Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Revolution Recidivism: The Return of Admiralty Courts

If you grew up in the United States, chances are that you do not know what an Admiralty Court is. Nor will you have learned that the existence of Admiralty Courts in the Colonies is the reason we have our right to trial by Jury. You would also likely believe that the 2nd amendment exists because our founding fathers were avid hunters, but that is a topic for another blog. Admiralty courts were founded in the England many centuries ago as a way of bring law to the coastal areas of the country. Basically, it meant a judge had total power over the law, and what's more, they were incented to find in favor of the government as their pay and that of the naval officers that brought charges were base on a successful outcome for the government. It would be like a city coming up with some obscure driving law to raise money because they controlled the court system and you had no appeal, Nor was the validity of the rule subject to the people since they were left out of the process by the absence of juries. What our founding fathers didn't like about this, as with many other things, is that jurisdiction was not regional, meaning a case involving the colonies could be held in England, there were no juries, and the purpose of the court was to increase revenue to the treasury. Basically, it was not an impartial legal system. So we have the revolution and do away with such courts and we create the Bill of Rights to ensure such a thing doesn't happen again.

Now let's flash forward 231 years to the present and you will find that admiralty courts are alive and well in every department of the federal government. You see, when congress passes a law, it false to the executive branch to enforce the law. Laws are generally vague, such as having clean air, leaving the executive agency, like the EPA, to interpret the law. Under that law, the agency now has authority to make policy under the umbrella of the law. This too is a problem with our government, but is still not the purpose of this blog entry.
Here is the heart of the issue, and I will use our EPA example to illustrate, but this system exists across the board, suppose I own a small factory. My factory has a small smoke stack that through the manufacturing process, emits levels of ozone, sulphur, and carbon dioxide. The EPA does a survey of the air quality in your city and determines that due to the high concentration of the endangered polish dung roach in your area the level of sulphur must be much lower than the national average. Your smoke stack that was once EPA compliant is no longer compliant. The cost to install new scrubbers is high and because of hard financial times it would effectively end your business. Where do you go to make your appeal. After all, the voters didn't decide on what the levels should be. As far as you can tell, the emission levels are all determined on a whim. Much to your surprise, your appeal process must go through the very agency that is shutting you down.

You file your case within the EPA court process. Layer after layer of psuedo-courts, and the decision stands. Before your case can work itself all the way through the EPA, you have run out of money and can no longer appeal. Provided you had enough money, you would have made it through to the real courts, but they bank on you not having enough money. This seems so un-American. It is like having an argument with your neighbor over your property line, and having your neighbor try to act impartially in making the decision. It seems so un-American because it is un-American. This principal is what was put down 230 years ago. Our constitution has become a phrase in the grapevine game. The further along we go as a country, the more misinterpreted it gets. What is sad is that we have the very document right at our fingertips to read, so their is no need for interpretation.

We have become what was put down. A nation that wields too much federal power. A nation of taxes and admiralty courts. A nation with a government with limits. A nation that has abdicated its heritage in favor of the special and minority (not race) interests. We have become a country's whose constitution now reads, We the nation.

1 comment:

zackzilla said...

Going on 2 weeks without a post. What gives?