Publius Huldah: When the feds violate the Constitution, should we blame the Constitution?

Attorney Publius Huldah has some important to understand criticisms for the Convention of States movement in When the feds violate the Constitution, should we blame the Constitution?

In Rob Natelson’s paper [link], “The Solution is a Convention of the States”, he makes claims about what our Framers said is the purpose of amendments to our Constitution which are not true. He also gives false assurances about the safety of a convention called by Congress under Article V of the Constitution.

At the outset, we should note that the title of Natelson’s paper incorporates a stratagem which creates the false belief that the States control the convention. The belief is false because the convention provided for by Art. V of the Constitution is a federal convention called by the federal government to perform the federal function of addressing our federal Constitution. It is not a state function; accordingly, the term, “convention of States”, does not appear in Article V. So the “Convention of States movement” (COS), of which Natelson is “senior advisor”, renamed the convention provided for in Article V as a “convention of the States”; 1 and re-defined it as “a convention controlled by State Legislatures”.

Now let’s examine various other claims on which COS builds its case.

1. The fabricated George Mason quote

COS claims that our Framers gave us the convention method of getting amendments so that when the federal government “violate[s] its constitutional limitations”, we can get a convention to “make adjustments to the constitutional text in order to rein in the abuse of power by the federal government.” Or, in plain English, when the feds violate the Constitution, the solution is a convention to amend the Constitution.

But our Framers didn’t say that. The falsity and absurdity of COS’s claim is exposed here. What our Framers actually said is that the purpose of amendments is to correct defects in the Constitution. And they recognized that the purpose of a convention is to get another Constitution. James Madison warned that those who secretly want to get rid of our Constitution would push for a convention under the pretext of getting amendments.

2. Natelson’s claims re using amendments to “overrule bad Supreme Court decisions” & “restrain federal power”

Natelson admits that the Framers said we can use amendments to correct defects in the Constitution; but then muddles up what the Framers actually said with what they never said, thereby seemingly legitimizing his misleading claim that the Framers envisioned that we could use amendments to “overrule bad Supreme Court decisions” and “restrain federal power”.

As an example of a “bad” Supreme Court decision, Natelson claims that “[i]n early 1795, the States ratified the 11th Amendment to reverse an overreaching Supreme Court decision”.

The decision he is referring to is Chisholm v. Georgia (1793) [link]; and what he says about it isn’t true. What Chisholm actually stands for is this: Our Constitution originally delegated to federal courts the power to hear cases “between a State and Citizens of another State” (Art. III, §2, cl.1). But when a Citizen of South Carolina sued the State of Georgia, States were outraged! Georgia sued. In Chisholm, the Supreme Court decided the case in accordance with the Constitution and held that Chisholm could maintain his suit.

But the States didn’t want Citizens of other States suing them. So the States ratified the 11th Amendment which took away from the federal courts the constitutional authority to hear cases filed by a Citizen against another State. So the 11th Amendment illustrates what our Framers actually said is the purpose of amendments: to fix defects in the Constitution.

Natelson also claims that our Framers said we could use amendments to “restrain federal power” when the federal government “exceeded and abused its powers”.

Again, Natelson muddles up the true and the false when he fails to distinguish between usurpations of undelegated powers and abuses of delegated powers.

No Framer said that amendments could be used to restrain usurpations of powers not delegated. And in Federalist No. 49 (last para) James Madison says the opposite. He warns against another convention and says, “occasional appeals to the people [a convention] would be neither a proper nor an effectual provision” for restraining the federal government within its legal powers.

But when the federal government abuses a delegated power, an amendment could be appropriate. Here’s an example: the Tariff Act of 1828 was constitutional since tariffs are authorized by Art. I, §8, cl. 1. But it was abusive because it benefited infant industries in the Northeast at the expense of the Southern States. So what’s the remedy for such abuse of delegated power? Article I, §8, cl. 1 could be amended to say that Congress may impose tariffs only to raise revenue to carry out the enumerated powers; and may not impose tariffs in order to benefit one section of the Country at the expense of other sections.

3. Natelson’s proposed “corrective reforms” to the Constitution

Natelson says he wants a convention to get a balanced budget amendment (BBA); to curb “undemocratic and unfair” regulations; to reverse “liberal-activist Supreme Court decisions”; to impose term limits; and get other amendments “to restrain federal power”.

But as anyone who has read it knows, our Constitution already limits the federal government to a handful of enumerated powers. The powers are listed here. The categories of cases federal courts are authorized to hear are listed at Art. III, §2, clause 1. All the problems of which COS and Natelson complain are the result of violations by the federal government of the existing constitutional limitations on their powers – and the States’ acquiesce in such violations!

Balanced Budget Amendment: Our Constitution already limits federal spending to the enumerated powers. But for 100 years, everyone has ignored the existing limits on federal spending. A BBA would replace the existing enumerated powers limitation on federal spending and create a new constitutional authority to spend on whatever the President or Congress put into the budget! A BBA thus legalizes spending which is now unconstitutional as outside the scope of the enumerated powers, and transforms the federal government into one which has constitutional authority over whatever Congress decides to spend money on.

Federal Regulations: Article I, §1 vests all lawmaking powers in Congress. So all regulations issued by federal executive agencies which purport to apply to the Country at Large are unconstitutional as in violation of Art. I, §1; and as outside the scope of the enumerated powers. An amendment such as Natelson proposes is a grant of constitutional power to federal executive agencies to make Laws.

Supreme Court Opinions: This shows why Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional. This shows why the opinions banning Christian speech in the public square are unconstitutional. The remedy our Framers advised for such usurpations is impeachment and removal from the Bench (Federalist No. 81, 8th para), and nullification by the States of unconstitutional opinions [link].

Natelson cannot produce any writing from a Framer which says that when the Supreme Court violates the Constitution, the remedy is to amend the Constitution. Our Framers were not silly men. And what would such an amendment as Natelson proposes say? That federal judges must obey the Constitution? Article VI already requires that. Does Natelson propose amendments which list the subjects on which federal courts may not act? But Art. III, §2, cl. 1 already lists the kinds of cases they may hear. But we ignore those existing limitations.

Term limits amendment: If we learned anything from the last election, it should be that we will not in the foreseeable future have an honest federal election. With H.R.1, Congress is likely to attempt to “legalize” the unconstitutional shenanigans which enabled the theft of the last election. So your vote won’t matter!

But even if we had honest federal elections, consider this: As you decrease the powers of elected members of Congress by making them transient beings – you increase the powers of the “deep state”. With term limits, elected members of Congress would become like train cars passing in the night – the power would be solidified in the nameless, faceless, un-elected bureaucrats who infest the Executive Branch.

Anyone who analyzes the amendments proposed by COS and their allies can see that their amendments increase the powers of the federal government by delegating powers already usurped, granting new powers, or stripping States of their existing powers. See: ‘Mark Levin’s “Liberty” Amendments: Legalizing Tyranny’ [link]; ‘COS Project’s “simulated convention” dog and pony show and what they did there’ [link], & ‘The “Regulation Freedom” Amendment and Daniel Webster’ [link].

4. Amendments to “prevent federal abuse” can backfire!

When amendments correct defects in the Constitution, they are clearly a good thing. The 12th & 13th Amendments, like the 11th Amendment, corrected defects in the Constitution. Section 1 of the 14th Amendment extended Citizenship to the freed slaves and provided constitutional authority for the much needed federal Civil Rights Act of 1866.

But amendments added to prevent federal abuses backfired. In Federalist No. 84 (10th para), Alexander Hamilton warned against adding a Bill of Rights to our Constitution. Under a Constitution of enumerated powers, the government may lawfully do only what the Constitution permits it to do. So

“…why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? … it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power...” [emphasis mine]

But Hamilton’s warnings were brushed aside.

Beginning in the 1920s, Justices on the Supreme Court – who were “disposed to usurp” – fabricated a doctrine under which they claimed that §1 of the 14th Amendment “incorporated” various parts of the first 8 Amendments so that those Amendments restricted the States! This how the Supreme Court usurped power to dictate how the States must apply the Bill of Rights. As shown here (at 12. & endnote 4), this is the theory the Supreme Court used to ban Christian speech from the public schools and County courthouse lawns.

Throughout the years, the Supreme Court has extended its “incorporation doctrine” to dictate to the States how they must apply the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments [link].

Furthermore: Amendments usher in implementing federal statutes and executive agency regulations – and judicial power over the subject of the Amendment becomes vested in the federal courts. Article III, §2, cl.1, says, “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases … arising under this Constitution …”

Beware of what you ask for.

5. Natelson’s assurances that a convention would consist of “state delegations” sent “to propose pre-specified amendments” are false and reckless in the extreme 2

Natelson presents nothing to support his assurances. He can’t because his assurances are contradicted by the Constitution; and by the federal “amendments” convention of 1787, which is our sole historical precedent for a federal convention called by a Congress to address our federal Constitution.

Article V, US Constit., says:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing amendments…” [italics added]

Article I, §8, last clause, US Constit., says Congress shall have the Power…

“To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” [italics added].

So Congress calls the convention and makes the laws necessary and proper to organize the convention.

The April 11, 2014 Report of the Congressional Research Service [link] shows that Congress recognizes that Article V grants to Congress exclusive authority to set up a convention:

“Second, While the Constitution is silent on the mechanics of an Article V convention, Congress has traditionally laid claim to broad responsibilities in connection with a convention, including (1) receiving, judging, and recording state applications;(4) determining the number and selection process for its delegates…” (page 4).

So Congress has the power to receive and judge the applications; how to count the applications, which ones to count, whether to aggregate the different forms of applications, etc.

Nothing in the Constitution permits State Legislatures to dictate amendments to be considered. The convention is the deliberative body.

Nothing in the Constitution requires Congress to permit States to select Delegates. Congress – the same Congress which Natelson tells us is “abusive”, “mendacious” and “revels in its power”- has the power to select the Delegates. Congress may appoint themselves as Delegates. 3

6. The People have the power to take down and set up governments

The push for an Article V convention is a hoax. The Globalists who stole the Election want a new Constitution. They are using “getting amendments to rein in the federal government” as a pretext for getting a convention where a new Constitution is sure to be imposed. Madison expressly warned of this stratagem [link].

Our Declaration of Independence is part of the “Organic Law” of our Land. It recognizes that The People take down and create governments. When Delegates meet in convention to address a Constitution, they are the Sovereign Representatives of The People. They cannot be controlled by the “creatures” of Constitutions previously ratified by the People [link].

In Federalist No. 40 (15th para) James Madison invoked the “transcendent and precious right” of a people to throw off one government and set up a new one as justification for the Delegates to the federal “amendments” convention of 1787 ignoring their instructions to propose amendments to the Articles of Confederation, and instead writing a new Constitution with its own easier mode of ratification.

Accordingly, even if the “abusive” and “mendacious” Congress doesn’t “revel in its power” to appoint Delegates, but graciously permits States to select Delegates, State Legislatures have no competent authority to control Delegates at a convention called by Congress pursuant to Article V. The Delegates, as Sovereign Representatives of The People, have the power to eliminate the federal & state governments! 4

Heed the warning of the great statesman Daniel Webster:

“The politician that undertakes to improve a Constitution with as little thought as a farmer sets about mending his plow, is no master of his trade. If that Constitution be a systematic one, if it be a free one, its parts are so necessarily connected that an alteration in one will work an alteration in all; and this cobbler, however pure and honest his intentions, will, in the end, find that what came to his hands a fair and lovely fabric goes from them a miserable piece of patchwork.” Daniel Webster, 4th of July Oration, 1802.

Endnotes:

1 In a speech Natelson gave on Sep. 16, 2010 [link at top of p. 2], he said he would no longer call what he wanted a “constitutional convention”; but would ‘put our concepts on “reset” ’ and henceforth call it a “convention of states”.

2 Noted conservative constitutional litigators and law professors William Olsen and Herb Titus have already recognized that COS’s “false assurances” are “reckless in the extreme” [link].

3 Page 40 of the CRS Report says it’s been recognized that there doesn’t seem to be any “… constitutional prohibition against [U.S.] Senators and Representatives serving as delegates to an Article V Convention..”

4 The proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America [link] does just that. Article XII, §1 provides for ratification by a referendum called by the President. Do YOU trust the voting machines?

Tenth Amendment Center: When Can an Originalist Scholar Begin with the Constitution’s Text?

Constitutional scholar Rob Natelson at the Tenth Amendment center writes When Can an Originalist Scholar Begin with the Constitution’s Text?

I. The question

I recently wrote a post for the Federalist Society Blog, in which I examined the Constitution’s enumeration of who can be impeached and convicted. I concluded that the enumeration, coupled with the rules of construction the Founders intended to accompany the document, created a presumption that ex-officers could not be. But I added that this presumption was rebuttable by extraneous evidence.

Professor Michael Ramsey wrote a notice on the posting. He remarked that most originalist inquiries can proceed as I did—that is:

*          examine the text and apply the rules of construction to it, thereby establishing a presumptive meaning, and then

*          turn to outside evidence to see of it rebuts, qualifies, or reinforces the presumptive meaning.

I agree with Professor Ramsey. However, his comment got me thinking about the minority of cases where one cannot proceed in that manner. These are instances in which the text remains unclear even after applying the rules of construction. Moreover, sometimes after examining the text it even remains unclear whether that text is unclear. In fact, what seems obvious on initial examination may be entirely wrong.

In such cases, we must consult outside evidence to establish a presumptive meaning.

Fortunately, the impeachment enumeration I addressed in my FedSoc post was clear, at least as far as I needed to go. However, as explained below, on first reading another impeachment phrase—“high . . . Misdemeanors” —is not.

In this post I offer some guidance as to when an initial resort to extraneous evidence is necessary to establish the text’s presumptive meaning. For illustrations, I’ve mined my thirty or so articles and book chapters on the original meaning/understanding of specific constitutional clauses.

II. Dictionaries

In some cases, I have been able to reach a presumptive meaning by examining 18th century dictionaries. Mind, though, that when consulting dictionaries, one must not stop with Samuel Johnson, because his definitions are sometimes archaic or idiosyncratic. I have about 25 18th century dictionaries in PDF form, not counting multiple editions. Some are specialized, such as dictionaries focusing on law, military terms, Latin, or Law French. Most are general-purpose. When writing on original meaning I consult all or most of them. I find I can learn much from how their definitions vary or track each other.

But dictionary searches can prove inconclusive. Sometimes dictionaries offer multiple definitions, so you have to examine extraneous evidence to determine which one the Constitution employs. Sometimes a term appears in a specialized dictionary, but not in others. Sometimes the definition employed by the Constitution does not appear in any dictionary at all.

Results like this compel resort to extrinsic evidence to determine presumptive meaning. Here are some typical scenarios.  You will notice that some of them overlap.

III. Some Scenarios

Scenario #1: The dictionaries offer several common meanings of a word or phrase, but it is not clear which one the Constitution employs

I encountered an example when researching my article on the Coinage Clause. The Coinage Clause reads, “The Congress shall have Power . . . To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin . . . ” As is true today, during the 18th century the most common use of the verb “to coin” was to strike metallic tokens. Libertarians long relied on the assumption that this was the Constitution’s meaning, and therefore claimed paper money is unconstitutional. Left-of-center commentators relied on the same assumption to illustrate the impracticality of originalism.

However, no one seems to have noticed a textual problem with interpreting coinage as referring only to metal. That interpretation would leave Congress in the unlikely position of enjoying power to regulate foreign metallic tokens, but bereft of power to regulate foreign paper currency.

The 18th century dictionaries reported a secondary meaning of “to coin:” to fabricate. Today that usage is exceedingly rare: a survival is the expression “to coin a phrase.” But a survey of 18th century databases revealed that the secondary meaning was then much more common. People spoke of “coining” paper money, leather money, and so forth.

Thus began a full-bore investigation into the history of money, especially the extraordinary monetary innovations undertaken in the colonies of British North America. After acquiring this background, my presumptive conclusion was that the Coinage Clause authorized Congress to issue and regulate “coin” in media other than metal. Ambiguous comments during the Constitutional Convention were insufficient to rebut this result, and the ratification-era debates only reinforced it.

When researching my early article statutory retroactivity, I encountered another problem with which the dictionaries offered no help. This was ambiguity of the phrase “ex post facto law.” During the 18th century, the term might refer only to criminal statutes, or it could include retroactive civil statutes as well. The framing and ratification records clarified that the prevalent understanding was the former. A search for contradictory evidence led only to confirmation: James Madison’s and John Lansing’s subsequent drive for Takings and Due Process clauses to limit the scope of civil retroactivity.

Scenario #2: A word or phrase with an ordinary meaning appears in the Constitution, but as a legal term of art

In this scenario, a colloquial meaning may appear in lay dictionaries, but the manner in which the Constitution uses the word appears in law dictionaries or other legal works.

Over the years, I’ve been impressed by how often a puzzling word—or even, at first blush, an unpuzzling one—turns out to be an 18th century legal term of art. It’s not so surprising, if you think about it. The chatter about how the Constitution is written in “plain language” is not quite the truth. The Constitution is a legal document and it was written by a group of people about two-thirds of whom had been practicing lawyers. Most of advocates who explained it to the public were lawyers, Madison and Tench Coxe being the most notable exceptions.

Nor were their explanations necessarily unintelligible to the involved American public, because that public was then unusually well educated in law: As Edmund Burke remarked when urging conciliation with America, “In no country perhaps in the world is the law so general a study.”

Of course, you expect a phrase like “habeas corpus” to embody a legal meaning. You don’t expect the same from a word like “necessary.” Yet in research on the Necessary and Proper Clause, I found that the Constitution uses “necessary” as a signal for incidental powers—a very common approach in 18th century legal documents.

Learning enough to establish a presumptive meaning for the Necessary and Proper Clause required deep initial research into contemporaneous law books, documents, and judicial cases.

Other examples of 18th century legal boilerplate reproduced in the Constitution include “Privilege” and “Privileges and Immunities.” A search through contemporaneous law and legal documents found that they denoted government-created entitlements, including very important ones such as trial by jury and “the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus.” But as the Constitution used those words, they did not comprehend rights established by nature and nature’s God. They were creations of government. Justice Bushrod Washington therefore got it largely wrong in his famous, and somewhat incoherent, passage in Corfield v. Coryell.

It probably comes as no surprise that “direct tax” was another legal term of art. What did surprise me is that the concept was far more defined and comprehensive than commonly supposed.

Both Britain and American states adopted omnibus tax statutes that provided for assessment of certain items and imposed levies upon them. In Britain and some states these were called “Land Tax” laws. But they levied on much more than real estate. They taxed human beings (capitations on both free and slave); status; wealth; professions (“faculties”) and other activities; wages, interest, profits and other kinds of income; household items, livestock, and other personal property. All the levies imposed by these omnibus statutes, and others like them, were called “direct taxes.” (Other statutes imposed indirect taxes, primarily on consumption or discrete events: excises and other “duties.”)

Thus, the Supreme Court’s much-abused case of Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Company was correctly decided, for income taxes are direct taxes after all.

Obviously, arriving at a presumptive meaning of “direct tax” required a great deal of work with extrinsic evidence, including but not limited to 18th century tax statutes.

One final example: For decades commentators had argued over the Constitution’s term “high . . . Misdemeanors” as a ground for impeachment. Apparently only one researcher, Raoul Berger, had considered whether the phrase might be a legal term of art. But his investigation, undertaken without the benefit of modern word-search technology, was cursory and unsuccessful. Too late to prevent me from embarrassing myself in print with another hypothesized definition, I finally thought to check legal sources and certain lay sources (such as encyclopedias) explaining legal terms.

The answer was decisive: High misdemeanors were serious crimes not meriting the death penalty, such as bribery (which the Constitution mentions in this context) and assault. A mere breach of fiduciary duty was not, as I previously had thought, a high misdemeanor.

Scenario #3: The Constitution’s use of a term is not in dictionaries at all

Sometimes the framers employed words and phrases in ways that don’t appear in 18th century dictionaries or similar reference works. Instead, the constitutional meaning arose in a context the lexicographers had overlooked.

I encountered this situation when researching the Constitution’s use of the word “emolument.” The dictionary definitions were very broad: “profit” or “advantage.” Those broad definitions, I found, accurately reflected much lay usage, but for various reasons they made no sense in the constitutional text. Hence it became necessary to consult extraneous evidence to arrive at a presumptive meaning.

It turns out that in political discourse, “emoluments” carried any of three narrower meanings: (1) financial gain or, more commonly (2) gain from salary or wage plus associated fringe benefits, or (3) fringe benefits alone. Placing the Constitution’s emoluments clauses within the wider context of a then-current trans-Atlantic movement to reform how government officials were compensated enabled me to fix on what I believe is correct: An “emolument” as the Constitution uses the term refers to gain from a salary or wage plus associated fringe benefits.

Scenario #4: Some of the Constitution’s words are Americanisms

This is really a subset of Scenario #3, because these are usages that do not appear in the dictionaries, almost all of which were published in Britain.

For example, in researching my article on the Taxation Clause I found that “Eighteenth century British lay dictionaries defined ‘duty’ widely enough to include almost any financial exaction” and commercial dictionaries defined it more narrowly. But in American usage, a duty was “any financial exaction that did not qualify as a direct tax.” Thus, a duty could mean an indirect tax or a non-revenue-producing exaction to regulate commerce or other conduct. Other evidence reinforced this presumed meaning.

In 1787, the word “constitution” was an Americanism-in-development. In Britain it referred only to the political system, and that is how all contemporaneous dictionaries defined it. That was the American meaning when the Declaration of Independence was written (“a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution”), and it was still employed that way in Virginia’s 1786 call for the 1787 federal convention. (Contrary to common belief, the convention was called in late 1786 by the Virginia legislature, not by Congress; Congress’s February 21, 1787 resolution merely endorsed the effort after seven states already had accepted Virginia’s invitation.)

However, the meaning was in flux. The “frames of government” adopted in the states often were called “constitutions.” Then came the U.S. Constitution, whose title sealed the change. A new Americanism was born.

Scenario #5: A word may have a constitutional meaning we don’t suspect because that meaning is now archaic

My favorite example of this—in fact, I think a perfect one—is the appearance of “perfect” in the Constitution’s Preamble. Modern Americans sometimes puzzle over how a Union can be made “more perfect.” This is because we almost always use this word to mean “without flaw.” How can something be “more without flaw?”

The answer is that the more common 18th century use of the term was the Latinate meaning of “complete” (Latin: perficere, to finish). The new Union was to be more complete—more tightly woven together—than the union formed by the Articles of Confederation.

Fortunately, there are not many non-legal archaisms in the Constitution—at least not many that sneak up on you. They are more likely to do that when you read other Founding-Era materials.

A good example was Leonard Levy’s mistaken conclusion that the Senate was to be the primary conductor of foreign policy because the framers sometimes referred to the president as the foreign policy “agent.” Levy didn’t realize that there was another, more Latinate, meaning of “agent” then common. Although an “agent” could mean a representative, it also could mean a “doer” or “driver” (from agere, to do or drive). The founders were using the latter sense: The president, not the Senate, was to be the primary driver of foreign policy.

Of course, you might not realize that a word is an archaism and therefore not think to consult a dictionary. That is one reason I recommend that constitutional scholars immerse themselves in 18th century writings and become familiar with the Latin language. (“But that’s time-consuming and hard!” Answer: “You bet it is.”) Latin was the Founders’ second language and significantly influenced 18th century English usage. If you have it, you see much more.

IV. Conclusion

Professor Ramsey is correct to say that we usually can reach a presumptive meaning of a constitutional provision from the text alone. But there are many situations in which you have to consult extrinsic sources before arriving at a presumptive meaning.

If you find yourself in such a situation, I can offer two sources of comfort: First, much of the evidence you explore while seeking the presumptive meaning leads you to evidence that rebuts or reinforces that meaning. Second, the historical journey is usually fascinating.

Colion Noir: Proof Facebook Fact-Checkers Are Censoring Debates On Constitutional Rights Like the 2nd Amendment

From Colion Noir:

I made a video in response to US Representative Mike Thompson, who tweeted, HR8 “A Universal Background Check Bill”, Has bi-Partisan Support from 90 percent of the American People. In my video, I stated that this is not true, because the polls where Mike Thompson got this 90% number from were misleading because they didn’t ask about Universal Background Checks which are different from the Regular background checks that we already have.

I further Stated that if the people who were polled understood the distinction between a background check and a “UNIVERSAL” background check and that a Universal Background check can’t be enforced effectively without a national gun registry I highly doubt 90% of Americans would agree with a UNIVERSAL Background Check.

Four Days after I released my video, I got an email from a guy named Tom Kertscher with PolitiFact asking me to submit proof by noon CT today.

A few hours later, PolitiFact Released an article from Tom concluding my video was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its news feed & my video was false.

Tom is anything but objective on this issue. All you have to do is search Guns on his Twitter feed and the vast majority of his gun tweets are anti-gun tweets from politicians and the PolitiFact articles that he’s written to try to disprove pro-gun arguments.

Toms’s entire argument for why my video was false, is based on polls about background checks. Here’s the problem, none of the polls used the phrase UNIVERSAL Background Checks in their question. Tom used it in his title when he concluded: Support for UNIVERSAL Background checks on gun buyers is near 90%, but none of the polls actually used the phrase UNIVERSAL background check or explained the difference from the Background Checks we already have.

The reason why this is important is that Universal Background checks do not only apply to gun sales they apply to all transfers.

It’s even harder to believe this 90% Number when this percentage doesn’t show itself when universal background checks are voted on the state level.

Washington State has universal background checks but it only got 59% of the popular vote in Washington and that’s a state that hasn’t elected a Republican senator since 1994 or a republican Governor since 1980.

In Nevada, it only got 50.5% of the popular vote and in Maine, Lost with only 48% support.

If you combine the number of people who actually voted on universal background checks in all three of those states, it’s close to 3.97 million people, and each of these states leans blue, and out of the 3.97 million voters in those three states, only 54.7% voted in favor of Universal Background Checks.

Facebook is supposed to be a platform for open discussion. Instead, it’s turning into a platform where random fact-checkers get to play GOD.

How are we supposed to have an open dialogue and exchange of ideas and opinions when the platforms where the vast majority of these conversations are happening, use a clearly biased “Independent fact-checker” to justify invalidating my video and as a result limiting its reach.

I’m just trying to inform people about one of the most important if not the most important right we have in this country.

I get that Facebook is a private platform and they can do whatever they want and use whatever guy named after a pair of shoes they want to determine what can be posted on your platform but have an ounce of intellectual honesty and let us have the conversation without artificially limiting our voices.

That doesn’t help the country nor does it help the platform. We become stronger as a country by sharpening our ideas against the blade of open discourse. All these so-called fact-checkers are nothing more than political and intellectual bullies, not because they critiqued my video but because there’s no one to check the fact-checkers.

They have the final say and their say dictates how many people get to hear and see my ideas and that indirectly makes them Gods of online political and intellectual discourse and it’s insanely dangerous.

TACDA: I’m Defending An Unpopular Idea – America Is Good

Utah Rep. Chris Stewart writes this article for TACDA‘s Journal of Civil Defense – I’m Defending An Unpopular Idea: America Is Good.

Published in the Journal of Civil Defense 2020 Vol. 54, I-2, “Civil Unrest”

Why, then, are so many of my fellow Americans taking to the streets and the internet to express their hatred for our country and culture?

I want to defend a radical idea. An idea that is increasingly unpopular — mocked and sneered at by some: The United States of America is good.

In fact, this country has been the greatest force for good the world has ever seen. We have sacrificed blood and treasure to free hundreds of millions of people from oppression worldwide. Free markets and liberal democracy have normalized a standard of living unmatched in human history. Our defense of individual freedom has allowed genius to flourish and enabled generosity to the needy at home and abroad.

Three important things make this possible:

  1. The Declaration of Independence is the world’s definitive statement on human rights;
  2. The U.S. Constitution is the greatest document of self-governance ever written; and
  3. The Bill of Rights is the strongest guarantor of liberty in the history of mankind.

I do not praise our founding documents out of a sense of arrogance, but of gratitude. Americans have lofty ideals to live up to — ideals that drive achievements and course corrections that make the United States a force for good.

Why, then, are so many of my fellow Americans taking to the streets and the internet to express their hatred for our country and culture?

A growing number of people believe that America’s foundations are rotten to the core. While reflection and a dose of humility are healthy, we all must resist any calls to division and disdain. Choosing an ideological group over our country is tribalism. It’s alarming that it seems to be in vogue to condemn the U.S. as a hateful place founded on deep moral sin and oppression. Those calling for a complete systemic teardown fundamentally misunderstand, or intentionally ignore, what makes America worth fighting for.

The current popular condemnations are neo-Marxist in that they portray societal and individual struggles through a tribal dichotomy of winners and victims. Neo-Marxism disenfranchises people by telling them they have no power to improve their lives. Even important discussions on race have devolved into neo-Marxist diatribes about unequal outcomes rather than equality under the law. It would be more helpful to empower individuals by ensuring the Bill of Rights is applied fairly than to focus on past sins.

Our goodness grows or is diminished in direct proportion to our commitment to our founding principles of liberty, justice and equality. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, keep those ideas constantly in front of us as our guiding star.

I am not blind to the fact that a review of American history provides examples of moral failings. We have not always been led by perfect people. Some of them were not even good people — selfish, arrogant or power hungry. Slavery is a stain upon our nation. We have not always implemented laws, divided responsibilities, guaranteed religious freedom or instituted foreign policy fairly.

But, any fair reading of our history also reveals that things are getting better. By nearly every measure — racism, care for our environment, standard of living, protection of the middle class, human rights, education and many more — we are improving. I hope that future generations will build on our progress and be better than we are now. That is the great American promise.

Our Founding Fathers knew that imperfect people need noble principles to counter the human tendency toward abuse of power. We should be grateful that they recognized their failings and designed a system of checks and balances.

Many nations are unified primarily by ethnic identity and tradition. We are something different. Americans’ common bond is our commitment to our founding principles, our striving to uphold inalienable human rights, and progress toward a more perfect union. American patriotism is our love of and commitment to the process. We rally to liberty, justice and equality. We salute the flag — never a king, party or faction. American patriotism is the very antithesis of tribalism, and if we want to remain special, we must root out any tribal tendencies.

The U.S. is, and always has been, a symbol of opportunity. Opportunity is directly linked to capitalism. Without our economic system, the U.S. would not be a land of opportunity. Capitalism does result in unequal outcomes, but it has proven better than any other economic system at raising living standards for all.

If our common commitment to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution wanes — if we abandon our pursuit of opportunities for individuals or we divide into warring factions — we will cease to be exceptional.

All of us, therefore, must choose: Do we swear allegiance to a nation that is flawed but getting better? Or do we give in to tribalism, even while knowing that division and oppression have always left people destitute and disappointed?

I choose to defend the goodness of America.

Chris Stewart is the Congressman from Utah’s Second Congressional District. He is a multiple New York Times best-selling and national award-winning author, world-record-setting Air Force pilot, and the former owner/CEO of a small business.

CSG: Washington State Constitution Level 200 – Introduction | January 26, 2021

Washington State Constitution Level 200 – Introduction | January 26, 2021

$25.00

Washington State Constitution – Level 200

In C200, you will discover the distribution of your legislative power, the structure of your legislative branch or department, who has control of your legislative power, what controls your legislators have, and how your legislative branch functions.

Instructor Mark Herr
Materials Needed Pencil, Paper, Enthusiasm, Sweater/jacket as facility temperatures can be unpredictable
Location ONLINE
Date January 26, 2021
Time 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm PST
Type Of Training LIVE-ONLINE

Click here for registration information.

FFF: The Real Constitutional Crisis

Laurence Vance at the Future of Freedom Foundation talks about the ever-spreading Constitutional crisis in the US.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a crisis (plural: crises) is:

All federal programs that are not explicitly authorized by the Constitution should be eliminated.
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1a: the turning point for better or worse in an acute disease or fever

b: a paroxysmal attack of pain, distress, or disordered function

c: an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person’s life; a midlife crisis

2: the decisive moment (as in a literary plot); The crisis of the play occurs in Act 3.

3a: an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially: one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome; a financial crisis, the nation’s energy crisis

b: a situation that has reached a critical phase; the environmental crisis, the unemployment crisis

And likewise in other dictionaries.

The Constitution

Regardless of any flaws or problems that the Constitution had or has (the countenance of slavery, the assumption of the right of eminent domain, ambiguous clauses, the income tax), it is the supreme law of the land that the federal government is supposed to follow. The Constitution is neither a long nor an obscure document. Any American with a computer or smart phone can access it in a matter of seconds. Yet most Americans are woefully ignorant about the Constitution.

The Constitution was drafted in 1787, ratified in 1788, and took effect in 1789. It established the United States as a federal system of government where the states, through the Constitution, granted a limited number of powers to a central government. As James Madison, the father of the Constitution, so eloquently explained in Federalist No. 45,

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

There are about thirty enumerated congressional powers listed throughout the Constitution. Most of those powers are found in the eighteen paragraphs of Article I, Section 8. Six of them concern the militia and the military. Four of them concern taxes and money. The rest relate to commerce, naturalization, bankruptcies, post offices and post roads, copyrights and patents, the federal courts, maritime crimes, and the governance of the District of Columbia. The last paragraph gives Congress the power “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers.” The Bill of Rights (the first ten Amendments to the Constitution) was added to the Constitution in 1791. The first eight Amendments protect civil liberties and fundamental rights. the Ninth and Tenth Amendments make it clear that all rights and powers not delegated to the federal government are retained by the people and the states.

The ignorance that most Americans have of the Constitution is exceeded by the ignorance of the Constitution that most congressmen have. Members of Congress swear to uphold the Constitution. Article VI, Clause 3, of the Constitution requires that senators and representatives be “bound by oath or affirmation, to support this constitution.” U.S. law requires that members of Congress be sworn in before they can take their seats. The congressional oath of office begins, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” One would think that members of Congress — most of whom have at least a bachelor’s degree and many of whom are lawyers — would have a firm grasp of what the Constitution says. Yet they are often the worst offenders when it comes to violations of the Constitution.

The crisis

It was called a constitutional crisis.

After the death of a black man, George Floyd, while in the custody of a white Minneapolis police officer on May 25, anti-police demonstrations erupted in large, predominantly black cities across the country. Yet, Portland, Oregon, which is about 77 percent white and 6 percent black, became the epicenter of anti-police demonstrations this past summer. Some of the demonstrations were peaceful, but others not so much. Protesters shut down streets, broke windows, set fires, committed acts of vandalism and looting, and clashed with police. Then, on July 10, it was reported that armed federal forces were making arrests and using tear gas against the demonstrators.

Writing in the Guardian, Trevor Timm, the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, mentioned the Constitution in his report about Portland: “A remarkable and nightmarish scene playing out in Portland should terrify anyone who cares about the US constitution: unmarked vans full of camouflaged and unidentified federal agents are pulling up next to protesters on street corners, then snatching and arresting them with no explanation.” Writing for the Associated Press, journalist Gillian Flaccus is the one who termed the events in Oregon a “constitutional crisis”: “Federal law enforcement officers’ actions at protests in Oregon’s largest city, done without local authorities’ consent, are raising the prospect of a constitutional crisis — one that could escalate as weeks of demonstrations find renewed focus in clashes with camouflaged, unidentified agents outside Portland’s U.S. courthouse.” In a lawsuit filed against the Department of Homeland Security, the United States Marshals Service, Customs and Border Protection, and the Federal Protective Service, the Oregon Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, accused the federal agencies of violating the constitutional rights of Oregon residents.

According to the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 15): “[Congress shall have power to] provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.” The Insurrection Act of 1807 requires state legislatures or governors to request help from the federal government. It empowers the president to call into service the U.S. Armed Forces and the National Guard to address “an insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination or conspiracy, in any state, which results in the deprivation of Constitutionally secured rights, and where the state is unable, fails, or refuses to protect said rights.” The armed federal forces that descended uninvited on Portland were not members of the Militia, U.S. Armed Forces, or the National Guard. Under the guise of “protecting” federal property and maintaining “law and order,” they were functioning as de facto secret police — wearing military fatigues, sporting all manner of weapons, driving unmarked vehicles, compiling dossiers on journalists, grabbing people indiscriminately off the streets without regard to their lawful presence or personal behavior, assaulting people who weren’t engaged in criminal activity, detaining people who weren’t near federal property, and holding people for hours without charge.

But according to acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf, “I don’t need invitations by the state, state mayors, or state governors, to do our job. We’re going to do that, whether they like us there or not.” According to attorney and chronicler of the police state John Whitehead, “Just about every nefarious deed, tactic or thuggish policy advanced by the government today can be traced back to the DHS, its police state mindset, and the billions of dollars it distributes to local police agencies in the form of grants to transform them into extensions of the military.”

Constitutional scholar and senior judicial analyst at Fox News Judge Andrew Napolitano well explained the constitutional crisis in Portland:

The only constitutional role for armed federal forces in Portland, Oregon, was to assist U.S. marshals in protecting federal property and personnel there.

Under the U.S. Constitution, the feds have no lawful role in policing streets unless requested to do so by the governor or legislature of any state.

The feds’ activities are unconstitutional because they are using government force to arrest people without probable cause or arrest warrants. We know there is no legal basis for these “arrests,” as they have not charged anyone.

The First Amendment to the Constitution requires the government to protect speech, not assault those who exercise it. If these indiscriminate beatings and kidnappings are intended to deter folks from publicly dissenting, it is profoundly unconstitutional, counterproductive and will be costly to the federal government.

Under the Constitution, the ability to regulate for health and safety belongs to the states and local governments. The feds simply do not have the lawful authority to fill in gaps in local law enforcement, no matter how offended they may be.

This last point is why Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.) commented about the situation in Portland, “We cannot give up liberty for security. Local law enforcement can and should be handling these situations in our cities but there is no place for federal troops or unidentified federal agents rounding people up at will.”

Past constitutional crises

There have been other constitutional crises since the adoption of the Constitution in 1789.

The Constitution wasn’t even ten years old when the first constitutional crisis took place. In 1798, in the name of “national security,” the Federalist majority in Congress passed, and President John Adams signed into law, four pieces of legislation known collectively known as the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Naturalization Act, the Alien Friends Act, and the Alien Enemies Act targeted noncitizens (who were perceived to be political opponents of the Federalists) by extending the residency period for aliens seeking citizenship, allowed the president during peacetime to imprison or deport aliens considered “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States,” and authorized the president to imprison or deport any male citizen of a hostile nation above the age of 14 during times of war. The most egregious piece of legislation was the Sedition Act. It authorized fines or imprisonment for persons who, in speech or print, criticized “the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States.” (The office of the vice president, which at the time was held by Adams’s nemesis, Thomas Jefferson, was not mentioned.) Critics of the Sedition Act argued that it blatantly violated the freedom of speech and freedom of the press clauses of the First Amendment. Federal courts prosecuted many Jeffersonian newspaper editors for violating the Sedition Act.

The so-called Civil War was itself a constitutional crisis. According to Thomas J. DiLorenzo, author of The Problem with Lincoln (2020), Abraham Lincoln ruled as a de facto dictator. He essentially “resurrected the Sedition Act,” imprisoned judges, suspended the writ of habeas corpus, authorized government officials to read Americans’ mail, imprisoned “tens of thousands of Northern state citizens” for “criticizing the government,” and “shut down more than three hundred opposition newspapers in the Northern states.”

The Sedition Act was actually resurrected in 1918 while the United States was fighting World War I. The Espionage Act of 1917 made it a crime for any person to convey information intended to interfere with the U.S. war effort. The Sedition Act amended and broadened the Espionage Act. It effectively criminalized speech and expression that criticized the government. Whoever “shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States, or the flag” could receive a $10,000 fine and twenty years in jail. Under the Sedition Act, Americans were arrested for reading aloud the Declaration of Independence or singing German beer-hall songs. Although World War I ended in 1918, the Sedition Act was not repealed until 1921.

More recently, there is the USA PATRIOT Act, passed in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. It vastly expanded the federal government’s authority to spy on Americans, while at the same time reducing checks and balances on those powers. It is an assault on both the First and Fifth Amendments. Napolitano terms sections 215 and 505 of the PATRIOT Act as “fatal to freedom,” “weapons of mass surveillance,” and “instruments of a totalitarian government that defy the Constitution.”

The real constitutional crisis

There is currently a constitutional crisis in America, and it has existed since long before the Portland protests and the PATRIOT Act. It is a crisis that has been perpetrated by both political parties in the Congress, approved by the president, sanctioned by the Supreme Court, and carried out by the bureaucrats who administer the myriad departments, bureaus, agencies, corporations, endowments, commissions, administrations, authorities, and boards of the federal government.

The existence of Social Security is a constitutional crisis. Not only is Social Security immoral because it takes money from those who work and gives it to those who don’t, the Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to have a retirement program, a pension plan, a forced savings account, or a disability plan.

The existence of Medicare and Medicaid is a constitutional crisis. Not only should no American be forced to pay for the health care of any other American, nowhere does the Constitution authorize the federal government to subsidize any American’s health insurance or health care, pay for anyone’s prescription drugs, have health-care programs, or have anything whatever to do with health insurance, health care, or medicine.

The existence of the war on drugs is a constitutional crisis. Not only is the drug war a failure and a colossal waste of the taxpayers’ money, nowhere does the Constitution authorize the federal government to regulate, monitor, or restrict Americans’ consumption, medical, or recreational habits; what Americans put in their mouths, noses, veins, or lungs; or Americans’ eating, drinking, or smoking habits.

The existence of federal aid to education is a constitutional crisis. Nowhere does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have a Head Start program, student loans, Pell Grants, teacher-education or certification requirements, school accreditation, math and science initiatives, a Department of Education, an Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a Higher Education Act, special-education mandates, or national standards, or to have anything to do with the education of anyone’s children. Education should be a service obtained on the free market just like any other service.

The existence of the welfare state is a constitutional crisis. Nowhere does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have food stamps, refundable tax credits, Section 8 housing vouchers, or entitlement programs. Nowhere does the Constitution authorize the government to fight poverty, maintain a safety net, provide public assistance, or guarantee income security. All charity should be private and voluntary.

The existence of foreign aid is a constitutional crisis. Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution says that the Congress shall have power “To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States.” It does not say that taxes should be collected to provide for the general welfare of people in other countries. Like domestic charity, foreign charity should be entirely voluntary.

The existence of federal subsidies for art, culture, and the humanities is a constitutional crisis. Government funding for them is basically providing welfare for cultural elitists. It is always immoral for the government to take the resources from some Americans and redistribute them to other Americans. And the Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to subsidize them. Although the Constitution does authorize the national government to issue patents and copyrights, it does not follow that that entails giving subsidies to inventors and writers.

The existence of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a constitutional crisis. The TSA provides security for private entities — the airlines. But not only is the security provided not paid for, not asked for, and just security theater, the Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to provide security for the airlines or any other private business.

The existence of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (NRPC) is a constitutional crisis. Amtrak, as the NRPC is more commonly known, is a government corporation that has relied on government subsidies every year it has been in operation. But since when does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have a corporation, be a stockholder in a corporation, appoint and confirm a board of directors, or operate a passenger rail service?

The existence of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a constitutional crisis. The existence of the EEOC is predicated on the idea that the federal government should prevent and punish acts of discrimination in employment that it considers to be unjustified. But not only is discrimination not aggression, force, coercion, or violence — and therefore, as far as the law is concerned, not the concern of government — the Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to have an EEOC or oversee any employer’s hiring or firing practices.

The existence of the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) is a constitutional crisis. It outlaws the selling of one’s body organs. Aside from the obvious fact that if you own your own body, then you certainly own the organs in your body, the Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to be concerned in the least with what Americans want to do with the organs in their body.

What is so perplexing and frustrating about the massive constitutional crisis that the United States is in is that it could quickly and easily be fixed. All federal programs that are not explicitly authorized by the Constitution should be eliminated. All federal departments, bureaus, agencies, corporations, endowments, commissions, administrations, authorities, and boards that carry out functions not explicitly authorized by the Constitution should be shuttered. Doing that would reduce the federal government by about 95 percent. And therein lies the problem. Not only do the Congress, the hundreds of government agencies and programs, and the entrenched bureaucracy resist a reduction in the government of any size, most Americans receive some kind of payment, benefit, or subsidy from the federal government.

Wilder, Wealthy and Wise: America – Walking The Razor’s Edge

From John Wilder at Wilder, Wealthy and Wise comes America: Walking The Razor’s Edge

…But that ridge (to me) was a razor’s edge. On either side was disaster. I took a deep breath. I put one foot in front of the other. And I walked – one step, two steps, three steps – to the top, where my friends were waiting.

What brought this to mind was an email forwarded by frequent commenter, 173dVietVet, where he said (in part) this on discussing where our country is:

“(I’ve) Done a bit of mountain climbing in my Ranger days and I know full well the meaning of knife’s edge, where any wrong step throws you headlong forever into the abyss of death that lies on BOTH sides . . . .”

We are in that zone. In climbing mountains, the knife edge is more than a metaphor – it’s real. On either side is death, and it’s not metaphorical death, it’s mangled into a wadded pile of Wilder by the combined forces of gravity and the sudden stop on the rocky outcropping at the bottom. Sure, Wile E. Coyote could survive, but not me.

But in life, the knife-edge is a metaphor.  We’ve created a financial situation where the economy is horribly broken, and for the last year we’ve survived mainly by printing money and not allowing people to be evicted from houses, despite the questionable legality of that.

A bigger component to our knife edge is that the rule of law has been progressively ignored in the country.  Where is the right of the Federal Government to stop evictions of tenants?

Oh, there isn’t one.  They just made it up.

That would be (at best) an action by a State, though even then it’s of questionable legality.  But then the Patriot Act made spying on American citizens “legal” so who cares about legal, anyway?  Then every agency with three letters of an alphabet decided to swallow up all of that online data, and all of the phone calls, despite laws to the contrary.

Of course, Federal employees were put in prison.

Hahahaha!

No.

Despite obviously illegal orders, no one was put in prison, and the only one likely to be put into prison is the whistleblower (Edward Snowden) if he ever shows back up in the United States.  It used to be the Constitution that was ignored, but that’s so 1940s.

Now, the government can ignore any inconvenient law it wants to ignore.  Of course, the people that can ignore the law are those that are either leaders, government employees, or those favored (think Antifa™) by the government.

Destroy evidence?  A felony for most.  But when the government does it?  It’s “a regrettable incident.”

What people misunderstand is that Trump isn’t at all the cause of our problems today.  Trump is a symptom.  Without Trump, the answer would have been (yet another) Bush, this time Jeb, versus (yet another) Clinton, this time Hillary.  Oh, the excitement for electing ¡Jeb!

The difference between another Clinton and another Bush?  Nothing, really.  And America didn’t want that – so America elected Trump.  If anything, Trump cleared the fog, and made the knife edge we were walking clearer.

And now, we are walking, and the knife-edge is sharper and narrower than the one that I walked to get to the top of that mountain on July 4th a couple of decades ago.

We have left the bounds of Constitutional governance some time ago – people think it’s quaint when I bring the entire idea of the Constitution up.  Is there a path back to an actual Constitutional government?

Sure.  It’s narrow – a knife-edge.  But so was getting that Constitutional government in the first place.  But getting that original Constitution depended upon men climbing a mighty steep mountain several hundred years ago.  Were they afraid when they saw the cliff’s edge, the price of failure?

I’m sure they were.  But yet they continued.  And when it was time to thread that final few steps to the summit?

They did, and damn the dangers on either side.

We face the same knife-edge.  Where are we going?

Publius Huldah: A Constitutional Roadmap for Conquering Election Fraud

Attorney Publius Huldah writes A Constitutional Roadmap for Conquering Election Fraud.

The following shows what the State Legislatures and each Branch of the federal government have the authority to do to address the monstrous crime which has been committed against our Country.

1. Article IV, §4, US Constitution

The fundamental Principle which should guide us in dealing with this issue is set forth at Article IV, §4, US Constitution. It reads,

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…”

The essence of a “Republic” is that sovereign power is exercised by Representatives elected, directly or indirectly, by The People. 1

Election fraud strikes at the heart of our Constitutional Republic. Therefore, Congress, the federal courts and the Executive Branch [i.e., the “United States”] have the duty, imposed by Article IV, §4, to negate the fraud in order to preserve our republican form of government.

As shown below, the States also have authority to remedy the election fraud committed in their State.

2. The Constitutional framework governing federal elections

These are the clauses in the US Constitution everyone should study:

♦ Art. I, §4 is the “times, places, and manner” clause: It means what it says! Federal and State judges, and federal and State executive agencies, have no authority to tinker with election laws made by the State Legislatures or Congress. When they tinker with the laws, their acts are usurpations and must be treated as such [link].

♦ Art. II, §1, clause 2: The President & Vice President are to be elected by Electors appointed, in such manner as the State Legislatures shall direct…

♦ Art. II, §1, clause 4: Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors and the Day on which they Vote.

♦ The 12th Amendment sets forth the procedures for how the Electors are to cast their votes for President & then for Vice President. To our detriment, we have ignored those procedures for a long time.

♦ The 20th Amendment, §1, says the terms of President & Vice President end January 20; and the terms of Senators & Representatives end January 3.

♦ And §2 of the 20th Amendment says Congress shall meet on January 3, unless they make a law setting a different date. Congress did make a law which changed that date to January 6.

3. The Statutory framework

At Title 3, US Code, §§ 1-21 [link], Congress implemented the constitutional provisions.

Congress understood there would be fights in the States over the selection of the Electors. So they provided for the fights:

A.

At 3 USC §1, Congress set November 3 as the date for appointing the Electors in the States.

But the next two Sections address what happens when Electors aren’t appointed on November 3.

♦ §2 says the Electors may be appointed on a subsequent day in such a manner as the Legislature of each State may direct.

♦ And §3 says Electors are chosen when any controversy respecting their appointment has been finally determined. “Determining the controversy” is, of course, the purpose of the litigation and the hearings in State Legislatures.

B.

Article II, §1, clause 4, US Constit., gives Congress authority to determine the Date on which the electors vote:

♦ 3 USC §7 sets that date for December 14.

♦ But 3 USC §§12 & 13 provide for what happens when Congress hasn’t received the Electors’ votes by December 23.

So we see that flexibility to deal with fights in the States over the selection of Electors is built into the US Code.

C.

Now we get to the counting of the Electors’ Votes in Congress: 3 USC §15 says Congress is to meet on January 6 to count the votes. The President of the Senate [Mike Pence] presides. He is to call for objections to the votes. The rest of §15 and §§16-18 deal with handling the objections in Congress respecting the Electors’ votes.

So the statutory framework recognizes that selecting the Presidential Electors can get messy; and that there would be fights over the Electors in the States and in Congress. We are working through this process right now.

4. Congress has the power to determine whether the President elect and Vice President elect are qualified for office.

Section 3 of the 20th Amendment shows that Congress has the authority to determine whether the President elect and Vice President elect are qualified for office. 2 If either is not a natural born citizen, Congress has the power and the duty to disqualify that person. 3 Accordingly, it was Congress’ duty to inquire into whether Obama was a natural born citizen; and today it is Congress’ duty to inquire into whether Kamala Harris is a natural born citizen.

Congress also has the power – and the duty – to disqualify Biden and Harris on the ground that the fraud bringing about their sham “election” was an attack on the States’ Right, guaranteed by Article IV, §4, to have a republican form of government.

5. Election Fraud is a federal crime

It is the DUTY of the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute the election fraud. It is disgraceful that they have done nothing.

6. The Duty of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is surely aware of its Duty, imposed by Article IV, §4, US Constitution, to guarantee to the States a republican form of government where Representatives are elected by The People – and not by corrupt politicians who pay for massive organized election fraud and cheating.

While the Supreme Court obviously cannot enforce its own rulings and must depend on the Executive Branch of the federal government to enforce them; 4 the Supreme Court must issue an Opinion consistent with Article IV, §4, which, when enforced by the Executive Branch of the federal government, solves the present crisis.

7. The State Legislatures should appoint replacement Electors

It is clear that State Legislatures have the power to ignore the fraudulent election and appoint a new set of Presidential Electors. Such is consistent with the Constitution and the statutory scheme laid out in 3 USC §§1-21. Furthermore, the Supreme Court has already acknowledged that State Legislatures may do this.

REMEMBER that Article II, §1, clause 2, US Constitution, says Electors are to be appointed “in such Manner as the State Legislatures” may direct.

Originally, Electors were generally chosen by the State Legislatures. In McPherson v. Blacker, decided 1892 [link], the Supreme Court gave the history of how each State Legislature chose their Electors since the first presidential election. It was only later that State Legislatures began to provide for the popular election of the Presidential Electors.

Congress expressly recognizes that State Legislatures may resume at any time the power to select the Electors. Remember that 3 USC §2, says,

“Whenever any State has held an election for the purpose of choosing electors, and has failed to make a choice on the day prescribed by law, the electors may be appointed on a subsequent day in such a manner as the legislature of such State may direct.”

Additionally, in Bush v. Gore, decided 2000 [link], the Supreme Court said that the State Legislature’s power to select the manner for appointing electors is plenary; it may, if it chooses, select the Electors itself; and even after granting the franchise to the People to select the Electors, State Legislatures can resume the power at any time.

So yes, in States where the election was stolen, the State Legislatures may – and should – reassume their plenary power to select the Electors. America urges the State Legislators to be bold and do what is right.

8. Warning

Republican establishment cowards who refuse to confront and defeat the election fraud don’t seem to understand the consequences of their refusal to man up and fight the fraud. Our Country is right now in the process of being overthrown and taken over by profoundly evil people. You better fight while we still can.

Endnotes:

1 Federalist No. 10 (J. Madison) [link]: “A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, … *** … The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; …”

2 The qualifications are set forth at Article II, §1, clause 5 and the 12th Amendment, last sentence.

3 Whether or not a President elect or Vice President elect meet the constitutional qualifications for office is a political question for Congress to decide.

4 Federalist No. 78 (A. Hamilton) [link] “…The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.” [Caps are Hamilton’s; other emphasis added]

The Trumpet: What Does the U.S. Constitution Say About the Election Crisis?

The Trumpet talks about what the Founding Fathers said in regards to solving contested elections in What Does the U.S. Constitution Say About the Election Crisis?

The rule of law is under attack in America. Evidence shows politicians are trying to transform the nation by emphasizing ends over means. Former United States federal prosecutor Sidney Powell claims to have evidence exposing large-scale voter fraud. During an interview with Fox Business, Powell said she had “staggering statistical evidence” that a leading voting machine firm, Dominion Voter Systems, stole votes from U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Well, I can hardly wait to put forth all the evidence we have collected on Dominion, starting with the fact it was created to produce altered voting results in Venezuela for Hugo Chávez and then shipped internationally to manipulate votes for purchase in other countries, including this one,” she told Lou Dobbs on November 13. “It was funded by money from Venezuela and Cuba, and China has a role in it also. So, if you want to talk about foreign election interference, we certainly have it now. We have staggering statistical evidence.”

What Powell is talking about is the biggest political scandal in U.S. history—if proved true.

If corrupt politicians can get away with using Communist-funded software to rig an election, then we no longer live in a constitutional republic. We live in an authoritarian technocracy.

Shockingly, most political and media figures do not want to give Powell a chance to present her evidence. News sources from the center-left Washington Post to the center-right Wall Street Journal have condemned Powell’s claims as a conspiracy theory. Former President Barack Obama said in an interview with 60 Minutes that President Trump needs to “put the country first” and concede the election right away. A group of 1,000 attorneys published a letter on November 10 making similar demands. They accused President Trump of violating his oath to the U.S. Constitution by claiming there was evidence of voter fraud.

Of course, none of these figures say what specific clause of the Constitution President Trump had violated. That is because the Constitution does not prohibit presidents from investigating voter fraud. In fact, as the nation’s chief law enforcement executive, you could say the Constitution mandates that he investigate these fraud allegations.

Those accusing President Trump of violating the rule of law are ignoring a major aspect of constitutional law. The Constitution does not give the media the power to pick the president, nor does it give attorneys the power to pick the president. It does not even give the American people the power to pick the president. The supreme law of the land gives the electoral college the power to pick the president. This means every politician, lawyer and soldier who has taken an oath to the Constitution is bound to accept the president chosen on December 14 by the 538 electors of the electoral college.

The recounts and court cases that happen before then are an attempt to inform these electors how their state voted. Electors are not constitutionally required to vote for the candidate who won their state, and six electors did not do so during the 2016 presidential elections. Only 33 states have laws punishing electors for not voting the way their state did.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution also wrote specific provisions on how to solve a contested election. They empowered Congress to be the backup if the electoral college could not decide on a winner. The 12th Amendment specifies that if no candidate receives 270 votes in the electoral college due to disputed ballots, or some other reason, the House of Representatives shall immediately choose between the three leading candidates. In this congressional vote, the representation from each state has one vote.

In regard to the current election crisis, law professor Donald Brand wrote, “If neither candidate gets to 270 electors due to disputed ballots, the House would have to decide the election. Though the House has a Democratic majority, such an outcome would almost certainly benefit Trump. Here’s why: In a concession to small states concerned their voices would be marginalized if the House was called upon to choose the president, the founders gave only one vote to each state. House delegations from each state meet to decide how to cast their single vote. That voting procedure gives equal representation to California—population 40 million—and Wyoming, population 600,000. This arrangement favors Republicans. The gop has dominated the House delegations of 26 states since 2018—exactly the number required to reach a majority under the rules of House presidential selection.”

Many Democrats hate the electoral college and want to replace it with a system where the winner of the popular vote becomes president. But they cannot condemn President Trump for violating the rule of law for refusing to concede an election before the electoral college has even convened. The framers of the U.S. Constitution established provisions on how to decide contested elections, and the only people violating the rule of law are those trying to circumvent those provisions by letting the media pick the president.

In 1999, British historian Paul Johnson wrote an article in the Sunday Telegraph titled “No Law Without Order, No Freedom Without Law.” He wrote: “The rule of law, as distinct from the rule of a person, or class or people, and as opposed to the rule of force, is an abstract, sophisticated concept. It is mighty difficult to achieve. But until it is achieved, and established in the public mind with such vehemence that masses of individuals are prepared to die to uphold it, no other form of progress can be regarded as secure. The Greeks had tried to establish the rule of law but failed. The Romans had succeeded under their republic but Caesar and his successors had destroyed it. The essence of the rule of law is its impersonality, omnipotence, and ubiquity. It is the same law for everyone, everywhere—kings, emperors, high priests, the state itself, are subject to it. If exceptions are made, the rule of law begins to collapse—that was the grand lesson of antiquity.”

Americans today do not understand “the grand lesson of antiquity” as our founders understood it. That is why the nation is on a dangerous path toward lawlessness.

For decades, activists have striven to fundamentally transform America by emphasizing ends over means. If a policy lacks support to be passed by the lawmaking branch of government, radicals call for the president to enact it via executive order, or for the Supreme Court to enact it via judicial activism, or for protesters to take to the streets. They accuse President Trump of violating the rule of law when he investigates lawbreaking, but they attack the supreme law of the land if the electoral college votes in a way they do not like.

The Prophet Isaiah described such lawless thinking 2,700 years ago: “None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands” (Isaiah 59:4-6).

This passage is a prophecy about end-time America (as our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong, proves). Today, corrupt politicians “speak lies,” “conceive mischief,” and “bring forth iniquity.” But God will not allow them to “cover themselves in their works.” He will expose the corruption so people have a chance to repent before a lawless spirit completely destroys America by replacing the rule of law with the horrifying rule of brute force!..

Mises Institute: America at the Point of No Return (Book Review)

The Mises Institute has published a book review of Michael Anton’s The Stakes: American at the Point of No Return. Some people could learn a bit about their country just from reading the review.

…In one of the best sections of the book, Anton sets forward his understanding of the Constitution. He says, “Our founders sought to establish the weakest possible federal government capable of performing its essential functions, for three fundamental and intertwined reasons. First, government is inherently dangerous, so the less power it has, the better. Second, the states—being closer to the people and more responsive to regional differences and needs—are better equipped to handle most matters than a far-off centralized administration. Third, the states were prior to the federal government; the people, through their states, created the latter to serve them, not the other way around.”

Anton continues: “According to the parchment [the Constitution], the federal government is supposed to field and fund an army and navy, protect the borders, make treaties, regulate foreign trade and interstate commerce, maintain a sound common currency…and that’s about it. But if you haven’t noticed, there is almost nothing today that the federal government doesn’t do—or try to. The fact that it fails embarrassingly at most of the tasks it sets itself never circumscribes its ambitions, which seem to multiply by the year.”

Again sounding like a supporter of the free market, Anton says about the federal budget: “That leaves about a trillion for means-tested welfare—which, like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, are not constitutionally authorized; they are also of dubious and uneven effectiveness at best.”

Anton notes that the founders believed that the American Revolution was grounded in universal truths, “but they did not expect their declaration to revolutionize the world—nor were they under any illusion that it, or they, had the power to do so….America is—in the words of John Quincy Adams—‘the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all’ but also ‘the champion and vindicator only of her own.’”

Those who wish to restore these principles face a challenge of unprecedented severity. Anton argues that an elite based in certain blue states disdains ordinary Americans. “The core message of the meta-Narrative is that America is fundamentally and inherently racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic, and so on. The flaws and sins of America derive directly from those of its founding stock, who are natural predators, inherently racist, and malevolent.”

Elite policy is at its worst in California, now under the near-total domination of the left wing of the Democratic Party. “In modern California, hypocrisy and double-standardism aren’t merely part of the business climate; they’re endemic to the whole society….Sam Francis dubbed this system ‘anarcho-tyranny’: complete freedom—even exemption from the gravest laws—for the favored, maximum vindictive enforcement against the pettiest infractions on the disfavored.” Anton fears that if President Trump isn’t reelected, the Democrats will seek actively to suppress whomever in the red states challenges them, and they will prove very difficult to dislodge from power.

Who are the ordinary Americans the elite disdains, and who are the elite? The ordinary Americans are those whom Hillary Clinton called “deplorables,” i.e., white males who value their family, their religion, and their property, including their guns. “Funny thing, too: a core tenet of modern liberalism is supposed to be the sanctity of ‘one man, one vote.’ Except, you know, not really. The barely concealed presupposition of denouncing Republicans as ‘racists’ simply because whites vote for them is that all votes are not created equal. Votes of color are morally superior to white votes, which are inherently tainted. Which is why the left holds any election won by a Republican to be morally if not (yet) politically illegitimate.”

The elite consists at its core of wealthy financiers and business interests allied with government. It is buttressed by professionals who have attended top universities, especially those of the Ivy League. In a way that readers of Hunter Lewis on “crony capitalism” will recognize, Anton writes: “So-called ‘public-private cooperation’ will increase. This benign-sounding phrase—who could object to ‘cooperation,’ to government and business ‘solving problems together’? —masks a darker reality. What it really describes is the use of state power to serve private ends, at private direction. Hence foreign policy…will be further reoriented around securing trade, tax, and labor ‘migration’ patterns and paradigms that benefit finance and big business.”

If elite dominance continues, Anton predicts that those of us who dissent will be rigidly restricted. “Free speech as we have known it—as our founders insisted was the bedrock of political rights, without which self-government is impossible—will not survive coming leftist rule. The playbook is already being expanded to include banking and credit. Getting on the wrong side of elite-woke opinion is increasingly to find oneself locked out of the financial system: no bank account, no credit card, no ability to get a loan or pay a mortgage. Pay cash? The move to a ‘cashless society’…will obviate that option right quick.”

Anton cites an especially chilling instance of the policy of suppression. “A new regulation in the United Kingdom—which we must assume will be proposed here sooner or later—would allow Britain’s National Health Service to deny non-emergency care to those deemed ‘racist, sexist, or homophobic.’ Government bureaucrats, naturally, will be the ones doing the deeming.” Small wonder that Anton has had enough…

Publius Huldah: Mail-in voting? A “political question” which only State Legislatures and Congress may decide

Publius Huldah opines on the legalities of mail-in voting. Mail-in voting? A “political question” which only State Legislatures and Congress may decide

It has become obvious that one of the purposes of the COVID-19 scam is to bring about unrestricted mail-in voting in the toss-up and Red States so that the upcoming presidential election can be stolen by the Left for the senile Joe Biden and his constitutionally ineligible running mate, Kamala Harris.

On September 9, 2020, the Left achieved their goal for the Red State of Tennessee – unless the Tennessee State government enforces the US Constitution and rejects the federal judge’s unconstitutional order.

1. The absurd Order from the US District Court, Middle District of Tennessee

The Tennessee Code permits mail-in voting for certain categories of people [Tenn. Code § 2-6-201]; but requires those who register by mail to appear in person at the official place of voting and bring proof of identity when they vote for the first time [Tenn. Code § 2-2-115 (b) (7)].

Our elections are already tainted by the “ghost voters” described in Deroy Murdock’s article (published 2017) [here]. Murdock showed that throughout the United States, over 3.5 million persons who didn’t exist were registered to vote. But that number wasn’t sufficient to elect Hillary Clinton; so the Left needs more ghost voters. With mail-in voter registration, dead people can be registered to vote; and with unrestricted mail-in voting, those dead people can vote forever.

The Plaintiffs in this action claim to be distressed about the statutory requirement that first-time voters (who registered by mail) appear in person to vote because it forces them to choose between their “health” [they might catch COVID-19 if they go to the polls] and their right to vote. 1

On September 9, 2020, federal judge Eli Richardson issued a preliminary injunction which has the effect of setting aside, for the upcoming presidential election, the statutory requirement – established by the Tennessee Legislature – that persons who registered by mail, show up in person the first time they vote.

Here is Richardson’s 29 page Order.

So let’s cut 29 pages of bunk down to its essence: Richardson ruled that the Tennessee Legislature’s requirement that the first-time voters (who registered by mail) physically appear at the polls, imposes a “moderate burden” on voting rights; and the State failed to show the Court that Tennessee has a “legitimate state interest” to justify that burden. 2

Even worse: Throughout his Order, Richardson writes repeatedly [some 20 times] of Plaintiffs’ “First Amendment right to vote”; and says at the end of para 31 of his Order,

“…it is likely that Plaintiffs will prevail on their claim that the first-time voter requirement violates the First Amendment right to vote…”

But the First Amendment makes no mention of a “right to vote”. 3 Furthermore, in footnote 22 of his Order, the Judge says:

“In a prior order, the Court declined to address any suggestion that there is no First Amendment right to vote, for any purposes at all, by mail in particular… The Court was well aware that McDonald supports such a suggestion, but the Court simply did not need to opine on that matter. The Court likewise does not need to do so here…”

What? The Judge declined to address whether or not a First Amendment right to vote actually exists even though he has already determined that Plaintiffs are likely to prevail on their claim that the requirement that first-time voters (who registered by mail) show up in person to vote “violates the First Amendment right to vote”!

2. Why do Plaintiffs and the Judge repeatedly speak of a “First Amendment right to vote”, when the Judge isn’t prepared to say that such a right even exists?

They may be aware that the federal court has no jurisdiction over this case; but are attempting to fake it by claiming that the case “arises under the Constitution” via the First Amendment.4

The judicial power of the federal courts is limited to those few categories of cases enumerated at Article III, §2, clause 1, US Constitution. Not one of the categories invests the federal court with jurisdiction over this case. This case can’t be said to “arise under the Constitution” because there is no “right to vote” in the US Constitution; and the remaining categories listed in Article III, §2 are clearly inapplicable.

So it appears that Plaintiffs have fabricated a mythical “First Amendment right to vote” in order to provide a pretext for the federal court to exercise jurisdiction in this case – and that the federal judge let them get away with it.

3. Article I, §2, clause 1, US Constitution, negates the absurd claim that there exists a federal constitutional right to vote.

At Article I, §2, cl. 1, the States expressly retained their pre-existing power to determine the qualifications of voters:

“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.” [italics added]

Accordingly, those who are eligible to vote for Representatives to their State Legislature are the ones eligible to vote for Members of the federal House of Representatives. 5

With four later Amendments, the States agreed that they would not deny eligibility to vote to Citizens on account of race (15th Amendment), sex (19th Amendment), failure to pay a tax (24th Amendment), and for those 18 years of age or older on account of age (26th Amendment). It is important to note that these four amendments do not grant the “right” to vote to the persons described in the Amendments – merely that the suffrage will not be denied to those persons on account of their race, sex, etc.

So the States retained their original authority to set whatever qualifications for voting they deem appropriate, subject to their agreement that they would not deny suffrage on account of a Citizen’s being in one of those four categories.

So there is no “right to vote” set forth in the US Constitution. To the contrary, voting is a privilege granted or denied on the basis of whether applicants meet the qualifications for voting set forth within their State Constitution. 6

4. What does our Constitution say about how the President and Vice President are to be elected?

Article II, §1, cl. 2 and the 12th Amendment set forth the procedures for electing President and Vice President. Those procedures are described here under the subheadings, “Electors appointed by States were to choose the President” and “The 12th Amendment establishes procedures for voting by Electors”.

Our current procedures bear no resemblance to the Constitutional requirements. 7 It’s too late to obey the Constitution for the upcoming presidential election; so let’s see what our Constitution says about the federal elections to Congress.

5. US Constitution: the “times, places and manner” clause

Pursuant to Article I, §4, clause 1, State Legislatures have the power to prescribe the Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for US Representatives 8 and US Senators.9

This clause also provides that Congress may make laws which override such State laws.

So the power to determine the time, place and manner of holding such federal elections is delegated exclusively to the Legislative Branches of the State and federal governments.

It is up to the State Legislatures to decide which “burdens” are appropriate with respect to the place of voting – with Congress having power to override what a State Legislature decides. The Judicial Branches of the state and federal governments may not substitute their views as to which “burdens” are appropriate and which are not. These are “political questions” granted to the Legislative Branches to decide; and the Judicial Branches – state and federal – may not lawfully interfere. 10

It is clear that “manner of voting” includes such matters as a requirement of personal presence at the place of voting. This is what our Framers contemplated, as shown by their words quoted in footnote 8 below. When a State legislature decides that personal presence is required – that decision can be overturned only by Congress.

So Judge Richardson’s view that the Tennessee Legislature doesn’t have a good reason for requiring first time voters (who registered by mail) to vote in person and present ID is irrelevant, and his Order is ultra vires.

6. What is the State’s remedy against the unlawful Court order?

So! You have seen that determining the “place and manner of voting” is a political power delegated exclusively to the State and federal Legislatures. It is thus a “political question”; and the federal [and state] Judicial Branches may not substitute their views for those of the Legislative Branches.

And since there is no “right to vote” contained in the US Constitution, the Federal District Court has no jurisdiction over this case. This case doesn’t “arise under the Constitution” or fit within any of the other categories of cases enumerated at Article III, §2, cl.1, US Constitution.

So the pretended Order of September 9, 2020, is ultra vires and lawless, and the State of Tennessee has no obligation to obey it.

The duty of the elected and appointed State and local officials is to obey the US Constitution. When the dictates of a federal [or State] judge contradict the Constitution, State officials must side with the Constitution and against the judge. 11

And what will happen if the State of Tennessee refuses to comply with the Judge’s order? The Judge can’t enforce his Order. He has to depend on the Executive Branch of the federal government to enforce it. 12 Do you believe that President Trump will send in federal troops to force the State of Tennessee to comply with Judge Richardson’s ultra vires Order?

Note:  In addition to the Offices of President & Vice-President, many other offices will also be on the Ballot:  the entire US House of Representatives is up for grabs.  So is the House in the State Legislatures all over the Country.  1/3 of the US Senate will be on the ballot; and a proportional number of Senate Seats on State Legislatures throughout the Country will be on the ballot.

EVERY REPUBLICAN LEGISLATOR NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND:  Your Seat is likely to be stolen in this upcoming election.

So you better wake up and get your State Legislature to smack down the federal & state judges who are assisting the Left in stealing your Seat.  And if Congress doesn’t act, they will lose control of the Senate and most likely every seat in the House.

Why should the Left stop with stealing only the Presidential election when they can also steal YOUR seat?

Endnotes:

1 How do they get their groceries?

2 Order at paras 29 – 31.

3 The First Amendment says,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The First Amendment is a limitation on Congress’ powers to make laws – it doesn’t grant a “right” to vote!

4 In Federalist No. 80 (2nd para), Hamilton states that cases “arising under the Constitution” concern

“…the execution of the provisions expressly contained in the articles of Union [the US Constitution]…” [boldface added].

In the 3rd & 13th paras, Hamilton illustrates what “arising under the Constitution” means: He points to the restrictions on the power of the States listed at Art. I, §10 and shows that if a State exercises any of those powers, and the fed. gov’t sues the State, the federal courts have authority to hear the case.

5 The 17th Amendment [ratified 1913] provides that those who are eligible to vote for Representatives to the US House are eligible to vote for US Senators.

6 With the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, Congress usurped the retained power of the States to set and enforce eligibility standards for voting. In a series of 3 papers, the last of which is here, I show how the assertions about The Federalist Papers made by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, in their attempts to justify their unconstitutional judgments, are false.

7 Our disregard of these constitutional provisions doubtless contributed to the creation of the current chaos.

8 Our Framers told us what “times”, “places” and “manner” mean:

In Federalist No. 61 (4th & 5th paras), Alexander Hamilton shows that “Time” refers to when elections are held. He explains that under the Articles of Confederation [our 1st Constitution], States had been conducting elections from March to November; and that uniformity in the time of elections is necessary “for conveniently assembling the [federal] legislature at a stated period in each year”.

“Place”: Hamilton also points out that the suffrages of citizens living in certain parts of the States could be defeated by restricting the place of election for Representatives in the House to “an INCONVENIENT DISTANCE from the elector” (2nd para). [caps are Hamilton’s].

“Manner” of holding Elections refers to such things as paper ballots or show of hands, the place of voting, and whether the States will be divided into congressional districts for purposes of electing Representatives. James Madison discusses the “Manner” of holding Elections in The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 2, August 9, 1787:

“Mr. Madison: … the Legislatures of the States ought not to have the uncontrouled right of regulating the times places & manner of holding elections. These were words of great latitude. It was impossible to foresee all the abuses that might be made of the discretionary power. Whether the electors should vote by ballot or vivâ voce, should assemble at this place or that place; should be divided into districts or all meet at one place, shd all vote for all the representatives; or all in a district vote for a number allotted to the district; these & many other points would depend on the Legislatures and might materially affect the appointments …. what danger could there be in giving a controuling power to the Natl. Legislature? Of whom was it to consist? 1. of a Senate to be chosen by the State Legislatures … 2. of Representatives elected by the same people who elect the State Legislatures…” [emphasis added]

Rufus King in the Massachusetts Convention said in The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 3, January 21, 1788:

“Hon. Mr. King rose … It was to be observed, he said, that in the Constitution of Massachusetts, and other States, the manner and place of elections were provided for; the manner was by ballot, and the places towns; for, said he, we happened to settle originally in townships…” [emphasis added]

9 When Art. I, §4, cl. 1 was drafted, the State Legislatures were to choose the State’s Senators to the US Congress – so the “place” of choosing the US Senators would be wherever the Legislature met. With ratification of the 17th Amendment, Congress gained oversight over State laws addressing the “place” of election of US Senators.

10 In Marbury v. Madison [link], decided 1803, the Supreme Court explained the concept of “political powers” and that the manner in which political powers are exercised is beyond the reach of the courts:

“By the Constitution of the United States, the President is invested with certain important political powers, in the exercise of which he is to use his own discretion, and is accountable only to his country in his political character and to his own conscience. …whatever opinion may be entertained of the manner in which executive discretion may be used, still there exists, and can exist, no power to control that discretion. The subjects are political. They respect the nation, not individual rights, and, being entrusted to the Executive, the decision of the Executive is conclusive … [and] can never be examinable by the Courts.”

Marbury addresses the political powers exercised by the President. That same deference to the exercise of political powers has long been extended to the acts of the other political branch, Congress. Where the Constitution grants a political power to Congress, the manner in which Congress exercises the discretion is also beyond the reach of the Courts. So, for example, if Congress were to exercise the power granted to it by Article I, § 4, clause 1, to make a law banning mail-in voting; its action can never be examined by the Courts – the Courts may not substitute their views for those of Congress.

11 Marbury v. Madison also stands for the Great Principle that when an Act of one branch of government violates the Constitution, the other Branches must obey the Constitution and not the unlawful Act.

12 Alexander Hamilton made this same point over 200 years ago – see Federalist No. 78 (6th para). If law schools had made The Federalist Papers required reading, our Country wouldn’t now be in such a mess

Tenth Amendment Center: The Constitutionality of a National Bank – Hamilton vs. Jefferson

Here another US government history article. From Mike Maharrey at The Tenth Amendment Center, The Constitutionality of a National Bank: Hamilton vs. Jefferson.

The First Bank of the United States was charted for a period of 20 years by Congress on Feb. 25, 1791. Alexander Hamilton championed the bank, but it wasn’t without its detractors. One of the most vocal opponents of the bank was Thomas Jefferson who argued that it was unconstitutional.

The debate was really about more than chartering a bank. At its core, it was an argument about the extent of federal power. Jefferson held to the promise of the ratification debates – that federal authority would remain carefully circumscribed by the enumerated delegated powers. Given that the Constitution doesn’t authorize Congress to charter corporations, much less a national bank, Jefferson argued that it was an unconstitutional act.

On the other hand, Hamilton pivoted from the position he took during the ratification debates and justified his project by invoking the doctrine of “implied powers.” His arguments foreshadowed how federal policies of every imaginable stripe would be justified moving forward. Arguably, Hamilton’s arguments for the First Bank of the United States set the foundation for much of the federal overreach we have today.

Jefferson and Hamilton both wrote documents making their cases for the establishment of the bank. Jefferson wrote his Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank first.

He rested his argument on the Tenth Amendment, writing:

“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That  ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.’ [XIIth amendment.] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.”

He then succinctly stated his conclusion.

“The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill, have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States, by the Constitution.”

Jefferson proceeded to outline the various clauses of the Constitution supporters of the bank used to constitutionally justify and explained why they failed to bear the burden of that power.

The primary justification was the Commerce Clause, but Jefferson argued that “to erect a bank, and to regulate commerce, are very different acts.” Erecting a bank actually creates an institution of commerce, and as Jefferson pointed out, “to make a thing which may be bought and sold, is not to prescribe regulations for buying and selling.”

He went on to argue that if erecting a bank is an exercise of the commerce power, it would be void because it would also impact commerce within individual states.

“For the power given to Congress by the Constitution does not extend to the internal regulation of the commerce of a State, (that is to say of the commerce between citizen and citizen,) which remain exclusively with its own legislature; but to its external commerce only, that is to say, its commerce with another State, or with foreign nations, or with the Indian tribes.”

Next Jefferson tackled the General Welfare Clause, pointing out that Congress cannot lay and collect taxes for any purpose it pleases, “but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union.” Likewise, Congress can’t do anything it pleases to promote the “general welfare.” It can only further the general welfare by laying taxes and acting within its enumerated powers.

“In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. It is an established rule of construction where a phrase will bear either of two meanings, to give it that which will allow some meaning to the other parts of the instrument, and not that which would render all the others useless. Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lacce them up straitly within the enumerated powers, and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect.” [Emphasis original]

Jefferson drove his point home by pointing out a very inconvenient fact for Hamilton – the Philadelphia Convention debated and rejected delegating the power to charter corporations.

On one of the final days of the convention, James Madison proposed the federal government be delegated the authority “to grant charters of incorporation where the interest of the U.S. might require & the legislative provisions of individual State may be incompetent.”

Rufus King of Massachusetts objected specifically on the grounds that “It will be referred to the establishment of a Bank, which has been a subject of contention in those Cities (New York and Philadelphia). He also warned that “In other places it will be referred to mercantile monopolies.”

George Mason of Virginia proposed limiting the power to charting corporations for the construction of canals. “He was afraid of monopolies of every sort, which he did not think were by any means already implied by the Constitution as supposed by Mr. Wilson.”

Ultimately, the convention rejected the proposal completely. Historian Dave Benner wrote, “This casts overwhelming doubt on the notion that the Constitution allowed Congress to form such monopolies. No enumerated power to grant monopolies and corporate charters was ever included in the document, and during the ratification campaign, none of the Constitution’s advocates cited the presence of such a power.”

But Hamilton’s arguments didn’t rely on the existence of any delegated power. Instead, he appealed to the existence of unwritten “implied powers.”

In response to Jefferson’s appeal to the Tenth Amendment and that the federal government can only exercise delegated powers, Hamilton affirmed it, and then effectively nullified its limiting force. He wrote, “The main proposition here laid down, in its true signification is not to be questioned.” But he continued, insisting, “It is not denied that there are implied well as express powers, and that the former are as effectually delegated as the latter.”

But who decides the extent of these implied powers? Who determines their limits? In effect, Hamilton sets up an almost unlimited reservoir of power the general government can dip into in order to take whatever actions it deems appropriate. This was a 180-degree reversal from the position he took during the ratification debates when he insisted that the new general government would only exercise limited powers.

Hamilton primarily based his defense of the national bank on the “necessary and proper clause,” citing it as the source of these “implied” powers. While Jefferson relied on a very narrow definition of “necessary and proper,” Hamilton used the phrase to milk implied powers out of the Constitution.

The debate centered on the meaning of the word necessary. Jefferson took a very narrow view, arguing that the government can carry out all of its enumerated powers without a national bank. “A bank therefore is not necessary, and consequently not authorized by this phrase.”

“It has been urged that a bank will give great facility or convenience in the collection of taxes, Suppose this were true: yet the Constitution allows only the means which are ‘necessary,’ not those which are merely ‘convenient’ for effecting the enumerated powers. If such a latitude of construction be allowed to this phrase as to give any non-enumerated power, it will go to everyone, for there is not one which ingenuity may not torture into a convenience in some instance or other, to some one of so long a list of enumerated powers. It would swallow up all the delegated powers, and reduce the whole to one power, as before observed. Therefore it was that the Constitution restrained them to the necessary means, that is to say, to those means without which the grant of power would be nugatory.”

Hamilton found this view too limiting. He wrote, “It is certain that neither the grammatical nor popular sense of the term requires that construction. According to both, necessary often means no more than needful, requisite, incidental, useful, or conducive to.”

“It is a common mode of expression to say, that it is necessary for a government or a person to do this or that thing, when nothing more is intended or understood, than that the interests of the government or person require, or will be promoted by, the doing of this or that thing. … To understand the word as the Secretary of State does, would be to depart from its obvious and popular sense, and to give it a restrictive operation, an idea never before entertained. It would be to give it the same force as if the word absolutely or indispensably had been prefixed to it.”

Jefferson hit the problem with Hamilton’s view on the head. It opens up a door to virtually unlimited government power. This runs counter to James Madison’s assurance in Federalist #45 that “the powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” [Emphasis added]

Under Hamilton’s “implied power” doctrine and his loose reading of the necessary and proper clause, there is very little the federal government can’t do. After all, virtually anything could be defined as “needful” or “useful” to the government. During the ratification debates, opponents of the Constitution worried that the necessary and proper clause would be construed exactly as Hamilton read it. At the time, Hamilton swore they had nothing to worry about. In Federalist #33, he wrote, “It may be affirmed with perfect confidence that the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same, if these clauses [necessary and proper and the supremacy clause] were entirely obliterated, as if they were repeated in every article. They are only declaratory of a truth which would have resulted by necessary and unavoidable implication from the very act of constituting a federal government, and vesting it with certain specified powers.” [Emphasis added]

Hamilton pivoted from “specified powers” in 1788 to “implied powers” just three years later.

In his push for a bank, Hamilton also invoked a rule of construction very favorable to the government. He wrote, “This restrictive interpretation of the word necessary is also contrary to this sound maxim of construction, namely, that the powers contained in a constitution of government, especially those which concern the general administration of the affairs of a country, its finances, trade, defense, etc., ought to be construed liberally in advancement of the public good.”

This was not “a sound maxim of construction” at the time.

St. George Tucker was an influential lawyer and jurist, and he wrote the first systematic commentary on the Constitution. Published in 1803, View of the Constitution of the United States served as an important law book, informing the opinions of judges, lawyers and politicians for the next 50 years. He explained that we should always construe federal power in the most limited sense possible.

 “The powers delegated to the federal government, are, in all cases, to receive the most strict construction that the instrument will bear, where the rights of a state or of the people, either collectively or individually, may be drawn in question.”

This is the exact opposite of Hamilton’s maxim. As “Light Horse” Harry Lee put it during the Virginia ratifying convention, “When a question arises with respect to the legality of any power, exercised or assumed by Congress, it is plain on the side of the governed. Is it enumerated in the Constitution? If it be, it is legal and just. It is otherwise arbitrary and unconstitutional.”

When political power resides in the people, the default position should always be to assume the most limited government power possible – not the most liberal reading as Hamilton insisted.

Later in his life, Jefferson made a similar point in a letter to William Johnson.

“On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

There was no probable construction authorizing charting a national bank.

Reading Hamilton’s arguments for the bank, it becomes clear he was trying to “squeeze” meaning – and power – out of the Constitution. Under the limited general government promised by supporters of the Constitution during ratification, including Alexander Hamilton, there would have been no national bank.

Hamilton’s twisting of the Constitution to wring out new powers set the stage for all the federal overreach that would follow. It was the “foundation” for the “living breathing” Constitution we live under today.

Publius Huldah: Constitutional Methods for the Fed Gov to “call forth the Militia” to Suppress Insurrections

Publius Huldah has a good, short article on the Constitutional underpinnings of the militia and origin of the National Guard in Our Constitution provides two separate & independent methods for the federal government to “call forth the Militia” to suppress Insurrections

Because of its excellence and relevance to the insurrections being fomented in our cities by the Marxist organization “Black Lives Matter”, Antifa, and other revolutionary organizations; I sent the recent paper by Edwin Vieira, JD., Ph.D., titled, “The President’s Authority To Suppress Insurrections” [link], to my lists.

In response, some objected that the riots in the cities are local issues to be handled (or not) by the State and local governments – that they are not “federal” issues over which the federal government has jurisdiction. Some also asserted that Article IV, §4, US Constitution prohibits the President from sending the National Guard into a State to quell such disturbances, unless & until the Legislature or the Governor of the State requests it.

Those objections are not well-founded.

First: What’s going on in our cities is not something which can be prudently brushed aside. It is a classic manifestation of a Marxist revolution – see, e.g., this article from “Workers’ World”. Furthermore, as shown below, the President of the United States has constitutional and statutory authority to exercise his own judgment as to whether he should send in the “Militia” to suppress the uprisings.

Second: Our Constitution provides two separate and independent methods for the federal government to suppress such uprisings.

Dr. Vieira’s paper sets forth the other method of “calling forth the Militia” – the method provided for at Article I, §8, clauses 15 & 16, US Constitution. That provides for the intervention of the Militia within a State at the initiative of the federal government, regardless of whether the State requests it. 1

When highly knowledgeable and experienced persons, such as Dr. Vieira, speak in their area of expertise, and their words contradict our existing beliefs; we ought to re-examine our beliefs, instead of dismissing what such persons say. 2

So let’s review Article I, §8, clauses 15 & 16, and some of the early Acts of Congress implementing them.

1. The American Militia is 400 years old

Throughout our colonial period, able-bodied free males were expected to be armed and trained and ready on short notice to defend their home, family, neighborhood and Colony. They were the “Militia”. In Mel Gibson’s movie, Patriot, Gibson’s character commanded a South Carolina Militia Company. The Militia was not “regular Army” – it was comprised of farmers, pastors, shopkeepers, etc., trained in the use of arms and prepared to fight for defense of Family and Community.

In our Constitution of 1787, our Framers provided for a regular Army and Navy at Article I, §8, clauses 12, 13 & 14. Pursuant to Article II, §2, clause 1, the President is Commander in Chief (CINC) of the Army and Navy. 3

Our Constitution also recognized the continued existence of the Militia, and assigned to it three specific federal functions: Article I, §8, clause 15 empowers Congress:

“To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”. 4

Clause 16 authorizes Congress:

“To provide for the organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”.

In 1792, Congress passed the Militia Act which “provided for” the arming of the Militia by requiring every able-bodied male Citizen of the ages 18-45 (with a few exceptions) 5 to acquire a rifle, bayonet, ammo pouch, ammo, 6 and report to his local unit for training. HERE is the Militia Act of 1792.

When the Militia of a State isn’t in the service of the United States for one of the three purposes listed in Clause 15, its function is to help in its own State – however the need arises. And in Federalist No. 46, James Madison says the Militia is to defend the State from the federal government in the event it becomes tyrannical. 7

2. Who has the authority to call forth the Militia into service of the United States?

Article I, §8, clause 15 authorizes Congress to “provide for” calling forth the Militia “to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”. How does Congress “provide for” calling forth the Militia into the service of the United States?

In Martin v. Mott, 25 US 19 (1827), the Supreme Court considered the Militia Act of 1795 [link] which authorized the President to call forth the militia when he judged it necessary to repel an invasion or enforce the laws of the United States. The Court pointed out that the power had been entrusted by Congress to the President, and said that,

“We are all of opinion, that the authority to decide whether the exigency has arisen, belongs exclusively to the President, and that his decision is conclusive upon all other persons.”

So! In the Militia Act of 1795, Congress “provided for” calling forth the Militia by delegating to the President the power to determine when it was advisable to call the Militia into national service to repel an invasion or to execute the laws of the Union. 8

3. Transformation of the Militia into the federally controlled National Guard

During the early 1900s, Americans elected Progressives [Fabian socialists] to office. And these “Progressives” commenced the conquest of our Country. They had to eliminate the threat the Militia posed to the totalitarian federal government they intended to create. So with the “Efficiency in Militia Act of 1903” (the “Dick Act”) [link], Congress federalized the Militia. And this is how the Militia of the several States, which is the primary defense of a Free People and the States against a tyrannical federal government [2nd Amendment], was put under federal control. And the States went along with it because their People were ignorant, short sighted, and bought off with federal appropriations for the new federalized “National Guard”.

So we don’t have an organized & trained Militia – now, we have federal troops – some on active duty in the Regular Military; others as weekend warriors in the Reserves or National Guard.

4. Current Acts of Congress providing for calling forth the “Militia” (federal armed forces)

Today, the provisions of the US Code which address calling forth the “Militia” 9 into national service are: 10 USC §251, 10 USC §252, 10 USC §253, and 10 USC §254. Note that the President still has statutory authority to use his own Judgment respecting whether to send the “Militia” into any State:

♦ to enforce the Laws of the United States [10 USC § 252];

♦ to suppress uprisings which deprive the people of the rights, privileges and immunities, and protections recognized in the Constitution and secured by Law, and the State government isn’t protecting those rights [10 USC §253]; and

♦ to suppress uprisings which oppose or obstruct the execution of the laws of the United States or impede the course of justice under those laws [10 USC § 253].

5. Conclusion

Our Constitution is an elegant piece of work. Its parts are interconnected and fit together. So we must read each clause in the light shed by the other clauses and by the Principles of our Founding as set forth in our Declaration of Independence. We must never insert our own biases – no matter what they are.

One of the most valuable characteristics of our federal system is the ability of the state and federal governments to be “checks” on each other. In Federalist No. 28 (7th para), Alexander Hamilton says,

“… in a confederacy [10] the people … may be said to be entirely the masters of their own fate. Power being almost always the rival of power, the general [national or federal] government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations of the state governments, and these will have the same disposition towards the general government. The people, by throwing themselves into either scale, will infallibly make it preponderate. If their rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress. …”

We would be wise to celebrate the President’s constitutional and statutory authority to protect us from the death and destruction being brought about – with the connivance of State & local officials – by the Marxist revolutionaries. When State and local governments refuse to protect their people from such death and destruction, the President has a clear power to intervene.

Now, we must start electing Presidents who know and obey our Constitution. 11

Endnotes:

1 Our Framers thought of everything – including rogue State governments. See, e.g, Federalist No. 28.

2 One of the themes of Proverbs is that a wise man listens and increases his understanding. Be wise.

3 To be CINC means that the President has the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy (Federalist No. 69).

4 Let that clause sink in! Our Framers did not want a standing Army [go here and search for “standing armies”] – that’s why appropriations for the regular Army were limited to two years (Art. I, § 8, cl. 12). National defense, enforcement of federal laws, & suppressing Insurrections were to be the responsibility of the Militia. When the federal gov’t needs to enforce its laws, it is to call forth the Militia – the armed and trained Citizens – to do the enforcing! During the Washington Administration, the federal gov’t called forth the Militia to enforce the federal excise tax on whiskey. Federal law enforcement is thus the province of the Citizens – the Militia! It is most manifestly NOT the province of armed thugs in the employ of the Executive Branch of the federal gov’t.

5 Pursuant to §2 of the Militia Act of 1792, federal officers & employees were exempted from service in the Militia. Can you figure out why they were exempted?

6 The arms, ammunition and accoutrements so acquired by the Militia Man were his personal property and were held free from claims of all creditors. They could not be seized and sold in payment for any judgments, debts or taxes. See last sentence of §1 of the Militia Act of 1792.

7 This is why Article II, §2, clause 1 provides that the President is CINC of the Militia only when it is called into national service. This is also why §2 of the Militia Act of 1792 exempts all federal officers and employees from service in the Militia.

8 The Militia Act of 1795 also provided that in cases of insurrection against a State government, the President could send in the Militia upon request of the State Legislature or Governor.

9 Even though we no longer have a “militia” within the meaning of Article I, §8, clauses 15 & 16; the current US Code uses the term in order to connect the activities of the federal armed forces with Art. I, §8, clause 15.

10 Our Constitution created a “federation” (“confederation”) of sovereign states which were united together for the sole purposes enumerated in the US Constitution.

11 I may have been wrong to fault President Trump for not sending the National Guard into the States to suppress the Insurrections.  In The Coming Coup? [link], Michael Anton writes:

“…It started with the military brass quietly indicating that the troops should not follow a presidential order. They were bolstered by many former generals—including President Trump’s own first Secretary of Defense—who stated openly what the brass would only hint at. Then, as nationwide riots really got rolling in early June, the sitting Secretary of Defense himself all but publicly told the president not to invoke the Insurrection Act. His implicit message was: “Mr. President, don’t tell us to do that, because we won’t, and you know what happens after that.”

If that is true, then the President ought to fire Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and should “purg[e] the [military] officer corps of anyone not down with the program and promoting only those who are.”

Tenth Amendment Center: The Constitution Wasn’t Written to Protect Your Liberty

From the Tenth Amendment Center comes a short piece on the limited purpose of the US Constitition, The Constitution Wasn’t Written to Protect Your Liberty

One of the most biggest misconceptions I hear about the Constitution is that it was written to “protect our liberty.”

It wasn’t. At least not in a direct sense.

The confusion likely arises from the words of the Declaration of Independence.

“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.”

It’s true that the Constitution was written during a time when protecting unalienable rights was widely viewed as the primary role of government. But the Constitution is not a philosophical document. It is a legal document that formed a political union and created a central government.

That’s all it does. Asking it to “protect your rights” is really asking too much. That wasn’t why it was written or ratified.

Now the Constitution does reflect the philosophy espoused in the Declaration in that it established a general government of limited, enumerated powers. The decentralized nature of the political system it created was intended to encourage liberty.

By strictly limiting the authority of the general government, the founding generation hoped it would never possess enough the power to intrude on our rights.

But there isn’t any provision in the Constitution that actually empowers the federal government to protect our liberty. In fact, the founding generation would have almost certainly considered that too much power for a general government to wield.

In practice, this means the federal government really doesn’t have any responsibility to “protect your rights” beyond staying within its constitutionally delegated powers. Its obligation isn’t to act in order to protect liberty, it is to not act outside of its legitimate authority.

In the same way, the Bill of Rights was never intended to empower the federal government to protect your rights. As the preamble to the Bill of Rights makes clear, it was intended to add “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” to the Constitution “in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers.” I have often said it would be better named “The Bill of Restrictions.”

A lot of people want the Constitution to deliver something it never promised. They want the government to serve as a liberty enforcement squad. This is a dangerous proposition. In order to protect your liberty, the government must define your liberty. The best thing the government can do is stay out of the way. The Constitution created a limited federal government for that purpose.

But it’s ultimately up to us to hold it within its limits. Unfortunately, by insisting that the government “protect their rights” they are doing the exact opposite.

LawOfficer.com: Officer Defends The Constitution & Placed On Leave Pending Termination

An article from LawOfficer.com about Port of Seattle Officer Greg Anderson – Officer Defends The Constitution & Placed On Leave Pending Termination

Port of Seattle Police Officer Greg Anderson filmed an inspirational, timely and truth filled video on May 5th.

Similar to what we have been saying here at Law Officer, he questioned why law enforcement around the country was enforcing newly invented rules in light of COVID-19.

“That is not how our job works okay, what really has been pissing me off lately is the fact that these officers that are going out here and enforcing these tyrannical orders… what they’re doing is they’re putting my job and my safety at risk because what you’re doing is your widening the gap between public trust and law enforcement officers,” said Anderson. He went on to say, “I want to remind you that regardless of where you stand on the coronavirus we don’t have the authority to do those things to people just because a mayor or a governor tells you otherwise I don’t care if it’s your sergeant or your Chief of Police we don’t get to violate people’s constitutional rights because somebody in our chain of command tells us otherwise it’s not how this country works those are de facto arrests you know we’re violating people’s rights.”

The next day, Greg woke up and received a message from his chain of command thanking him for a job well done.

He was relieved because like we often discuss in the Courageous Leadership Seminar, law enforcement is often crucified for telling the truth.

Three hours after he was told by his department they were in full support of his video,  Greg got a call instructing him to take down the video.

He refused.

By the next day the video had reached 430,000 views and the agency flat out told him “is time to pull the plug on this.”

Greg responded that “maybe we should embrace this message.”

A few hours later he was told that if if he didn’t take it down immediately and accept a letter of reprimand, the department would take a much harsher approach.

Greg refused to remove the video in part because of the content of that video.

DONATE TO OFFICER ANDERSON HERE

“I thought it was grounded in liberty and integrity and that no one would have issue with it,” Greg says.

“I had to be willing to die on that hill,” Anderson stated.

“The whole message I was trying to share that if you believe something in your heart you have to stand by that message, even if it costs you everything.”

With that, Greg told his boss, “I can’t take the video down.”

His Chief told him, “If you openly defy your Governor, you can’t be a police officer in the State of Washington.”

As is usual in the weak and cowardly leadership that has permeated this fine profession, Greg was subsequently placed on leave and threatened with termination.

Greg says “that I cannot afford to lose my job.”

He has kids and a house but he is steadfast in his beliefs.

And for that Greg Anderson is a hero.

In a statement, Anderson wrote, “I’ve received tons of questions regarding my termination from the Port of Seattle Police. So I figured I should explain. I have been placed on administrative leave (still being paid) pending investigation. I was told by both the agency and my union that this will result in termination due to it being an insubordination charge for refusing to take down the video. I’m not sure what the timeline looks like. I walk un-intimidated into the fray. Thank you for all the support.”

The Port of Seattle Police Department has refused to comment.