View Poll Results: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional?

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    3 15.00%
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    16 80.00%
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Thread: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional?

  1. #31
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    Re: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    As a consequence of specific laws passed by Congress that require appropriations, you are correct.



    And again I ask, why isn't it?

    Congress creates these agencies, i.e., FDA, FCC, FEC, EPA, USDA, CDC, FBI, CIA, DHS, DHHS, etc, etc, and with each agencies comes required appropriations. Now, I understand that there is a difference between programs mandated by statute and programs whose budgets are not static and have provided examples of such above. As such, I understand that for some programs/agencies their funding fluctuates from one fiscal year to the next. However, my argument is that if Congress fails to fund ANY program/agency which current laws requires them to do AND in not doing so (i.e., passing a budget) causes a government shut down, even partically, it IS unconstitutional because Congress hasn't upheld their oath to provide appropriations for such programs/agencies.

    Art 1, Sect 9, clause 6 (summarized) states that Congress can spend money from the U.S. Treasury to fund those programs requiring appropriations as set by law - laws which Congress writes and the President approves. Your argument is that no where in the Constitution does it mandate spending. My argument is:
    To be unconstitutional in itself, it must directly (DIRECTLY!) disobey the constitution. The act of shutting down doesn't disobey the constitution. But the consequences of funding programs WILL be unconstitutional. It's semantics really. But the question of whether the act of shutting down is unconstitutional is answered with a big NO.

    A situation where this wouldn't be unconstitutional: End funding the budget. Then quickly vote on all laws/programs that need funds and disband them immediately.

    I'm not recommending this, obviously. But I'm saying that it wouldn't be unconstitutional, which was the question.

  2. #32
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    Re: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    I was answering the question directly: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional? No. No it is not. Nowhere does the constitution obligate the federal government to do certain things (T.E.D. - if you disagree, please show me where it obligates the Federal government).
    Article 4 Section 4, for starters.
    I'm already gearing up for Finger Vote 2014.

    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

  3. #33
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    Re: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalEvilDan View Post
    Article 4 Section 4, for starters.
    ...ok...

    "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."

    What interpretation of this would allow you to conclude that not passing a budget would be unconstitutional? We're not talking about shutting down the military here... we're talking about what is referred to as 'non-essentials' when discussing shutting down the government.
    Last edited by fredmertz; 04-04-11 at 09:54 PM.

  4. #34
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    Re: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    What interpretation of this would allow you to conclude that not passing a budget would be unconstitutional? We're not talking about shutting down the military here... we're talking about what is referred to as 'non-essentials' when discussing shutting down the government.
    I now refer you back to my comment on the subject:


    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalEvilDan View Post
    I voted "yes" with a caveat: If a government shutdown meant that every single government function stopped, then it is absolutely not Constitutional.

    The Constitution undeniably obligates the Federal government to do certain things, so if certain functions are discontinued even temporarily it would be unConstitutional.
    I'm already gearing up for Finger Vote 2014.

    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

  5. #35
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    Re: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by TOJ View Post
    The USA Constitution is a living and breathing document so it's meaning can be whatever those in power at any particular time want it to be.

    .
    That is total HORSE****.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

  6. #36
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    Re: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    But why isn't it? The Constitution grants the Congress the power to right laws that are "necessary and proper" in carrying out the people's business for running the country. Therefore, if that approve of a law - and consent of said approval is derived from Congress passing a bill, thereby making it law - does not Congress have a responsibility to fund those portions of the law that require funding (appropriations) so that the law is fully carried out?

    I'll go one further: Right now there is a bill before Congress (the House), H.R. 819: Government Shutdown Fairness Act, which would prohibit Congress and the President from getting paid if Congress doesn't pass a budget within 24-hours of it's required deadline to do so (April 16 or end of fiscal year, as necessary; I think those were the dates quoted recently by Congressmen Woodall from Georgia on CSPAN recently. I'd have to look them up to be sure) or pass a CR. Woodall also agreed that it IS unconstitutional for Congress not to pass a budget and effectively shutdown the government. So, I ask who's right? The Congressman or those with a decenting opinion?



    So, you're saying it's okay to ignore the supreme law of the land?

    I mean, really...

    If WE don't know what those we elect to govern us are expected to do in adherring to our nation's highest law, how then can we expect to hold these people to task and call them out when they (presumably) violate the supreme law?
    When you write **** like this, it makes me wonder if you are serious and/or have ever read the Constitution. Do you really believe the Founders were the same as the assclowns we vote into office now?
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

  7. #37
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    Re: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    That is total HORSE****.
    Really? Then how do you explain some of the actions of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the USA government?

    You may wish it actually meant what it says but that ain't the way it is.

    .

  8. #38
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    Re: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by TOJ View Post
    Really? Then how do you explain some of the actions of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the USA government?

    You may wish it actually meant what it says but that ain't the way it is.

    .
    How do you explain that we still follow the Constitution, and aren't a complete dictatorship?
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

  9. #39
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    Re: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    How do you explain that we still follow the Constitution, and aren't a complete dictatorship?
    I see you claim to be conservative.

    What do you think of the Roe v Wade decision? How about Obamacare? Are these Constitutional? How about the McCain–Feingold Act? Do you think the Establishment Clause is interpreted today as it was in 1800?

    Although you may not agree, many think the Patriot Act is unconstitutional.

    Are you really trying to argue that the USA Constitution is interpreted in 2011 the same as it was 220 years ago?

    I would bet that when (not if) the USASC declares that gays must be allowed to marry, your head will explode. Are you going to say that is not constitutional? Won't matter. You don't get to decide.

    The USA President and Congress pay little heed to whether some action they are contemplating is consistent with the understanding of the Constitution in 1800. The USA Constitution means whatever five old people happen to want it to mean at a particular point in time.

    .

  10. #40
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    Re: Is shutting down the government unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    ...ok...

    "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."

    What interpretation of this would allow you to conclude that not passing a budget would be unconstitutional? We're not talking about shutting down the military here... we're talking about what is referred to as 'non-essentials' when discussing shutting down the government.
    I think what TacticalEvilDan is saying here is the government does shutdown, it can't preform its duty to adequately protect the Union. Of course, I don't believe we've ever had a full government shutdown. In those few instances where the government did "shutdown", it was only a partial shutdown. "Essential programs" such as the Treasury (for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid), the military including our intellegence agencies (CIA, FBI, DHS, etc., because they come under DoD) and the postal service all continued to operate. Most Americans didn't "feel" the effects of a government shutdown the last couple of times it happened. So, to many its of little to no consequence. But there are other factors to consider, such as, our credit worthiness abroad. But that's an entirely different matter.

    For me, I think it is unconstituation whether partially or otherwise, but it would seem the majority of respondants disagree. Regardless, I was curious what others thought on the matter.

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