In 2013, Senator Ted Cruz penned “The Legal Limit,” a series of papers that enumerated and characterized the expansion and overreach of the federal government. He titled the third segment “The Obama Administration’s Assault on Texas.” Mid-way through the Obama years, it might have seemed as though the assault on Texas was principally perpetrated by our first openly socialist president. However, today in 2017 it has become clear that, no matter who resides in the White House, the federal government is systematically dismantling state power. In this two-part series I examine the usurpations by the federal government and its inherent injuries.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is not content with groping women and children in blatant security theater. Indeed, it now plans on fingerprinting passengers and even inspecting the books and papers that they are carrying.
Texas nationalists, the Tea Party, the Convention of States, and a host of conservative organizations succeeded in highlighting the abuses of the federal government over the past decade. At first, each overreach was met with open contempt and furious letters to congressmen. But, as the years progressed, it became clear that the long-term memories of many citizens are limited.
It may be useful then for us to list the repeated injuries and usurpations of Washington D.C. Note that this list is not comprehensive, as a complete enumeration of abuses would be impossible in a nation whose federal register grows by around 80 THOUSAND pages a year. First, civil liberties are under assault.
- Churches are prohibited from speaking about political or “controversial” topics, lest they be taxed into oblivion. (Let us remember that American independence began as free speech in halls of worship.)
- School children are prohibited from praying openly. Free exercise of religion has morphed into a complete prohibition of religious speech in public spaces.
- You can be assured that you have few, if any, Second Amendment rights in spaces owned by the federal government.
- The National Firearms Act and BATFE regulations ensure that we will NOT have a well-regulated militia, nor will we have a populace capable of defending itself from a first-world military power.
- Citizens can lose their (so-called) constitutional rights—the few that are recognized—without due process.
- Americans can be put on the no-fly list and there is no effective process for review, or to be removed from the list.
- Citizens can be tried in military tribunals if accused of being a terrorist.
- Americans can be killed by drones if they are believed to be operating as a terrorist, even if they do not pose a clear and present threat.
- Citizens can be tortured if it is believed that they are a terrorist.
- Rights not enumerated in the Bill of Rights are summarily dismissed as rights.
- All electronically transmitted private correspondence is seized by the federal government. All phone conversations are recorded. All physical mail is tracked and recorded.
With this brief enumeration of usurpations of civil liberties, tomorrow we’ll examine infringements on state sovereignty and general federal incompetence.