Newsletter | January 12, 2023
This country’s political order was designed to be a contentious affair. Americans are supposed to argue. Good debates sharpen the mind, and, in the case of elected officials, can refine policies that affect our families, communities, and country.
One of our first big arguments was over the Constitution.
On one side were those who opposed it, known as the anti-Federalists. Arguing against them, and for what would become the supreme law of the land, were some of the greatest minds among our Founding Fathers — Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. These were the Federalists. They sought to convince their fellow Americans of the virtues of the proposed Constitution and to vote to ratify it. Their essays and articles promoting the Constitution are collected in what is now known as the Federalist Papers, one of the most crucial compilations of written material in our nation’s history.
The Federalist Papers remind us that argument is part of America’s DNA. As free men and women born with the God-given right to our own opinions, we Americans don’t always see eye-to-eye. The Constitution enshrines our right to speak our minds freely and that’s why we’re the greatest nation on earth. And we’re most fully American when we debate what’s best for America.
Over the coming weeks, we will take a closer look at the nature of our politics, as it was first delineated in the Constitution, and argued over in the Federalist Papers, focusing on the text and meaning of those 85 articles and essays, all robust with political philosophies and notions of a more perfect union.
You may have watched recently as members of the Republican-led House of Representatives made full use of their rights to hold and speak their opinions when they debated on the floor of Congress about the candidate for House Speaker, the third most powerful official in our system.
One side, a small faction, contended that the Speaker wields too much power at the expense of the other members, and, thus, too much power over their constituents. On the other side was the majority — Republican representatives who wanted the rebels to temper their demands and agree to vote for the favorite, Kevin McCarthy. After 15 rounds of voting, non-stop negotiations, and concessions from the candidate, the holdouts agreed to elect McCarthy.
Many observers complained that the delay in electing a Speaker proved the Party couldn’t get its act together. But we at America’s Future disagree. The debate, some public and some behind the scenes, demonstrated the true nature of our Constitution. It allocates power to the minority so it will not be overwhelmed by the majority opinion. Each citizen must be counted.
We are not a nation that longs to be ruled by one man or one party. We are a free people and our voices will be heard, expressed through our elected officials, and our interests will be respected and implemented in the policies that guide our country.
Bound to our Framers by a legacy of debate, this new series on the Federalist Papers will provide an added perspective on current affairs in today’s political climate.
Please participate in our Reader’s Survey this week and share your thoughts and insights on the topic addressed in our article above. We read them all and share some of them every Monday at 9 a.m. during America’s Future live broadcasts with our Executive Director Mary O’Neill on America’s Mondays With Mary. Thank You!
Students Require Safe Environments To Learn
By all accounts, public schools across the country are losing students. Projections through 2030 by the government expect enrollment to continue to erode. Several factors have influenced this phenomenon, like closing down schools during the pandemic and the rapid growth of homeschooling.
The homeschooling option for families has become a popular choice for several reasons, one of which cited is the realization by parents that what is occurring in schools regarding their child’s safety and well-being are far from the expectations or family values embraced by parents.
Speaking directly to these concerns is a recent report released this month by the Chicago Public Schools Office of Inspector General (OIG), Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report, painting a dire picture of school-based sexual misconduct, including rape and grooming behavior by educators and school staff.
Illinois’s Chicago public schools are not the only state where schools are failing our children when it comes to providing a safe and protected environment for learning.
In Virginia, a Louden County Special Grand Jury issued a December report following its investigation of how the system’s former superintendent and other officials handled sexual assaults. In Ohio, a grand jury indicted a teacher of sexual assault in April. Two months later, he pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery against the victim, a 17-year-old female student. In Wisconsin, a jury found a teacher guilty in October of sexual assault of a child, and in Rhode Island, a June report told a grimy story of inappropriate conduct by teachers and coaches in a local school system dating back decades.
Just this week, controversy surfaced in Michigan regarding roughly 100 sixth-grade students from a middle school attending a November school field trip, where photographs of students “pole dancing” have been posted online.
In addition to the dangers being foisted upon students in classrooms, a 2022 analysis of “Teens and Pornography” in the US found that nearly half of the students who viewed pornography during the school day did so on school-owned devices, demonstrating a further lack of leadership and management of student activity all around.
Whether the projection of decreased enrollment in public schools plays out over the next several years, greater concerns about the safety and well-being of children at school are coming to the forefront. To protect their children, parents must stay vigilant of the culture in their child’s school; stay current with reports of sexual assaults and grooming activities; know the red flags of child exploitation, and make it a priority to get to know their children’s teachers and coaches, as well as other school officials.
To help end child exploitation, abuse, trafficking, and neglect, parents with school-age children, and other community members fighting to protect the children of our great country, please visit America’s Future Project Defend & Protect Our Children (PDPC), and consider joining our PDPC network.
The Twelfth Amendment – Elections of US Presidents and Faithfulness of Electors
Ratified in 1804 based on concepts described on March 12, 1788, in Federalist Paper No. 68 entitled, “The Mode of Electing the President”, our Twelfth Amendment modified the original manner in which US Presidents and Vice Presidents were selected pursuant to the US Constitution under Article II, Section 1, Clause 3.
Under the original process, members of the Electoral College voted for two candidates and the second-place candidate for president became our vice president. The primary reason this Amendment came about was to avoid an issue arising out of the election of 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Another reason underlying the development of the Twelfth Amendment was to ensure Presidents and Vice Presidents did not align themselves with political parties that endorsed conflicting philosophies. In all likelihood, that would lead to distrust, policy-making standoffs, gridlock, and avoidable conflicts between the two most high-ranking members of our executive branch and their staff.
With all this in mind, the Twelfth Amendment stands for the notion of party-line voting by select residents of US states appointed to meet with all other electors and vote by ballot for the offices of President and Vice President. The notion of electors and the process they follow is captured in the Amendment’s historic text, in part stating,
“The Electors shall…vote by ballot for President and Vice-President…they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify…”
Since the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment, the most obvious challenge burdens state legislatures who are tasked with defining, managing, and enforcing the roles and responsibilities of appointed electors through laws and regulations. The cause of the most controversy over the years centers on whether an elector can exercise free will during the Electoral College, thus voting for their personally preferred candidates or whether states can bind the elector to vote only for the candidates the elector pledged to vote for at the time he or she was appointed.
The Supreme Court has interpreted the Twelfth Amendment on only a handful of occasions. The 1952 opinion of Ray v Blair 343 US 214 (1952) held that states could require a potential elector to affirmatively “pledge” (in other words, promise) to cast a vote for the candidate the voters of their state had supported.
The most recent SCOTUS decision centered on the Twelfth Amendment was announced in 2020 under Chiafalo v Washington, 140 S. Ct. 2316 (2020). Circling back to (and reaffirming) the holding in Ray (1952), the Chiafalo (2020) decision involved the right of states to enforce elector pledges. In this case, the SCOTUS ruled that states may enforce the pledges to only vote for candidates that electors are required to make.
These SCOTUS decisions reflect a deep-rooted belief we hold, as Americans, that our elections must be free and fair and the rights of eligible voters cannot be compromised or undermined – the right to vote gives rise to and protects all other individual rights we hold sacred as a free people.
The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government
Our expanded IN FOCUS section addressing corruption in the U.S. Department of Justice and the self-destruction of the FBI continues with this latest entry. Readers will find the compilation of the complete series of articles at Unequal Justice Under Law.
For once, there is reason to believe that the lawless special agents at the FBI and the politicized lawyers at the Justice Department may pull in their horns a bit and become less abusive of the rights of Americans — at least for a while. Why? Because there is a new Sheriff in town. In the nation’s capital, where bureaucrats have been immune from accountability, things may be about to change.
The new GOP House majority moved quickly to implement promises made by Speaker McCarthy to investigate a myriad of abuses by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the FBI, and other federal agencies. On January 10, 2023, the House approved the creation of the “Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government” under the Judiciary Committee. Established as a Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, this new investigatory body is patterned after a Senate Committee established in 1975 to investigate abuses by these same Deep State agencies that was chaired by liberal Senator Frank Church (D-ID).
The new Subcommittee’s membership of nine Republicans and six Democrats has not yet been chosen, but it will be appointed by Judiciary Committee Chairman Constitutionalist Jim Jordan (OH). Chairman Jordan will choose the Subcommittee’s Republican members from a list of other Constitutional stalwarts serving on the Judiciary Committee, including Ken Buck (CO), Matt Gaetz (FL), Mike Johnson (LA), Andy Biggs (AZ), Tom Massie (KY), Chip Roy (TX), and Dan Bishop (NC). Several of these members of the House Judiciary Committee are the very same members of the House Freedom Caucus who demanded the Committee be created as a concession from incoming Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Reports have circulated that the Subcommittee will be chaired by Judiciary Chairman Jordan himself.
Jordan’s floor statement held back nothing in assailing Deep State Agencies: “Your right to practice your faith, your right to assemble, right to petition the government, freedom of the press, freedom of speech. Every single one’s been attacked in the last two years.”
H. Res. 12 establishes the Committee and gives it a broad investigative scope, including:
how executive branch agencies work with…non-profit entities, or other government agencies to facilitate action against American citizens, including the extent, if any, to which illegal or improper, unconstitutional, or unethical activities were engaged in by the executive branch or private sector against citizens of the United States…how executive branch agencies collect, compile, analyze, use, or disseminate information about citizens of the United States…[and] any other issues related to the violation of the civil liberties of citizens of the United States…
The text of the resolution would also grant Mr. Jordan’s panel the power to receive the same highly classified information that intelligence agencies make available to their oversight committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Intelligence Committee members have access to some of the most sensitive secrets in the government, including information about covert actions, which are not shared with other lawmakers.
The Subcommittee will face determined opposition by those who want to protect the Deep State from public exposure of its illegal and unconstitutional activities. As journalist Glenn Greenwald puts it: “A core plank of the Dem Party is unifying state and corporate power to censor their adversaries and critics from the internet. But an equally high priority is to shield the US Security State from investigative scrutiny because they perceive – accurately – they’re their allies.”
The manners in which the Subcommittee will operate are not yet set, but they will likely determine how successful it will be. Will the Subcommittee hearings be held in secret, with only occasional press statements being made by its members? Or will the hearings be made public so that Americans can see over a period of months the depth of the corruption? Will witnesses have immunity from prosecution for their testimony? Will witnesses who perjure themselves be held accountable? How will Congress hold three-letter agencies accountable for implementing reforms? Will any of these agencies that have been lawless since their creation be abolished?
The concept is excellent, and the right people seem to be in place. The American people must now support these efforts to reveal the true depth of the Deep State swamp, and then implement a workable plan to drain it!
To read the entire series of articles, please click here.
Reminders & Updates
WATCH & LEARN: In case you missed America’s Future 76th anniversary celebration where we launched Project Defend & Protect Our Children, you can stay informed by watching a highlight reel of the event’s dynamic speakers who shared personal stories and encouraging words of wisdom to unite Americans to put an end to child exploitation and trafficking. Watch the video and learn more about the legacy and leaders of America’s Future and the new Project here.
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