This has been a busy month.
No lack of things to report. Here are a few of the salient ones.
I was asked by the Tenth Amendment Center to prepare a model
bill for my proposal for a Federal Action Review Commission. This
has been on my to-do list for a long time, so I finally did it, and
you can see the result, Draft
bill proposing amendment to Texas Constitution for establishment
of a state grand jury for the review of the constitutionality of
the actions of United States government officials and agents,
and to authorize state grand juries to investigate public
It is posted on the Tenth Amendment Center site at http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/10th-amendment-commission/
Note that it does not just establish a Nullification Commission for
federal usurpations. It would also establish state grand juries with
a mandate to investigate state and local official misconduct and
public administration, and it would not be tethered to any
particular court or prosecutor, so could remain independent of both.
You are welcome to ask questions or offer suggestions for
improvements. It is not too late to fix it if there are any
I can write versions of the proposal for any other state if someone
is willing to push it there.
Once again the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature adopted
congressional and state district maps based on the 2010 census, once
again they were challenged in lawsuits by Democrats and minority
groups, and once again I filed an action
in intervention, proposing abandonment of maps being drawn by
human beings and leaving it to be done my computers, drawing random
maps according to well-established mathematical algorithms that do
not favor or disfavor anyone based on party, voting history,
ethnicity, or incumbency. The federal trial concluded this week in
San Antonio, and as of this writing I have not gotten the decision
of the Court, but I would expect it to make a few tweaks and call it
the map, leaving it to any disgruntled parties to appeal it. I of
course can't afford to do that, but one of the advantages of filing
an intervention instead of only an amicus curiae brief,
besides enabling me to make motions, call witnesses, and argue the
case in court, is that on appeal my intervention will be carried up
the appeals chain along with the rest of the case file. If my
proposal ever made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, there are
indications that my proposal might be adopted there.
You can help us financially by clicking on the ads on our sites
We have broken down and finally begun inserting Google Adsense ads
on our most popular pages, especially the gateway pages with
multiple links to other pages that most people are not going to want
to print or copy. For the few exceptions, we offer a "printer
friendly version" link to a page without ads.
Every time you click on a different ad that interests you somewhere in our site or on
one of our affiliated sites it earns us about $0.46, without it costing you more
than a few minutes of your time.
We also earn revenues from people clicking on ads with our YouTube
videos. See http://www.youtube.com/user/JonRoland1787
If you view them, don't forget to click on the "Like" buttons of the
ones you want to help "go viral".
You are not encouraged to click on ads just to earn us revenue. Only click on the ads that interest you as a prospective purchaser. That helps Google know what kinds of ads to present. We have a stake in having people with a connection to constitutional topics advertise on Google and have those ads presented on our sites. This can encourage them, and in that way help advance the cause.
Want to purchase something from Amazon.com? Please do it through one
of the web forms on our site, including the one on our home page,
and we earn a referral fee. It won't cost you anything extra and it
will benefit us.
If you have a Kindle e-book reader, please be aware that the
Constitution Society is a Kindle publisher, and you can help us by
downloading our offerings to read. Look for them, and let us know if
there are any you would like that we haven't offered yet.
Please ask all your friends to do the same.
You can boost our search rankings
A new development on Google is that if you search on "constitution"
now come up twice: Position #6 for the home page and position
#7 for the U.S. Constitution itself. For many years Google presented
just the home page. Then for the last year just the U.S.
Constitution (which of course also leads to the rest of our site).
Now they do both, and it has boosted page views and Adsense
Our pages are highly ranked for searches on many other terms as
well, but it seems that rankings are based in part on how many
people doing a search first click on a given page in the search
report. So please, whenever you do a web search, before clicking on
a page other than one of ours, scan through the first several pages
of the search listing, and click first on one of our pages. Again,
please encourage others to do likewise. Make it a habit that will
pay off for freedom.
Needless to say, if you have a website or blog, link to pages on our
sites at every opportunity. You might also want to become a
Wikipedia editor, because constitutionalists are outnumbered among
the editors, and the others tend to give a statist point of view. It
would not take that many to overcome them, but it does take some
time and skill. For pages of special importance see http://www.constitution.org/refer/wikipedia.htm
Google also offers a new widget, a little "+1" button that appears
in their search results (but not on all browsers), and which you can
also find on our web pages. Click on it to indicate you like that
page, and repeat doing so even if you did it before on that page. No
word yet on whether our search rank will be increased by a lot of
people liking the page, but it is worth a try.
Austin Constitution Meetup
Was held September 21, 2011, at the North Village Branch Library in
Austin, Texas. Video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dXIgdzHJtA
I presented much of what is contained in this message, but went into
Constitution Day celebrations
This Austin meetup was of course one of our ways to celebrate
Constitution Day, September 17, 2011. But on Thursday, September 22,
a wonderful Constitution
Debate Celebration was held sponsored by Austin Community
College at the Palmer Events Center in Austin. It involved a
gathering of about 400 students, with 54 expert "guides", one for
each of three tables supervised by one "facilitator", of which I was
one. Each group of three tables had one of 18 constitutional issues
to debate among themselves. At the end of the debate at the table,
the guide and three facilitators selected one student from each of
the three tables for that issue to represent the "pro" side, and one
the "con" side, and then each pair of advocates presented a
one-minute argument for his position at the microphone to the entire
body. Although of course the arguments were not as polished as one
might expect from law students, many of the students (some of which
intend to become lawyers) did surprisingly well, considering most of
them were barely out of high school. To the best of my knowledge
there is no similar event conducted anywhere in the country, and the
organizers at ACC are to be commended for developing a model, now in
its fifth year, for the rest of the nation. If anyone would like to
encourage a college in your neighborhood to hold a similar event,
let me know and I will put you in touch with the organizers.
You can help by just donating
For your convenience we have buttons like this one
on our website and in much of our email. But you can extend our
reach, if you can insert HTML code in your own messages, by copying and pasting the above button into them.
Needless to say, despite the additional revenue sources mentioned,
we still lack enough now to meet current expenses, and we need your
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