Episode 020 Show Notes

Special suprise treat at the beginning! In our twentieth episode the guys discuss entitlements, the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates, and terrorism. They also cover Amendments XI and XII of the US Constitution. The Prep School segment offers insight into emergency home heating..


American Character at Stake

Another Green Energy Payoff NOT

Quantitative Easing Explained


“The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.”


  • Ratified February 1795.
  • Sovereign immunity -- the legal idea that says a state or a sovereign is immune from any criminal prosecution or civil suit and cannot commit any sort of legal wrong.
  • Not only do the states have sovereign immunity, but the federal government also has it as well. This means that unless the federal government waives this immunity or consents to a law suit, the federal government cannot be suited.
  • The Eleventh Amendment was put into the after the ruling of Chisholm v. Georgia [2 US 419 - 1793]. The Supreme Court said that federal courts had the power hear legal cases that were started by citizens against the states, and that the states were not immune to these cases. By adding the Eleventh Amendment into the Constitution, courts could now hear cases between a state and people from another state.
    • Congressional representatives feared that the ruling would permit these foreign creditors to ask federal courts to force the fiscally troubled state treasuries to bear the burden of these debts.
    • Representatives also expressed concern that British loyalists who had been dispossessed of their homes and personal belongings by the colonies during the revolution could now sue the state governments to recover their property
  • The Eleventh amendment does not say anything about lawsuits that are brought to court by a citizen against his or her own state. In 1890 the Supreme Court said that the Amendment talked about the principles behind sovereign immunity and that these cases could not be brought forward [in federal courts].
  • In another Supreme Court Case, the Eleventh Amendment was used to say that law suits against officials who are acting as representatives of a state can be sued in federal courts, but only if the state acts unconstitutionally.





“The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.

The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.

The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.] Altered by 20th Amendment

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States”


  • Ratified June 15, 1804.
  • Revised Article II, Section 1.
  • Instigated by the tie between Jefferson and Burr in the election of 1800
  • Starting with the election of 1804, each Presidential election has been conducted under the Twelfth Amendment.
  • Only once since then has the House of Representatives chosen the President, in 1824.


Corrupt Bargain of 1824http://www.ushistory.org/us/23d.asp 

The outcome of the election of 1824 surprised political leaders. The winner in the all-important Electoral College was Andrew Jackson, the hero of the War of 1812, with ninety-nine votes. He was followed by JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, the son of the second president, who secured eighty-four votes. William Crawford trailed well behind with just forty-one votes. Although Jackson seemed to have won a narrow victory, receiving 43 percent of the popular vote versus just 30 percent for Adams, he would not be seated as the country's sixth president. Because nobody had received a majority of votes in the electoral college, the House of Representatives had to choose between the top two candidates.

Henry Clay, the speaker of the House of Representatives, now held a decisive position. As a presidential candidate himself in 1824 (he finished fourth in the electoral college); rather than see the nation's top office go to a man he detested, the Kentuckian Clay forged a coalition that secured the White House for John Quincy Adams. In return Adams named Clay as his secretary of state, a position that had been the stepping-stone to the presidency for the previous four executives.

Notes about Electoral College:

  • Currently 538 Electors.
  • 48 states and DC have “winner take all” approach. ME and NE do not.
  • ME and NE use a system that assigns Elector based on popular vote of their district. The two states have thus far never split their vote.
  • No federal law exists that binds Electors to vote for a certain candidate. However, twenty-six states have developed laws for this purpose.

Source: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/elections 


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