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When the Valid Public Debt is Questioned Congress Must Answer Cel 08-09-2011

When the Valid Public Debt is Questioned Congress Must Answer Cel 08-09-2011

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Published by Bob Hurt
Bob Hurt presents Dr. Charles Lincoln's analysis of the obligation of Congress to answer when when anyone questions the valid public debt. It discusses whether government should have sovereign immunity for anything OTHER than the question of valid public debt.
Bob Hurt presents Dr. Charles Lincoln's analysis of the obligation of Congress to answer when when anyone questions the valid public debt. It discusses whether government should have sovereign immunity for anything OTHER than the question of valid public debt.

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Bob Hurt on Aug 12, 2011
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When the Valid Public Debt of the United States is Questioned, Congress Must Answer Charles Edward Lincoln, III, August 9, 2011. From Santa Monica, California
 
1
WHEN THE VALID PUBLIC DEBT IS QUESTIONED,CONGRESS MUST ANSWER: A PLATFORM for CITIZEN or GOVERNMENT TRUST SUITS to ENFORCE §4:1 of AMENDMENT XIV Charles Edward Lincoln, III  August 8, 2011
During the past several months, up until the Congressional compromise, whichdowngraded the U.S. Credit rating, an unprecedented constitutional debate ragedaround the first sentence of Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment:
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debtsincurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion,
 
shall not be questioned
.
I have reviewed every major legally reputable academic commentator I could findon the topic, from Michael Abramowicz through Neil H. Buchanan and Michael C.Dorf, to Laurence H. Tribe, and quite a few others including Congressman JohnConyers, Jr., from Michigan and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner, andfound the parallel (and directly amended, I here submit) provision of Article I, §6:3:
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to beascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning  from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House,they
 
shall not be questioned
 
in any other Place.
TWO IDENTICAL CONSTITUTIONAL NEGATIVES YIELD A UNIQUE CONSTITUTIONAL POSITIVE LIMITATION ON IMMUNITY
The omission of these two parallel phrases constitutes a serious analytical deficit,which has caused flawed constitutional analyses of the Public Debt Clause whether oneapproaches the question from the standpoint of original (specific framers’ legislative)intent, linguistics, historical or contextual literalism, or socio-political norms. The abovehighlighted phrase “
shall not be questioned
” occurs exactly twice in the entire UnitedStates Constitution. Such an insulation from “question” occurs so rarely as to be all but
 
When the Valid Public Debt of the United States is Questioned, Congress Must Answer Charles Edward Lincoln, III, August 9, 2011. From Santa Monica, California
 
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absent elsewhere, throughout the entire U.S. Code and two hundred thirty-five years of legislative and judicial history since the Declaration of Independence
1
.No responsible or complete constitutional analysis of §4:1 of the 14
th
amendmentcould possibly ignore the one parallel occurrence in American law of the phrase “
shall not be questioned,
” and here I now offer the first step towards the very first responsibleand complete constitutional analysis of what Michael Abramowicz has christened “thePublic Debt Clause”
2
: in linguistics as in mathematics, the combination of two negatives yields a positive if by cross-multiplication, and a deeper negative if by simple addition.Because explicit reference is absent from the legislative record known to me at thepresent time, I do not know whether the first Reconstruction Congress which debated,framed, and voted on the Fourteenth Amendment intentionally related the phrase “shallnot be questioned” to Article I §6:3, but the coincidence is striking and conceptuallysignificant: Congress has the “power of the purse” under Article I, including the power toborrow. The power belongs to no other branch of the Federal Government (and shouldnot, either under John Locke’s theory of separation of powers or Georges Dumézil’stheory of tri-functional power elites in Indo-European Society). Section 4 AmendmentXIV limits Congressional Power under Article I.The inferential conclusion that the relatedness of the two “shall not bequestioned” clauses relating to Congressional Power in regard to the debt both risesbeyond the realm of coincidence: The Fourteenth Amendment expressly cancelled outthe Sovereign Immunity of the Federal Government, especially and particularly (but notlimited to) the legislative immunity of Congress (which was the only express immunitygranted under the Constitution): these two negative elements of the equation really do

1
Indeed, the phrase “shall not be questioned” aligns itself more easily with concepts such as King James I’s
2
George Washington University Law Public Law & Legal Theory Paper No. 575, LegalStudies Research Paper No. 575,http://ssrn.com/abstract=1874746at 4, n.11.
 
 
When the Valid Public Debt of the United States is Questioned, Congress Must Answer Charles Edward Lincoln, III, August 9, 2011. From Santa Monica, California
 
3
 yield a positive product, and that positive product is the title of this paper: “When the valid public debt of the United States is questioned, Congress must answer.”
 
One of the primary purposes and results of the Fourteenth Amendment wasradically to limit the sovereign immunity of the individual states of the Union, which fromthe adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment forward held to be bound by the samelimitations in the Bill of Rights as the Fourteenth Amendment. In other words, theFourteenth Amendment, when originally adopted, does not appear to presuppose orpresume any immunity on the part of the U.S. Federal government from actions for theenforcement of the Constitution, even though the Civil Rights litigation passed under theFourteenth Amendment only expressly created civil causes of action and criminalprosecution for state official violations of the Constitution.The result suggested here is that §4:1 of the 14
th
Amendment can and should beconstrued as a waiver of Federal Congressional immunity as well. Plaintiffs can andshould sue each member Congress individually or all members of Congress jointly andseverally for breach of fiduciary duty in exposing the valid public debt of the UnitedStates to any question regarding payment or dishonor. Plaintiffs can also sue eachmember of Congress (as well as each officer of the Executive Branch) for an expressfinding, holding, and declaratory adjudication (Constitutional Declaratory Judgment) that Amendment 14, §4:1 directly amended Article I, §6:3. By this equation of two negatives yielding a positive,
Congressional immunity has been waived as regards the
 
validity and sanctity of the public debt of the United States
. Without anabsolute guarantee to payment made by a government which keeps its promises, theentire “full faith and credit” of the United States is tarnished beyond recognition andindeed beyond utility or meaning of any kind: a government (like an individual orcorporation) which is temporarily fiscally insolvent but honest and trustworthy mayreorganize (under something like the principles of Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy

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