Yeah, I know, the election is over. But apparently Crabill’s here to stay since she is redesigning her website and has a comment telling readers to “stay tuned” (possible run against Rob Wittman this coming year? God, I hope not).
First, I have got to comment on her comments made during her infamous ‘ballot box or bullet box’ speech.
If you watch the whole thing (get your link, I am not linking to the Daily Kos), you will see a portion where says that if elected politicians violate their oaths of office (by disagreeing with her politically), they should be tried for treason.
Yes, that is right, if you do something that she disagrees with politically, you should be charged with treason and face the death penalty. She, however, does not say if she supports hanging, guillotines, or firing squads to purge all the traitors.
What exactly is treason? Consult Article III of the United States Constitution:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
Why did the founding fathers go to the trouble of defining the crime of treason and requiring the presentation of two witnesses or a confession in open court?
So political disagreements didn’t result in treason charges with people getting their heads chopped off left and right.
As James Madison noted in Federalist No. 43 while discussing the power of Congress to set the penalty of treason:
As treason may be committed against the United States, the authority of the United States ought to be enabled to punish it. But as new-fangled and artificial treasons have been the great engines by which violent factions, the natural offspring of free government, have usually wreaked their alternate malignity on each other, the convention have, with great judgment, opposed a barrier to this peculiar danger, by inserting a constitutional definition of the crime, fixing the proof necessary for conviction of it, and restraining the Congress, even in punishing it, from extending the consequences of guilt beyond the person of its author.
If you read what James Madison has written, you will see that the United States Constitution was created and written in such a way to protect the people and the government from people like Catherine Crabill. That is, people who think they have the right to execute people that don’t agree with them politically.
And here is a just funny one from her “Great Quotes” page (get your own link, I will not link to her “blog”):
An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.
John Marshall, McCullough v. Maryland, 1819
It’s absolutely amazing that a candidate that rants and raves about how the federal government oversteps the authority given to them in the United States, would actually quote the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision in McCullough v. Maryland.
In McCullough v. Maryland, the federal government created a bank for their banking services located inside Maryland. Maryland thought it would be a great idea to levy a tax against this bank and reap the rewards since the federal government would be footing the tax bill.
The United States government essentially said, “screw you”.
The court ruled against Maryland saying that they had no authority to override Congress and that Congress was acting under the “necessary and proper” clause of Article I of the Constitution by setting up the bank, even though setting up a bank was not specifically mentioned anywhere in the Constitution.
In effect, the court decision expanded the power of Congress and permitted them to do things that were not expressly permitted in the United States Constitution.
And while the SCOTUS has used the interstate commerce clause to “justify” acts of Congress more and more, McCullough was cited as permitting Congress to enforce elements of a New Deal agriculture bill which prohibited wheat growers from producing ‘too much’ wheat (Wickard v. Filburn):
It is said, however, that this Act, forcing some farmers into the market to buy what they could provide for themselves, is an unfair promotion of the markets and prices of specializing wheat growers. It is of the essence of regulation that it lays a restraining hand on the selfinterest of the regulated and that advantages from the regulation commonly fall to others. The conflicts of economic interest between the regulated and those who advantage by it are wisely left under our system to resolution by the Congress under its more flexible and responsible legislative process.29 Such conflicts rarely lend themselves to judicial determination. And with the wisdom, workability, or fairness, of the plan of regulation we have nothing to do.
[ Footnote 29 ] Cf. McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 413-415, 435, 436; Gibbons v. Ogden, supra, 9 Wheat. at page 197; Stafford v. Wallace, 258 U.S. 495, 521 , 42 S.Ct. 397, 403, 23 A.L.R. 229; Board of Trade of Chicago v. Olsen, 262 U.S. 1, 37 , 43 S.Ct. 470, 477; Helvering v. Gerhardt, 304 U.S. 405, 412 , 58 S.Ct. 969, 971.
This is the constitutional scholar that almost became Delegate…