Tag Archives: US Constitution

Our Constitutional Protections Are Esoteric?

On July 25th, 2013, at the Republican Governors Forum in Aspen, Colorado, Governor Chris Christie made his now, infamous, remarks (see below video), “on the Libertarianism side of things,” which he directed toward those of us who are, “rightly,” criticizing the N.S.A.’s “extensive,” surveillance programs, and those of us who believe that The 4th Amendment of The Bill of Rights means exactly what it says, in regards to restraining our Federal Government:

Amendment IV (1791):
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The Governor also called these (constitutional) views, “dangerous,” and asked if we have “amnesia.”

The Governor continued, with the below remarks:
“These esoteric, intellectual debates – I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the [911] widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to have.”

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If Congress Can, Unilaterally, Modify The Constitution

Following The Philadelphia (Constitutional) Convention of 1787, where The United States Constitution was debated, written, and sent to the thirteen respective states for ratification, many notable, and well-respected Patriots, and statesmen, such as Patrick Henry and George Mason, also referred to as The Anti-Federalists, publicly spoke out against the ratification of The Constitution. Among the several reasons: they believed it was a threat to Individual Liberties; they were opposed to the new Federal Court system; and feared that The President would eventually morph into a King. In a paper, which eventually became part of the Anti-Federalist Papers, and under the pseudonym “Brutus,” it was written:

“Ought not a [Federal] government, vested with such extensive and indefinite authority, to have been restricted by a declaration of rights? It certainly ought. So clear a point is this, that I cannot help suspecting that persons who attempt to persuade people that such reservations were less necessary under this Constitution than under those of the States, are willfully endeavoring to deceive, and to lead you into an absolute state of vassalage.”

At the time that The Constitution was being written, Thomas Jefferson while serving as an U.S. Ambassador in France, wrote to James Madison, advocating for a Bill of Rights. Also, not pleased with the results of The Constitutional Convention, three of the remaining delegates refused to sign the document: Edmund Randolph of Virginia, George Mason of Virginia, and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts. A Bill of Rights was demanded if they were to support the Constitution. It was to these men, the Anti-Federalists of the day, and their wisdom and opposition to The Constitution at the time, that we can thank for our treasured Bill Of Rights.

Inspired largely by The Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776), which was largely inspired by The English Bill of Rights (1689), James Madison introduced a series of legislative articles to the 1st United States Congress, which were adopted by the House of Representatives on August 21, 1789; proposed, jointly, by Congress, on September 25, 1789; and through the process of state ratification, were adopted as the first ten amendments to The United States Constitution. The Bill Of Rights went into effect on December 15, 1791.

Since their inception, sadly, the amendments contained in The Bill of Rights have been more or less ignored and trampled on by different Administrations and Congresses throughout the years. But, since the horrific attacks of September 11th, 2001, it seems like there has been a torrent of never-ending attacks on these rights, by our Federal Government; all under the guise of safety and security.

Just as the events of 911 were heart-wrenching, and a sincere challenge to our country, so too was the recent tragedy in Connecticut, where several children were tragically murdered by a sick individual. But, as with 911, instead of just bringing the perpetrator(s) to justice, and/or seeking the “actual” motives behind the attacks, and facing up to the reality that there are evil people in the world, it appears that legislators are, once again, trying to hold all of society guilty for the sick acts of a very small number of people. I think Ronald Reagan summed it up nicely, when he wrote these wise words:

“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

And, since this horrible event unfolded in Connecticut, the same alarmists and reactionaries are out, trying to tell us why we must now forfeit our 2nd Amendment rights. My reaction, aside from grieving for these poor children and their families, was to ask, “why the hell was The Federal Government ever involved in this area to begin with”? To start, The 2nd Amendment instructs The Federal Government that, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Therefore, what if each school district throughout the country were left to decide what their security priorities should be? Or, at the very least, each state had their own policies in place; isn’t it then conceivable that a would-be killer would not have chosen such an easy and vulnerable target had he known that an armed individual, or individuals, may have been inside the school, whose purpose it is to protect the children? It is also conceivable that the children are asking, why the bad guys with guns can enter their schools, but why weren’t there good guys with guns, there to protect them! That answer is fairly simple: because misguided politicians, in my opinion, are trying to teach our children that “all people” with guns are bad people!

And, if that were the case, then, it would also stand to reason that everyone in our military, down to the local police, are bad people — which is so obviously not the case! Just as every American citizen that gets on an airplane, is not a would-be terrorist! I often wonder why society, by in large, never holds Government responsible for the laws that they create; or, ask, how is Government culpable for these terrible acts? Too many people, blindly, assume that, because Government is doing something, that is must be good, or just. Nothing can be further from the truth!

Particularly where politics are injected, as opposed to sound and rational decisions, based on real-world implications. The idea that Congress can create these one-size-fits-all policies, for all 50 states, and over 300 million citizens, is beyond delusional; it is downright dangerous, and irresponsible!

Our Bill of Rights were conceived, and adopted, by very practical men, who were well-versed in history, and understood the need to keep a central Government from infringing on these rights. So many case studies could be listed, as to the tyranny that has been perpetuated by out of control Governments, who were not prohibited from disarming innocent, and law-biding citizens. Or, where the Freedom to speak one’s mind, or freely practice one’s own faith, was not safeguarded; or, where one’s right to be left alone, in their homes etc. was not protected. Each of those 10 Amendments, we call The Bill of Rights, had a historical precedent behind them.

But, besides the implications of these blatant, Constitutional intrusions by our Federal Government, is a larger, and moral question that should be asked: That is, if our original 13 states ratified our Constitution, and created our Federal Government, based on these contractual agreements; and, over and over, our Federal Government, in all of their arrogance, insists on breaching this Constitutional contract, then what is to stop us, as states, and individual citizens, from withdrawing from this contract? Where, and how often, in the real world, if a contract is so blatantly breached, that a person or business is forced to remain in that contract?

In 1913, The Sixteenth Amendment was ratified, and The Federal Income Tax was created. However, today, I, and millions of other Americans, would argue that, it has done, and continues to do, immeasurable damage to our economy and our Individual Liberties. And, to add insult to injury: during WW2, the Federal Government, presumptuously, created the withholding provisions, as a so-called, “temporary,” war measure, which allowed them to extort our money directly from our checks, and basically forced business-owners, against their will, to be tax collectors for The Federal Government. Doesn’t it stand to reason then, that if one [our Federal Government] party can, arbitrarily, modify or disregard a provision or Amendment to our Constitution – in this case, our Second Amendment – that [We, The People] the other party, can do the same?

What if, for example, every business-owner in this country decided to stop withholding taxes from their employee’s checks, and instead, focused their time, energy, and money, on actual productive activities like building their businesses, and creating more opportunities for their employees? It seems to me that our Federal Government would not be too thrilled with that prospect. But, morally, and contractually, there would be not one ounce of difference from what our Federal Government, endlessly, and arrogantly, continues to do to the “law-biding citizens” of this country!

Ultimately, I am convinced that, our hopes of ever again having a Constitutionally Limited Government, however that outcome may come about, will not be achieved by policy-wonks and number-crunchers, who are very valuable to the intellectual side of this debate, and to whom, at times, I am one of them; rather, it is with the philosophical, moral, and emotional pleas, in the name of Individual Liberties, that, with a praise from God, we will change the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens, and once again, “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

Posted, originally at, The Original Republican

Romney’s Achilles Heel

Romney instituted a socialistic health care program in the state of Massachusetts while he was the Governor there and many politically minded people believe that if he is the GOP candidate, he will not be able to defend his statements concerning why he did so. Other are concerned that he will not repeal Obama’s health care program which will be imposed upon the citizens of all 50 States starting in 2014. There are several similarities in Obama’s Health Care Program and Romney Care.

In order to combat the criticisms of his applying Romney Care into law, Mitt uses the rationalization that the citizens of Massachusetts wanted universal health care for the state. This is a specious argument and displays his wrong thinking. An elected official is duty bound to protect his constituents from making wrong decisions, he is morally bound to stand for the Constitution not only of the United States, but in the case of States’ elected officials, the Constitution of that State. Mitt shirked his moral and honorable responsibility by signing that bill into law.

Romney would have better footing in this campaign if he had vetoed that bill, and sent it back to the legislature to leave it to them to force the citizens of Massachusetts to pay for medical care. And many citizens of Massachusetts did not want this forced upon them. Many people moved to New Hampshire, in protest, to avoid the taxes to pay for this failed program as well as the fees associated with not having health care insurance.

Using the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution to justify this action is also a rationalization. The Founders never intended for the 9th or the 10th to be used to put into place an anti-American, anti-capitalistic, pro-collectivist law by which some citizens are mandated to pay for other citizens, nor was it intended to force people to buy something they felt they didn’t need. Many younger people don’t buy health insurance because they are healthy and have not incurred any medical expenses.

This argument reverts to Original Intent, not only of the United States Constitution, but to the State of Massachusetts Constitution which was adopted in 1780.

In order to understand what Original Intent means, we must first know what a Constitution is.

According to The American Handbook of Constitutional Law by Henry Campbell Black, LL. D. in the 4th edition published in 1927 by the West Publishing Company, a Constitution is a governing document instituted by the people as a whole instead of by a legislature of their representatives. He states that it cannot be abrogated, repealed or modified by any power except that which established it, the people. http://www.originalintent.org/edu/constitutions.php He continues by pointing out that Constitutions are not established to restrain the people, but to restrain the government.

Black continues, “The provisions of a constitution refer to the fundamental principles of government and the establishment and guaranty of liberties, instead of being designed merely to regulate the conduct of individuals among themselves. [Constitutions announce principles, while statutes apply them. Sproules v. State, 97 Tex Cr. R. 561, 262 S. W. 757.” Ibid.

Summarizing, a Constitution is written for the people, put into effect by the people and it is to protect the people’s Natural Rights. It is a document limiting the control the government has over the people who voted to install the Constitution as their governing document.

Since both the US Constitution and the Constitution of Massachusetts have an amendment process, the definition of Original Intent must be utilized to guide that process.

Language is one of our keys to understanding what people write. However, words change meaning over time and in order to understand what is meant by a document written over 200 years ago, we must turn to the dictionary meaning of the words from that time period. Finding what the Founders actually wanted for this country is hinged on this premise.

The body of the Constitution outlines the limitations on the Federal Government, the duties of the government and the division of the government. The Rights of the People are outlined in the Constitution, primarily in the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to the Federal Constitution. The combination of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are our Founding Documents and they delineate the restrictions placed upon the Federal Government. In the 9th and 10th Amendments, the enumeration of the rights of the people not spelled out in the first eight Amendments is reserved for the people and for the States. However, taking from one person the fruits of his labor is not something the Founders intended, even if the people vote for that proposition. The “Pursuit of Happiness” clause of the Declaration was, among other implications, intended to ensure that people would have the right to do what they desired to increase their property, including physical property, monetary property, intellectual property and the results of those quests and to not have the Government of the Federal or State government legislate to confiscate those yields even if citizens vote for it. One person does not have the right to take the rights of another unless that right is given over freely. The majority voting to take from the minority is not the same thing. Giving of one’s rights to another person is an individual’s action.

The “Pursuit of Happiness” clause is part of Original Intent. When we refer to this concept, what is meant is the government may not change provisions of the original document with respect to liberties. In other words, it may not be amended to take away the rights of the people. We have seen several Amendments that do just this, for example, the 16th, which addresses Income Tax.

The first words from the Preamble of the Constitution of Massachusetts are as follows: “The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration of government is to secure the existence of the body-politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying, in safety and tranquillity, their natural rights and the blessings of life…” (The original spelling is utilized here.) http://www.nhinet.org/ccs/docs/ma-1780.htm As you can see, though the language is different from the United States Constitution, the implication is the same: Men are entitled to the fruits of their labor.

“Laws must relate to the nature and the principle of the government that is established or that one wants to establish, whether those laws form it as do political laws, or maintain it, as do civil laws.” Charles de Montesquieu

These issues will rear their ugly head over and over as Romney continues to campaign for the nomination of the Republican Party Candidate.

And, Obama will use the fact that his health care reform bill is based on Romney Care.

Will Romney be able to defend his position on his signing the health care bill when he was Governor of Massachusetts when he faces Obama?

The voting bloc will pay attention.

Obama Inconsistent On What Consitutes Recess

Following President Barack Hussein Obama’s “recess” appointments, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released these quotes from some prominent Democrats. For example, then senator Barack Obama said, “A recess appointee is ‘damaged goods… we will have less credibility.’ ‘To some degree, he’s damaged goods… somebody who couldn’t get through a nomination in the Senate. And I think that means that we will have less credibility…’.” Ironic isn’t it?

On December 17, 2011, the Senate agreed to, as it can as outlined in Article I, Section 5 of the US Constitution, an order instituting “pro forma” sessions. President Obama now claims that the Senate was actually recessed. But on December 23, 2011, President Obama signed a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut. If the Senate was actually on recess, as Obama claimed, that day, it couldn’t have passed the bill, and Obama couldn’t have signed it into law. Ever inconsistent and looking for situations to get his own way, Obama respected the Senate’s own view as to whether it was in session or not. First Obama says the Senate was not adjourned, then he says it was adjourned, as it suited his purposes. Are we seeing a pattern from Obama here?

The US Constitution, Article I, Section 5, states, “… and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, …” In this way, the Constitution specifically authorizes “pro forma” sessions, and leadership can, if necessary, recall the rest of the body, Senate or House, to conduct business. While the president, as specified in Article II, Section 3, can adjourn Congress, nothing in the US Constitution suggests that the president gets to overrule Congress on this point, or on making their own rules (Article I, Section 5).

It is not surprising that Obama, who finds the US Constitution flexible enough to support an individual mandate for individuals to purchase health insurance, would argue that its seemingly clear text is sufficiently pliable to empower Obama to overrule Congress’ decision that it’s actually in session. But it takes real chutzpah to make the “adjournment” argument less than two weeks after embracing the very opposite position!

But that’s just my opinion.

Access to other articles like this one can be found at RWNO, my personal web site.