Professor of Law Phillip Hamburger Talks Constitutional Covenants and the Administrative Overreach by Unelected Bureaucrats

Professor of Law Phillip Hamburger Talks Constitutional Covenants and the Administrative Overreach by Unelected Bureaucrats

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Philip Hamburger who is a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School to the newsmakers line to discuss constitutional covenants and abuses of administrative law.

Leahy: We are delighted to welcome on our newsmaker line, one of my intellectual heroes. I’ve never had a chance to interview him. But Professor of law at Columbia Law School, Philip Hamburger. A leading intellectual in America today on issues of the Constitution. Welcome to The Tennessee Star Report Professor Hamburger.

Hamburger: Thank you. It’s a great pleasure to be here. Thank you so much.

Leahy: Well, look, we have talked often on this program about the overreach of the administrative state. And you’ve talked about administrative law. You’ve written about when administrative agencies regulate us, they exercise the legislative power that the Constitution gives to Congress un-elected bureaucrats, thus displace elected representatives.

This has been a dangerous trend. You’ve written about it extensively. Can you briefly describe what kind of difficulties this is cause for our constitutional Republic?

Hamburger: Well, there are so many. I don’t know. We can take the whole program listing the problems. (Chuckles) The real danger is that we are established as a Republic in which we elect our lawmakers.

We govern ourselves. Our laws are binding on us because we consent to them through elections. And we don’t always win the election. We don’t always get our way. But we know we participate in a process in which we get to elect those who make our laws.

And the problem, of course, is that much of the law-making, in fact, I’d say about 90 percent of it these days is not made by legislators who were elected but by unelected bureaucrats. And their tastes and their interests don’t coincide with ours and even if they did, they’re not terribly responsive to our needs. So that’s a disaster.

Leahy: It’s entirely a disaster. Professor Hamburger. Crom Carmichael, our original all-star panelist and another big fan of yours has a question for you.

Carmichael: Professor, the question that I have is this. Suppose an administration came into power and I would assume it would have to be a Republic administration but they haven’t done much better on the subject that you’re addressing. (Hamburger chuckles)

But suppose one did come into power that proclaimed during the inaugural address that under this person’s administration that the practice of administrative law will be believed to be unconstitutional on its face, and that any bureaucrat who presumes that they have the power of the legislature and tries to assert that power shall be terminated. Is that legal?

Hamburger: It certainly is up to the point of termination where there are some complicated questions. But I entirely agree with you. I think this is absolutely on point. You don’t have to wait for the Supreme Court.

A President who understood the problem could, I think, quite wisely, decide simply to instruct all federal officers not to pursue administrative power at all. And by the way, I think the President has a duty to do this.

The President has a duty to take care that the laws are faithfully enforced in the highest law of the Constitution. Although the question I think constitutionally, the President should be able to fire such officers, there would be a legal battle over that.

But the President, I think, could quite easily simply insist that administrative power not be exercised. It’s complicated but possible.

Carmichael: Well, then what I think I’m hearing you say is that the laws protecting government bureaucrats are a powerful law. But if a President did assert in the inaugural address and then a bureaucrat shortly after that, I’m sure somebody would test it.

And if he fired that person, that person would then have to sue to get their job back. And the court would then resolve whether or not a bureaucrat has a power greater than that of Congress.

Hamburger: That’s right. I must say I actually have proposed something like this in the past, and I think ideally it would be done in a proclamation followed up with executive orders.

I think one would have different orders and proclamations for different agencies because in some cases it would be a clearer path than others. But constitutionally, in the end, I think the President certainly has the power to do this. The real question is whether President would have the fortitude and the wisdom to do it.

Leahy: Absolutely. You started in 2017, the New Civil Liberties Alliance, and you’re using the courts to stop this administrative overreach by bureaucrats. How is that succeeding? And are you stopping this growing tide of bureaucratic power?

Hamburger: Well, as a friend told me, Rome was not burned in one night. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: I love that line.

Hamburger: (Chuckles) Yes. I wish I had thought of it. But we are having some remarkable success with such a young organization. The New Civil Liberties Alliance now has about 20 employees who are litigating every day.

I’ll give you just one example of where I think we’re having a real effect on the ground. I just learned that the Security and Exchange Commission has greatly reduced the number of prosecutions it conducts in its own in-house administrative tribunals, these Kangaroo courts that are biased, that don’t give juries.

They now only have 12 of these proceedings. And I think that’s very much in response to our litigation against the Security Exchange Commission. Our goal is to have that effect across the administrative state.

And it’s actually very gratifying that already they’ve been forced to cut back so much at such a leading administrative agency. So I think we are having a very real effect, but we just want to keep on pushing and pushing until we restore constitutional covenants.

Leahy: We have a couple of our friends who are on the board of advisors at the New Civil Liberties Alliance, our good friend, Professor Randy Barnett from Georgetown University and Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit is on your advisory board. That’s a great lineup.

Hamburger: And we are honored to have them on board. And we actually also been gratified not only by our success but also the backing we’ve had from intellectual such as these.

Leahy: Is this a 501 (c) (3) and can people donate to it?

Hamburger: That’s right. It’s a 501 (c) (3) and we’ve had a remarkable outpouring of support, some very large donations, but also small donations, but also the people, all walks of life who really get it and who realize there’s a danger. And we have a chance to overcome it.

Leahy: It’s on the web at Nclalegal.org. You can go there and hit the donate button for it. And Professor Hamburger, I want to extend an invitation to you, if you’re interested. Every October for the past five years we’ve been hosting for secondary school students a National Constitution Bee here in Tennessee.

It’s open to any student around the country. Last year Alan Dershowitz addressed the group. The winner of the Bee gets a $10,000. educational scholarship and second and third also. I want to invite you down. Come down and be one of the judges in that event.

Hamburger: I would love to do that. I’ll have to consult my wife because she is the chief administrator of this agency. (Laughter)

Carmichael: She would enjoy coming to Nashville also.

Leahy: Have you been to Nashville?

Hamburger: I have not. I have driven through it but I wasn’t able to stop.

Leahy: We are going to give you a tour of Nashville.

Carmichael: And your wife will love it.

Leahy: By the way, I know you are at Columbia Law School and you are probably paying state and city income tax. (Hamburger chuckles) I don’t know if you know this, but in Tennessee, we have no state income taxes.

Hamburger: I’m jealous. I’m very very jealous. (Laughter)

Leahy: Hey, look, will you come on again? Because as I said, you have been an intellectual hero of mine for many years. I’m just delighted to get to meet you here.

Hamburger: I would love to join you anytime. It would be a pleasure. And thank you so much. The more the word gets out of this stuff, and you guys seem to be doing a great job on that, the more we can actually restore our own self-governance. Thank you very much.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crom Carmichael Discusses the Future of the Republican Party

Crom Carmichael Discusses the Future of the Republican Party

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to give his take on the future of the Republican Party.

(Liz Cheney clip plays)

Leahy: That’s Liz Cheney trying to explain why she’s gone anti-Trump and is parroting the lines of Nancy Pelosi. She was elected as a Republican in a state that loves Donald Trump in Wyoming.

Carmichael: Well, and also, apparently, she is completely oblivious to what the Democrats are trying to do to destroy our democracy in Washington. Apparently, she’s completely oblivious to that. Let’s assume that she believes what she’s saying. I don’t believe politically that it is sustainable in the Republican Party.

I just simply don’t. I think she thinks that the last election was a perfectly fine election and that all the mail out ballots and all of the stopping of counting of voting from midnight to 4:00 a.m. in the morning and all of the irregularities and all of the Zuckerberg drop boxes, all of those were perfectly normal.

Leahy: She obviously missed all of our reporting at The Georgia Star News, where we documented more than six months after the election that there still is no chain of custody for more than 300,000 absentee votes by mail-in ballots placed in drop boxes.

Carmichael: Right. There’s a guy named Miles Taylor. Now, I never knew who Miles Taylor was, but it turned out he’s the guy that wrote the book Anonymous.

Leahy: He’s like a very low level.

Carmichael: Low-level guy, but he was part of the internal government ‘resistance’ while he was a member of the Trump administration. Now, here’s the question to me. If you’re working in an administration and you don’t like what the administration is doing, it seems to me that you have a duty to quit.

If you want to criticize quit. But you shouldn’t be a member of the administration and trying to thwart what the administration is doing. And I’ll guarantee you that anybody in the Biden administration who’s acting like that…

Leahy: They are out.

Carmichael: They are not only out, but their lives are also ruined.

Leahy: Yeah, exactly. By the way, Crom, we just got a statement from former President Trump hot off the email presses.

Carmichael: What does it say?

Leahy: Statement by Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States. The Republicans in the House of Representatives have a great opportunity today to rid themselves of a poor leader, a major Democrat talking point, a warmonger, and a person with absolutely no personality or heart. As a representative of the great state of Wyoming, Liz Cheney is bad for our country and bad for herself. Almost everyone in the Republican Party, including 90 percent of Wyoming, looks forward to her ouster. And that includes me.

Carmichael: Well, there you go.

Leahy: But tell us what you really think, Mr. Former President. (Chuckles)

Carmichael: It’s statements like that that bother people because there’s no nuance. (Leahy chuckles) And by the way, there’s no nuance in what Liz Cheney has said. There really isn’t. You have Liz Cheney essentially calling out former President Trump, and you have Trump responding.

Leahy: Punching her right in the nose basically.

Carmichael: But she punched him in the nose too by calling him a liar. Now the Republicans in the House will determine whether or not she remains in a leadership position.

And assuming that the Republicans vote today that she does not stay in a leadership position, then it’ll be up to the voters of Wyoming to decide if she stays in Congress.

I’m betting that she doesn’t even run. I’m betting that she’s angling for a different position. Just as a House member with no committee chairmanships and no power that just doesn’t strike me as appealing to her. Plus, I don’t think she’ll win reelection. I don’t think she’ll win the primary.

Leahy: She’s got a lot of money and she loves the power just like her dad did. But I’ll tell you what I’m tempted to do, Crom.

Carmichael: What are you tempted to do? A lunch bet?

Leahy: Not a lunch bet because, you know, we’re expanding. We’re now in seven states. The Tennessee Star, and we’re in Florida. We’re in Virginia. We got The Virginia Star, The Michigan Star, the MinnesotaSun, The Ohio Star, The Georgia Star News. Now we are planning to add the Arizona Sun-Times, The Wisconsin Daily Sun, and The Texas Loan Star in the near future.

Okay, but I’m really tempted. I am tempted to open up The Wyoming Daily Star in Cheyanne just to track what ole’ Liz Cheney is up to over the next year or two. I am tempted to do that.

Carmichael: We probably could find somebody up there.

Leahy: We could find somebody.

Carmichael: Who could do that.

Leahy: In all of our states, we have reporters in those states who know the states. So if you know anybody in Wyoming who is interested in reporting, we might like to talk to them.

Carmichael: It’ll be interesting. But the future of the Republican Party had this Miles Taylor who I mentioned earlier. He was in the Trump administration and he resisted.

Leahy: He was in the Homeland Security Department as an aid, to an aid, to an aid, or something.

Carmichael: Yeah, and he was part of the resistance. So he wrote this book Anonymous, which is a really childish and cowardly way of doing things. He is now organizing a group of 100 Republicans and former members of Congress and former Bush administration people who will ceremoniously leave the party.

Now, among those people are Charlie Dent. Now, these are all people who used to be in the House who either quit or got beat. Charlie Dent, Barbara Comstock, Reid Ribble, and Mickey Edwards.

Leahy: Mickey Edwards, he’s a Democrat.

Carmichael: Is he a Democrat now?

Leahy: He’s a Democrat.

Carmichael: Okay, well, he’s already left the party. And then former governors Tom Ridge and Christie Todd.

Leahy: Oh, Tom Ridge awful. Mickey Edwards was a Republican. I stand corrected.

Carmichael: What I’m saying is these are a bunch of has-beens. They really are. They really are a bunch of has-beens and they’re going to ceremoniously leave the party going back to the 70s and what you and I think is Biden is doing a replay of the Carter years.

Leahy: Except worse.

Carmichael: Yes, I agree. There were millions of Democrats who left the Democrat Party and voted for Reagan. And so I’ll trade millions for 100. (Leahy laughs) I’ll trade out millions for 100 because Trump has inspired millions of people who previously didn’t vote at all to come out and vote and support policies that put America first.

Depending on how you want to describe it, that’s not a nationalist isolationist policy. What it is is just saying that when he’s negotiating with foreign powers, Trump always put America’s interests ahead of the interest of those that he was negotiating with. And he said I expect them to do the same thing.

Leahy: That’s the way sovereign countries should work.

Carmichael: And that’s how you end up with an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties. They may be a win-win, but at least it’s satisfactory. And one party doesn’t capitulate.

Leahy: The Biden Harris Winken, Blinken, and Nod philosophy, and I say that because Tony Blinken is Secretary of State. Their philosophy is basically to concede America’s interest to the other party. That’s basically it.

Carmichael: Yeah. And then they’re also interested in only the politics. If they can bring in two or three million people into this country, that helps them win reelections even if bringing those people in increases drugs, increases the death from overdoses, increases rapes, murders, and crime in general. Even if it does all those things, they literally don’t care.

And that’s really the difference between the two parties. One is a party of government, and anything that empowers government is something that Democrats will do. Republicans have become the party of the working men and women of this country and stand up for standing up for the American worker.

Leahy: The Biden, Winken, Blinken, and Nod’s foreign policy is weakness and appeasement. And we’ve seen what happens with that. Iran is taking advantage of us and then Hamas is bombing Israel. And they’re trying to now appease them both. It’s just ridiculous.

Carmichael: Bad policy.

Leahy: Weak, weak, weak.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee Congressman Mark Green Outlines His Bill for Removing Critical Race Training from U.S. Military Academy

Tennessee Congressman Mark Green Outlines His Bill for Removing Critical Race Training from U.S. Military Academy

 

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) to the newsmakers line to discuss his proposed bill that would outlaw Critical Race Theory training in U.S. Military Academy.

Leahy: We are joined on the newsmakers line by our very good friend, Congressman Mark Green. Good morning, Congressman Green.

Green: Well, good morning to you guys. Thanks for having me on the show.

Leahy: Well, we’re always happy to have you on. Is Congress in recess today or this week?

Green: We are in what’s called committee week. All of our Zoom meetings are committee meetings. All our committee meetings are Zoom meetings. Yesterday we met on the AUMF and stuff like that.

Leahy: Can you do your Zoom meetings from the district or do you do them in D.C., typically?

Green: Usually the district for me. If it’s a committee that I’m actually running, I’m a ranking member of the Western Hemisphere, I prefer to do that in in Washington because you just have the assets of the staff there. If something changes in the middle of the committee, you can make things happen. So that’s much better. But if I’m just a member, I can be home and doing the meeting from Clarksville or really anywhere in the district.

Leahy: We’ll invite you to come in studio someday and you can do your Zoom meeting from the studio if you like. (Chuckles) Live and on-air.

Green: That would be interesting.

Leahy: You can come in anytime. Just come on in the studio. We would love to have you in the studio. Now on Wednesday, Congressman Green, you introduced a very important bill to block Critical Race Theory training in U.S. Military Service Academy. Tell us about that bill.

Green: Certainly. Well, we had learned that Critical Race Theory was being taught at West Point, my alma mater. And Critical Race Theory makes various assumptions because of the way the theory came from, the critical theory itself. It’s a complete rejection of America’s founding principles. The theory rejects toleration of any kind of different viewpoint. It rejects equality under the law.

It rejects self-government. It’s a terrible Marxist-based ideology. Essentially, if you assume someone is racist because they look a certain way, that’s racism. And so Critical Race Theory only divides us, it doesn’t unite us. And that’s why it can’t work in the military. We are here at these academies teaching these young people how to lead warriors someday.

And we’re teaching them to hate their country and to hate each other. And you don’t get unit cohesion that is necessary for victory and combat by teaching this incredibly flawed, intentionally flawed ideology. We basically said you can’t teach this in these academies, and hopefully, that will pass.

Leahy: How did it come to be that Critical Race Theory is being taught at the U.S. Military Academy and apparently other service academies?

Green: The previous superintendent of the universe of West Point hired academicians and did so under the, I think, assumption that they had to be liberal to be good. I don’t know really how he hired these people, but they’re in there and they’re teaching it. And then they push back on academic integrity and say, well, we’ve got to be able to teach what we want to teach.

And so despite the fact that many of them, in fact, most of them are military officers. This tension existed. The last superintendent allowed it. And the current superintendent, who actually is an African American guy, he hates Critical Race Theory, and he’s doing everything he can to get it out of the curriculum. And we’re going to make it really easy and make it against the law.

Leahy: Now, here’s the thing. You have a slight disadvantage in the House. What is it now, like, 218 to 210 Democrat advantage? Something like that?

Green: No, we have a Delta of five.

Leahy: Delta of five. Not eight. That’s a very narrow Delta. What happens with your bill?

Green: What we have to do is convince enough guys on the National Defense Authorization Act inside the House Armed Services Committee to put it on the National Defense Authorization Act. It probably has no chance of passing as a bill. But what we’ll oftentimes do in bills like this is attach it to the National Defense Authorization Act, which everybody knows we have to pass.

We have to authorize our military. If I can convince enough Democrats in that committee to put it on, and there are some real moderate Democrats in that committee, they wanted to be on that committee because they’re pro-military, which puts some conflicts with the heart of the Democrat Party anyway. So we get those guys convinced and we get it on the NDAA and they can’t take it off. They can’t say no.

Leahy: It sounds like you’re somewhat optimistic you’ll be able to get it in there.

Green: I think there’s a good chance. Adam Smith, the chairman of the committee is not afraid to push back against Nancy Pelosi. He did so on the National Guardsmen around the capital and wrote her a scathing letter, made it public, and humiliated her on that. That was part of the big step down from thousands of these guys to a few hundred.

Leahy: Do you find being up there in a situation where the very narrow majority seems to have zero interest in doing the legislative process the way the founders of the country envisioned it with thoughtful consideration at the committee levels. And then when you have a bit of a consensus, bring it to the floor for a vote. They seem to be hardcore ideologues interested in pushing forward a far left agenda. Do you find that frustrating right now up there in Washington?

Green: Yes. It’s very frustrating at times. I’m like, what is going on here? The thing that they’re doing is they’re justifying their actions by saying, if a bill passed a previous Congress’s floor, then they can bypass the committee process. Which makes no sense because now there’s a new Congress in there and they should have a voice just because it passed the last Congress doesn’t mean it should not bypass the committee process.

That’s what Nancy Pelosi is doing. And all these radical, liberal leftist stuff like the Equality Act being a prime example that strips religious freedoms from people. And that, by the way, tells you where they think the rights come from. If the government can take them away, they believe our rights come from the government, which you and I think totally differently.

They come from God, our Creator. But they’re doing this stuff and ramming it through. But now we picked up two more of the special elections. One out of Louisiana. Looks like we’re going to pick up one in Texas. So that’s going to make it even harder for them. We are getting there. There’s a strong chance we win the majority in 18 months.

Leahy: But it’s going to be a long 18 months, isn’t it? (Chuckles)

Green: Yeah, it is. It is very frustrating, Michael.

Leahy: Look, I have great empathy for your circumstance there because you’re a very gung ho get it done kind of guy. It’s a situation where the leadership has subverted the congressional process to such a degree, it makes it virtually impossible to get anything done in a bipartisan way.

Green: Oh yeah, absolutely. Well, the truth of the matter is there isn’t much overlap between the two parties anymore anyway. The areas where we can actually do something in a bipartisan fashion are very small. We certainly hope the military and national security, things like that. But even there, we’re running into walls.

Leahy: As an example of that, let’s take Steve Cohen from Memphis, who I think is a kind of a crazy left-wing person. If you were to be in a room with them him, is there anything that two of you could agree on?

Green: I would only be there if it was my duty to be there. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: That’s a good answer. That is a very good answer. Are you going to spend a lot of your time helping Republicans win the House back in 2022?

Green: That’s my key goal. I did it last time. I worked for 30 different candidates. Every one of them got either elected or reelected. We’re slowly putting together the people that we’re going to support in the next cycle. And my job is to make sure that we take the House and make a Republican Speaker of the House.

Leahy: Well, that sounds great. I really appreciate you coming on the show today.

Listen to the full second hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “People Voting” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

State Rep. Chris Todd from Jackson Weighs in on Court Packing, National Issues, and Etiquette as a Member of the Tennessee House

State Rep. Chris Todd from Jackson Weighs in on Court Packing, National Issues, and Etiquette as a Member of the Tennessee House

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Representative (R), Chris Todd of Jackson, to the studio to discuss court-packing, keepnine.org, and attention to national issues that affect constituents.

Leahy: In studio with us, our good friend, State Representative Chris Todd. Chris, you’re ready for the big question?

Todd: I guess so. Been waiting on it. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: Here it comes. The big questions. The progressive Democrats in the House in the United States Senate are going crazy. They want to pack the court. They want to add four left-wing lunatic justices to the Supreme Court and make it 13 instead of nine. And my question to you is, do you think in this current session of the Tennessee General Assembly, there would be a possibility that the General Assembly in the House and the state Senate would pass a resolution strongly opposing any efforts to pack the United States Supreme Court?

Todd: I believe it’s a significant possibility. Yes.

Leahy: Terrific. That’s very good news. I think Tennessee could lead the way on this. I don’t know if other states have looked at this in terms of opposing this resolution. Have you heard of this group called Keep Nine?

Todd: No.

Leahy: There’s a group called Keep Nine and they actually have another element to this. They are asking state legislatures to pass resolutions to support a constitutional amendment that would limit the number of justices to nine.

Todd: I think that’s a good idea as well. It’ll be a challenge to get that through. But just because of all the concerns of an Article Five that we talked about a while ago.

Leahy: Well, this wouldn’t be necessarily Article Five the resolution to ask Congress to pass that amendment and then to go to the states for ratification.

Todd: But I think the chances of Congress doing that are almost as slim as them putting limits on themselves right now.

Leahy: Now, you raise an interesting point. Let me just throw this out there. This is real time now. You just proposed a bill that would support an Article Five Amendment for the specific purpose of just looking at term limits. Would such a bill that specifically looked at an amendment to limit the Supreme Court to nine justices? Would that be a possibility?

Todd: I would say it’s a possibility. And I don’t know how strong that group is and how well funded they are, but it takes a significant effort to get the public informed and it costs money to get the public informed. You would need lobbyists in order to go to each one of these legislatures and work that kind of a bill to find a sponsor and then to get the support for it just like we’ve done with term limits. I had quite a few folks helping me on this from U.S. term limits specifically and then some local groups. So I think it’s very possible and that’s just going to take an effort. And if the people really want it, they need to put their money where their mouth is and support these groups.

Leahy: I’ll send you the link. There is a group called the Keep Nine Amendment and they are basically the local representative, actually here from Tennessee, former Attorney General Paul Summer. And he is working with this group. And they are submitting a series of resolutions that would establish an amendment to the Constitution to keep nine in the Supreme Court.

Todd: I think that’s very worthwhile.

Leahy: Keepnine.org. There’s a guy in Washington, D.C., Roman Bueller has been putting this together. You talk about lobbyists. He calls me like every two weeks. He says, Mike, Mike, are you ready to help us? I said, as you said, I think it’s a great idea. I just don’t have the time for it. I think maybe now I’m going to have the time to help. What do you think?

Todd: It’s all a matter of priorities. When we see the threat to our way of life, to the point that it motivates us, that’s when it will happen.

Leahy: Exactly. It’s keepnine org. Take a look at it. Because you just you don’t have enough to do, right?

Todd: Oh, no. I’m looking for something.

Leahy: You’re looking for some other challenges right now?

Todd: Absolutely.

Leahy: When you go back and you talk to your fellow members of the Tennessee General Assembly most of the time, the conversation is about the bills, right?

Todd: Probably so.

Leahy: You are all narrowly focused on getting your bills. But when something like this happens, when there’s a national effort by the Progressives to pack the Supreme Court you kind of have a reaction to that, don’t you?

Todd: It gets bumped up in priority, just like with our citizens. When something reaches that level that says, okay, this is contradictory to what we’ve always done. This is a threat to what I do day in and day out, the way I raise my kids, the way my family operates, the way our country operates. Then I’m going to be motivated to do something either, to donate money, to make phone calls, to write emails, whatever it might be.

Leahy: You talk about getting things done, right. And you have to understand the committee process. We’ve talked about that quite a bit. You also have to have relationships with people, right?

Todd: Critical.

Leahy: Very, very important. And are there different styles that people decide to follow when they go to the state General Assembly?

Todd: Oh, absolutely. I think most people come with their own style, just from their nature at that stage of their life. Will it change? I think somewhat. You probably change a little bit from the people that you’re around, but your basics are still the same. Your tendencies are still the same. If you’re an honest person, you’re going to stay honest. If you’re not, you’re probably going to get worse.

Leahy: I was under the impression that every single member of the Tennessee House of Representatives and the Tennessee state Senate honest as the day is long. (Chuckles) 

Todd: That is a primary assumption that you should make.

Leahy: That’s my assumption.

Todd: Let them prove you different.

Leahy: But occasionally human nature being what it is people reveal themselves as perhaps not totally being people of their word.

Todd: Sometimes. That doesn’t happen all that often. But most of the time, the differences are about how you accomplish something. I find that we have the same goal. Let’s say that is to make sure that our children are brought up in a great education and are provided a good education so that they can enter the workforce and be successful.

How to get there is where we might differ on. Does that mean how we choose textbooks? Does that mean how we fund the schools? Does that mean all of these things? Do we bus them? You get all the fine details of how do we get to that end goal? But most of the time we have the same goal in mind, but it’s the method of getting there that is where we differ.

Leahy: So we’ve got about three more weeks left I think the Tennessee General Assembly.

Todd: Probably.

Leahy: So then the legislative side of this job ends. What happens to a state legislature later after you’re in session? Is your job over? Or do you still have lots of stuff to do, but different kinds of stuff?

Todd: It’s just lots of stuff to do, but different kinds of stuff. Last year was quite different with COVID. Most everything was canceled. Meetings were canceled, events were canceled, but I think this year will be back to fairly 80 percent normal, which is many days of the week you’re required to be somewhere with at least a jacket on and make an appearance, make a speech or meet with a group and hear their concerns about legislation for next year or just dealing with phone calls and emails from constituents that have an unemployment issue or they can’t get broadband even though the company ran it in front of their house and had the grant to do so. A state grant that didn’t hook them up. There are just all kinds of things that we deal with. I have a person in my office that’s full-time to answer those questions.

Leahy: Back in Jackson?

Todd: Here in Nashville. A legislative assistant, but I still field a lot of that, and we bounce things off of each other about what the right path is.

Leahy: So do you have, like, just one staff member?

Todd: Yes.

Leahy: Just one. in Congress. They have what, 25 staff members?

Todd: Nobody knows.

Leahy: They have quite a few up there.

Todd: And here, back in the district.

Leahy: But it’s pretty much you.

Todd: Pretty much.

Leahy: When you say that you’ve got to go, like, you have to go and make it, you don’t really have to go to thee events.

Todd: Correct.

Leahy: People will introduce you and say, Hey, come on in.

Todd: It’s expected and it’s good manners. It’s expected.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host Leahy and Dr. Carol Swain Discuss the Probability of the District of Columbia Becoming a State and the Invocation of the 25th Amendment

Host Leahy and Dr. Carol Swain Discuss the Probability of the District of Columbia Becoming a State and the Invocation of the 25th Amendment

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist, Dr. Carol Swain, to the studio to discuss the possibility and the ways in which the District of Columbia could achieve statehood and invocation of the 25th Amendment.

Leahy: In studio all-star panelist Carol Swain. Carol, you were talking about this movement to grant statehood to the District of Columbia which by the way 95 percent voted for Joe Biden and 5 percent for Donald Trump. Population about 700,000. A little short of 10 square miles. Here’s what the Constitution says about this. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17.

The Congress shall have the power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such district not exceeding 10-mile square as made by the succession of particular states in the acceptance of Congress become the seat of the government of the United States. So the Constitution says that then Article 4, Section 3.

New states may be admitted by the Congress into this Union, but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states without the consent of the legislature of the state’s concerned as well as of the Congress. To me, Carol that looks like it would be unconstitutional for Congress to pass a law making the District of Columbia a state. What do you think?

Swain: Well, I think that they would have to amend the Constitution. And if you’ve been to D.C. lately, and I’ve been there in December it’s just devastated. You walk down the streets where you used to shop and there are boarded-up buildings. And everywhere there are black lives matter signs. and we have Black Lives Matter Plaza.

You go to Union Station and I used to love to go there and Shop. It was like a mall. It looks like a ghost town. I think there were two stores where they sold clothes. and they were big box stores. And so there’s no evidence that the leaders of D.C. can actually run it. I mean the Congress run by Democrats is a disaster. But until someone that thinks like a true Republican is in a leadership role in Congress that D.C. is just devastated. It needs more direction from Congress.

Leahy: Oh, yes. I think what we’ll see is a District of Columbia statehood act. It’ll be introduced. It will be very close. And then if it passes and is signed into law, there will immediately be a federal challenge. I think it goes to the Supreme Court and I think they say no. That’s what I think will happen.

Swain: It’s always been a perennial issue ever since I was in graduate school and maybe before to make a D.C. a state. But D.C. was a place where I loved to visit. I’m sure many other people looked forward to going at least once a year. I dread it when I have to go there again.

Leahy: Yeah, I understand.

Swain: It’s very unsafe.

Leahy: We have another constitutional question from our caller and listener Don in Nashville. Don, welcome to The Tennessee Star Report.

Caller Don: Good morning guys. I have a comment and I have a question about Joe Biden. But I wanted to give Parler some advice. They need to call Hillary because she’s really good about setting up new websites. (Laughter)

Leahy: Now that’s a good one Don.

Don: She’s good about servers. But my question is will the Democratic Party turn on Joe when after he gets done with all this and things start going real bad and they invoke the 25th Amendment on it and then start blaming him? Well, Joe didn’t know any better. And start blaming all the downfall on him? And I’ll hang up and let y’all answer that.

Leahy: Great. And the 25th Amendment says whenever the president transmits to the Senate his written declaration he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such powers and duties shall be discharged by the vice-president.

But the next section says whenever the vice president and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may provide by law when they tell the president pro-tem that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of the vice president shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office of acting president. Do you see that in our future?

Swain: Well for one thing there’s no reason to get rid of Joe Biden as long as he is carrying out the agenda of the far left. If he were to start making deals with Republicans and governing in a bipartisan fashion they would be looking for a way to remove him from office. Many of us believe that the long-term plan of the Democrats is to install Kamala as the first female president.

She can’t call herself the first Black president nor could she call herself the first Black American president. but she could be the first female. and so I don’t know how that would come about. I think as long as Joe is doing what they want, he’s safe.

Leahy: I think Kamala Harris wants to be president. And notice what the Constitution says. Whenever the vice president and a majority of the principal officers of the executive departments transmitted to the president pro tem of the Senate they’re written declaration the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office the vice president shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as acting president.

Look, I don’t think that is that far away from a possibility frankly. because you look at it and it says a majority of the principal officers of the executive departments. That’s considered the cabinet. But I could argue that it’s maybe just the most important cabinet.

Swain: Well I’m standing on my position that as long as he’s carrying out the will of the political left and signing all the executive order executive orders and things that they want, they will continue to protect him. Because he’s not 100 percent there now. But at some point the play I believe is to make Kamala the first female president. She’d never get elected by the voters.

Leahy: Never.

Swain: And so that’s the only way it’s going to happen.

Leahy: Yeah, if I had to guess whether or not we’ll see a 25th Amendment effort either with his cooperation or without, I would say the odds are probably fairly good.

Swain: I agree.

Leahy: At least 50/50 that this will happen over the next four years.

Listen to the second hour here:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio