february 27

Wayback Wednesday: Leser vs. Garnett 1922

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Nineteenth Amendment Image One
Photo Credit: triviatoday.com

The Nineteenth Amendent to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920, with Tennessee being the last state to vote in favor of, achieving the 3/4 majority needed to amend. One would think that this event would have been the end of any argument against a woman’s right to vote but, one more hurdle had to be cleared.

Ninety-seven years ago, today, the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling on the constitutionality of the amendment.

From Cornell Law (some case-law text):

On October 12, 1920, Cecilia Streett Waters and Mary D. Randolph, citizens of Maryland, applied for and were granted registration as qualified voters in Baltimore City. To have their names stricken from the list Oscar Leser and others brought this suit in the court of common pleas. The only ground of disqualification alleged was that the applicants for registration were women, whereas the Constitution of Maryland limits the suffrage to men. Ratification of the proposed amendment to the federal Constitution, now known as the Nineteenth, 41 Stat. 362, had been proclaimed on August 26, 1920, 41 Stat. 1823, pursuant to Revised Statutes, § 205 (Comp. St. § 303). The Legislature of Maryland had refused to ratify it. The petitioners contended, on several grounds, that the amendment had not become part of the federal Constitution. […] the case comes here on writ of error. That writ must be dismissed but, the petition for a writ of certiorari, also duly filed, is granted. The laws of Maryland authorize such a suit by a qualified voter against the board of registry. Whether the Nineteenth Amendment has become part of the federal Constitution is the question presented for decision.

Justice Brandeis Image Two
Photo Credit: law.edu

There were three claims:
[1] The power to amend the Constitution did not cover this amendment due to its character.

Quote from Leser:

“[…] the amendment “destroyed State autonomy” because it increased Maryland’s electorate without the state’s consent.”

[2] Several states that had ratified the amendment had constitutions that prohibited women from voting, rendering them unable to ratify an amendment to the contrary.

[3] The ratifications of Tennessee and West Virginia were invalid, because they were adopted without following the rules of legislative procedure in place in those states.

Justice Brandeis delivered the opinion of the Court:
[1] This amendment is in character and phraseology precisely similar to the Fifteenth. For each, the same method of adoption was pursued. One cannot be valid and the other invalid. That the Fifteenth is valid, although rejected by six states, including Maryland, has been recognized and acted on for half a century.

[2] […] But the function of a state Legislature in ratifying a proposed amendment to the federal Constitution, like the function of Congress in proposing the amendment, is a federal function derived from the federal Constitution and, it transcends any limitations sought to be imposed by the people of a state.

[3] The question raised may have been rendered immaterial by the fact that since the proclamation the Legislatures of two other states—Connecticut and Vermont—have adopted resolutions of ratification. But, a broader answer should be given to the contention. The proclamation by the Secretary certified that, from official documents on file in the Department of State, it appeared that the proposed amendment was ratified by the Legislatures of 36 states and, that it ‘has become valid to all intents and purposes as a part of the Constitution of the United States.’ As the Legislatures of Tennessee and of West Virginia had power to adopt the resolutions of ratification, official notice to the Secretary, duly authenticated, that they had done so, was conclusive upon him, and, being certified to by his proclamation, is conclusive upon the courts.

Quote From Time Magazine:

“So, while the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote, Leser made sure that the right could actually be used, even where the state constitution said otherwise. It’s not one of the more famous Supreme Court decisions in American history but, without it, the electorate would be, well, lesser.”

~Lily Rothman

As an addendum to the above, Maryland finally ratified the amendment on March 29, 1941 but, didn’t certify that until February 25, 1958, two days shy of an exact 36 year delay. And, I am sad to say that my home state of North Carolina didn’t ratify until May 6, 1971, making it third to last behind South Carolina (ratified July 1, 1969 but, not certified until August 22, 1973) and Mississippi (ratified March 22, 1984).

Little video snippet regarding this case:


 

And, I grew up watching Schoolhouse Rock, I just had to put this up:

Foto Friday: Tribute Pictures 4.0

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Texas Photo One
Photo Credit: Glen Carrie on Unsplash

This is part four of a five, possibly, six part series showcasing my former supervisor W. H. Patton’s photography. The first post is here. The second post is here. The third post is here.

Round four…

Starlings Photo Two
Starlings everywhere…
10-09-2008
Starlings Photo Three
Backyard bird bath
10-09-2008
Fox Photo Four
Visiting fox
02-21-2008
Fox Photo Five
Another fox six days later
02-27-2008
Turkey Photo Six
Strutting gobbler
03-07-2009
Turkey Hens Photo Seven
Turkey hens on the bird bath
03-07-2009
Copper Photo Eight
His grandson’s puppy Copper
05-18-2008
Copper Photo Nine
Adorable Copper
05-18-2008

Beware Stephen Barrett & His Quackwatch

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Update:
Some of the links, below, became broken and I’ve had to re-gather some information as Mr. Barrett has done his best to wipe out his history. If links become broken again, I have provided PDF screen captures of the data.

[Note: This is a re-post from an old blog, originally posted on February 27, 2010. I think it’s worth sharing because I find this man to be dangerous. He’s a liar and a bully and, I’m shining the light on him.]

This guy, Stephen Barrett…he’d have you believe that he is the foremost expert in all things quackery. To him, anything other than mainstream-AMA-backed medicine is useless.

Stephen Barrett Image
Photo Credit: Anaximperator Blog

Although he is free to present his opinion, much like the rest of us out here blogging (me, included), do not be fooled by the ‘M.D.’ at the end of his name. I think he even wrote his own biography on Wikipedia. However, that being expressed, he has gotten himself into quite a bit of trouble in the courts for repeatedly suing people and claiming he was a ‘retired psychiatrist’. Carlos F. Negrete of Negrete Law and Health Freedom Law, attorney for Tedd Koren, D.C., got the awful truth out of Mr. Barrett…

From Dr. Koren’s case:

At trial, under a heated cross-examination by Negrete, Barrett conceded that he was not a Medical Board Certified psychiatrist because he had failed the certification exam. This was a major revelation since Barrett had provided supposed “expert testimony” as a psychiatrist and had testified in numerous court cases. Barrett also had said that he was a “legal expert” even though he had no formal legal training.

That cross-examination (screen capture PDF) took place in 2005 in Allentown, PA…Mr. Barrett’s longtime residence (he was born in New York City in 1933). In 2007, a higher court in Pennsylvania backed up the lower court’s decision to dismiss his frivolous lawsuit (original screen capture PDF) (updated screen capture PDF). It was at that point he decided to relocate to Chapel Hill, NC. Perhaps Allentown folks got tired of his crap? I find it amusing that he decided to move to an area that is a hotbed of the very alternative medicine he rails against. The Triangle of North Carolina (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) contains a plethora of natural, homeopathic and holistic practitioners. I’m pretty sure he didn’t move to the area to get warm fuzzies from the locals. I think he saw an opportunity to make money harassing and ambulance-chasing gifted healers. He does have legal bills he needs cover.

A Patrick Pontillo operated a now-defunct website (screen capture PDF) on chemical sensitivities (a subject that I know something about). He maintains an additional, similar website, Blue Marble Album. He has an extensive history on Mr. Barrett.

Tim Bolen has his own history of Barrett (screen capture PDF & Web Archived Page) from his website and wrote an article on the Doctor’s Data vs Barrett case. Judging by this posted 2016 legal decision, the case was nearly a stalemate but, Barrett’s National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) dissolved after the lawsuit began and Quackwatch dissolved before the case came to trial…even though the website is still active and full of hysterical mainstream medical nonsense. “Googling” this case (I really, really dislike that term but, it is, now, part of our language…for better or worse…) will return links stating that the case was “settled, amicably, out of court”. Translation: Both parties were tired of fighting after six years. A lawsuit of this size and scope costs money…and time. And, Stephen Barrett is in his 80s. The briefing notes clearly state that both parties were free to re-file and start new court proceedings. That means…more money and more time.

Additional information:
Steven C. Eisen’s Commentary: The Tedd Koren Case (Bolen Report)
King Bio Victory/NCAHF, Inc. Loss (Humantics Foundation)
California Appeals Court Bludgeons Quackbusters (Quackpot Watch/Web Archive)
How The Attack On Alternative Medicine Started (Quackpot Watch/Web Archive)
Stephen Barrett: AMA Shill (Whale)

Be very careful when you read this man’s so-called “facts”. He is no expert. He merely has an opinion and he has tried to beat people over the head with it. Believing that this man is a seasoned doctor with many, many practicing years of experience would be as ridiculous as believing that I am an experienced journalist. I am not and would never claim to be.