We Need a Magna Carta for the Regulatory State

It’s been 800 years since England’s King John signed the Magna Carta and acknowledged that a sovereign’s authority was limited.

Allan Meltzer and Kenneth Scott, both of the Hoover Institution, explain how this document planted the seed of the Rule of Law:

Although general agreement on the precise definition of the “rule of law” is lacking, most agree that it includes the principles that people should be secure in their person and property and that the state’s authority over others remains grounded in legitimate institutions so that no government can impose its will on another unchecked.

Rule of law is often summarized as equal treatment under the law.

By far the most important contribution of the Magna Carta to the rule of law was that King John accepted that his authority was limited, not absolute, and that the limitation was open to negotiation. From this beginning, the rule of law gradually replaced unrestricted sovereign authority.

Separation of powers, divided government, constitutionally enumerated powers. These concepts of limited government sprouted from the 13th Century agreement between barons and king.

From the Magna Carta’s seed to the tree of limited government, we’ve been blessed with economic gain:

The rule of law is found in all countries whose populations enjoy a high standard of living. No country that did not endorse the rule of law has ever developed a high standard of living. Freedom under the law and successful economic development occur together. In our current period, a country like China cannot expect to achieve full development without adopting the rule of law.

By adopting the rule of law, countries reduce uncertainty, which is the foundation of homegrown innovation. The rule of law, and the freedoms that it brings, explain why the United States innovates in the arts, technology and other areas.

However, while “the opportunity to extend the principles that started with the Magna Carta never ends,” Meltzer and Scott warn, “neither does the challenge to freedom.”

Take, for instance, the ever-encroaching Federal Regulatory State.

“The administrative process has become about how unelected officials make laws,” William Kovacs, the U.S. Chamber’s Senior Vice President for Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs, told the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Rule of the Regulators has trumped the Rule of Law:

Congress has enacted many broad and vague laws that delegated significant policy making authority to agencies, which have used that authority to fill in many of the legislative gaps. This “gap filling” authority is supported by the courts as they grant deference to agency decisions rather than being a strong check on agency power.

[ … ]

Agencies fill in so many “gaps” they make more law than Congress, all the while ignoring the impacts analyses that Congress requires. Meanwhile, the courts avoid dealing with the complexity by granting tremendous deference to agency decisions. And Congress has focused so intently on the problems with specific rules that it has ignored for almost seventy years one of the most important aspects of our complex society–that while regulators make many laws, all legislative power is still vested in Congress and Congress needs to better ensure that agencies carry out its intent.

For example, after taking three regulatory actions over a six-month period, one agency–EPA–will have extended its reach farther than ever before:

By the end of the year, all these regulations will have been imposed on an economy still trying to generate sustained economic growth and higher incomes for all Americans.

The regulators must be better regulated. We need a Magna Carta for the Regulatory State.

We need reforms to the regulatory process that restore accountability, offers transparency, provides meaningful public participation, and guarantees a safe but swift permitting process.

Americans need a regulatory system that works for them, not one that stifles their opportunities for a better life.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a copy of the Magna Carta. Photo credit: Ed T. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

Manatee County, FL Commissioners served with Writ of Mandamus

On January 29, 2014 the Common Law Grand Jury in Manatee County served the Manatee County Commissioners with a Writ of Mandamus. A Writ of Mandamus is defined as:

A writ or order that is issued from a court of superior jurisdiction that commands an inferior tribunal, corporationMunicipal Corporationor individual to perform, or refrain from performing, a particular act, the performance or omission of which is required by law as an obligation.

The Manatee County Board of Commission Consent Agenda Item #6 lists the presentation of a Writ of Mandamus. Below is the full text of a speech given by Rodger Dowdell, Administrator for the Common Law Grand Jury, to the Manatee County Board of Commissioners. The Writ of Mandamus, which may be read by clicking here. To learn more about the history of Common Law Grand Juries click here.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak today, Jan 28, 2014

My name is Rodger Dowdell , I have lived in Manatee County for over 12 years. I come in front of you today as an Administrator for the Manatee County Common Law Grand Jury, which was reestablished by We the People on Nov 26, 2013.

The first handout you have received is simply a copy of the Manatee County Common Law Grand Jury paperwork filed with the Clerk of the Court. It is important that you all understand that our country was founded with a Common Law system of Justice, not a civil law system. Additionally, our State was also founded with a Common Law system of Justice.

The first Common Law Grand Jury in history sprung to life after the Magna Carta was signed in 1215AD. It is an investigatory body that has 3 main purposes:

Protect the common people from unjust charges from those in power

To collect its own evidence and take evidence from the people to make sure the right people

stand trial for criminal behavior

To reach into both elected and unelected government to root out corruption

When our country was founded, every county had its own Common Law Grand Jury. In fact, before the bullets started flying in our Revolutionary War, our best Patriots were arrested for harassing the British troops and merchants. Simply put, our best Patriots would have been rotting in jail if it had not been our Common Law Grand Juries refusing to indict them.

So why, might you ask, are We the People, the highest ranking sovereign in our system of government, now investing the time and effort to reestablish our Manatee County Common Law Grand Jury ? Our Common Law Grand Jury is the primary tool our Founders gave us to keep our Governments centered on our Constitution.Not even the US Supreme Court can review decisions made by our Common Law Grand Jury ! That’s right, let me say that profundity once again…NOT EVEN THE US SUPREME COURT CAN REVIEW A DECISION MADE BY OUR MANATEE COUNTY COMMON LAW GRAND JURY ! I know it sounds unbelievable, but it is true !

So what are the problems your constituents face that can be solved by the Manatee County Common Law Grand Jury ?

Well, simply stated, there are a lot of unconstitutional injustices being done by our justice system here in Manatee County every day. In fact, you will probably be surprised at how many of YOUR constituents have been injured unconstitutionally by our Manatee County justice system.

Some of the worst injustices today are happening in our Family Court system. These injustices are documented for all to see in the newly released movie, Divorce Corp. I urge you all to see this impactful film for yourselves.

Furthermore, We the People are daily being injured by the Unconstitutional initiatives coming from our Federal and State governments including Obamacare, Common Core, NDAA, NSA spying, abuse of power by the IRS, and Federal gun laws.

With Obamacare, we are witnessing very sick people losing their doctors and their medical insurance, and then finding that they cannot afford the new insurance costs offered through the exchanges. As Commissioners, you probably thought you can not help your constituents with this matter . This is NOT TRUE ! You have the power to enable our Manatee County Common Law Grand Jury to restore these people straightaway.

What about the thousands of parents here in Manatee County that are furious that they are being forced to pay more and more money into our public education system while getting worse and worse results, and while at the same time our Federal Government is unconstitutionally forcing Socialism into our young kids heads while teaching them what a rotten place our country is ? A solution is now in your hands, our Manatee County Common Law Grand Jury, which can nullify unconstitutional Federal and State laws, rules, regulations, and Executive Orders at our county’s borders.

We the People in Manatee County can no longer accept and will no longer tolerate the destruction of our Constitution and the trampling of the rights of the People that is being allowed by our runaway justice system.

We come humbly forward as stewards of our great Constitution. With Justice, Honor, and Mercy, we intend on restoring the rights of the injured straightaway.

As Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said in a 1992 decision in the US v Williams case,
” …the Grand Jury is an institution separate from the courts, over whose functioning the courts do not preside.” Additionally, he referred to is as a Constitutional fixture on its own, like a fourth branch of our government. It is owned by We the People for the benefit of We the People.
After speaking, I will deliver to you the Common Law Grand Jury Writ of Mandamus. This Writ is your moral duty to your Constituents. Also,

It is your duty according to our US Constitution
It is your duty according to our Supreme Court decisions It is your duty according to our Florida Constitution
It is your duty according to Florida Statutes

It is your duty according to your oath of office !

And, let me remind you in closing, you have the duty to bring our Common Law Grand Jury into our courthouse so we can do our job. In this stressful hour, while our President is threatening Unconstitutional unilateral actions, help us end this tyranny NOW by giving our Manatee Common Law Grand Jury access to our courthouse.

Please don’t let this great experiment called “American Exceptionalism” die on your watch.

Thank you !!

This video explains how to form Common Law Juries and Grand Juries:


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