This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
February 7 is the 38th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 327 days remaining until the end of the year (328 in leap years).
On this day in 1795, The 11th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified. It dealt with each state’s sovereign immunity from being sued in federal court by someone of another state or country.
The Eleventh Amendment (Amendment XI) to the United States Constitution, which was passed by the Congress on March 4, 1794 and was ratified on February 7, 1795, deals with each state’s sovereign immunity from being sued in federal court by someone of another state or country. This amendment was adopted in order to overrule the U.S. Supreme Court‘s decision in Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 419 (1793).]
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.
By itself this Amendment is a little impenetrable. It was passed as a clarification of Article 3, Section 2 of the Constitution, specifically Clause One which reads:
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;–to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;–to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;–to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;–to Controversies between two or more States;–between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States,–between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects
Basically what this boils down to is the concept of Sovereign Immunity. Basically you can not use the Federal Government unless it agrees to let the case be heard. Yes, you read that right. The Government reserves the right to prevent you from suing it, as a citizen, except under very specific circumstances. The exceptions are detailed in the Federal Tort Claims Act and the Tucker Act. These acts allow a citizen to sue the Government if there is a claim resulting from either the actions of a federal employee or if there is a case involving contracts with the Federal Government.
Now, Amendment 11 extends this same sovereign immunity to the States in terms of the Federal Courts. What that means is that you as a citizen can not use the Federal Courts to sue your State Government, without the consent of the State. The Dog believes the reason for this is to prevent citizens from tying up their government with suits that arise from the normal operation of the government. As a practical matter it forces citizens that don’t like the way things are being run to replace their government officials instead of just suing the government.
Now, this does not apply to crimes committed by members of the government or the government itself. There is what is called a Stripping Doctrine that says when a government employee or official commits a crime, they have lost their immunity. So, in the case of torture or War Crimes there can be no reasonable sovereign immunity defense.
457 – Leo I becomes emperor of the Byzantine Empire.
1074 – Pandulf IV of Benevento is killed battling the invading Normans at the Battle of Montesarchio.
1238 – The Mongols burn the Russian city of Vladimir.
1301 – Edward of Caernarvon (later King Edward II of England) becomes the first English Prince of Wales.
1497 – The bonfire of the vanities occurs in which supporters of Girolamo Savonarola burn thousands of objects like cosmetics, art, and books in Florence, Italy.
1795 – The 11th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified. It dealt with each state’s sovereign immunity from being sued in federal court by someone of another state or country.
1807 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Eylau – Napoleon’s French Empire begins fighting against Russian and Prussian forces of the Fourth Coalition at Eylau, Poland.
1812 – The strongest in a series of earthquakes strikes New Madrid, Missouri.
1819 – Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles leaves Singapore after just taking it over, leaving it in the hands of William Farquhar.
1842 – Battle of Debre Tabor: Ras Ali Alula, Regent of the Emperor of Ethiopia defeats warlord Wube Haile Maryam of Semien.
1856 – The Kingdom of Awadh is annexed by the British East India Company after a peaceful abdication of Wajid Ali Shah, the king of Awadh.
1856 – The colonial Tasmanian Parliament passes the second piece of legislation (the Electoral Act of 1856) anywhere in the world providing for elections by way of a secret ballot.
1863 – HMS Orpheus sinks off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand, killing 189.
1897 – Greco-Turkish War: The first full-scale battle takes place when the Greek expeditionary force in Crete defeats a 4,000-strong Ottoman force at Livadeia.
1894 – The Cripple Creek miner’s strike, led by the Western Federation of Miners, begins in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
1898 – Emile Zola is brought to trial for libel for publishing J’Accuse.
1904 – A fire in Baltimore, Maryland destroys over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours.
1907 – The Mud March is the first large procession organized by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).
1935 – The classic board game Monopoly is invented.
1940 – The second full length animated Walt Disney film, Pinocchio, premieres.
1943 – Imperial Japanese naval forces complete the evacuation of Imperial Japanese Army troops from Guadalcanal during Operation Ke, ending Japanese attempts to retake the island from Allied forces in the Guadalcanal Campaign.
1944 – World War II: In Anzio, Italy, German forces launch a counteroffensive during the Allied Operation Shingle.
1948 – Neil Harvey becomes the youngest Australian to score a century in Test cricket.
1962 – The United States bans all Cuban imports and exports.
1974 – Grenada gains independence from the United Kingdom.
1979 – Pluto moves inside Neptune’s orbit for the first time since either was discovered.
1984 – Space Shuttle program: STS-41-B Mission – Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart make the first untethered space walk using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU).
1986 – Twenty-eight years of one-family rule end in Haiti, when President Jean-Claude Duvalier flees the Caribbean nation.
1990 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: The Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party agrees to give up its monopoly on power.
1991 – Haiti’s first democratically-elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is sworn in.
1992 – The Maastricht Treaty is signed, leading to the creation of the European Union.
1995 – Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, is arrested in Islamabad, Pakistan.
1999 – Crown Prince Abdullah becomes the King of Jordan on the death of his father, King Hussein.
2009 – Bushfires in Victoria left 173 dead in the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history.
* Christian Feast Day:
o Blessed Eugenia Smet
o Blessed Pope Pius IX