About Ivan W. Parkins

 

©Ivan W. Parkins 2011,  All articles, text, web pages property of Ivan W. Parkins.  Use of any material requires permission of the

author and can be obtained by contacting, info@americanpoliticalcommentary.com

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On the Inside

Front Page

· Disassemble the House

· The Political Long View

· Media Bias

· War and Their Costs

· Broken Congress

· Dividing America

· Dividing America, Part two

· Disinform., Liberal Ideology

· The Supreme Court /Judiciary

· Environmentalism

· The Presidency, Part One

· The Presidency, Part Two

· Failure of the People’s House

· The Republic in Danger

2011 Vol. 4, Archive

2010 Vol. 3, Archive

2009 Vol. 2, Archive

2008 Vol. 1, Archive

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To order Dr. Parkins book,

 Perspectives For American Society  

IN THIS ISSUE- Health Care-Supreme Court

-Progressive Constitutionalism

-The Affordable Care Act of 2010

-Mass media’s impact on public policy

-The Mirror Image (a republish)

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT OF 2010

(or as it should be called the Unaffordable Care Act)

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

It is not within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to decide what kind of delivery system the United States should have for health care.  It is within the Court’s jurisdiction to determine whether of not the Affordable Care Act of 2010 has, appropriately, become the law of the land through actions taken by the 111th Congress of the United States and by President Obama.

 

                SUBSTANTIVE DECISION, BY AN ACADEMIC

 

Other than declarations of war, a matter explicitly provided for in the Constitution, it is difficult to find any real parallel, in extent and weight, to the Health Care Act upon the nation’s finances, the authority of the several states, and the lives of individual American citizens.  The issue here is whether of not a peacetime enactment so comprehensive and financially burdening upon the nation, the several states of this union, and the many millions of citizens, is within the powers of a single Congress and Administration.  Is any such comprehensive power to be exercised in time of peace legitimate, or is the Health Care Act a sly form of coup?

 

The act in question is the work of only one legislature and one political party.  It was drawn up in largely secret meetings and considerable haste. Very little time was allowed for legislators not directly involved in its drafting even to read, much less to consider, it. It was enacted by substantial, but not particularly large or bipartisan majorities, after relatively brief floor discussions and debate.  For anything so comprehensive, and impinging so heavily upon nearly all citizens and lesser units of government, such a procedure is inadequate.  The Court has no other reasonable option but to delay the further application of the Health Care Act until it is either confirmed or rejected by additions of a further election, and legislative approval.

 

THE MASS MEDIA’S

IMPACT ON PUBLIC

POLICY

Letter to the Editor;

 U.S. NEWS and World Report

Unpublished 7/29/97

 

     The late Justice William Brennan’s attitudes (obituary, August 4) regarding fairness were similar to those which I expressed in my major piece of campaign literature, 1954, while seeking (unsuccessfully) a Democratic nomination to Congress. . . .

 

      Among the greatest of his innovations was establishing welfare as entitlement, a constitutional right.  In his GOLDBERG V. KELLY opinion, 1970, the key case, he acknowledged a debt to Professor Charles Reich of Yale Law.  Reich had argued, in review articles, for such a right to welfare benefits.  Reich is better known, however, for his GREENING OF AMERICA, also in 1970, a text of the youth rebellion, and one in which he acknowledges his debts, not to our founders and political history, but to Karl Marx, Professor Marcuse, and some writers of contemporary fiction.  Justice Brennan was a man of his time; it is less clear that he saw the value of continuity with the past, a basic principal of constitutionalism.

 

      What may be least understood by most Americans about Brennan’s judicial activism is its unique record of survival.  As Professor Robert Dahl of Yale (political science) discovered, nearly all major judicial conflicts with the legislative and executive branches prior to Brennan’s time were soon resolved in favor of the elective branches.  Only more recently has the U.S. Supreme Court made numerous broad and lasting decisions which became the policies of our government. Why; why now?

 

       The answer, I believe, lies in the development and influence of the mass media, especially television.  Alexander Hamilton’s famous prediction that the judiciary would always remain the weakest branch of our government, because it controlled neither the purse nor the sword, is invalid.  The media have become a major, if not the greatest, instrument of raw power.  During most of his long tenure on the Supreme Court, Justice Brennan was in step with the media.

    PROGRESSIVE

CONSTITUTIONALISM

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

For America, “progressive constitutionalism” makes no sense.  The purpose of a constitution such as ours is to establish the lasting rules guaranteeing that popular governments can be instituted, operate within known limits, and allow private individuals or organizations to plan and conduct their lives without undue interference.  Our Constitution can be changed, but that requires processes that extend beyond one popular election or the rule of one majority.

 

There is a vast difference between the 1930s and our present situation.  Franklin Roosevelt’s initial election was by a substantially larger margin than Obama’s, and his first Congress was also more heavily Democrat, than President Obama’s has been.  Furthermore, FDR’s Administration improved its margins in both the off-year election of 1934 and his reelection in 1936.  Even so, the Supreme Court initially held against much of FDR’s New Deal.  Gradually, the Court “followed the election returns” and yielded to popular sovereignty.

 

The real issue with President Obama’s Health Care Law is that it resembles more an attempt at a coup than orderly legislation.  I refer not to any military coup.  Our military today is highly professional and officers are sworn to protect and defend the Constitution, while enlisted persons swear to obey lawful orders.

 

Much of the support for a coup has come from the “old mainstream media,” but that power center has now been seriously eroded.  Talk radio, cable television, and fifteen years of Fox News have restored some semblance of balance to our information system.

 

None of this disputes that we need improvements in our system of medical services.  But, the Obama plan is one of much greater centralization.  Far more practical in dealing with the differences among individuals and how they react to medical threats and treatments, would be a system in which the chief administrative authority corresponded to the specific natures of the numerous and diverse problems.  Too much of a central government’s interventions, even by states, makes little sense.

 

Partisanship and Real Change

 

By Ivan W. Parkins


 
  Since  WWII, which of our major political parties has had the greatest opportunity to provide us with sound long-term economic, social and immigration policies?  Keep in mind that creating long-term policies requires the cooperation of Presidents and two Houses of
Congress.


   Since WWII:    Even the least favored of five Democrat Presidents, Clinton, had
in 1993-4, two years with larger partisan majorities in both Houses of
Congress than the most favored Republican President, Bush in 2005-6.


     Also, while all Democrat Presidents had opportunities to work with Congresses in which both Houses were controlled by their own party, Eisenhower's very slim majority in 1953-4 was the only Republican advantage other than Bush's.  Two of the Democrats, Johnson and Carter, had huge majorities in both the House and the Senate, larger than the majorities enjoyed by any Republican President in our history.
      Shouldn't those facts enter into our calculations of how to achieve real change? I.W. Parkins 070808

 THE MIRROR IMAGE

A journey through the Looking Glass

By Ivan W. Parkins

(a reprint from earlier this year)

 

I’m dedicating this to “progressive” constitutionalism and to that great English legalist Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

     Isn’t “progressive” constitutionalism grand?  A federal judge tells us that the “equal protection of the laws” phrase, from a post-Civil War amendment and originally interpreted as relating only to matters of that time, now outweighs popular sovereignty.  And, an elected President, who is both an honored graduate of our foremost law school, and an ex-professor of constitutional law, says that he will accept that interpretation while enforcing America’s laws.

     Could not a further constitutional advance now be based upon strict equality grounds, and facilitated by comprehensive national health care?  Nature’s greatest discrimination could soon be corrected.  Americans could be required to seek, and national health care could provide each with, at least one sex-change after they have reached a mature point in their lives.

     Two valuable side effects are likely from such a reform.  At least for this nation and its imitators, the likelihood of over-population will wane.  Also, the pressure of immigrants seeking to become Americans should abate.

     My thanks, again, to the man who has helped me most to  comprehend “progressive” constitutionalism, the man best known as Lewis Carroll!