About Me

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Business, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Issues; Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment. Susan Lynn is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. She serves as Chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources subcommittee and on the Finance Ways and Means Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Guest Column in Today's Tennessean

Guest editorial: Take closer look at Climategate
By Rep. Susan Lynn

Not many Tennesseans were thinking about Todd Stern this month. With the holiday season upon us and unemployment hovering above 10 percent, we have had plenty to preoccupy ourselves and our families. But unfortunately we need to take the time to know who Mr. Stern is and what he has been up to. He served as President Obama’s chief negotiator in Copenhagen, Denmark during December’s two-week long United Nations Climate Change Conference.

The purpose of this conference was to develop an international treaty by which the nations of the world would reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The outcome was a twelve-paragraph, non-binding document referred to as the Copenhagen Accord. This quick-read boils down to what you might call a lose-lose for the United States. First, we promise to develop aggressive (which means costly) greenhouse gas reduction measures at home. Second, we promise to funnel some money now and lots of money later through UN bureaucrats to developing nations to pay for their greenhouse gas reductions and to compensate them for coping with the effects of climate change.

If this sounds a bit unfair, you should know it’s designed to be. The opening paragraph of the Accord states very clearly that the principle by which the world’s nations will combat climate change is one of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.” This sounds eerily similar to the famous Marxist axiom, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” America must pay because America is rich.

As many pundits predicted, this Copenhagen conference was no victory for Mr. Obama and the world’s climate change alarmists. A non-binding agreement is just that. Still, it would have been preferable to see Mr. Stern and the rest of the nations’ representatives announce halfway through negotiations they had become appalled by their own collective hubris and decided to go home early. Because while you and I were busy working and taking care of our families, a roomful of elite diplomats were deciding on how much we should pay up each year as penance to the world for our productivity.

But the real issue is the science. The Accord premises its “deep cuts in global emissions” on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report. The IPCC is the lynchpin for alarmists’ scientific claims. Several of its scientific leaders including lead authors of its reports were caught recently in questionable scientific practices when hundreds of their own emails were released to the public. This scandal, known as Climategate, has confirmed what many in the scientific community have been saying; climate change has become too politicized and the integrity of the science has suffered for it.

As alarming as this revelation is, it shouldn’t be a surprise. The amount of money and ideological fervor surrounding climate change is enough to corrupt almost anyone. It’s become a cause too big to fail. The nineteenth century humorist Artemus Ward wrote, “It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us in trouble. It’s the things we know that ain’t so.” For too long alarmists have dismissed anything that threatened their belief in catastrophic global warming. This is dangerous. We need open hearings on Climategate and a moratorium on Mr. Stern’s international efforts.

State Representative Susan Lynn is in her fourth term in the Tennessee state House. She chairs the Government Operations Committee and serves as national Chair for the Commerce Task Force for ALEC.ORG.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tennessean

Susan Lynn planning constitutional amendment on health care

By: Chas SiskPublished on December 29, 2009

State Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, said in a radio interview yesterday that she is prepping a state constitutional amendment meant to strike down any requirement that Tennessee residents purchase health insurance as part of reform legislation. Lynn also says she will support a bill nullifying the federal law if the state’s attorney general does not file a suit challenging the law, in an interview with the Mike Church Show.

Yeah, it’s my understanding that a nullification bill is going to be filed in Tennessee. And also I have a constitutional amendment that we’ll put into our state constitution that, you know, people have the right to choose their own healthcare, that the government cannot force them into anything. And so, you know, we’ll see how that will go. Constitutional amendments, though, in Tennessee are a very lengthy process. They take really about six years or more. So the nullification bill would really be much more effective.

A complete transcript and audio of the interview, which was broadcast over the Sirius Patriot satellite channel, is available here.

Interesting Opportunity

Free Internet Course On American Constitutional Law

Beginning on January 17, 2010, Henry Mark Holzer will be offering an Internet course, consisting of ten lectures, on the subject of American constitutional law.

His reasons for doing so, a complete syllabus for the ten lectures, and general information about the course can be found at www.henrymarkholzer.citymax.com/f/con_law_course.pdf.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Basic American Principles

Principles are important - without them we get off track and lose our way. Many believe that our federal government has lost its way while others just don't understand why so many object to the "change" taking place today.

Let's look at some of the foundational principles of American government; the principles that made our nation great.

The purpose of our government is to secure our rights

The Declaration of Independence established the American view of the rights of man and the duties of government. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." They concluded by stating that our "separate but equal station" with Britain and other governments of the world would give us "full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do."

Our Constitution, drafted in 1787, used the Declaration of Independence as a guide to governance. The Constitution up-holds the purpose of our government, to secure our rights, and provides seventeen specific powers to the federal government in Article 1, Section 8. Two years later a Bill of Rights was added by the states in order to prevent misconstruction and abuse of federal powers; succeeding amendments bring the total number of enumerated federal powers to 30. None of those 30 powers grant general legislative authority to the federal government. In fact, such powers belong only to the states; called police powers – states pass laws to secure the rights of individuals.

So what they created is the freest county in the world - with a government that recognizes mans' unalienable rights, and whose purpose is to secure those rights for its citizens. In the United States, all have freedom and all understand that we can express our freedoms until we infringe upon another's freedom. Except where individual actions may infringe on the unalienable and Constitutional rights of another, our government is to stay out of the affairs of the people and of business.

Our government cannot take-away or infringe on our rights

Our nation, our Constitutional Republic is based upon natural rights. But just what are unalienable rights and Constitutional rights? An unalienable right is a natural right granted to man by our Creator; described ever so simply as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in our Declaration of Independence and it is also a Constitutional right. Life is, well, life. Examples of liberty are freedom to believe, or become, or protect yourself; a right to your speech, your reputation, and the things you create. Pursuit of happiness is freedom to make your own way, own your own property or live anywhere; a right to what you earn.

Constitutional rights such as trial by jury, to bear arms and vote don't seem natural. They are not natural, but they do serve to directly secure our natural rights. For instance, who judges our actions is very important because we can lose our liberty as punishment. Arms are not natural - but protecting yourself, especially from your own government, is a natural right. Therefore, the right to bear arms serves to secure your natural rights. The right to vote protects your right to self-determination and liberty, even speech. All in all, unalienable or Constitutional, our rights are rights which no government can take-away, question or alter, they are unalienable. No social contract can cause us to surrender these rights.

Rights are of no cost to anyone else

My freedom of speech costs you nothing. Your freedom of religion costs me nothing.

The liberal error; confusing needs with rights; confusing positive and negative

What liberals tend to do is to believe that they can "create" rights out of needs and then demand those rights from the government in the form of services - such as for health care. The liberals’ major mistake is that they not only misunderstand what rights are but they also misinterpret rights as "positive rights" - in other words, that the government has an obligation to provide a particular right to each citizen.

For example, we have laws against crime, and in the past there have been times when citizens have sued the government because the police didn't arrive in time to prevent that crime. While you have a natural right not to be harmed, there is no right to expect that the government will prevent you from becoming a victim of a crime; the government is not at any fault or liability in this instance.

Liberals need to understand that rights are natural and negative. There cannot be a natural right to health care. Making health care a right requires infringing upon your rights and the rights of others. Aches and pains are natural but there is no natural right that someone must tend to your every ache or pain. To take resources (money, labor or goods) from one to give to another violates our natural right to our own property. For the government to force you to buy something that is not for the purpose of protecting the rights of another, such as liability car insurance, is a taking of your property in direct violation of your rights.

America is about freedom

Defending our nation from foreign invaders, serving justice through the courts and constructing an orderly monetary and bankruptcy system are enumerated powers in the Constitution. Each of those federal powers helps to secure the continuance of our government, our liberty and our property. Government financing of health care is not an enumerated power of the federal government nor is health care a natural right.

In fact today, the federal government does thousands of things not enumerated in the Constitution - and although it has become customary in Washington, this is why millions object. You can’t fundamentally change the fact that the whole point and most unique feature of our American government is that the government cannot infringe or take-away our natural, unalienable or Constitutional rights.

Federal legislators have had a good time through the 20th and now 21st century infringing on the states, and satisfying the Liberals by creating all kinds of programs and laws that spend trillions and trillions of dollars, all of it at direct expense to individual freedom and liberty and states’ rights.

What most of us want liberals to understand is that the most important basic principle of our American government is – America is about freedom. The citizen is in charge. He is not just a funding source for the federal legislators - there are limits to federal power and purpose. It is the American people that have always solved the problems of our nation - and we must be free in order to continue to do so.

By Rep. Susan Lynn

District 57
Tennessee

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

State Sovereignty

As you know, Tennessee has called on several national organizations to form working groups on federalism and state sovereignty.

This Wall Street Journal article describes well what we are examining in ALEC.ORG's Federalism and Sovereignty working group.

The States Can Check Washington's Power
States should be able to directly propose constitutional amendments.

Thanks Foxnews for the mention

Health Care Bill Could Face String of Legal Challenges

News Channel 4

Watch interview on letter to the Attorney General regarding health care bill here

Monday, December 21, 2009

Thank you Uncle Phil for the mention!

Phil Valentine mentioned Rep. Maggart's and my letter to the State A.G.

Listen to the radio spot

Campaign for Liberty

Thank you Campaign for Liberty for the nice mention


Anger With the Federal Government Is Not Enough

Chuck Baldwin
Campaign For Liberty
Saturday, Dec 19th, 2009

According to Rasmussen Reports, "Seventy-one percent (71%) of voters nationwide say they're at least somewhat angry about the current policies of the federal government. That figure includes 46% who are Very Angry...

Press Release

House of Representatives
State of Tennessee

Contact: Debra Maggart (615) 207-5424
Susan Lynn (615) 596-2363
rep.susan.lynn@capitol.tn.gov
rep.debra.maggart@capitol.tn.gov



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

State Representatives Ask State Attorney General to intervene in federal healthcare legislation

(December 21, 2009, NASHVILLE) -- On Monday, State Representatives Susan Lynn (R-Lebanon) and Debra Young Maggart (R-Hendersonville) asked Tennessee State Attorney General Robert Cooper to prepare to take the appropriate legal action against the federal government in the event HR 3200, the controversial federal healthcare reform legislation, passes into law. The legislators requested this action in order to grant Tennessee relief from the unfunded mandate contained in the bill that Tennessee complies with the expansion of the federal Medicaid program.

The letter notes that under the bill Tennessee would be forced to expand the state’s Medicaid program potentially costing the citizens of the state $1.4 billion dollars in additional state taxpayer funds annually.

“Such an increase would place a great burden on the citizens of this state. It is clear by the wording of the legislation itself that not every state would face a similar and equal burden,” stated Rep. Debra Maggart.

Lynn explained that, “We see this as a violation of equal protection of the law, an affront to our sovereignty, and as a breach of the U.S. Constitution.”

Lynn and Maggart noted that the passage of this bill is imminent so it is important that the AG prepare now to take immediate action, and they referenced Governor Bredesen’s recent comment that “we can’t print money.” The great issue for the states is that states are not allowed to borrow money for operations expenses. “Obviously, this is something that many in Washington just don’t understand,” stated Lynn.

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