Constitution Warrior

Furthering the Cause of Anti-Federalism

Archive for the tag “Congress”

Term Limits: Senate – George Mason, Virginia Ratifying Convention

George Mason, Virginia Ratifying Convention

16 June 1788Papers 3: 1079

The senators are chosen for six years. They are not recallable for those six years, and are re-eligible at the end of the six years. It stands on a very different ground from the confederation. By that system they were only elected for one year, might be recalled, and were incapable of reelection. But in the new constitution, instead of being elected for one, they are chosen for six years. They cannot be recalled in all that time for any misconduct, and at the end of that long term may again be elected. What will be the operation of this? Is it not probable, that those gentlemen who will be elected senators will fix themselves in the federal town, and become citizens of that town more than of our state? They will purchase a good seat in or near the town, and become inhabitants of that place. Will it not be then in the power of the senate to worry the house of representatives into any thing? They will be a continually existing body. They will exercise those machinations and contrivances, which the many have always to fear from the few. The house of representatives is the only check on the senate, with their enormous powers. But by that clause you give them the power of worrying the house of representatives into a compliance with any measure. The senators living at the spot will feel no inconvenience from long sessions, as they will vote themselves handsome pay, without incurring any additional expences. Your representatives are on a different ground, from their shorter continuance in office. The gentlemen from Georgia are six or seven hundred miles from home, and wish to go home. The senate taking advantage of this, by stopping the other house from adjourning, may worry them into any thing. These are my doubts, and I think the provision not consistent with the usual parliamentary modes.

The Papers of George Mason, 1725–1792. Edited by Robert A. Rutland. 3 vols. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970.

Ezekiel “Dr. Mengele” Emanuel, Chief Architect of ObamaCare, and his “Complete Lives System”

Emanuel Kelly File
The Chief Architect of Obamacare is Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. Recently, Megyn Kelly has had him on her show, “The Kelly File”. Anyone who saw Dr. Emanuel on “Kelly File” knows he is an abrasive, arrogant, and downright nasty individual.

Ezekiel “Dr. Mengle” Emanuel’s views on Health Care is known as “The Complete Lives System”. Below is an excerpt from “Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions” written by Govind Persad, Alan Wertheimer, Ezekiel J Emanuel which appear in “The Lancet” Vol 373 January 31, 2009 pages 423–31.

Do not be fooled by the rhetoric of the Marxists. As you read this excerpt from the article, you will immediately notice the Marxist “buzz words” of “social justice”,”fair”, “just”, et.al.

At its core, ” the complete lives system combines four morally relevant principles: youngest-first, prognosis, lottery, and saving the most lives.”

(Formatting did not transfer over. I did my best to edit)

“The complete lives system”

Because none of the currently used systems satisfy all ethical requirements for just allocation, we propose an alternative: the complete lives system. This system incorporates five principles (table 2): youngest-first,prognosis, save the most lives, lottery, and instrumental value. 5 As such, it prioritizes younger people who have not yet lived a complete life and will be unlikely to do so without aid. Many thinkers have accepted complete lives as the appropriate focus of distributive justice: “individual human lives, rather than individual experiences, [are] the units over which any distributive principle should operate.” 1,75,76 Although there are important differences between these thinkers, they share a core commitment to consider entire lives rather than events or episodes, which is also the defining feature of the complete lives system.

Consideration of the importance of complete lives alsosupports modifying the youngest-first principle byprioritising adolescents and young adults over infants(figure). Adolescents have received substantial educationand parental care, investments that will be wasted withouta complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet receivedthese investments. Similarly, adolescence brings with it a developed personality capable of forming and valuing long-term plans whose fulfillment requires a complete life.77

As the legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin argues, “It is terrible when an infant dies, but worse, most people think, when a three-year-old child dies and worse still when an adolescent does”; 78 this argument is supported by empirical surveys. 41,79 Importantly, the prioritization of adolescents and young adults considers the social and personal investment that people are morally entitled to have received at a particular age, rather than accepting the results of an unjust status quo. Consequently, poor adolescents should be treated the same as wealthy ones,even though they may have received less investment owing to social injustice.

The complete lives system also considers prognosis,since its aim is to achieve complete lives. A young person with a poor prognosis has had few life-years but lacks the potential to live a complete life. Considering prognosis forestalls the concern that disproportionately large amounts of resources will be directed to young people with poor prognoses. 42 When the worst-off can benefit only slightly while better-off people could benefit greatly,allocating to the better-off is often justifiable. 1,30  Some small benefits, such as a few weeks of life, might also be intrinsically insignificant when compared with large benefits. 8

Saving the most lives is also included in this system because enabling more people to live complete lives is better than enabling fewer. 8,44 In a public health emergency,instrumental value could also be included to enable more people to live complete lives. Lotteries could be used when making choices between roughly equal recipients, and also potentially to ensure that no individual—irrespective of age or prognosis—is seen as beyond saving.
34,80 Thus, the complete lives system is complete in another way: it incorporates each morally relevant simple principle.

When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance,whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated (figure). 78 It therefore superficially resembles the proposal made by DALY advocates; however, the complete lives system justifies preference to younger people because of priority to the worst-off rather than instrumental value. Additionally, the complete lives system assumes that, although life-years are equally valuable to all, justice requires the fair distribution of them. Conversely, ALY allocation treats life-years given to elderly or disabled people as objectively less valuable.

Finally, the complete lives system is least vulnerable to corruption. Age can be established quickly and accuratelyfrom identity documents. Prognosis allocation encourages physicians to improve patients’ health, unlike the perverse incentives to sicken patients or misrepresent health thatthe sickest-first allocation creates. 58,59

Objections

We consider several important objections to the complete lives system.

The complete lives system discriminates against older people. 81,82 Age-based allocation is ageism. 82 Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. 8,39 Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years. 16 Treating 65-year-olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not.

Age, like income, is a “non-medical criterion” inappropriate for allocation of medical resources. 14,83  In contrast to income, a complete life is a health outcome. Long-term survival and life expectancy at birth are key health-care outcome variables. 84 Delaying the age at onset of a disease is desirable. 85,86

The complete lives system is insensitive to international differences in typical lifespan. Although broad consensus favours adolescents over very young infants, and young adults over the very elderly people, implementation can reasonably differ between, even within, nation-states. 87,88 Some people believe that a complete life is a universal limit founded in natural human capacities, which everyone should accept even without scarcity. 37 By contrast, the complete lives system requires only that citizens see a complete life, however defined, as an important good, an daccept that fairness gives those short of a complete life stronger claims to scarce life-saving resources.

Principles must be ordered lexically: less important principles should come into play only when more important ones are fulfilled. 10 Rawls himself agreed that lexical priority was inappropriate when distributing specific resources in society, though appropriate for ordering the principles of basic social justice that shape the distribution of basic rights, opportunities, and income. 1  As an alternative, balancing priority to the worst-off against maximising benefits has won wide support in discussions of allocative local justice. 1,8,30 As Amartya Sen argues, justice“does not specify how much more is to be given to the deprived person, but merely that he should receive more”. 89

Accepting the complete lives system for health care as a whole would be premature. We must first reduce waste and increase spending. 81,90 The complete lives system explicitly rejects waste and corruption, such as multiple listing for transplantation. Although it may be applicable more generally, the complete lives system has been developed to justly allocate persistently scarce life-saving interventions. 39,80 Hearts for transplant and influenza vaccines, unlike money, cannot be replaced or diverted to non-health goals; denying a heart to one person makes it available to another. Ultimately, the complete lives system does not create “classes of  Untermenschen whose lives and well being are deemed not worth spending money on”, 91 but rather empowers us to decide fairly whom to save when genuine scarcity makes saving everyone impossible.

Legitimacy

As well as recognising morally relevant values, an allocation system must be legitimate. Legitimacy requires that people see the allocation system as just and accept actua lallocations as fair. Consequently, allocation systems must be publicly understandable, accessible, and subject topublic discussion and revision. 92 They must also resist corruption, since easy corruptibility undermines the public trust on which legitimacy depends. Some systems, like theUNOS points systems or QALY systems, may fail this test, because they are diffi cult to understand, easily corrupted,or closed to public revision. Systems that intentionally conceal their allocative principles to avoid public complaints might also fail the test. 93

Although procedural fairness is necessary for legitimacy, it is unable to ensure the justice of allocation decisions o nits own. 94,95 Although fair procedures are important,substantive, morally relevant values and principles are indispensable for just allocation. 96,97

Conclusion

Ultimately, none of the eight simple principles recognise all morally relevant values, and some recognise irrelevant values. QALY and DALY multiprinciple systems neglect the importance of fair distribution. UNOS points systems attempt to address distributive justice, but recognise morally irrelevant values and are vulnerable to corruption. By contrast, the complete lives system combines four morally relevant principles: youngest-first, prognosis,lottery, and saving the most lives. In pandemic situations,it also allocates scarce interventions to people instrumental in realising these four principles. Importantly, it is not an algorithm, but a framework that expresses widely affirmed values: priority to the worst-off, maximising benefits, and treating people equally. To achieve a just allocation of scarce medical interventions, society must embrace the challenge of implementing a coherent multiprinciple framework rather than relying on simple principles or retreating to the status quo.

“Dr. Mengele” Emanuel is the Primary Author and Point of Contact for the Article.

Department of Bioethics,The Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda,Maryland, USA
(G Persad BS,A Wertheimer PhD,E J Emanuel MD)
Correspondence to: Ezekiel J Emanuel,Department of Bioethics,The Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda,MD 20892-1156, USA eemanuel@nih.gov

The Debt Ceiling and Presidential Power

Excellent Article on the Debt Ceiling and Presidential Power.

I am an Originalist but in an Anti-Federalist Sense. I believe the Constitution is not really up for interpretation. The Framers made clear and concise arguments in the various notes of the Convention Debates, Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers. Any definitions of phrases or words are to be defined in the vernacular of the time.

I use Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language First edition 1828. Webster started putting together this Dictionary in 1807 and published it in 1828.

10/04/2013

The Debt Ceiling and Presidential Power
Michael Ramsey

The New York Times’ Room for Debate asks Can Obama Ignore the Debt Ceiling?, with contributions from Eric Posner (Chicago), Elizabeth Price Foley (Florida International), Akhil Amar (Yale), Dorothy Brown (Emory), James Galbraith (Texas — Economics), and Thomas Geoghegan. (Thanks to Micahel Perry for the pointer).

I think Professor Foley basically has it right:

Under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress has the power to “borrow money on the credit of the United States.” This power is exclusive; it cannot be exercised by the other branches of government.

If Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling, the president has no authority to go around the legislature because he thinks raising the ceiling is desirable. Such an act would violate the Constitution’s separation of powers. The president can no more authorize additional borrowing than he can impose new taxes, regulate commerce or exercise any other power granted only to Congress.

She suggests, though, that Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment (“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned”) imposes some limits:

The “debt” that “shall not be questioned” under Section 4 thus refers only to bonds and similar debt instruments. … [Thus], there can be no reneging on U.S. “debt” because of Section 4. But there is little risk of such a debt default occurring, simply because the federal government has more than sufficient tax revenue — more than $200 billion per month — to service existing “debt” to creditors.

http://originalismblog.typepad.com/the-originalism-blog/2013/10/the-debt-ceiling-and-presidential-powermichael-ramsey.html

Post Navigation