This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.
According to New BerlinNow.com Aug. 8, 2011 (full article available on-line)
Saying that a housing discrimination lawsuit filed against the city must be handled well to avoid far-reaching effects on city development, the New Berlin Common Council is trying to beef up its legal team.
"The effect on future land use is paramount," Alderman David Ament said of the need to deal with the Department of Justice lawsuit properly, suggesting the impact could go well beyond the City Center.
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According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 25, 2011 (full article available on-line)
New Berlin will allow construction of a controversial 102-unit affordable housing project without further city action, according to terms of an agreement released Monday that settles a lawsuit between the city and developer MSP Real Estate Inc.
MSP, of St. Louis Park, Minn., last year sought to build its own 180-unit affordable and senior housing project on the Deer Creek site. The developer had received approval for the project in May 2010, but the Plan Commission rescinded approval in July 2010 after dozens of residents rallied against the affordable housing component. Some said the low-income housing would increase crime and did not reflect the original City Center vision of condominiums and retail shops.
In October 2010, MSP acquired Deer Creek Limited Partnership and announced revised plans, calling for construction of condominiums that could be rented using initially approved condo permits. The plans called for three buildings that mostly would be affordable units. Construction was to be financed using state-allocated affordable housing federal tax credits.
In January, the city refused to issue building permits for that project, arguing that Deer Creek Limited Partnership ceased to exist because of a lapse in paperwork and fees with the state, so approvals that had been issued to that entity were no longer valid. MSP filed a lawsuit against the city, arguing that racial discrimination was a factor in the city's denial. The U.S. Justice Department also filed a lawsuit last month against New Berlin in U.S. District Court, contending the city violated the Fair Housing Act. Both lawsuits sought to force the city to issue building permits.
The will of the New Berlin people vs. The national government
US Constitution; 10th Amendment
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
An Excerpt from Federalist Paper 39, by James Madison
“But if the government be national with regard to the operation of its powers, it changes its aspect again when we contemplate it in relation to the extent of its powers. The idea of a national government involves in it, not only an authority over the individual citizens, but an indefinite supremacy over all persons and things, so far as they are objects of lawful government. Among a people consolidated into one nation, this supremacy is completely vested in the national legislature. Among communities united for particular purposes, it is vested partly in the general and partly in the municipal legislatures. In the former case, all local authorities are subordinate to the supreme; and may be controlled, directed, or abolished by it at pleasure. In the latter, the local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority, than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere. In this relation, then, the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects.
We the People:
The difference between a national government and our federal system is explained in Federalist Paper 39. This concept of vertical separation of powers is what we inherited, but unfortunately we rarely challenge those who do not practice it.
Three issues were joined while the de facto national government exceeded its authority; the interference with local control, government special consideration of race, and social engineering through tax policy. The vast majority of those who objected did not associate race with subsidized housing. The federal government and the mayor injected that. Some say it is acceptable for politicians to use false racism allegations to win elections. However it is quite another consideration to endure it under the force of the federal government.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have all unwittingly helped to empower this growing national force through our dependency on it and our tolerance of its Constitutional violations. We allowed exceptions because we trusted the federal government. However it was just a matter of time until the abuse of that trust directly affected us. Good for New Berlin if it fights this federal lawsuit. So what are you going to do to help prevent impact to other areas of the city? You can begin by supporting officials who stand up for New Berlin. Then you can help replace the federal officials who misuse race to violate their oaths to uphold the Constitution.