Recently, I started wondering whether marriage between a white person and a person of Chinese ancestry would have been allowed under Virginia’s old, now-repealed ban on interracial marriages. The answer ended up being more complicated than I expected. Strangely enough, while the most recent version of this ban did indeed prohibit Chinese-white marriages, prior versions of that law likely permitted such unions.
A friend of mine has recently joined the American Solidarity Party (ASP). Being mildly curious about this organization – of whose existence I was, until recently, unaware – I decided to peruse its platform to see what it was all about. My reading of this document left me with several questions. These first two concerned issues on which the ASP’s platform was apparently silent.
- What is the ASP’s position (if any) on gun-related issues? E.g., Concealed carry, universal background checks, gun registration, assault weapons bans? What about proposals to expand restrictions on firearms possession by certain persons (e.g., DUI offenders, persons on terror watchlists, “gun violence restraining orders”).
- Does the ASP consider birthright citizenship for U.S.-born children of illegal aliens, transient aliens, and/or aliens generally to be constitutionally-mandated by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Citizenship Clause?
- In the ASP’s view, what role (if any) should the original public meaning of the Constitution play in constitutional law?
These other questions concerned particular aspects of the platform (in quotation marks):
- “We oppose conscription into the armed services and other forms of compulsory government service . . . .” Does this include jury duty?
- “We will work to restrict the legal construct of ‘personhood’ for organizations and corporations.” What sort of “restrictions” on corporate personhood does the ASP favor?
- “We advocate a tax shift from earned income (wages and interest) to unearned income (economic rent).” How is “unearned income” defined; does it include dividends, interest, rental income from rental properties? What magnitude of tax rates are we talking about?
- “We advocate . . . legal accountability for the misrepresentation of facts in political advertising.” What form would this “accountability” take, and would it be consistent with existing First Amendment case law?
- “We insist on legal protection for occupational safety . . . .” How is this different from what OSHA currently does?
- “We oppose government censorship of the media and the internet.” Does “censorship” include laws prohibiting obscenity and child pornography?
- “We support stricter controls on consumer credit, including limits on interest and regulation of credit-card companies and payday-loan and title-loan stores.” What sort of “regulation” does the ASP favor for credit cards and payday loans? Besides interest-rate ceilings, what other “stricter controls” does the ASP favor for consumer credit?
In recent years, some have recommended banning gun possession by persons with one or more DUI convictions. Such recommendations implicitly assume that current federal and state laws largely fail to impose such a ban. This assumption, however, appears to be incorrect. In the District of Columbia and every state (except perhaps one), either federal or state law explicitly or implicitly bars gun possession by persons with multiple DUIs.
In a recent Vox post, Katherine Hicks stated,
. . . If [S.2943, the Senate version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act] becomes law, women turning 18 on or after January 1, 2018, will have to sign up for the Selective Service System.
Men have been required to do so since the Civil War, though the Selective Service System has only existed in its current form since 1980.
The italicized phrase, however, oversimplifies the history of American draft registration, and seemingly – but erroneously – implies that male draft registration has been continuously required from the Civil War until today. In fact, during the Civil War, the federal government probably did not require men to register for the draft. During both world wars, the United States required men to register, but initially only on certain days. Continuous registration, with men having to register upon turning 18, only began in World War II.
The Virginia state constitution denies the vote to every “person who has been convicted of a felony . . . unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority.” Recently, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe ordered the restoration of voting rights for all felons “who have, as of this 22nd day of April 2016, (1) completed their sentences of incarceration for any and all felony convictions; and (2) completed their sentences of supervised release, including probation and parole, for any and all felony convictions.” Defending this order, articles in several publications subsequently argued that Virginia’s felon disfranchisement provision originated in the commonwealth’s previous, Jim-Crow-era, 1902 constitution. Disagreeing with this position are various other parties, including Governor McAuliffe himself, opponents of his order, federal courts, and scholarly opponents of felon disfranchisement, all of whom explicitly or implicitly concede that Virginian felon disfranchisement long predates the 1902 constitution. In my view, this latter position is correct; Virginia first disfranchised felons at least three, and perhaps seven, decades before the enactment of the 1902 “Jim Crow” constitution.
Because WordPress.com has recently expressed hostility towards the practice of “mirroring” posts, until further notice I’ll be posting the full text of my posts at Alexandria, and a short synopsis and link here.