April 18, 2012
By Alan Phillips, J.D.
“So New York thinks children are smart enough to make their own health decisions. If this is the case, why not let them eat ice cream for dinner?” –KTRN
New York’s A343 and S384, if enacted into law, will give children the right to consent to HPV and Hep B vaccines, without the knowledge and consent of their parents. Regardless of your position on vaccines, these bills set a disturbing precedent in violation of the U.S. Constitution. If you live in New York, take or send this Memorandum of Law to your state representatives, along with any other concerns you may have, to oppose these bills!
As a starting place, constituents are “one person with one vote.” If your position is one held by a minority, which is usually the case with vaccine freedom-of-choice advocates, legislative activism is an up-hill battle. But legislative activism involves the art of persuasion, since ultimately, legislatures can enact any law they have the votes for, Constitutional or not. So, if you can tell your representative, “I don’t like this bill” and why that can be persuasive, but if you can add to that, “and by the way, you can’t enact this bill into law because it’s unconstitutional,” you can substantially bolster your “one person, one vote” starting point. Furthermore, a loud minority can often influence legislation considerably, and a compelling legal argument can add considerable “volume” to your position. So, if this Memorandum represents your views, then given a copy to your NY rep today!
Meanwhile, here’s a summary of some of the legal and other problems with NY’s A343 and S384:
1. They are unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has stated: “Most children, even in adolescence, simply are not able to make sound judgments concerning many decisions, including their need for medical care or treatment. Parents can and must make those judgments.” Giving medical decision-making authority to children violates parents’ 14th Amendment Constitutional due process right to parent their children. When the state takes parental decision-making away from parents, it is essentially saying that the parents are unfit to make those decisions. When the state gives that authority to children, it is saying that kids are fit to make decisions that the parents aren’t fit to make. Rather absurd, isn’t it?!
2. These NY bills violate parents’ First Amendment “free exercise” of religion. Parents, and not children, have the legal authority to exercise a vaccine religious exemption for their children under N.Y. Pub. Health Law § 2164(9). They also violate the NY State Constitution’s religious liberty section, which supports NY parents’ right to refuse vaccines for their children for religious reasons.
3. These bills violate the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which requires “each healthcare provider who administers a vaccine” to “provide to the legal representatives of any child” a copy of information “prior to the administration of the vaccine.” A child can’t consent to the administration of a vaccine without the parent’s knowledge and consent if the person administering the vaccine must first give the parent vaccine information. If healthcare providers administer a vaccine to a child without first giving the required information to parents, they are violating federal law, and in the process, probably violating state medical ethical rules at the same time (because of violating federal law), subjecting themselves to discipline by their state medical, nursing, or other relevant boards.
November 14, 2011
Los Angels Times
By James Oliphant
“Bill Clinton may come off as a cool guy, but in reality, he’s just like the rest of them.” –KTRN
Bill Clinton says if he were president, he would not hesitate to raise the debt-ceiling himself under authority he argues is granted by the U.S. Constitution.
The two-term Democrat, who squared off with Republicans during two government shutdowns, contended in an interview Monday that the 14th Amendment allows for the president to ensure the nation’s debt is covered. He said he would “force the courts to stop me.”
“I think the Constitution is clear, and I think this idea that the Congress gets to vote twice on whether to pay for [expenditures] it has appropriated is crazy,” Clinton said in a talk with Joe Conason of the National Memo.
Whether the 14th Amendment does, indeed, provide the president with the power to unilaterally raise–or ignore–the debt ceiling has been the subject of fierce debate among legal scholars. The language of Section 4 of the amendment states that the “validity of the public debt . . . shall not be questioned,” leading Clinton and some advocates to argue that the executive branch can take steps to ensure that the nation does not default on its obligations.
But others, including liberal scholar Laurence Tribe, a professor at Harvard Law School who once taught President Obama, contend that the amendment means that Congress, which holds the power of the purse, is under a constitutional obligation to cover its past appropriations by extending the nation’s borrowing authority.
“Nothing in the 14th Amendment or in any other constitutional provision suggests that the president may usurp legislative power to prevent a violation of the Constitution,” Tribe wrote in a recent op-ed in the New York Times.
But that is not a universal opinion. Other scholars argue that the debt ceiling itself is a violation of the 14th Amendment because it allows Congress to play “political games” with the nation’s credit. And there are some, like Clinton, who believe that Obama could essentially declare a national emergency and raise the debt ceiling under Section 4 of the 14th amendment.
August 7, 2009
World Net Daily
By Bob Unruh
An ad campaign featured on a U.S. Army website seeking those who would be interested in being an “Internment/Resettlement” specialist is raising alarms across the country, generating concerns that there is some truth in those theories about domestic detention camps, a roundup of dissidents and a crackdown on “threatening” conservatives.
The ads, at the GoArmy.com website as well as others including Monster.com, cite the need for:
“Internment/Resettlement (I/R) Specialists in the Army are primarily responsible for day-to-day operations in a military confinement/correctional facility or detention/internment facility. I/R Specialists provide rehabilitative, health, welfare, and security to U.S. military prisoners within a confinement or correctional facility; conduct inspections; prepare written reports; and coordinate activities of prisoners/internees and staff personnel.
The campaign follows by only weeks a report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warning about “right-wing extremists” who could pose a danger to the country – including those who support third-party political candidates, oppose abortion and would prefer to have the U.S. immigration laws already on the books enforced.
The “extremism” report coincided with a report out of California that the Department of Defense was describing protesters as “low-level terrorists.”
The new ad says successful candidates will “provide external security to … detention/internment facilities” and “provide counseling and guidance to individual prisoners within a rehabilitative program.”
Officials at the state and federal National Guard levels told WND they were unaware of the program, although one officer speculated it could be intended for soldiers trained in the U.S. and dispatched overseas to “detention facilities.” From the national level, WND was told, officials were unaware of any such “internment facilities” at which there could be jobs to be available.
At a NationalGuard.com website, a front page video describes the position thoroughly.
But one of the critics was a YouTube contributor who identifies himself as jafount and titled his video, “Want a job putting people into camps?”
Alarmed by the ads, he said it, the idea “just absolutely blew my mind.”
Citing a promise that successful applicants would be trained in “search and restrain procedures,” he said, “That’s code for violating the 14th Amendment.”
Likewise, he said, “use of firearms” is “code for depriving somebody of their life.’
“This is the real deal, I think,” he said, citing, among others, the NationalGuard.com link.
“I saw something that didn’t sit right with me. I posted it so other people can investigate,” he said.
A commenter on the YouTube site pooh-poohed the whole suggestion.
“You have … put out a relatively benign fact, twisted it into something sinister, and then did a tinfoil-hat connection to give a false impression,” the forum participant wrote.
The ads list as “advanced responsibilities” issues such as supervision and administration, responsibility for the “prisoner/internee” population, “custody/control for the operation of an Enemy Prisoner of War/Civilian Internee (EPW/CI) camp,” and work on “custody/control for the operation of detention facility or the operation of a displaced civilian (CD) resettlement facility.”
Justice Ginsburg Says She Originally Thought Roe v. Wade Was Designed to Limit ‘Populations That We Don’t Want to Have Too Many Of’
July 10, 2009
By Christopher Neefus
In the 90-minute interview in Ginsburg’s temporary chambers, Ginsburg gave the Times her perspective on Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s first high court nomination. She also discussed her views on abortion.
Her comment about her belief that the court had wanted to limit certain populations through abortion came after the interviewer asked Ginsburg: “If you were a lawyer again, what would you want to accomplish as a future feminist agenda?”
“Reproductive choice has to be straightened out,” Ginsburg said. “There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that changed their abortion laws before Roe (to make abortion legal) are not going to change back. So we have a policy that only affects poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.”
Ginsburg discussed her surprise at the outcome of Harris v. McRae, a 1980 decision that upheld the Hyde Amendment, which prohibited the use of Medicaid and other federal funds for abortions.
Here’s a transcript of that portion of the Times’ interview:
Q. Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?
Justice Ginsburg: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the Court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.”
The comment suggested Ginsburg eventually changed her mind and concluded that Roe was not decided with the idea that abortion could be used to limit “growth in populations we don’t want to have too many of.” But she did not qualify her position that the policy enacted under the case put an unacceptable burden on poor women.
During the interview, the justice also affirmed a position she took on abortion during her Clinton-era confirmation hearing, suggesting the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was a better grounds for justifying abortion on demand than the “right to privacy.”
“The basic thing is that the government has no business making that choice for a woman,” Ginsburg told the Times.
In 1993, she told the Senate Judiciary Committee during her confirmation hearing:
“(Y)ou asked me about my thinking on equal protection versus individual autonomy. My answer is that both are implicated. The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When the government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a full adult human responsible for her own choices.”
The Court legalized abortion under Roe v. Wade based on a “right to privacy” that it found in the 14th Amendment—and not the Equal Protection Clause. In doing so, it said the state had an interest in protecting the unborn child that increased as pregnancy progresses. Ginsburg’s position that women have an equal right to abortion as a result of their gender would appear to allow for no state restrictions on abortion.