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Thread: Bill O'Reilly’s Factor misses facts in health care debate with Lisa Wiehl

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    Exclamation Bill O'Reilly’s Factor misses facts in health care debate with Lisa Wiehl

    Bill O’Reilly who constantly claims to be an advocate of the facts had Lisa Wiehl, a Fox News legal analyst, on his show [8/26/09], who asserted Congress has been granted power to adopt a national health care plan under Congress’s power to regulate commerce among the States. Of course, Lisa never provided a shred of historical evidence to establish the meaning of “commerce” as used by our founding fathers, nor did she provide any evidence to confirm it was the intentions of the founding fathers to have Congress exercise a power over the health care needs of the people living within various united States, and then use such power to tax for, spend on and regulate their health care needs.

    By not holding Lisa Wiehl’s feet to the fire and demanding her to provide this vital information --- document the meaning of “commerce” as used by the founding fathers and document the intentions of the founders to have Congress exercise a power over the personal health care needs of the people of the various United States --- Bill O`Reilly missed the opportunity to get to the facts with regard to the current health care debate.

    In addition, one would assume a Fox News legal analyst would be aware of the most fundamental rule of constitutional law and refer to it as a starting point when discussing Congress’s constitutionally authorized powers. For this rule see:

    16 Am Jur 2d Constitutional law
    Rules of Construction, Generally:

    Par. 92. “Intent of framers and adopters as controlling”

    The fundamental principle of constitutional construction is that effect must be given to the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it. This is the polestar in the construction of constitutions, all other principles of construction are only rules or guides to aid in the determination of the intention of the constitution’s framers.
    In addition, and with reference to the word “commerce” as the word appears in our Constitution, does Lisa not know the requirement of establishing the meaning of “commerce” as it was used by our founding fathers? See:

    16 Am Jur 2d Constitutional law
    Meaning of Language
    Ordinary meaning, generally

    Words or terms used in a constitution, being dependent on ratification by the people voting upon it, must be understood in the sense most obvious to the common understanding at the time of its adoption… (my emphasis)
    Now, in harmony with the above mentioned rules, let us take a look at the historical record and document what was intended under the delegated power to regulate “commerce”. A clue to the Founder’s intentions is immediately found in Art. 1, Sec. 9 of our Constitution.

    “No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.”

    Indeed, we now begin to learn the intention for which the power to regulate commerce was granted. It was intended to forbid preferential treatment in the regulation of commerce, and insure a duty-free commerce [free trade] among the states! The intentions for which the power to regulate commerce was delegated to Congress may also be found in Federalist Paper No. 42 :

    “A very material object of this power was the relief of the States which import and export through other States, from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter. Were these at liberty to regulate the trade between State and State, it must be foreseen that ways would be found out to load the articles of import and export, during the passage through their jurisdiction, with duties which would fall on the makers of the latter and the consumers of the former. We may be assured by past experience, that such a practice would be introduced by future contrivances; and both by that and a common knowledge of human affairs, that it would nourish unceasing animosities, and not improbably terminate in serious interruptions of the public tranquility.”

    The power to regulate commerce among the states, as documented from the historical record, was intended to have a very narrow objective and that objective was to prevent one state from taxing another state’s goods or imports, as they passed through its borders. Additionally, the power to regulate commerce granted to Congress was also to be used to oversee a specific and clearly identified area__ the various state inspection laws. See Article 1, Section 10, Clause 1 and 2.

    Now that we have established the intentions for which the power over commerce was granted, exactly what does the word “commerce” mean as our founders used the word when adopting it into our Constitution?

    The historical record establishes that the word “commerce”, as our founding fathers used the word was synonymous with “trade” ___ the movement of goods between the states. ___ the transportation and exchange of goods between point A and point B, and/or, between the people of point A and point B. For an example of the word being used during the Massachusetts’s ratification debates we find:


    “As to commerce, it is well known that the different states now pursue different systems of duties in regard to each other. By this, and for want of general laws of prohibition through the Union, we have not secured even our own domestic traffic that passes from state to state. This is contrary to the policy of every nation on earth. Some nations have no other commerce. The great and flourishing empire of China has but little commerce beyond her own territories; and no country is better circumstanced than we for an exclusive traffic from state to state; yet even in this we are rivalled by foreigners--by those foreigners to whom we are the least indebted. A vessel from Roseway or Halifax finds as hearty a welcome with its fish and whalebone at the southern ports, as though it was built, navigated, and freighted from Salem or Boston. And this must be the case, until we have laws comprehending and embracing alike all the states in the Union.

    But it is not only our coasting trade--our whole commerce is going to ruin. Congress has not had power to make even a trade law, which shall confine the importation of foreign goods to the ships of the producing or consuming country”
    SEE:PAGE 57


    “These are some of the consequences, certain and infallible, that will flow from the denial of that power to Congress. Shall we then, we of this state, who are so much interested in this matter, deny them that power -- a power so essential to our political happiness?

    But if we attend to our trade, as it is at present, we shall find that the miserable state of it is owing to a like want of power in Congress. Other nations prohibit our vessels from entering their ports, or lay heavy duties on our exports carried thither; and we have no retaliating or regulating power over their vessels and exports, to prevent it. Hence a decrease of our commerce and navigation, and the duties and revenue arising from them. Hence an insufficient demand for the produce of our lands, and the consequent discouragement of agriculture. Hence the inability to pay debts, and particularly taxes, which by that decrease are enhanced. And hence, as the necessary result of all these, the emigration of our inhabitants. If it be asked, How are these evils, and others that might be mentioned, to be remedied? the answer is short -- By giving Congress adequate and proper power. Whether such power be given by the proposed Constitution, it is left with the Conventions from the several states, and with us, who compose one of them, to determine.
    SEE: PAGE 83

    Now, where does Lisa Wiehl, Bill O’Reilly’s guest and a Fox News “legal analyst“, get the notion that the word “commerce”, as used in our Constitution, means “health care” and as such, that Congress is authorized to tax for, spend on and regulate the personal health care needs of the people within the various united States?

    The truth is, it is sheer insanity to even suggest, when one reviews the historical record, the State Delegates to the Convention of 1787 which framed our Constitution, or the State Legislatures when ratifying the Constitution, intended by the power in question to be surrendering their internal policing powers to Congress, and to allow Congress to henceforth enter the states to dictate the regulation of a state’s manufacturing industry, or regulate its agricultural industry, or dictate the use of, or prohibition of consumer articles of consumption, or intended to delegate a power to Congress to tax for, spend on and regulate the personal health care needs of the people in the various united States.

    Now, the question is, how do we get Bill O’Reilly to make a correction of his guest’s opinion based upon the fundamental rules of constitutional law and the documented intentions and beliefs under which Congress was granted the power to regulate commerce among the States?


    “The Constitution is a written instrument. As such, its meaning does not alter. That which it meant when adopted, it means now. “___ South Carolina v. United States, 199 U.S. 437 (1905)

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    Rep. Clyburn: most of the stuff we do is not in Constitution!

    Representative Clyburn admits most of the stuff Congress does is not in the Constitution.

    Last week Judge Napolitano asked Representative James Clyburn, who was on his show as a guest, “Where in the Constitution is the federal government charged with maintaining people’s health?”

    Clyburn answered “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do.”

    Judge Napolitano then responds: “You took an oath to uphold the Constitution. You can’t go outside the Constitution because you think it is a good thing to do without violating that oath!”

    Clyburn defiantly replies: “How about show me where in the Constitution it prohibits the federal government from doing this?”

    Napolitano appropriately then cites the 10th Amendment!

    To listen to the entire discussion CLICK HERE

    Too bad we can’t get Bill O'Reilly to confront the core issue: Under what article, section, clause or amendment have the people of the united States delegated a power to Congress to tax for, spend on and regulate their personal health care needs?


    Those who reject abiding by the intentions and beliefs under which our Constitution was agree to, as those intentions and beliefs may be documented from historical records, wish to remove the anchor and rudder of our constitutional system so they may then be free to “interpret” the Constitution to mean whatever they wish it to mean.

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