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14th Amendment: Democratic Senators See Debt Ceiling As Unconstitutional

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posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 08:52 PM
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WASHINGTON -- Growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for a deal that would raise the debt ceiling, Democratic senators are revisiting a solution to the crisis that rests on a simple proposition: The debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional.

"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law... shall not be questioned," reads the 14th Amendment.

"This is an issue that's been raised in some private debate between senators as to whether in fact we can default, or whether that provision of the Constitution can be held up as preventing default," Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), an attorney, told The Huffington Post Tuesday. "I don't think, as of a couple weeks ago, when this was first raised, it was seen as a pressing option. But I'll tell you that it's going to get a pretty strong second look as a way of saying, 'Is there some way to save us from ourselves?'"

By declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional, the White House could continue to meet its financial obligations, leaving Tea Party-backed Republicans in the difficult position of arguing against the plain wording of the Constitution. Bipartisan negotiators are debating the size of the cuts, now in the trillions, that will come along with raising the debt ceiling.


www.huffingtonpost.com...

Supposedly this question has been raised before and may be used as a last ditch effort to keep ourselves from defaulting should a deal not be struck.

Strange situation. Would seem to put people at odds with their beliefs? Don't know what I think of this personally.

What do u think?




posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 08:59 PM
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The President or Congress do not have the power to declare things unconstitutional, that power rests with the conservative Supreme Court.

Won't happen



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:04 PM
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reply to post by kro32
 


While I don't know the exact process things are done, it would seem this has essentially already been ruled unconstitutional?

from the article:




In 1935, the Supreme Court held that despite the Civil War context, the amendment clearly referred to all federal debt. "While [the 14th Amendment] was undoubtedly inspired by the desire to put beyond question the obligations of the government issued during the Civil War, its language indicates a broader connotation," the majority wrote in Perry v. U.S. "We regard it as confirmatory of a fundamental principle which applies as well to the government bonds in question, and to others duly authorized by the Congress as to those issued before the amendment was adopted. Nor can we perceive any reason for not considering the expression 'the validity of the public debt' as embracing whatever concerns the integrity of the public obligations."

edit on 28-6-2011 by David9176 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:13 PM
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Here is the paragraph in context:




4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.


As I read this, The government could not claim it does not owe a pension or bounty for a service that was owed to a entity that suppressed an insurrection or rebellion. This appears to be written to ensure the northern soldiers who fought in the civil war would receive their pensions while those in the south would not. Also those in the south would not receive any compensation for a slave that was freed.

I don't see anything in here that says the government can borrow all the money it wants.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:19 PM
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reply to post by EssenceOfSilence
 


Yes, but the Supreme Court seemed to rule otherwise in 1935 as I showed in my previous post.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:24 PM
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Originally posted by David9176
reply to post by kro32
 


While I don't know the exact process things are done, it would seem this has essentially already been ruled unconstitutional?

from the article:




In 1935, the Supreme Court held that despite the Civil War context, the amendment clearly referred to all federal debt. "While [the 14th Amendment] was undoubtedly inspired by the desire to put beyond question the obligations of the government issued during the Civil War, its language indicates a broader connotation," the majority wrote in Perry v. U.S. "We regard it as confirmatory of a fundamental principle which applies as well to the government bonds in question, and to others duly authorized by the Congress as to those issued before the amendment was adopted. Nor can we perceive any reason for not considering the expression 'the validity of the public debt' as embracing whatever concerns the integrity of the public obligations."

edit on 28-6-2011 by David9176 because: (no reason given)


I don't think this makes the debt ceiling unconstitutional. I think it demands the government meet its debt-obligations before spending money on non-debt obligations.

If we take this amendment as reason to declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional, it would imply that the government has a never ending source to borrow money. Short of printing it themselves, this is not true since it would be illegal without having someone to borrow it from.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:29 PM
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reply to post by EssenceOfSilence
 





If we take this amendment as reason to declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional, it would imply that the government has a never ending source to borrow money.


I'm not a constitutional lawyer, so I have no idea how to really interpret this....but I do understand why it's being done.

This could be used as a bargaining chip to get Republicans to come to the table in debt ceiling negotiations.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:42 PM
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reply to post by David9176
 



Yes, they want to find anyway to allow the government continue to spend money and /or get a tax hike out of the republicans.

What most people overlook is that if they raise it or not, the government still owes the money. I can only see two ways to ever pay it off.

1. Eliminate the deficit and begin paying it off like most normal people have to do with their debt. (I don't want to get into how to eliminate the deficit, that is for another thread.) (Tax the rich, cut spending etc etc etc.) (This would be very painful and neither party really has the stomach for it.)

2. Have the federal reserve continue to create money out of thin air. Once enough money is in circulation, you can skim enough off with taxes to pay off the debt. Unfortunately this plan will require the average person to roll a barrel full of 1000 dollar bills into the grocery store to get a gallon of milk.


(As it looks, they have abandoned number 1 and are full speed ahead on number 2.)

edit on 28-6-2011 by EssenceOfSilence because: spelling

edit on 28-6-2011 by EssenceOfSilence because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:46 PM
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Tar and feathering is unconstitutional, but it is an idea that is starting to feel warm and fuzzy to people. I wonder what kind of an exit plan these criminals have when they completely melt down our economy? They are still going to have to live with the peasants.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:47 PM
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Doesn't matter. Doesn't fix the problem of ... who will buy US bonds at those ridiculous interest rates... if it's not the FED, nobody will.

QE3 or skyrocketing interest rates. Your choice America. (well not really) Either way you are in big trouble.
edit on 28-6-2011 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by kro32
The President or Congress do not have the power to declare things unconstitutional, that power rests with the conservative Supreme Court.

Won't happen


I wouldn't count on that. Our "conservative" Supreme court has been siding with big business and corporations lately and against the little guy. There's no bigger business than the bankers and they own this country.

If you think the Supreme court won't side with the bankers and force the government to pay its debts, you got another thing coming.



edit on 6/28/11 by FortAnthem because:
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posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 03:23 AM
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reply to post by David9176
 


Wow... Talk about being out of touch with reality.

What does he think is going to happen by trying to bypass the rpocess in thie manner? The House is controlled by Republicans, who are going to refuse every single spending request. Congress controls the purse strings, not the President.

You think we have gridlock now.. If this occurs we might as well shut downt he government and just put a for sale sign out front.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 11:22 AM
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Originally posted by David9176
...Would seem to put people at odds with their beliefs?


For sure. Waving around a copy of the Constitution is not the same as following it. Or thoroughly reading it, as in this case.

OTOH, by deliberately not acknowledging this small part of the Constitution in public, one does not have to show their hand at exactly how they would spend $ in their budget. The focus is on something else, that in reality is non-consequential to one's budgetary priorities.



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