Bernie Sanders comes out for unconstitutional ex post facto law
No doubt Rep. Ocasio-Cortez approves, but she has the excuse of youth and ignorance. But Senator Bernie Sanders has been in Washington, D.C. long enough to know better, and maybe actually read the Constitution he swore an oath to protect.
So there is no excuse at all for this horrifying tweet:
Here’s a prediction: we are going to win, pass a Green New Deal, and criminally prosecute the fossil fuel executives who destroyed the planet. https://t.co/FjKCHcUHuk— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 19, 2019
Under what existing criminal law could executives be prosecuted?
Answer: none. There are no laws against selling legal products.
So in order to criminally prosecute executives, new laws would have to be passed. But the behavior Sanders promises to prosecute already has happened. But clause 3 of Article I, Section 9 of the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from passing ex post facto laws:
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
...and clause 1 of Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution prohibits states from doing so.
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
These liberties are what former constitutional law lecturer Barack Obama called "negative rights." Negative if you are an aspiring tyrant, that is.