Is it unconstitutional for members of Congress to vote in favor of the death penalty for drug dealers? No,
it is not uncon...
originally intended for the greater good for the greatest number. There is definitely no need for the
death penalty.
The d...
community and opposing involuntary collectivism, no one should be able to be raped and that person
walk away with very lit...
have decided to quit smoking could vastly benefit from this new provision in the law. Military personnel
has a right to co...
of 4

President and Congress1

Published on: Mar 4, 2016

Transcripts - President and Congress1

  • 1. Is it unconstitutional for members of Congress to vote in favor of the death penalty for drug dealers? No, it is not unconstitutional. In the case of Kennedy v. Louisiana, which involved seeking a death penalty for the rape of young girl, the precedent setting finding was drawn between “offenses against the individual (rape)” and “offenses against the State (drug trafficking).” With respect to the latter category, – “offenses against the State” – including crimes such as drug trafficking (and treason and espionage), even when death does not result , the Court left a window for this not being “excessive” punishment. The decision in Furman v. Georgia, where there were many conflicting viewpoints regarding the death penalty, effectively invalidated the death penalty statutes for all crimes, the federal government reinstated the federal death penalty for drug trafficking during the 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse Act which was passed in the passionate favor of the War on Drugs. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act contained an act called the “Drug Kingpin Act,” which authorized the death penalty sanction for “any defendant, who, while working as part of a criminal enterprise, intentionally kills, counsels, commands, procures, induces or causes the intentional killing of any person.7 The act, however, still required a related killing in order to impose capital punishment.” It also made two other drug-related crimes involving a killing eligible for capital punishment. In 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which included the Federal Death Penalty Act. The FDPA expanded the number of death-eligible offenses and aggravating factors for drug-related behavior that results in death (including a corresponding mens rea of either intent or reckless disregard for human life), but it also defined “drug kingpinning” which did not include an actual death as a prerequisite. Essentially, the crimes relating to drug activity and also involved a death were now federal capital offenses; moreover, the death penalty was also extended to the crime of drug trafficking in extremely large quantities and to the crime of attempted or ordered murder of public officers, jurors, witnesses or their families by the leader of a criminal enterprise who commits a drug trafficking offense (also called the 1994 death penalty for drug kingpins) without the need to prove a death in order to seek the death penalty. These crimes being defined as “offenses against the State” let Congress make this constitutional. However, if the President decided to make this a law, under Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer he would need Congress’ approval. The Presidential Powers “are not fixed but fluctuate upon their disjunction or conjunction with those of Congress.” If the Legislature presents this type of Bill, under the Presentment Clause of the united States Constitution) to the Executive and he signs it into law, this is constitutional. However, the President can veto the Bill. If the President vetoes the Bill, this has to “cancel in whole” under the Line- Item Veto Act. He cannot simply pick certain provisions to sign into law and veto the others. What are the constitutional obligations of judges asked to sentence under the new drug offender law? When Congress legislates pursuant to its delegated powers, conflicting state law and policy must yield due the the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. However, under Woodson v. North Carolina, mandatory death sentencing is unconstitutional. So, just because you can sentence someone to death for this crime, does not mean it has to be done indefinitely. Although the preemptive effect of federal legislation is best known in areas governed by the commerce clause, the same effect is present, of course, whenever Congress legislates constitutionality. If a case challenging the sentencing law properly comes before the Supreme Court, under Marbury v. Madison, the Court can use its power of judicial review. If the Supreme Court Justices find this is an unconstitutional law and rule against it, then the law can be struck down as unconstitutional. Is it just? According to merit, I am not sure if anyone actually deserves the death penalty. The State should not have the power to kill someone with a premeditated ceremony. There is not an equal distribution of the death penalty, making this punishment unjust. This vastly takes away desired freedom considering the irrevocable nature and the finality of the death penalty. With all the previous considered, I do not think the death penalty can be utilized the way it was
  • 2. originally intended for the greater good for the greatest number. There is definitely no need for the death penalty. The decision in Coker v. Georgia was decided in 1977 saying that sentencing someone to death for the rape of an adult woman, with no death, was “grossly disproportionate to the crime violating the Eighth Amendment’s “cruel and unusual” clause. This type of decision was also reconfirmed later in Kennedy v. Louisiana (“crime against individual” vs. “crime against the State”). The decision in this case was also within the category of “offenses against the individual,” where the death penalty is unconstitutional for crimes that do not take a human life, because the punishment of death is “excessive” and “disproportionate” to the crime, pursuant to the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on “cruel and unusual punishment.” This case involved the rape of a young girl, but still reconfirmed the precedent set in 1977. However, in Coker v. Georgia, Coker was already serving time for rape, murder, kidnapping, and aggravated assault. While being held in prison, this man escaped and during his escape committed armed robbery and other offenses also raping an adult woman. The prosecutor sought the death penalty for the rape of the woman. The Supreme Court said this was grossly disproportionate punishment. If another case such as this were brought before the Supreme Court now, with three replaced judges, the outcome could be different. In most cases, once a woman is raped, a part of that individual “dies” regardless, this woman is never the same as before. This knowledge combined with the decision in Kennedy v. Louisiana, could be considered a “crime against the State.” Due to the fact he should have been in a state prison but instead escaped, he should not have had the chance to commit any more crimes, and in the course hurt a woman that cannot be the same. If brought before the Supreme Court in a contextually similar way, the outcome would probably be that sentencing to death for the rape of a woman is constitutional considering the totality of the circumstances, under Illinois v. Gates, surrounding the rape. In 1982, in Enmund v. Florida, the Court backed up the opinion in Coker citing the proportionality principle was lacking. Considering Enmund did not kill or have intent to kill, the death penalty was excessive. Justice Brennan said in a concurring opinion to the majority, the death penalty should be excessive in all circumstances. Just as in Enmund, the Tison Court applied the proportionality principle to conclude that the death penalty was an appropriate punishment for a felony murderer who was a major participant in the underlying felony and exhibited a reckless indifference to human life. In Tison v. Arizona, decided in 1987, the United States Supreme Court sentenced the Tison brothers to death. This did not involve a felony murder by all participants, mere presence and intent was enough. So, when deciding Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008), the Supreme Court should have taken into account the amount of actual harm done to the individual, the amount of public concern for this type of crime, and the circumstances surrounding the rape. Conservatively, the moral order should be everyone should be able to feel protected in their own right against unwanted intrusions (including against unconsensual sex). Conservatives could say the custom of warranting the death penalty for this type of offense is backed by the custom, convention, and continuity of this country. Using the prescription of deterrence, a Conservative could say this will stop this type of future crime from happening if the offenders knew they would be death- penalty eligible. Under prudence, the Supreme Court should consider what the long- run consequences vs. temporary advantages are. There are many kinds of inequality, according to Conservatives, and social stagnation is important. If the totality of the circumstances is applied, people should be death penalty eligible for the crime of rape. We must preserve and improve a tolerable order, even without being able to perfect anyone, we can attempt to make a difference. If freedom and property are closely linked, a woman (or man) should feel free from rape and if their body can be considered as their property, a violation of this form given to all humans, should be one of the most heinous crimes even when there is no death. With upholding voluntary
  • 3. community and opposing involuntary collectivism, no one should be able to be raped and that person walk away with very little punishment. Although not mandatory, the death penalty should be able to come before the Court if the prosecutor seeks it. There is nothing voluntary about a rape. When a man rapes a woman (or visa-versa), there is a definite show of authority, the Conservative believes there should be a balance of this show of authority and a claim to liberty. If someone is to be free in their own self, their government should protect them to any extent they can. A “crime against the individual” is essentially a “crime against the State.” Society needs to continue improving and give better (with all that entails) punishments for certain crimes, including rape. According to the Department of Justice, the average time served for the crime of rape is 65 months (or a little over 5 years). This punishment is excessive for the individual whose liberty was trampled. If the Supreme Court was given a case like this now and the Conservative opinion won, the crime of rape would be a death eligible offense. Adding these principles to the precedent and opinions of my answer to one, my answer does not change. The Military Forces in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm were put under some intense orders of a “by all means necessary” Resolution passed by the UN and concurrence by Congress and President Bush. After the Post Traumatic Stress occurring and the means employed, these Military forces should have a pay increase by Congress enacted into the budget. If this law were passed and one of the provisions for the salary increase was the blood testing for Leishmania Tropica, this is constitutional under …. One of the jobs of our Congress as our elected government officials is to make sure that no government collaboration or conspiratorial actions can or will take place against any single segment of society. It should not matter that we once wore the uniform of the United States Military. “When you created the Veteran, you do not lay aside the citizen.” If this provision was enacted into law, Congress should be responsible for compensation for the effects of the parasites contracted on a Military mission overseas. In other words, if they do test positive for the parasite, which should not affect their salary increase, this should yield them more beneficial help to get the parasite out or treated effectively. If Congress decides to increase the federal inspection fee of tobacco plants, this can be done under the Commerce Clause and Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution. This Constitutional provision allows Congress to protect the general welfare of the United States. The research into individuals who smoke yields very detrimental results. If congress enacts a provision of a law to benefit the public good, this is constitutional. In Justice Robert’s Opinion on National Federation of Business vs. Sebelius, he says “Put simply, Congress may tax and spend. This grant gives the Federal Government considerable influence even in areas where it cannot directly regulate. The Federal Government may enact a tax on an activity that it cannot authorize, forbid, or otherwise control. And in exercising its spending power, Congress may offer funds to the States, and may condition those offers on compliance with specified conditions.” Congress can enact this law under its taxing and spending power. Under the Commerce Clause, Congress can regulate all things “substantially affecting interstate commerce.” The commerce power is an enumerated power of Congress and the Supreme Court has interpreted it as an express grant of authority to Congress and an affirmative limitation on the rights of the states to regulate commerce within their own borders. Considering the interstate nature of tobacco, this is not a far stretch for Congress to regulate and implement an increase of 20% on federal inspections. If Congress has the ultimate goal of getting people to quit smoking for their own benefit along with a substantial benefit to the public at large, this is constitutional. According to pragmatic ethical problem solving, if Congress were to pass this law, the courses of action taken could be very beneficial to many people. The soldiers from Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm would get compensation for their work protecting the Constitution of the United States, they could potentially get help with a possible blood parasite that otherwise they may not know they had until it was too late, and the people who
  • 4. have decided to quit smoking could vastly benefit from this new provision in the law. Military personnel has a right to compensation for their efforts and everyone has a right to breathe air. If Congress passed this type of legislation, moral rights could be protected for a high number of people. This type of action may in some way discriminate against or favor a certain Operation performed in the Military, but given the nature of this particular Operation, this treats them the same under what they provided. This type of legislation could potentially help other people decide to quit smoking and therefore make the air that much more clean for everyone else. I believe this legislation would advance the common good for everyone. Also, this will develop moral virtues because people could potentially see that Congress is willing to compensate our Military more fairly and help people if they choose to quit smoking and those who do not smoke.

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