Episode 2: We The People

Guests: Joe Escalante and Doug Lee
Sep 24, 2012
http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/ricochet.wpengine.com/podcasts/we-the-people/ Direct Link to MP3 File

We’re back!  This week we discuss the Framers’ use of the term “people” (as in, “we the”) and “person.” I’m joined by contributor Joe Escalante, who, in addition to being a rock star and a matador, is a temporary judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court, as well as member Doug Lee, a leading force in the anti-Obamacare litigation and Mississippi’s personhood initiative.  Together we hash out the radical theory  that “the people” referred to citizens (not Gitmo detainees), question the legal basis for birthright citizenship (risking the wrath of Harry Reid), and wonder why liberals consider the Constitution to be a living creature while a fetus is just a clump of cells. 

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  1. Dick from Brooklyn
    This week on the Naked Constitution podcast: Bullfighting punk rock lawyers! Draft dodging killer whales! Al Queda anchor babies as sleeper agents (unless they are colicky)

    And oh yeah, and a crisp concept of who, “the people” are in the Constitution.

    Next week Adam changes musical genres and welcomes three of rap’s biggest “Originalist ganstas”.

    OK, I made that last one up, but unless you subscribe you wouldn’t have known that would you?

    What are you waiting for? :)

  2. Foxman

    Ever heard the phrase “… {E}ndowed by their Creator…”?

    Certain rights come with being human.

  3. Dick from Brooklyn

    Foxman. Some rights might be endowed by our Creator,  but not all rights in all places to all people regardless of their citizenship. To which rights do you refer? Habeas corpus?  The right to vote in United States elections? The right to a US safety net? In my view, the scales seem to be tipped very significantly toward an over-broad interpretation of the words, “we the people” . What do you think?

  4. Robert Promm

    Isn’t what the framers defined as a “person” clear from what they defined slaves to be?  That is 3/5ths of a “person”.  In other words, such “persons” were not citizens. 

    I am not trying to justify them but it is clear what they though a person was — it was a “full citizen” or a whole person.

  5. The King Prawn

    I simply love the depth of Ricochet, its contributors and members.

    Doug, my understanding of police asking about guns is that the presence of a weapon not under control of officer is considered (by him) an inherently threatening situation in which the police power kicks in to the fullest extent. A cop once asked a friend to surrender his weapon during a traffic stop was not at all amused by my friend’s suggestion of a trade so that both could remain armed.

  6. NormD

    Color me disappointed by the level of discussion.

    If you want to change the constitution, you should think through the full ramifications.

    You guys are no different than liberal activists.  You think that because you intend to do good the result of your law must be good.

    You want to invoke  a constitutional convention so you can enforce your religious views on all your fellow citizens?

    What could go wrong with that?

    Return the Commerce Clause to its original intent?  Nope.  Require Mens Rae for crimes?  Nope.  Limit Federal land to no more than 10% of a state?  Nope.  Extend Double Jeopardy protection so that people found innocent of a crime cannot lose all of their property in a civil suit?  Nope.

  7. John Hanson

    I’m enjoying listening to this series.  One question, both the first and second issues had comments indicating they were recorded earlier in the year, (Before June?).   Just curious, when were  these recorded, and is Ricochet the first public airing?

  8. Adam Freedman
    C
    John Hanson: I’m enjoying listening to this series.  One question, both the first and second issues had comments indicating they were recorded earlier in the year, (Before June?).   Just curious, when were  these recorded, and is Ricochet the first public airing? · 4 hours ago

    John, I’m glad you’re liking them!   They were recorded at various times  (in fact, I’m still recording new episodes this fall); but this one was recorded back in the Spring.  Ricochet is the first public airing of these podcasts.   We were going to start releasing them earlier, but at the request of my publisher we waited until we got at little closer to publication of my related book.  

  9. Adam Freedman
    C
    NormD: Color me disappointed by the level of discussion.

    If you want to change the constitution, you should think through the full ramifications. · 17 hours ago

    I’m sorry that you’re disappointed.  We generally try to keep podcasts to about an hour; that’s a long time in most people’s schedules.  I actually think it’s hard to find anyone else devoting a one-hour discussion solely on the concepts of personhood and peoplehood in the Constitution.   I wish we could go even deeper, but I think we had a great discussion.

  10. Adam Freedman
    C
    Dick from Brooklyn: This week on the Naked Constitution podcast: Bullfighting punk rock lawyers! Draft dodging killer whales! Al Queda anchor babies as sleeper agents (unless if they are colicky)

    Edited 21 hours ago

    I love it!  Can you draft the post for the next episode? And the next? 

  11. Adam Freedman
    C
    Dick from Brooklyn: OK, I made that last one up, but unless you subscribe you wouldn’t have known that would you?

    What are you waiting for? :) · Sep 24 at 6:53am

    If not us, who?  If not now, when?

  12. Doug Lee
    The King Prawn: I simply love the depth of Ricochet, its contributors and members.

    Doug, my understanding of police asking about guns is that the presence of a weapon not under control of officer is considered (by him) an inherently threatening situation in which the police power kicks in to the fullest extent. A cop once asked a friend to surrender his weapon during a traffic stop was not at all amused by my friend’s suggestion of a trade so that both could remain armed. · 21 hours ago

    Thanks, KP.  Having represented police officers and dealt with them extensively in criminal cases, I do understand the need for security and the “anything can happen” training.  However, this was highly unusual — the stop was over (he had already given me back my driver’s license and told me I could go), and then he made the remark based upon nothing more than a pro-NRA sticker on the back windshield.  He was obviously trying to make a point.

  13. Doug Lee
    Robert Promm: Isn’t what the framers defined as a “person” clear from what they defined slaves to be?  That is 3/5ths of a “person”.  In other words, such “persons” were not citizens. 

    I am not trying to justify them but it is clear what they though a person was — it was a “full citizen” or a whole person. · 21 hours ago

    The “3/5 person” is an old liberal canard created by people who did not bother to read the constitution.  Here’s what the constitution actually says:

    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons

    .I’m wondering why liberals have not argued that the constitution counted blacks as 3/5 of a person, and Indians as not even being a person at all!  The fact of the matter is that the constitution calls free persons, indentured servants and slaves “persons.”

  14. Tom Meyer, Ed.
    C
    Adam Freedman

    NormD: Color me disappointed by the level of discussion.

    If you want to change the constitution, you should think through the full ramifications. · 17 hours ago

    I’m sorry that you’re disappointed.  We generally try to keep podcasts to about an hour; that’s a long time in most people’s schedules.  I actually think it’s hard to find anyone else devoting a one-hour discussion solely on the concepts of personhood and peoplehood in the Constitution.   I wish we could go even deeper, but I think we had a great discussion.

    I wouldn’t go as far as Norm, but the podcast suffered from everyone agreeing so much.  You don’t need a full-out intellectual brawl — it is Ricochet, after all — but a little more ideological variety would make it a lot more dynamic, pointed, and fun.

  15. MichaelC19fan

    The podcast degenerated into a talk about abortion politics. If I knew beforehand who Mr Lee was and his quixtoic personhood amendment I would of not been surprised. Just a reminder his amendment got destroyed in one of the most Pro-Life states in the country. I am sympathetic to Pro-Life but it a huge turn off when Pro-Life purists go to the “Southern states banned interracial marriage” card in arguing like Mr. Lee the Federal Government needs to impose a one size fits all solution. What Mr. Escalante supported a return to pre-Roe V Wade is a much more realistic and in keeping with a commitment to a limited Federal government. Basically people like Mr. Lee have no objection to the big stick of Washington as long as they are the ones yielding the stick. 

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