Gry Rea (c)copyright 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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In my previous article, The Death of the Republic Revisited, I addressed the loopholes deliberately placed in the Constitution to enable Congress to give the Supreme Court and the federal court system whatever powers it chose to, and how it took full advantage of this to create a third branch of the federal government – the Judiciary – that can do whatever it pleases without any interference from the states or the people and with very few controls by the President or the Congress that created its powers.

In this installment, I will point out the Constitution’s loopholes that leave Congress unrestrained, thus putting the lie to the concept of “checks and balances.”

In addition to Congress’ powers to define the limits of the Supreme Court and federal courts, Congress is empowered to also create tribunals without juries. For examples of this, think of tax court, OSHA hearings, hearings of the EPA and other federal agencies. Similarly, the states, which have all modeled their constitutions after the Federalists’ Constitution, have done the same and one of the best examples of this are the “family courts” in each state, which, without a jury or trial, can remove children from their parents on the flimsiest evidence without any recourse left to the parents.

In addition to having had the power to create the Supreme Court’s powers, the Congress also controls the Supreme Court justices’ salaries, as well as the number of justices and their appellate jurisdiction. This only secures the Supreme Court’s guaranteed collusion with Congress, rather than providing any real “checks and balances.”

The Jeffersonian ideal of the “citizen politician,” i.e., retired congressmen who go back to private life and become exemplary “statesmen” was lost when the Constitution was written without any requirement for the mandatory rotation of congressmen back to civilian life once their term of office had expired. Instead of this, like the Supreme Court justices, who are appointed by the President for life, congressmen may seek re-election ad infinitum and, thus, in effect, maintain a career for life, also. Thus, we have career politicians like the late Senator Edward Kennedy, or Senator Ron Paul.

Add to this the exclusive power given to Congressmen to determine their own salaries, as well as to periodically vote themselves raises – a power not enjoyed by anyone else in or outside of government. This is only one more means of attracting, not the best and the brightest to public office, but the opportunistic and unscrupulous.

Congress also has the exclusive power to raise armies and to expand, without limits, the standing army which did not exist under the Articles of Confederation.

President Kennedy said that we hold “…secrecy and secret proceedings to be repugnant…,” yet the Constitution allows Congress to hold secret deliberations, closed to all public attention or inspection.

The hallmark of a dictator is the ability to exempt oneself from his own laws, and the Constitution has left Congress the ability to create acts that it exempts itself from. Congressmen are exempt from the Social Security Act, for example, and from more recent and far more fascistic acts, such as the USA Patriot Act, the John Warner Defense Act or the Violent Radicalization and Home Grown Terrorism Prevention Act. While Sen. Edward Kennedy did find himself on the “no fly” list, his name was removed. Try getting the same consideration for yourself.

As was seen in 1913, with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act by only three people, Congress reserves for itself the right to a voice vote without keeping any record of the proceedings. Thus, laws may be enacted in secret and the people responsible may escape any blame for their actions, as well as any accountability for the law’s effects.

Only the Senate has reserved for it – by the Constitution – the ability, along with the President, to agree to treaties with foreign powers, including the United Nations. This power, alone, gives the Senate the ability to make every U.S. citizen subject to the laws of other nations or the dictates of the U.N. and the World Court, overriding the Constitution itself.

And, finally, the Constitution gives Congress the awesome power of being able to create new acts that only Congress, itself can repeal.