petition adjudicated by a single decision-maker (a judge versus a jury), by a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ standard,” she wrote.

“That scenario dispenses with a number of guaranteed rights,” she said.

The Obama administration already has described those who hold a pro-life position or support third-party presidential candidates or the Second Amendment fit the profile of a domestic terrorist.

Obama stated when he put his signature to the legislative plan that his administration “will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.”

Virginia already has passed a law that states it would not cooperate with such detentions, and several local jurisdictions have done the same. Arizona, Rhode Island, Maryland, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Washington also have considered similar legislation.

The case was brought on behalf of Christopher Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Jennifer Bolen, Noam Chomsky, Alex O’Brien, Kai Warg All, Brigitta Jonsottir and the group U.S. Day of Rage. Many of the plaintiffs are authors or reporters who stated that the threat of indefinite detention by the U.S. military already had altered their activities.

Constitutional expert Herb Titus filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the sponsor of the Virginia law, Delegate Bob Marshall and others.

Titus, an attorney with William J. Olson, P.C., told WND the judge’s first decision to grant a preliminary injunction halting enforcement of paragraph 1021 “affirms the constitutional position taken by Delegate Marshall is correct.”

The impact is that “the statute does not have sufficient constitutional guidelines to govern the discretion of the president in making a decision whether to hold someone in indefinite military detention,” Titus said.

The judge had noted that the law doesn’t have a requirement that there be any knowledge that an act is prohibited before a detention. The judge also said the law is vague, and she appeared to be disturbed that the administration lawyers refused to answer her questions.

Titus said the judge’s conclusions underscore “the arrogance of the current regime, in that they will not answer questions that they ought to answer to a judge because they don’t think they have to.”

The brief was filed on behalf of Marshall and other individuals and organizations, including the United States Justice Foundation, Downsize DC Foundation, Institute on the Constitution, Gun Owners of America, Western Center for Journalism, the Tenth Amendment Center and Pastor Chuck Baldwin.

Marshall’s HB1160 passed the Virginia House of Delegates by a vote of 87-7 and the Virginia Senate 36-1. Since the vote was on changes recommended by Gov. Bob McDonnell, it was scheduled to take effect without further vote.

Marshall then wrote leaders in state legislatures around the country suggesting similar votes in their states.

Marshall’s letter noted Virginia was the first state in the nation to refuse cooperation “with federal authorities who, acting under the authority of section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), could arrest and detain American citizens suspected of aiding terrorists without probable cause, without the right to know the charges against them, and without the procedural rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.”

He told lawmakers, “While we would hope that the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives would be vigilant to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens, even when addressing the problem of international terrorism, those efforts in Congress failed at the end of last year, and President Obama signed NDAA into law on December 31, 2011.”

Endorsing Marshall’s plan was the Japanese American Citizens League, which cited the detention of tens of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II on no authorization other than the president’s signature.

The Obama administration continues to argue the law allows for detention without legal due process only those who “substantially supported” terror groups such as al-Qaida or “associated forces.” But the plaintiffs note that the law does not define those terms.

Instead, they point to the law’s provision that such individuals may be detained “without trial until the end of the hostilities.”

Obama attorneys said the new law simply affirms what already was precedent under the Authorization for Use of Military Force, which was adopted in the dust of the 9/11 terror attacks.

But plaintiffs wrote, “Nowhere does the AUMF convey to the executive the power to detain any person – citizen or otherwise – who ‘substantially supported’ al-Qaida or the Taliban or their associate forces, as section 1021 of the NDAA now provides.”

“No case has ever recognized the government’s contention that the AUMF authorized the detention of noncombatants. … Neither case law nor the actual text of the AUMF supports the government’s contention that such detention power already existed.”

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