James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pleading the Tenth

Has anyone ever refused to answer a question from a federal inquisitor on Tenth Amendment grounds? I don't know, but I'd love to hear it from Roger Clemens when he testifies at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee next month:

"Mr. Chairman, I have read the Constitution and it does not grant you authority to ask the question or hold this hearing on my alleged steroid use. Therefore, I will exercise my rights as an American citizen under the Tenth Amendment, and my natural rights as a human being, and refuse to answer it.

"But let me clarify one thing: I do see under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution that Congress has the authority to regulate commerce among the states and with foreign nations. I will assume this includes the selling of drugs across state lines. I do not believe any drug should be regulated by any government, but I respect the legitimacy of such legislation under the Constitution. I will thereofre affirm that I do not know how steroids, or any other illegal performance enhancer, is produced or distributed. I have no knowledge of drug trafficking or drug smuggling at all, and even if I knew someone who dealt drugs, I never saw him or her transport drugs across state lines. To the extent a Congressional hearing on steroids is Constitutionally legitimate, I do not have any information to help you. To the extent this hearing is illegitimate, I refuse to cooperate.

"My non-cooperation does not mean that I endorse performance-enhancing drugs in baseball or anywhere else. Major League Baseball is a private organization, and has the right to ban steroids among its players, and suspend or fine those who are caught. I see the merit in this, because young men shouldn't be caught having to choose between a huge paycheck today and poor health tomorrow. Steroids could also disrupt the competitive balance of the game, if it becomes dominated by steroid-induced strikeout pitchers and power hitters who are intentionally-walked all the time. Much of the excitement of baseball as we know it today - base-running and chasing balls in the field, would disappear.

"So I agree that Baseball should ban steroids, and Baseball has banned steroids, and is taking measures to upgrade its enforcement. It does not need the help of this committee. Tens of billions of dollars have been squandered on waste, fraud, and abuse in Iraq, yet you insist on holding a hearing on a problem that the private sector is taking care of by itself.

"The Constitution you have sworn your allegiance to gives the Congress few and specific powers. Prohibiting individual drug use is not one of them. This is clearly left to the states and to "the people," as the Tenth Amendment says. If steroid possession or use should be illegal, the states should have laws and enforce them. But better yet, if drugs are so bad, the private sector could provide drugs tests, and indeed much of the private sector, including baseball, already does. But we do not need a federal police force and federal prisons warehousing thousands of non-violent drug dealers and drug users. The whole War on Drugs, of which the War on Steroids is a part, is a Constitutional travesty. I will not defend steroid-dealers or any other kind of drug-dealer, but if they are bad, you members of this Committee are much worse. For they are out to make a buck from willing customers, whereas you people are out to take away the freedom of individuals to make decisions for themselves, without their consent.

"Most of this committee is Democrat, and I bet most of you Democrats and maybe a couple of Republicans here are [use hand gesture to signify quotation marks] "pro-choice." If it is a Constitutional right for a woman to pay a doctor to kill a human life inside a woman's womb, why do individuals not also have a Constitutional right to take any substance they please, including steroids or some mind-altering drug?

"The federal republic was formed to provide an internal free-trade zone and a common foreign policy for the states. In few cases, like counterfeiting or treason, does the federal government have the authority to arrest and try individuals. Steroid use may be dangerous. Steroid use may be morally wrong. But steroid use is none of your business.

"I do not recognize the legitimacy of this committee hearing. I will now leave."

3 comments:

  1. LoveAmericaHATEthisPOSGovt4:17 PM PST

    (Quote)" will not defend steroid-dealers or any other kind of drug-dealer, but if they are bad, you members of this Committee are much worse. For they are out to make a buck from willing customers, whereas you people are out to take away the freedom of individuals to make decisions for themselves, without their consent."

    That pretty well sums up this whole Christo-Marxist War on(some)
    Drug(users) This overtly-unconstitutional, wholey un-American, hypocritical, Christo-fascist bullshit "War on Drugs"
    has GOT TO GO!!! Ron Paul 2008!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous1:55 PM PST

    I love it!

    ReplyDelete