Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – In other words, the only compromise that they could reach was let’s just rely on the wisdom of the people acting through their state legislatures on how they think in each individual state a right of suffrage or a right to vote ought to be handled. Whatever qualifications they attach to that, that same qualification will then transfer to the election of federal officers. In other words, if good enough to elect the people of the state governments, which are the parties to the compact known as the Constitution, then it ought to be good enough to elect the representatives to the federal branch of the government. It’s pretty simple actually. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Now, specifically, what does the fabled Constitution that is totally ignored and is no longer in effect say about electors and how the electors are chosen? Here’s what it says, Article I, Section 2, Clause 1:
The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire . . .
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Mike: Then it goes through and lists the qualifications for the electors. Article I, Section 2, Clause 1:
The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, [Mike: This is what is in question here.] and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
Mike: For example, in the State of Louisiana, if there are more representatives than there are senators — assuming that every state has a bicameral legislature, representation on one side, Senate on the other, making that assumption, and that’s what they’re assuming, that there will be bicameral assemblies in every state — whichever branch has the most members, whether it’s the Senate or the representatives of that state, however the state determines in their constitution what qualifications the electors, meaning the voters, will have to cast a ballot, then that is the same identical qualification that you would then have to cast a ballot for a member of the House of Representatives or for the Senate or for the presidency, as has been amended by the 14th, 17th, 24th, and 26th Amendments…
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Just to repeat this, it doesn’t matter what state we’re talking about. However your state determines how you can elect someone to your legislature in the most numerous branch — if you say if you want to vote in an election for the House of Representatives here in the State of Louisiana, you have to have a valid Louisiana identification card, which can consist of an ID card issued by the state, a birth certificate issued by a hospital recognized by the state, a driver’s license, whatever form of identification the legislature may define and may list, then that is how you qualify to register to vote and then to vote. The state is free to say: Even if you have met the qualifications and registered, we’re still free to say you can’t vote unless you have that particular ID with you when you come to the place of elections.
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In the brilliant dissent by Justice Thomas, AG, he points out — this will make it even easier to understand. You’ve traveled before. You’ve purchased airline tickets, have you not?
AG: I have, yeah.
Mike: You can go to Delta, US Air, United, Southwest, wherever you want to go. You can go through the entire online process of purchasing your ticket. All you’re going to do is tick a box and affirm that under penalty of perjury you are who you say you are purchasing the ticket for, right?
Mike: What happens when you get to the airport? What do they ask you for?
Mike: That’s exactly right. That’s what Thomas points out. The majority is saying that just your oath or affirmation of saying that you want to buy an airline ticket is not good enough to get you on any commercial airline in the United States, but your oath or affirmation of saying you are who you are when you register to vote can carry the day when you actually go to alter the political makeup of the government of the state and then of the federal edifice? So it requires more identification to fly on a plane than it does to alter the political makeup of 311 million?
AG: Is there any argument to be made that the plane example is a private consumer transaction so you can set whatever rules the industry deems as necessary?
Mike: I think the argument that Thomas is making — I’ll read you James Madison’s input on this in a moment. The argument that Thomas is making is, regardless of whether it’s a public or a private transaction, the point that he is making is that you are stating under oath or affirmation that you are who you say you are to purchase the ticket. He gives two other examples. The other example he gives is you are stating under oath or affirmation when you sign up for a Visa card online that you are who you say you are. That doesn’t mean that when you go to Best Buy and you present the card to use it that they cannot require an identification and say: This card is issued to Andrew Gruss; can you prove that you’re Andrew Gruss before I let you charge this card? In other words, there are hardly any examples in the daily practice of Americans living their lives where they have not made or they have previously made an oath or affirmation of who they are but are perfectly willing to present an identification to verify that they are who they say they are? His point is that this is not an inconvenience. People can’t fly on airplanes or they can’t use credit cards or they can’t purchase alcohol if they don’t have identification. It’s ridiculous to say that it’s an imposition to go and alter the political makeup of a state or country and not go through the same process.
He also, Clarence Thomas, in his dissent quotes James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 52. Here is how Madison explained why the clause in question that should have applied in Arizona, why it was written the way it was written and what it means. It cannot be any more simple than this. Federalist No. 52 published 8 February 1788:
From the more general inquiries pursued in the four last papers, I pass on to a more particular examination of the several parts of the government. I shall begin with the House of Representatives. The first view to be taken of this part of the government relates to the qualifications of the electors and the elected. [Mike: So he’s going to set out how you qualify to vote for a member of the House of Representatives and how you qualify to be a member of the House of Representatives.] Those of the former [Mike: The voters.] are to be the same with those of the electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
The definition of the right of suffrage is very justly regarded as a fundamental article of republican government. [Mike: There it is with that little ‘r’ again, republicanism there in Federalist Paper No. 52.] It was incumbent on the convention, therefore, to define and establish this right in the Constitution. To have left it open for the occasional regulation of the Congress, would have been improper for the reason just mentioned. To have submitted it to the legislative discretion of the States, would have been improper for the same reason; and for the additional reason that it would have rendered too dependent on the State governments that branch of the federal government which ought to be dependent on the people alone. To have reduced the different qualifications in the different States to one uniform rule, would probably have been as dissatisfactory to some of the States as it would have been difficult to the convention. The provision made by the convention appears, therefore, to be the best that lay within their option.
It must be satisfactory to every State, because it is conformable to the standard already established, or which may be established, by the State itself. It will be safe to the United States, because, being fixed by the State constitutions, it is not alterable by the State governments, and it cannot be feared that the people of the States will alter this part of their constitutions in such a manner as to abridge the rights secured to them by the federal Constitution.
Mike: In other words, the only compromise that they could reach was let’s just rely on the wisdom of the people acting through their state legislatures on how they think in each individual state a right of suffrage or a right to vote ought to be handled. Whatever qualifications they attach to that, that same qualification will then transfer to the election of federal officers. In other words, if good enough to elect the people of the state governments, which are the parties to the compact known as the Constitution, then it ought to be good enough to elect the representatives to the federal branch of the government. It’s pretty simple actually.
Justice Scalia and Sonia Sotomayor and Kennedy and John Roberts and the rest of them can’t read or cannot bother to be taken back in the wayback machine to 1787 or 1788 to try and figure out what exactly was the intent here. I don’t even know why they bother anymore. I don’t even know why Clarence Thomas bothers. You know what the decision is going to be. They’re never going to cease expanding their own power, and that’s what this is. This is another expansion of a federal power that was reserved to the states exclusively. So we have another evisceration going on here, another undermining of the sovereignty of the states here. The only question that remains, ladies and gentlemen, is why even have states? I’m getting a little bored and tired of this. What is the purpose of a state anymore, other than to be a tax collector and a yes man for the Feds?
End Mike Church Show Transcript