With the last two postings, this writer has written a little about American jurisprudence. Its failure and what to expect when Judge Alito is confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. Along with suggestions for citizen actions.
This posting is a continuation of the above themes with another approach for the restoration of civil rights for convicted felons who have fulfilled their obligations to society. It’s an approach held in disdain by the Florida legislature because it allows citizens to accomplish for themselves what the legislature will not do. With the last posting this writer touched upon the problems with jurisprudence that is centered on the original intent of the founding fathers of this nation and state rights. The next posting will discuss a more enlightened jurisprudence. With a emphasis on why Judge Samuel A. Alito must not be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.
In that the Florida Legislature failed to restore civil rights to convicted felons who have fulfilled all obligations to society. And with the nations highest court refusing to hear the Johnson case, little hope exists that either one of those institutions will reverse themselves.
The people of Florida have a great tool in the Florida Constitution for legislating law. It’s article eleven section three which reads in part… constitutional revision by initiative is reserved to the people. State Senator Mandy Dawson D-Fort Lauderdale is interested in processing a citizens initiative for the restoration of civil rights for convicted felons through a citizens initiative. She faces two problems. First a citizens initiative is expensive and 600,000
signatures must be collected. If you are interested in helping, Mandy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This writer has written other postings concerning citizens initiatives. Type citizen initiatives in the search tab. You will be able to read those postings. One thing you’ll discover is that the Florida legislature wants to make citizens initiatives much more difficult. Reasons for this are multiple. Special interest groups within corporate Florida resent citizens initiatives. For example, they opposed the successful citizen initiative that raised the minimum wage in Florida. The Florida legislature resented the successful citizen initiative that forced the state to fund smaller class size in public schools. Citizens initiatives work. Hope you’ll contact Sen. Mandy.
In the last posting, some thoughts were shared about the dangers of originalist and state rights jurisprudence. People who embrace such a jurisprudence call themselves strict constructionists. They basically see the United States Constitution as a stagnant document. Unable to address modern issues on a national level because it must defer to the rights of the states. That is why they are upset with Roe v Wade. Roe became the law of the land based on the jurisprudence of choice or liberty. Strict constructionists argue that those themes are not addressed directly in the constitution. Therefore, the Supreme Court should have deferred to the states. They argue this from the Amendments to the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, Amendment Ten, Reserved Powers of the State. Which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states, or the people.” Those few words for conservatives form the bases for the jurisprudence of strict constructionism, and original intent, and state rights. Of course, they ignore the clause, “or the People.”That is why this Supreme Court rejected Johnson v Bush. For a conservative court, the restoration of civil rights is reserved to the states. Florida is one of seven states that deny convicted felons the restoration of their civil rights once they have fulfilled all obligations to society. If the United States Supreme Court had accepted the case, and ruled in favor of Mr. Thomas the laws of seven states would have been declared unconstitutional. A free people must be allowed the right to vote. Furthermore, the changing of the laws in those seven states would have effected a small percentage of the population. Florida has the largest population of former felons. Estimated at around 600,000 people. So, nationally maybe less than several million people would have regained their civil rights. The court by rejecting Thomas v Bush sends a strong message of how they will decide cases that really have national consequences.
Little doubt exists that Judge Samuel A Alito is a strict constructionist with all the ornaments of conservative jurisprudence. For the sake of the nation, his nomination must be defeated. This writer is not very optimistic that this will occur. Because the democrats, can only make noise and create some smoke screens. They can not anger corporate America who are united and campaigning for his confirmation. Being a United States Senator costs lots of money. Most of that money for campaigns comes from corporate America. The only why Alito will be defeated is through a citizens uprising against his confirmation. No matter how much money a Senator gets from corporate America. Senators ultimately are depended upon our vote.
In Florida, I’m already on record with the Democratic National Committee of not supporting the candidacy of Senator Nelson for another senate term. This based on his voting record. He voted for the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice. Which means, he voted for a strict constructionists. And a judge, who supports state rights over national unity.
In the next positing, expect the alternative to strict constructionism. Also to be discussed, what will happen to Roe v Wade.
This writer is available to lecture or teach workshops on the above topic.