By Publius Huldah
Our Declaration of Independence says the Creator God endowed us with Rights, and that the purpose of government is to “secure” the Rights God gave us.
What does this mean? How does a government go about “securing” God given rights?
I will show you.
The miracle of our federal Constitution was that it created a federal government which, by means of exercising the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution, was enabled to “secure” our God given Rights in specific ways.
It isn’t the federal government’s job to secure our God given Rights in all ways, just in the ways appropriate for the national government of a Federation. Our Rights are to be secured in other ways by State governments. 1
The federal government is supposed to secure our right to life by:
- Military defense (Art. I, § 8, cl. 11-16);
- Laws against piracy and other felonies on the high seas (Art. I, § 8, cl. 10);
- Prosecuting traitors (Art III, § 3);
- Protecting us from invasion (Art IV, § 4); &
- Restricting immigration (Art. I, § 9, cl. 1).
It is supposed to secure our property rights by:
- Establishing a money system based on gold & silver and by establishing uniform weights & measures (Art I, § 8, cl 5);
- Punishing counterfeiters (Art I, § 8, cl 6);
- Establishing bankruptcy courts (Art I, § 8, cl 4);
- Issuing patents & copyrights (Art I, § 8, cl 8); and by
- Regulating trade & commerce so we can produce, sell, & prosper (Art. I, § 8, cl.3). The original intent of the interstate commerce clause was to prohibit the States from imposing taxes & tariffs on articles of commerce as they were transported thru the States for purposes of buying & selling. Go HERE for the Proof.
And it is supposed to secure our right to liberty by:
- Laws against slavery (13th Amendment); 2
- Providing fair trials in federal courts (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Amendments); and by
- Obeying the Constitution! The reason our Constitution so strictly limits and enumerates the powers of the federal government is to secure our basic right to be left alone to live our lives free from meddlesome and interfering do-gooders, tyrants, bullies & thieves.
So! THIS is how our federal Constitution implements that glorious Founding Principle that the purpose of government is to secure Rights God gave us – and I just listed for you most of the enumerated powers!
By exercising these enumerated powers, the federal government protects us from those who seek to take our Rights from us.
The federal government is never supposed to “secure” our Right to Life by giving us what we need to live. That could not be for it would require the federal government to take other peoples’ God given Property Rights away from them.
When a government secures God given Rights by protecting us from those who seek to take our rights away, we are never put in conflict with each other, because no one has his hand in anyone else’s pocket.
THIS is why our Declaration of Independence and Constitution were a Miracle.
But we abandoned this Miracle long ago when we let the federal government pervert our Constitution and abuse its power in order to benefit some at the expense of others. This is what turned us against each other.
So, what should we do?
Reclaim and Restore the Constitution our Framers gave us!
This is how we do it:
Learn the above; spread the word; and stop electing candidates who don’t know the lists of enumerated powers and who don’t sign an oath that they will obey. Hold candidate exams and test the candidates! Grill them! Make them sweat.
Look for candidates who are willing to employ beneficial methods of financing 3 such grossly unconstitutional (and fiscally & morally destructive) programs as social security and Medicare as they are gradually phased out of existence.
Learn HERE about the remedy our Framers actually advised when the federal government usurps powers: Don’t comply – resist – nullify!
Beware of those Pushing for a Convention.
I have already shown – most recently HERE – that what these demagogues are saying is not true; and that the real purpose of a convention is the imposition of a new constitution.
1 State governments are to secure our God given Rights in other ways: E.g., they secure our right to life by prosecuting murderers, drunk drivers, and outlawing abortion & euthanasia; they secure our rights to our own persons by prosecuting rapists & kidnappers; and they secure our property rights by prosecuting robbers, thieves & defrauders. They provide courts for peaceful resolution of private civil disputes.
2 Our Declaration of Independence states, as one of our Founding Principles, that “all men are created equal”. We were faithful to this Principle when we outlawed titles of nobility (Article I, §§ 9 & 10). But we violated this Principle when we permitted hereditary black slavery to continue.
3 E.g., vast holdings of unconstitutionally held federal lands could be sold to fund social security & Medicare as they are phased out of existence. PH
By Publius Huldah
Our Declaration of Independence says:
“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, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…” (2nd para) [emphasis mine]
So! Rights come from God; they are unalienable; the purpose of government is to secure the rights God gave us; and when government takes away our God given rights, it’s time to “throw off such Government”.
That is our Founding Principle.
Let us now compare our Founding Principle with the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It enumerates 30 some “rights”, among which are:
“Article 8 Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
Article 21 … 3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections …
Article 29 … 2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.” [all boldface mine]
So! Rights are enumerated; they come from man [constitutions or laws]; governments may do whatever a majority of people want them to do [instead of securing rights God gave us]; and rights may be limited by law & are subject to the will of the United Nations [not God].
Now, let’s look at the Parental Rights Amendment (PRA) from the website of parentalrights.org and compare it with the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1
The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.
The parental right to direct education includes the right to choose public, private, religious, or home schools, and the right to make reasonable choices within public schools for one’s child.
Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe these rights without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.
This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life. [all boldface mine]
No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.”
So! Under the PRA, parental rights come from the Constitution – not God. They are only “fundamental” rights, not unalienable rights. They are enumerated rights, the extent of which will be decided by federal judges. 2 And these “fundamental” rights may be infringed by law when the federal or State governments have a good reason for infringing them.
And even though parental rights.org uses the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of the Child to terrorize parents into supporting the PRA; 3 the PRA itself is the repudiation of our Founding Principles that Rights come from God and are unalienable, and that the sole purpose of civil government is to secure the rights GOD gave us; and adoption of the U.N. theory that rights come from the State, will be determined by the State, and are revocable at the will of the State.
Let’s turn to Michael Farris’ paper posted July 9, 2013 in Freedom Outpost. His paper followed my initial paper where I addressed, Section by Section, the PRA of which Farris is principal author. He is also Executive Director of parental rights.org
1. Mr. Farris’ rationale for the PRA: Scalia’s Dissent in Troxel v. Granville (2000)
Farris cites Scalia’s dissent to support his own perverse theory that unless a right is enumerated in the federal Constitution, judges can’t enforce it, and the right can’t be protected.
But Farris ignores the majority’s holding in Troxel, and misstates the gist of Scalia’s dissent. I’ll show you.
This case originated in the State of Washington, and involved a State Statute (§26.10.160(3)) addressing visitation rights by persons who were not parents. Two grandparents filed an action under this State Statute wanting increased visitation of their grandchildren. The mother (Granville) was willing to permit some visitation, but not as much as the grandparents wanted.
This State family law case got to the U.S. supreme Court on the ground that the “due process clause” of the 14th Amendment was at stake.
And what did the supreme Court say in Troxel v. Granville ?
“…In light of this extensive precedent, it cannot now be doubted that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children…”
“…We therefore hold that the application of §26.10.160(3) to Granville and her family violated her due process right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of her daughters.” [all boldface mine]
Do you see? The supreme Court has already “discovered”, in Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment, a parental right to make decisions about the care, custody, and control of children.
Now! In order to understand Scalia’s dissent, one must first learn:
- That the powers of the federal courts are enumerated and strictly defined; and
- The original intent of Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment, and how the supreme Court perverted it.
These are explained in detail here: Judicial Abuse of the Fourteenth Amendment: Abortion, Sexual Orientation, & Gay Marriage. In a nutshell, the linked paper shows that federal courts may lawfully hear only cases falling within the categories enumerated at Art. III, Sec. 2, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution. One of these categories is cases:
“…arising under this Constitution…”
In Federalist Paper No. 80 (2nd para), Alexander Hamilton says that before a case can properly be said to “arise under the Constitution”, it must:
“…concern the execution of the provisions expressly contained in the articles of Union…” [emphasis added]
So! Does our federal Constitution “expressly contain” provisions about abortion? Homosexual sex? Homosexual marriage? Parental rights? No, it does not.
Since these matters are not delegated to the federal government, they are reserved to the States and The People (10th Amendment). The federal government has no lawful authority over these issues.
Well, then, how did the supreme Court overturn State Statutes criminalizing abortion and homosexual sex, and State Statutes addressing parental rights?
They used the “due process” clause of Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment to usurp power over these issues. Section 1 says:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” [boldface mine]
Professor Raoul Berger proves in his book, Government by Judiciary: The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment, that the purpose of the 14th Amendment was to extend citizenship to freed slaves and protect them from southern Black Codes which denied them basic rights of citizenship.
Professor Berger also shows (Ch. 11) that “due process” is a term with a “precise technical import” going back to the Magna Charta. It means that a person’s life, liberty or property can’t be taken away from him except by the judgment of his peers pursuant to a fair trial!
Professor Berger stresses that “due process of law” refers only to trials - to judicial proceedings in courts of justice. It does not involve judicial power to override State Statutes!
Justice Scalia understands this.
And now, you can understand Scalia’s dissent. What he actually says is:
- Parental rights are “unalienable” and come from God (Declaration of Independence). They are among the retained rights of the people (9th Amendment). [Parental rights don’t come from the 14th Amendment!]
- The Declaration of Independence does not delegate powers to federal courts. It is the federal Constitution which delegates powers to federal courts.
- It is for State Legislators and candidates for that office to argue that the State has no power to interfere with parents’ God-given authority over the rearing of their children, and to act accordingly. [The People need to elect State Legislators who understand that the State may not properly infringe God given parental rights.]
- The federal Constitution does not authorize judges to come up with their own lists of what “rights” people have 4 and use their lists to overturn State statutes. [That is what the supreme Court did when they fabricated “liberty rights” to abortion and homosexual sex, and overturned State Statutes criminalizing these acts.]
- The federal Constitution does not mention “parental rights” – such cases do not “arise under the Constitution”. So federal courts have no “judicial power” over such cases.
In his closing, Scalia warns against turning family law over to the federal government:
“…If we embrace this unenumerated right … we will be ushering in a new regime of judicially prescribed, and federally prescribed, family law. I have no reason to believe that federal judges will be better at this than state legislatures; and state legislatures have the great advantages of doing harm in a more circumscribed area, of being able to correct their mistakes in a flash, and of being removable by the people.” [emphasis mine]
Do you see? “Parental rights” is a state matter; and parents need to replace bad State legislators.
But the PRA delegates power over “parental rights” to the federal government and makes it an enumerated power.
So! When Farris says:
“4. The Parental Rights Amendment does not give the Judiciary legislative power but constrains the judiciary’s exercise of its existing power.”
His words are false. The PRA transforms what is now a usurped power over parental rights seized by the supreme Court by perverting Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment [the majority opinion in Troxel illustrates this], to an enumerated power of the federal government.
2. The PRA expressly delegates to the federal and State governments power to infringe God-given parental rights!
Mr. Farris asserts that the PRA gives no power to Congress over children because he – the principal author of the PRA – purposefully left out the language which appears in other amendments that “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation”.
So! What did Farris put in his PRA? Look at his SECTION 3:
“Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe these rights without demonstrating that its governmental interestas applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.” [emphasis mine]
The wording assumes the federal and State governments will be making laws “infringing” parental rights! And because of the PRA, such laws will be constitutional! 5
The only issue will be whether such acts of Congress [the Legislative Branch of the federal government] “serve the government’s interest”. And who will decide? The federal courts [the Judicial Branch of the federal government] will decide.
The same goes for State Statutes and State courts.
Furthermore, Acts of Congress or State Statutes need only recite the boilerplate language that the law “serves the government’s interest, etc.”, and it will go to the courts clothed with a presumption of correctness.
3. The PRA is not “just like” the Second Amendment
Mr. Farris says the PRA is
“… just like the Second Amendment in this regard. The Second Amendment gives no level of government the power to regulate guns. (Any such power comes from some other provision of the Constitution [state or federal]). And the Second Amendment is a limitation on the exercise of such powers.”
WE THE PEOPLE did not delegate to the federal government power to restrict our arms.
The 2nd Amendment shows that WE THE PEOPLE really meant it when we declined to give the federal government enumerated power to restrict our arms.
So! As shown here, all federal laws and rules of the BATF pertaining to background checks, dealer licensing, banning sawed off shotguns, etc., are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government, and as in violation of the 2nd Amendment.
The PRA is not “just like” the 2nd Amendment because the PRA is an express delegation of power over children and parental rights to the federal and State governments!
4. Pen Names
Publius is the pen name used by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay when, during 1787 and 1788, they wrote The Federalist Papers to explain the proposed Constitution and induce The People to ratify it.
Huldah is the prophet at 2 Kings 22. The Book of the Law had been lost for a long time. When it was found, it was taken to Huldah who gave guidance about it to the king and his priests.
Do you see? And it’s about Our Country – not my personal glory, fame, and fundraising.
My qualifications? My work speaks for itself.
5. Learn the Constitution and understand the PRA? Or put your trust in Farris?
My previous paper is about the PRA and our Constitution. It isn’t about Mr. Farris.
But Farris’ response is about persons: 429 of his 2,044 words are devoted to his illustrious self; 170 words are spent to disparage Publius Huldah.
I teach the original intent of our Constitution so that our People can become what Alexander Hamilton expected them to be:
“… a people enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority…” Federalist Paper No. 16 (next to last para)
To that end, I have published some 50 papers proving that original intent, using The Federalist Papers as the best evidence of that original intent.
We must all do our civic duty and learn our Founding Principles and Constitution so that we can learn to think for ourselves and help restore our Constitutional Republic.
But Farris says you should believe in … him. He says:
“6. Who are you going to believe—a trusted advocate for parental rights or an anonymous blogger?”
He doesn’t ask you to learn and think – he asks you to believe … in him.
6. An Alternative Organization: National Home Education Legal Defense (NHELD)
NHELD has been warning for years about the Parental Rights Amendment. NHELD
“…does not believe in blindly following the word of anyone. NHELD … does not believe in just directing families to act in unison on the basis of an opinion that NHELD … has formed on its own. NHELD … believes in an informed, empowered citizenry, who is able to fight for freedom effectively…”
“…individuals not to take the word of anyone else about what … legislation says, but to read the text for themselves …”
7. How do Governments “secure” our God given Rights?
Our rights must be “secured” from people & civil governments who seek to take them away.
For an illustration of how the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government enable it to “secure” our God given rights to life, liberty & property, see James Madison Rebukes Nullification Deniers, under the subheading, Our Founding Principles in a Nutshell. The federal government isn’t to secure these rights in all ways – just in those ways appropriate to the national government of a Federation of Sovereign States.
The powers reserved by The States and The People enable the States to secure these rights in the ways appropriate to States. States secure our right to life by prosecuting murderers, drunk drivers, quarantining people with infectious deadly diseases, etc. States secure our property rights by prosecuting robbers; by providing courts for recovery for fraud, breach of contract; etc.
Civil governments are controlled by limiting their powers.
To delegate to the federal government express power to infringe “parental rights” under the pretext of “protecting” such rights is absurd! But that is Farris’ argument.
Parents! Justice Scalia gives excellent advice: elect to your State Legislature people who understand that your responsibilities to your children are determined by God alone.
We must stop looking for the magic pill, roll up our sleeves, man up, and fix our own States.
The PRA is a radical transformation of our conception of Rights from being unalienable gifts of God to the UN Model where “rights” are granted by government and revocable at the will of government. This is being sold to you as a means of “protecting” your parental rights! But it transfers power over children to the federal and State governments. You are being told to trust the “experts” and “believe” what they tell you. But if the PRA is ratified, the federal and State governments will have constitutional authority to infringe your “parental rights”. And you will have no recourse.
POSTSCRIPT Added August 22, 2013: You need to understand that the poisonous & deceptive “parental rights amendment” is what would give the federal government and the state governments CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY to implement the hellish plan described in the attached link. Once they have constitutional authority you will have no recourse but to take up arms.
1Craigers61 pointed out that Section 3 of the PRA is a paraphrase of [Article 29] of the UN [Declaration] in which:
“… all of the rights “given” by the UN earlier in the document can be taken back if any right goes against the UN’s “mission.” It’s a big finger on the chess piece in which the Political power can take back the right granted at any time they deem…
…Also, do you see the other problem here? The STATE grants the right to the parents! … In classical liberalism, the philosophy that founded the USA, all rights are INALEIANBLE! They reside in the human being themselves! They cannot be given, they cannot be taken and they cannot be circumscribed by the STATE…”
2 Bob in Florida asks Farris:
“But, what you say we must do – pass the Parental Rights Amendment – to defeat the Scalia argument that there is no legal text to cite to allow parents to have rights to direct their children’s education, medical care, etc., requires that we do exactly what the writers of the Constitution did not want to do – enumerate each and every right we have.
Their reason was that this would require that we enumerate each and every right and to leave one out would imply we don’t have that right. Their chosen approach was to only define the powers given to the government and all others were reserved to the States or the People. [emphasis mine]
Are you not advocating we do exactly what they didn’t want to do – enumerate each and every right?”
3 Congress may lawfully ratify only treaties which address enumerated powers. Since “parental rights” & “children” are not enumerated powers, any ratified treaty addressing such would be a proper object of nullification. But if the PRA is ratified, then these will be enumerated powers, and the Senate will have lawful authority to ratify the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child.
4 It is GOD’s prerogative to decide what Rights we have. Not mans’.
5 Un-anonymous blogger Doug Newman pointed out four years ago that:
“…The PRA actually puts a constitutional blessing on federal intrusion into parenting…”
July 28, 2013; postscript added August 22, 2013
The First Amendment does NOT give islamists the right to build mosques, proselytize, and institute sharia here!
Here I rebut the 3 major lies of our time: Multiculturalism is good; islam is a peaceful “religion”; and the First Amendment gives islamists the “right” to build mosques, proselytize, and institute sharia here.
Let us repudiate the lies; and rebuild the shining city on the hill.
The Proposed Tennessee Resolutions of 2012
PLEASE NOTE: I have revised these model resolutions. The revised version is better organized and reads better. You can find the revised resolutions by clicking on the following hyperlink:
Do use the revised model for your study, instead of the one below.
The revised version – which you can find at the link – sets forth in a nutshell all one needs for a basic understanding of our Constitution – and how the supreme Court destroyed it.
As always, feel free to post your questions. PH
Proposed by Publius Huldah.
1. Resolved, That the States composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to the federal government; but that, with the Constitution for the United States, they established a federal government for limited purposes only. That they delegated to this federal government only limited and enumerated powers; and reserved, each State to itself, all remaining powers, along with the right to their own self-government.
That whenever the federal government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.
That to these Principles, each State agreed as a State, and as the Parties to the Constitution.
That the federal government is not a party to the Constitution, but is merely the creature of the Constitution; and as the mere creature, was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it; since that would have made the creature’s will, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers. That as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each State has an equal right to judge for itself as to whether the creature has committed infractions, and as to the mode and measure of redress.
2. Resolved, That Art. I, Sec. 2, of the Constitution of The State of Tennessee acknowledges the Principle that the doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
3. Resolved, That the Constitution of the United States ordained and established a Federation of Sovereign States which united only for THE LIMITED PURPOSES enumerated in the Constitution: national defense, international commerce and relations; and domestically the creation of an uniform commercial system: Weights & measures, patents & copyrights, a monetary system based on gold & silver, bankruptcy laws, and mail delivery. That the 10th Amendment to the Constitution also declares that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
That nowhere in the Constitution of the United States was any power granted to Congress to make laws respecting agriculture, farming operations, labor and employment, or children and families; and that nowhere in the Constitution are powers over these matters prohibited to the States. These matters are altogether outside the scope of powers delegated to the federal government. Therefore, power over these matters is reserved solely and exclusively to the respective States and THE PEOPLE, each within its or their own territory.
4. Resolved, That Art. I, Sec. 1 of the Constitution of the United States provides that all legislative Powers granted by that Constitution are vested in CONGRESS; therefore, Departments within the Executive Branch are forbidden to make any “rules” or “laws” of general application whatsoever. That administrative rules promulgated by the Department of Labor, one of the Executive Departments of the federal government, set forth at 29 CFR Part 570, and which pretend to regulate child labor throughout the several States; are altogether void, and of no force, as in violation of Art. I, Sec. 1, of the federal Constitution.
5. Resolved, That child laborers, including agricultural workers and children who work on family and other farms, are under the jurisdiction and protection of the Constitution and laws of the State wherein they are; that no power over them has been delegated to the United States, nor prohibited to the individual States. And it being true as a general principle, and one of the amendments to the Constitution having also declared, that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”; the rules of the federal Department of Labor set forth at 29 CFR Part 570, which assume powers not delegated by the federal Constitution over child laborers, including agricultural workers and children who work on family and other farms, is not “law”, but is altogether void, and of no force.
6. Resolved, That since children and their parents or employers are under the protection of the State Constitution and laws of the State where they are; in cases of any violations of the Laws of such State, they are entitled to have their cases handled by the duly convened Courts of such State. That transferring power of defining, prosecuting, and judging any such violations from the three branches of the State Governments to bureaucrats within one of the federal executive departments, is altogether unlawful and an intolerable usurpation of power.
7. Resolved, That the misconstructions long and unlawfully applied by the federal government to the so-called “taxing”, “general welfare”, “interstate commerce”, and “necessary and proper” clauses, to the effect that these clauses bestow unlimited powers on the federal government, goes to the destruction of all limits prescribed to their powers by the federal Constitution. That the true and genuine meaning of those clauses is as follows:
a) The “taxing” and “general welfare” clauses: Art. I, Sec. 8, cl.1, employs “general terms” which are “immediately” followed by the “enumeration of particular powers” which “explain and qualify”, by a “recital of particulars”, the general terms. It is “error” to focus on the “general expressions” and disregard “the specifications which ascertain and limit their import”; thus, to argue that the general expression provides “an unlimited power” is “an absurdity” (Federalist Paper No. 41, last 4 paras).
The federal Constitution declares that “the power of Congress…shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars…excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd, as well as useless, if a general authority was intended…” (Federalist No. 83, 7th para).
b) The “interstate commerce” clause: “Commerce” is the buying and selling of goods – only that and nothing more. Webster’s American Dictionary (1828) says “commerce” is:
“an interchange or mutual change of goods, wares, productions, or property of any kind, between nations or individuals… by barter, or by purchase and sale; trade; traffick… inland commerce…is the trade in the exchange of commodities between citizens of the same nation or state.”
Federalist No. 22 (4th para), Federalist No. 42 (9th &10th paras), Federalist No. 44 (at 2.), and Federalist No. 56 (5th & 6th paras), explain the two purposes of the “interstate commerce” clause: (1) to prohibit the States from imposing tolls and tariffs on articles of import and export – goods & commodities – merchandize – as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling; and (2) to permit the federal government to impose duties on imports and exports, both inland and abroad.
Article I, Sec. 8, cl.1; Art. I, Sec. 9, cls. 5 & 6; and Art. I, Sec.10, cls. 2 & 3, of the federal Constitution give express effect to these two purposes of the “interstate commerce” clause.
c) The “necessary and proper” clause: This clause merely delegates to Congress the power to pass laws necessary and proper to execute its declared powers (Federalist No. 29, 4th para); a power to do something must be a power to pass all laws necessary and proper for the execution of that power (Federalist No. 33, 3rd para); “the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same if [this clause] were entirely obliterated as if [it] were repeated in every article” (No. 33, 2nd para); and thus the clause is “perfectly harmless”, a “tautology or redundancy” (No. 33, 3rd para). Madison writes to the same effect in (Federalist No. 44, at 1.).
The clause merely permits the execution of powers already delegated and enumerated in the federal Constitution. No additional substantive powers are granted by this clause.
That contrary to the misconstructions long and unlawfully applied by the federal government, the federal Constitution is one of enumerated powers only:
“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.” (Federalist No. 45 , 9th para)
“…the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignity over all other objects….” (Federalist No. 39, 3rd para from end)
“…the general [federal] government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects...” (Federalist No. 14, 8th para)
“…It merits particular attention … that the laws of the Confederacy [those made by Congress], as to the ENUMERATED and LEGITIMATE objects of its jurisdiction, will become the SUPREME LAW of the land…Thus the legislatures, courts, and magistrates, of the respective members [the States], will be incorporated into the operations of the national government AS FAR AS ITS JUST AND CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY EXTENDS…”[caps are Hamilton’s] (Federalist No. 27, last para).
That The Federalist Papers – and not the U.S. supreme Court – is the highest authority and evidence “of the general opinion of those who framed, and of those who accepted the Constitution of the US. on questions as to it’s genuine meaning”. The supreme Court is merely a creature of the Constitution and is completely subject to its terms; and when judges on that and lower federal courts – who serve during “good Behaviour” only (Art. III, Sec. 1, cl. 1) – usurp powers, they must be impeached and removed from office (Federalist No. 81, 8th para).
8. Resolved, That to take from the States all the powers of self-government and to transfer all powers to a general and consolidated national government, in defiance of the Constitution which was ordained and established by THE PEOPLE, is not for the peace, happiness or prosperity of THE PEOPLE.
Therefore this State is determined to refuse to submit to undelegated powers exercised over them by the federal government; and rejects altogether the notion that the federal government may exercise unlimited powers over them.
That in cases of an abuse of the delegated (enumerated) powers, the members of the federal government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy.
But, where powers are usurped which have not been delegated to the federal government – when the federal government acts outside of, and in defiance of, the federal Constitution by exercising powers not delegated to it by that Constitution; then a nullification of the unlawful act is the rightful remedy.
Thus every State has a natural right – which pre-dates & pre-exists the federal Constitution – to nullify of their own authority all such lawless assumptions of power within the boundaries of their State. That without this pre-existing natural and original right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whoever in the federal government chooses to exercise tyrannical powers over them.
The States alone are The Parties to the compact; and thus are solely authorized to judge in the last resort of the powers exercised under it. Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch are not parties to the contract; but are merely the creatures of the compact (Federalist No. 33, 5th para). As mere creatures, they may exercise no powers other than those enumerated powers specifically delegated to them.
9. Resolved, That matters pertaining to “labor”, “employment”, “farms”, “children” and their employers or parents, are nowhere delegated to the federal government by the federal Constitution; but are among the countless multitudes of matters reserved to the States or THE PEOPLE.
Therefore, the federal Department of Labor is itself an unlawful department, and its mere existence an affront to the Constitution; and all of the powers it exercises are usurped powers as outside the scope of the powers delegated to the federal government by our Constitution.
That if the pretended “rules” of this spurious federal Department of Labor should stand, these conclusions would flow from them; that unelected bureaucrats within the Executive Branch of the federal government may force upon The States and THE PEOPLE their own ideas of what children and their employers or parents may and may not do; that they may place any act they think proper on a list of prohibited activities, that they will send out swarms of officers to trespass upon private farms and places of business, to harass employers, children and their parents; and then prosecute and punish violations of their pretended “rules” in their own pretended “administrative courts” with their own pretended “administrative judges”.
That the federal departments within the Executive Branch of the federal government have established a pattern of unlawfully functioning as legislators, when they write “agency rules”; as executives, when they investigate and prosecute violations of “agency rules”; and as judges and juries when they decide whether violations of their “agency rules” have occurred. Thus the Executive Branch unlawfully functions as legislator, accuser, judge & jury, in violation of the Constitution and of the Principles of Separation of Power and of Checks and Balances.
To this abomination is added the additional affront that the objects of these pretended “rules” are altogether outside the scope of the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government in our Constitution.
That in this way, those within the Executive Branch of the federal government are sweeping away all the barriers of our Constitution; and that no ramparts now remain between their unbridled and insatiable lust for power over THE PEOPLE except for the several States.
10. Resolved, That if the States do not now resist all such blatantly unlawful usurpations of power, THE PEOPLE of their States will be delivered into abject slavery subject to the unbridled control of whosoever occupies the office of President. Our Representatives in Congress have shirked their constitutional obligation to support the Constitution (Art. VI, cl. 3), by acquiescing in the blatant usurpations by the Executive Branch; and have failed in their duty to impeach and remove those within the Executive Branch who usurp powers (Federalist No. 66, 2nd para, and No. 77, last para). That the supreme Court long ago took the side of those who seek to exercise unlimited control over the States and THE PEOPLE; and that Congress has failed in their duty to impeach and remove federal judges who usurp powers (Federalist No. 81, 8th para).
That pursuant to Art. VI, cl. 3 of our federal Constitution, all State legislators, State Officers and State Judges take a solemn Oath to support our federal Constitution. Therefore, they are bound to protect THE PEOPLE of their States from the usurpations of the federal government whose clear object is the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over the States and the People.
That our Framers anticipated the dangers we now face and provided wise counsel for such a time as this. Federalist No. 28 (last 5 paras) states that when “the representatives of the people betray their constituents”, the people have no recourse but to exert “that original right of self-defense” [The Declaration of Independence, 2nd para], against “the usurpations of the national rulers” (5th para from end).
That in a Federation of States united under a federal government for only limited purposes,
“…the people… are…the masters of their own fate. Power being almost always the rival of power, the general [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…” (4th para from end)
Thus, THE STATE LEGISLATURES are the ultimate bulwark of The People and The Ultimate Human Protectors of our Constitutional Republic:
“It may safely be received as an axiom in our political system, that the State governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority. Projects of usurpation cannot be masked under pretenses so likely to escape the penetration of select bodies of men, as of the people at large. The legislatures will have better means of information. They can discover the danger at a distance; and possessing all the organs of civil power, and the confidence of the people, they can at once adopt a regular plan of opposition, in which they can combine all the resources of the community. They can readily communicate with each other in the different States, and unite their common forces for the protection of their common liberty.” (3rd para from end)
The last paragraph of Federalist No. 28 recognizes that when the federal government seeks
“… a despotism over the great body of the people … [the people] are in a situation, through the medium of their State governments, to take measures for their own defense…”
11. Resolved, That because men may not be trusted with power, the federal Constitution fixed the limits to which, and no further, the federal government may go. Would we be wise if we permit the federal government to destroy the limits the Constitution places upon its powers? Would we be wise if we permit unelected bureaucrats in the Executive Departments of the federal government to regulate every aspect of our lives?
That if those who administer the federal government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by the federal Constitution, by disregarding the limits on its powers set forth therein, then annihilation of the State Governments, and the erection upon their ruins, of a general consolidated government, will be the inevitable consequence.
That the several States, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of infractions to the federal Constitution; and that nullification by those sovereign States of all unauthorized acts of the federal government is the rightful remedy.
THEREFORE, this State, recurring to its natural rights in matters outside the scope of the powers delegated to the federal government, declares these acts void, and of no force, and will take measures of its own for providing that neither these acts, nor any others of the federal government not plainly and intentionally authorized by the Constitution, shalt be exercised within this State.
1. The above is patterned on the relevant portions of The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, written by Thomas Jefferson in response to the alien and sedition acts passed by Congress which purported to grant to the President tyrannical powers with respect to aliens & “seditious” words.
2. These proposed Resolutions focus on administrative “rules” made by a Department within the Executive Branch of the federal government. This Model may be easily adapted to address acts of Congress which are outside the scope of its enumerated powers; Executive Orders which are outside the scope of the President’s enumerated powers; and supreme Court opinions which exceed their enumerated powersand disregard the federal Constitution, such as their lawless rulings banning public expressions of the Faith of Our Fathers and misapplying Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment in order to undermine the morals of the People and to destroy the residuary sovereignity of The States.
3. Several attorneys, historians, and others who claim special knowledge on this subject have asserted that States have no right to nullify anything the federal government does; that the States and The People must submit to the federal government no matter what it does; that only the federal government may question the federal government; thatthe federal government created by the Constitution is the exclusive and final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it; and the opinion of five supreme Court judges, not the Constitution, is the sole measure of its powers.
Such people may not understand the distinction between abuses of delegated powers (e.g., unwise bankruptcy laws – Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 4), for which election of better Representatives is the answer; and usurpations of powers which have not been delegated and are thus outside the lawful reach of the federal government (e.g., obamacare), for which nullification is the proper answer. When any branch of the federal government steps outside of the Constitution to make laws or “rules” or issue “opinions” which exceed their delegated powers; the States must resort to those original rights which pre-date & pre-exist Our Constitution to nullify such usurpations by the federal government of undelegated powers.
Such people also do not seem to understand our Founding Principles: Our Declaration of Independence says:
“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, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it …” (2nd para)
In that one paragraph, we learn the five foundational principles of our Constitutional Republic:
- Our Rights are unalienableand come from God;
- The purpose of civil government is to protect our God-given Rights;
- Civil government gets its powers from THE PEOPLE;
- Civil government is legitimate only when it stays within the powers WE delegated to it; and
- When civil government becomes destructive of the purposes for which WE created it, WE may throw it off.
The Constitution is the formal expression of our Consent for the federal government to exist; and it is our formal statement of which specific powers WE agreed to delegate to the three branches of that government. Look atthe opening words:
“WE THE PEOPLE … do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The federal government operates with our consent only when it restricts itself to the powers WE delegated to it – when it obeys the Constitution. When it exercises usurped powers which have not been delegated to it, it becomes illegitimate.
When the federal government loses its legitimacy – as it now has – it is the sworn duty of the States, pursuant to Art. VI, cl. 3, of our Constitution, to resist.
4. Others who claim special knowledge on this subject insist that a single State may not nullify any act of the federal government; that only a majority of the States acting in concert may do so.
But they overlook the nature of the laws protested in the Kentucky & Virginia Resolutions. Those Resolutions addressed laws made by Congress which purported to grant to the President certain dictatorial powers and jurisdiction over “aliens” and “seditious words”. The States have no means of stopping the President from enforcing such laws since the President has the raw power to send out armed thugs to arrest people by night; and then to prosecute, convict, & execute them in secret tribunals and chambers. The States may object – but they can’t stop it. The supreme Court may denounce it, but can’t stop it. Only Congress can put an end to it by impeaching & removing such a usurping President (Federalist No. 66, 2nd para & No. 77, last para).
But when Congress by means of a law (which is outside the scope of its delegated powers); or the President by means of an executive order (which is outside the scope of his delegated powers); or federal executive departments by means of administrative rules (which they are altogether prohibited by Art. I, Sec. 1 from making); or the supreme Court by means of opinions which contradict Our Constitution; purport to require THE STATES to do something, or stop doing something, then of course THE STATES – on an individual basis – have both the POWER and the DUTY (imposed by their Art. VI, cl. 3 Oaths of Office) to nullify such usurpatious acts within the boundaries of their States. The proper battle cry in such events is, “Not in my state!”
Do you see? PH
Posted March 13, 2012
Postscript Added March 15, 2012:
The federal government is not God. It is merely our “creature”. We The People created the federal government when We ordained and established Our Constitution. And when We enumerated the powers We delegated to each branch of the federal government, We told the federal government what We were giving it permission to do.
But we have now come to believe that the federal government may do whatever it wants; and we must obey it. And because we have believed this for so long, a totalitarian fascist dictatorship is right now being imposed on us.
So what should we do? Revolution and bloodshed? No! There is a better way, and our Framers show us: On behalf of The People of their States, The State Legislatures must now resort to that original right of self-defense which pre-exists & pre-dates The Constitution; and must nullify those acts of the federal government which are outside the scope of the powers We delegated to it in Our Constitution.
The Model Resolutions set forth the Authorities on which they are based, so that State Legislators may propose them in their State Legislatures with complete confidence that Our Framers “have their backs”. PH
By Publius Huldah.
In response to a recent article in the National Review by Allen C. Guelzo, a nullification denier and history professor at Gettysburg College, and two responding letters to the Editor,1 one “Celticreeler” posted an astute rebuttal you can read here.
The issue in the National Review article and letters is this: Guelzo denies that States have any right to nullify unconstitutional laws made by Congress. He looks at Art. VI, clause 2, U.S. Constitution (the “supremacy clause”) which reads,
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land… [emphasis added]
and concludes that any law made by Congress is the “supreme” law of the land; and everyone must obey, unless & until five (5) judges on the supreme Court say they don’t have to. He claims that only judges have authority to nullify unconstitutional acts of Congress.
In her rebuttal, Celticreeler correctly points out that the phrase, “in Pursuance thereof”, “limit[s] the federal government’s supremacy to laws that were made pursuant to the Constitution…”
She also reprints Guelzo’s reply to her letter to the Editor. And what he says in his reply is so at odds with the words of our Framers, that I am compelled to respond.
We will look at four Founding Principles which Guelzo rejects and reverses.
1. What does “In Pursuance thereof” Really Mean?
Guelzo says in his reply,
“In pursuance thereof ” was intended only to recognize that, at the time of the Constitution’s adoption, no body of legislation had yet been made under the Constitution…
What? He presents no proof – though he does throw in the factoid that “The supremacy clause was written by an anti-Federalist, Luther Martin, whom we might presume to have entertained a few anxieties about an overmighty federal government”.
Actually, Luther Martin said the clause he proposed was “very materially different from the [supremacy clause] clause adopted by the Constitution” 2; but I will not quibble.
In any event, it is The Federalist Papers which are authoritative as to the genuine meaning of the Constitution 3 – not speeches of delegates to the Federal Convention (thou they can shed light). And this is what The Federalist Papers say about Art. VI, clause 2, and “in Pursuance thereof”:
In Federalist No. 33 (6th para), Alexander Hamilton says:
…But it will not follow …that acts of the large society [the federal government] which are NOT PURSUANT to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies [the States], will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such… [T]he clause which declares the supremacy of the laws of the Union … EXPRESSLY confines this supremacy to laws made PURSUANT TO THE CONSTITUTION … [capitals are Hamilton’s]
In the next para, Hamilton says that a law made by Congress which is not authorized by the Constitution,
…would not be the supreme law of the land, but a usurpation of power not granted by the Constitution…. [boldface mine]
In Federalist No. 27 (last para), Hamilton says:
…the laws of the Confederacy [the federal government], as to the ENUMERATED and LEGITIMATE objects of its jurisdiction, will become the SUPREME LAW of the land; to the observance of which all officers, legislative, executive, and judicial, in each State, will be bound by the sanctity of an oath. Thus the legislatures, courts, and magistrates, of the respective members [the States], will be incorporated into the operations of the national government AS FAR AS ITS JUST AND CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY EXTENDS… [capitals are Hamilton’s; other emphasis mine]
And in Federalist No. 78 (10th para), Hamilton says:
…every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid. [emphasis mine]
Do you see? Federalist No. 33, 27, & 78 are clear: Acts of Congress which are not authorized by the Constitution are “void” – they are “mere usurpations and deserve to be treated as such”. They are not made “in Pursuance” of the Constitution and have “supremacy” over nothing. 4
2. Who is Supposed to Look to the U.S. Constitution for Permission: The Federal Government, the Member States, or the People?
Guelzo says (in his reply):
If the Founders had wanted to grant nullifying power-to the states or any other body-they would have had more than sufficient opportunity to include it in the Constitution. [boldface added]
Guelzo thus asserts that the States [i.e., the Members of the Federation] don’t have any powers unless “the Founders” said they could have them and wrote it into The Constitution! He demands that the States look to the Constitution to see what they are permitted to do! According to Guelzo, if the Constitution doesn’t give States permission, they can’t do it.
Guelzo has it backwards – our Founding Documents refute his words. The second paragraph of The Declaration of Independence says that Rights come from God and to secure these rights, 5
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -
So, governments have only those powers “the governed” permit them to have! In our Constitution, WE THE PEOPLE, acting through our Representative States, decided what powers WE would delegate to the federal government.
Accordingly, WE THE PEOPLE created the federal government when WE, acting through our States, ordained & established the Constitution for the United States of America. In the Constitution, WE itemized the powers WE granted to each branch of the federal government. No Branch of the federal government may lawfully do ANYTHING unless WE authorized it in the Constitution. WE are the Creators; those in the federal government, are merely our “creatures”. In Federalist No. 33 (5th para), Hamilton calls the federal government our “creature”; and points out that it is up to THE PEOPLE to smackdown the federal government when it “overpass[es] the just bounds of its authority and make[s] a tyrannical use of its powers”. 6
In Federalist No. 32 (2nd para), Hamilton says,
…the State governments …clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not… EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States. This exclusive delegation …of State sovereignty would only exist in three cases… [caps are Hamilton’s, boldface mine]
The Tenth Amendment says:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. [emphasis added]
Do you see? Guelzo reverses & perverts the whole point of Our Declaration of Independence, Our Revolution, & Our Constitution.
It is each of the three branches of the federal government (Legislative, Executive, & Judicial) who must look to the Constitution to see what powers WE THE PEOPLE, acting through our States, allowed them to have. All other powers are reserved to The States or The People.
3. Who Has Authority to Nullify Unconstitutional Laws Made by Congress?
Guelzo says, respecting the power to nullify a law made by Congress,
…That determination lies in the hands of the courts, under the principle of judicial review laid down in McCulloch v. Maryland in 1819…
McCulloch v. Maryland? In McCulloch v. Maryland, the supreme Court decided [wrongly] that Congress has power under various of the enumerated powers listed at Art. I, Sec. 8, clauses 1-16, and the “necessary & proper clause” (Art. I, Sec. 8, last clause) to incorporate a national bank. That case is not about “judicial review”.
And in the Constitution, WE did not delegate EXCLUSIVE authority to federal judges to nullify unconstitutional laws! Furthermore, the Oaths of Office at Art. VI, cl. 3 & Art. II, Sec. 1, last clause, impose on all who take them an obligation to uphold the Constitution against usurpations by the federal government. Thus, nullification is both a Power retained by the States & The People as well as an Obligation imposed by Oath.
And REMEMBER! Our Rights pre-date & pre-exist The Constitution. Thus, nullification of usurped powers is a natural right – it is the remedy against insupportable oppression by the federal government. 7
4. In Our American System, WE Do Not Take Oaths To Obey Persons, Institutions, Or Judges.
I have proved elsewhere that nullification of unconstitutional laws, executive orders, supreme Court opinions and treaties is required by the Constitutional Oaths of office. That Oath requires that all who take it swear or affirm that they will support the Constitution. In our American system, we do not take Oaths to obey persons, institutions, or courts. Here are two papers explaining the legal & moral imperatives of nullification: Why States Must Nullify Unconstitutional Acts of Congress: Instructions from Hamilton, Madison, & Jefferson and The Oath Of Office: The Check On Usurpations By Congress, The Executive Branch, & Federal Judges 8
Guelzo’s Statist Vision.
Guelzo’s vision is this: Every law made by Congress [the Legislative Branch of the federal government] is “supreme”; and the Member States & WE THE PEOPLE must obey, unless & until five (5) judges on the supreme Court [the Judicial Branch of the federal government] say the law is unconstitutional. In other words, Guelzo holds that only the federal government may question the federal government.
His words are poison. Under his vision, the federal government created by the Constitution is the exclusive and final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it; and the opinion of five judges, not the Constitution, is the sole measure of its powers. It is an evil ideology. And, as I have proved herein, it is antithetical to our Founding Documents and Principles. 9 PH
1 Celticreeler states that Guelzo’s original article appeared in the February 21, 2011 issue of National Review. In response, she submitted a letter to the Editor, and Guelzo replied. Celticreeler reprints Guelzo’s reply in her linked rebuttal. Guelzo’s original article is available to subscribers only.
2 You can read Martin’s actual comments (March 19, 1788) here: Luther Martin’s Reply to the Landholder.1
3 The Federalist Papers were written during 1787-88 to explain the proposed Constitution to The People and to induce them (through their States) to ratify it. For this reason, The Federalist Papers are authoritative on the genuine meaning of the Constitution. And at a meeting attended by Thomas Jefferson & James Madison of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia on March 4, 1825, the following resolution selecting texts for the Law school was passed:
…on the distinctive principles of the government of our own state, and of that of the US. the best guides are to be found in 1. the Declaration of Independance, as the fundamental act of union of these states. 2. the book known by the title of `The Federalist’, being an authority to which appeal is habitually made by all, and rarely declined or denied by any as evidence of the general opinion of those who framed, and of those who accepted the Constitution of the US. on questions as to it’s genuine meaning…. (page 83) [emphasis added]
Someone! Show Professor Guelzo the on-line edition of The Federalist Papers so he can learn the genuine meaning of the Constitution! Salvage the minds of the young people who the administration of Gettysburg College places in Guelzo’s care.
4 Using The Federalist Papers as Proof, I explain the “Supremacy Clause” here: The Arizona Illegal Alien Law & The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution: Exclusive & Concurrent Jurisdiction Explained. Guelzo mentions “preemption” [it does sounds “grand, doesn’t it?]; but in this paper I explain the interplay between constitutional federal & Reserved State powers.
5 It is impossible to understand The Constitution without acknowledging the Principle set forth in Our Declaration of Independence that that our Rights are granted to us by The Creator God; they thus pre-exist & pre-date The Constitution, and are unalienable by man. WE do not look to The Constitution for our Rights! I explain our Rights here.
6 Here are Hamilton’s actual words:
If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify. (Federalist No. 33, 5th para) [emphasis added]
7 In his writings on Nullification, our beloved Thomas Jefferson distinguishes between [mere] “abuses of delegated powers” and the assumption of powers “which have not been delegated”:
…in cases of an abuse of the delegated powers, the members of the General [federal] Government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy; but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non foederis,) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them:.. [boldface added]
I.e., if Congress merely abuses a delegated power [e.g., makes silly bankruptcy laws (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 4)], then the proper remedy is to vote the Representatives out of office and replace them with sensible ones who will repeal the silly bankruptcy laws.
But if Congress assumes a power which has not been delegated to it – e.g., control of the Peoples’ medical care – then each State has a natural right to nullify it within their own borders. It is outside the compact the States made with each other – the States and the People never gave their “creature” (the federal government) power over their medical care! Without Nullification, the States and the People would be under the absolute & unlimited control of the federal government.
8 Remember! We expect the lowest-ranking soldier to refuse to obey an unlawful order even when given by a commissioned officer. See “A Duty to Disobey: The Forgotten Lessons of My Lai“, by military lawyer Robert S. Rivkin. And do not forget the Nuremberg trials – defendants claimed they were “just following orders”. The Court properly rejected that defense.
Do we ask less of ourselves and our State & federal officials than we do of 18 year-old soldiers when we are confronted with unconstitutional acts of the federal government? The three branches of the federal government have connived against us – THE PEOPLE. So smack them down! Can we live up to our Framers’ expectations as set forth throughout The Federalist Papers? See also, What Should States Do When the Federal Government Usurps Power? for advice from James Madison.
9 Does Professor Guelzo understands the poisonous import of his words? Or did he uncritically accept, and does he unthinkingly recite, what he has been told? What he says is the prevailing dogma of our time – most lawyers believe it because it is what they were told in law school. Theirs’ are minds which have never been trained to think, and they are ignorant of the concept of “objective meaning”. I address the problem of inability to think and our moral & intellectual corruption here: How Progressive Education & Bad Philosophy Corrupted The People & Undermined The U.S. Constitution PH.
April 17, 2011
By Publius Huldah.
The future of our Posterity depends on a proper understanding of the Source of our Rights. I will explain four views; show you which one is True, and why the other three are False and lead inexorably to the destruction of any country which embraces them.
1. Let us begin with what is True: Our Declaration of Independence says our Rights come from God. Our rights thus pre-date & pre-exist the U.S. Constitution. The Declaration of Independence says:
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…
So these, then, are the foundational principles of our Constitutional Republic:
· Our Rights are unalienable and come from God;
· The purpose of civil government is to protect our God-given Rights;
· Civil government is legitimate only when it operates with our consent; &
· Since the US Constitution is the formal expression of the Will of the People, the federal government operates with our consent only when it obeys the Constitution.
Because the Declaration of Independence identifies The Creator as Grantor of Rights, we look to The Bible – or the Natural Law – to see what those rights are. The Bible – or the Natural Law – reveals many rights, such as the rights to Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness; to inherit, earn, and keep property; the right of self-defense; the right and duty to demand that the civil authorities obey the Law; the right to speak; the right to live our lives free from interference from civil government; the rights of parents to raise their children free from interference from civil government; the right to worship God; etc.
The distinguishing characteristics of all God-given or Natural Rights 1 are:
· Each one may be held and enjoyed at NO expense or loss to any other person; and
· We can look them up for ourselves! They are not subject to someone else’s interpretations.
2. But many conservatives mistakenly believe that our rights come from the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution. So they speak of “our constitutional rights”, “the bill of rights”, our “First Amendment right to free speech”; “our Second Amendment right to bear arms”, and so forth. But it is a dreadful mistake to think that our rights come from the Constitution. I’ll show you two reasons why this is such a pernicious error:
a) It is logically incoherent to say that our Rights come from the Constitution: Let us read the Preamble to the US Constitution:
WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
WE THE PEOPLE established and ordained the Constitution. WE are the ones who created the federal government with its three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. WE are the ones who gave the federal government permission to exist and told it exactly what it had permission to do, when WE assigned enumerated powers to each branch.
WE are the “creator” – the federal government is merely our “creature”. (Federalist No. 33 ( 6th para), A. Hamilton.)
So! The Constitution is about the Powers which WE THE PEOPLE delegated to the federal government. The Constitution is NOT about Our Rights, which come from God and thus pre-date & pre-exist the Constitution!
b) Now look at Article III, Sec. 2, clause 1, U.S. Constitution:
“The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases…arising under this Constitution…”.
Think carefully, for this is the hook: If our rights come from the first Ten Amendments or elsewhere in the Constitution, then they “arise under the Constitution”; and that clause is what gives federal judges power over our rights!
When judges have power to determine our Rights, our Rights are no longer unalienable – we hold them at the pleasure of five judges on the supreme Court. But because so many of us, for so long, have believed and said that our rights come from the “bill of rights”, those judges have seized on Art. III, Sec. 2, clause 1, to claim the power to determine the scope & extent of our rights!
So! Federal judges claim the power to regulate our political speech and religious speech. They claim the power to determine & regulate our property rights in the fruits of our own labors. They claim the power to control our retirements by forcing us to participate in social security! They even claim the power to take Life away from unborn babies.
Thus, when we say our Rights come from the Constitution, we are, in effect, agreeing to the submission of our Rights to the tender mercies of federal judges, because Art. III, Sec. 2, clause 1, gives them power over all cases “arising under the Constitution.”
This is why we must always insist that our Rights have a source – Almighty God , the Natural Law – which transcends the Constitution! 2
And furthermore, why would the Creator of The Constitution (that’s us) grant to our “creature” (the judicial branch of the federal government), the power to determine the scope & extent of OUR Rights? It makes no sense at all!
c) You might well ask, “Why did our Founders add the first Ten Amendments if they were such a bad idea?”
There was controversy over this! Alexander Hamilton warned in Federalist No. 84 (9th para) that a bill of rights would give a pretext for regulating to those inclined to usurp powers. And he was right! The supreme Court has used the first amendment to regulate political speech and to ban Christian speech in the public square: no prayers at football games, no nativity scenes on county courthouse lawns, and Judge Roy Moore is ordered to take down the Ten Commandments.
But some States refused to ratify the Constitution without them.
So, the proper way to look at the first Ten Amendments is this: They are not the source of our Rights since our Rights come from God, and thus TRANSCEND the Constitution. The first Ten Amendments is merely a partial list of things the federal government may not do (they can’t take away our guns), and some things they must do (give accused persons a fair trial).
3. Judges on the supreme Court have claimed, in recent decades, that the source of our “rights” is the Constitution, as such “rights” are defined and discovered, from time to time, . . . . . . BY THEM!
I’ll show you how they did it: The original intent of the 14th Amendment (one of the “civil war” amendments) was to protect freed slaves from southern Black Codes which denied them basic rights of citizenship.
But judges on the supreme Court have perverted the 14th Amendment to fabricate so-called “rights” which negate Rights God gave us and undermine the Moral Order!
Section 1 of the 14th Amendment reads in part:
“…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”
The original intent of that clause was that States couldn’t go around lynching freed slaves and taking away their freedom and property.
But not so long ago, a handful of supreme court judges looked at the word, “liberty” in that clause, and claimed to have “discovered” underneath that word, a “constitutional right” to kill unborn babies ; and another “constitutional right” to engage in homosexual contact.
We will soon see whether the supreme Court also “discovers” underneath that word, a “constitutional right” to same-sex marriage.
When we substitute federal judges for God as the source of our rights, the entire concept of “rights” becomes perverted. Literally.
4. The “liberal/progressives” say our Rights come from “government”. They say a “right” is an entitlement to goods or services produced, or paid for, by somebody else: So, they speak of the “right” to medical care; the “right” to a free public school education; the “right” to housing; the “right” to food stamps; etc.
But it is a contradiction in terms to speak of “rights” to stuff that is produced or paid for, by other people! This is because it undermines our God-given or Natural Rights to private property, to the fruits of our own labors, and to liberty. To hold that people who produce exist to be plundered by civil government for the ostensible benefit of others, is slavery. Just as no one has the right to own another human being; so no one has the “right” to own the fruits of another man’s labors.
To sum this up:
REMEMBER that clause in Our Declaration of Independence which states that our rights come from God, are unalienable, and that the purpose of civil government – the federal government – is to secure the Rights GOD gave us.
Our right do not come from the first Ten Amendments; they do not come from the Constitution as interpreted by federal judges; and they do not come from Congress which purports to give to their parasitic constituency the “right” to live at other peoples’ expense.
Our Rights were bestowed by God, and as such, they transcend, pre-date & pre-exist the Constitution.
1 “Natural Law” refers to that body of Law which is woven into the Fabric of Reality: The laws of physics, economics, logic, morality, etc. Non-theists, such as the brilliant philosopher, Ayn Rand, saw Rights as inherent to the nature of man. Either way, one comes up with essentially the same set of Rights. And if you listen carefully to “liberals/progressives” as they speak on any topic, you will see that their war is against Reality itself – they reject altogether the concept of transcendent Law. This is because they know no “law” but their own Wills.
2 Re the “tender mercies” of federal judges: During Senator Tom Coburn’s questioning of Elena Kagan during her confirmation hearings, she refused to acknowledge the fundamental Principle stated in Our Declaration of Independence that our Rights pre-date & pre-exist the Constitution. Kagan in effect claims to sit on God’s Throne and to decide what “rights” you have and what “rights” you don’t have.
The only Document The Hard Left hates as much as the Bible is Our Declaration of Independence. PH
October 31, 2010
God’s Gift of Unalienable Rights & Article VI of the Constitution: The Sword & Shield to stop the islamization of America.
By Publius Huldah.
This is an encouraging paper, because it explains the moral and constitutional justifications to stop the islamization of our country.
We face a grave threat – the Muslims are infiltrating our country and taking over. We seem powerless to resist: Our governments won’t acknowledge the threat; we are told Muslims have “constitutional rights” to come here, proselytize everywhere, build mosques, and implement shariah in their communities and in the public square; and our governments are letting them do it.
The Muslims seek to replace our Constitution with shariah – their totalitarian political, economic, military, social & legal system – with the goal of incorporating our Country into a global Islamic caliphate.
They are making progress in islamicizing our Country because we are not resisting.
And the dreadful message we are getting from all sources is that our Constitution renders us powerless to resist islamization.
But read on, and I will show you how our Constitution & Declaration of Independence – properly understood – actually give our federal, State & local governments justification and authority to stop the islamization of our Country. Once we understand two things, it becomes clear what we may – and must – do:
One: Islam is not a “religion” in the sense we understand religion. Islam is about TOTAL POWER. It is a system which controls every aspect of the lives of those who have the misfortune to be subjected to it. It masquerades as a religion, but once we understand that it is just another totalitarian system – like soviet communism, we can deal with it and defeat it.
Once in place, Islam is enforced with stone-age barbarism. It masquerades as a religion to recruit gullible fools who become suicide bombers, and to provide “cover” for officials in the Western countries who, indoctrinated with the Lies of multiculturalism & political correctness, look for an excuse to do nothing.
Two: We must understand Our Founding Principles – these are our Sword & Shield – that (1) Rights come from God alone, (2) Muslims do not have the right to divest us of our Rights, and (3) the purpose of civil government is to secure the Rights God gave us.
Now let us learn more of our Sword and Shield.
1. Let us first consider Our Rights. What are our rights, and where do they come from? The Constitution? The First Ten Amendments? NO! The Declaration of Independence says:
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, …
Those words are golden: Our Rights come from God Who Created the Universe; and the purpose of civil government is to secure the Rights GOD gave us.
God gave us many Rights: Life! Liberty! Pursuit of Happiness!
To work and enjoy the fruits of our own labors. To earn, inherit and keep private property.
To demand that the civil authorities obey the Law – and to hold them accountable when they don’t.
To have a civil government which protects our God given rights, protects us from invasion and criminals, but gives fair trials to accused persons.
Equal treatment under the law: Courts are not to favor the rich, or the poor, or males or females.
God means for us to enjoy life! Healthy food, wine and strong drink (in moderation); attractive dress for women, the marriage relation between man & woman, prosperity, and liberty!
As long as we obey the criminal laws (don’t murder, steal, bear false witness, and the like), we have the right to be left alone.
Liberty is the rule in God’s Model for civil government. That is why our Liberty Bell quotes Leviticus 25:10 – “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof.”
2. Do Muslims respect the rights God gave us?
Life? Theirs is a culture of death: murder, honor killings & suicide bombers.
Liberty? Theirs is a culture where women are slaves and prisoners, little girls toys for old men, and conversion to Christianity a capital offense.
Pursuit of Happiness? Theirs is a culture of torture & sadism. Young Muslim girls in America who talked to non-Muslim boys were shot to death by their father in the back seat of his taxicab. Wife-beating is commonplace. Women who don’t cover their hair are lashed. Women are mutilated and maimed on the faces and even in their private places.
Freedom of Speech? Theirs is a culture where criticizing Islam leads to a terrible death.
You can go down the list: For every Right God gave us, the Muslims take it away.
Let’s look at just one God-given right – the Right to a fair trial:
Bearing false witness is condemned (The Ten Commandments); the evidence of two or more witnesses is required to prove a case (Deut 19:15 & Matthew 18:16); public trials are required (Exodus 18:13); & judges are required to be fair, impartial, & without favoritism. (Deut. 1:16-17).
Do Muslims respect this God-given right to a fair trial? NO! In Iran, judges in “morals” cases (adultery) are allowed to make their own subjective determinations that a person is guilty even in the absence of any EVIDENCE!
Do Muslims have the “right” to impose in this Country a shariah system which takes away the rights GOD gave us? No! God did not give Muslims the “right” to take away from us, the rights He gave us!
3. We are told Muslims have a “First Amendment right” to build mosques, proselytize, and implement shariah here. But is that what the First Amendment says? No! Let’s read it:
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 doesn’t grant any rights to anybody! All it does is prohibit CONGRESS from making laws about religion, speech, the press, or assembly!
So Muslims do not have a “First Amendment right” to build mosques, proselytize, and implement shariah here.
4. Not only do Muslims claim the “right” to impose shariah in the Muslim communities springing up throughout our Country, they also claim the “right” to impose shariah law in the public square: They demand shariah compliant financial institutions, foot baths in public places, that wine, sausages, and the like be banned from their presence, that they be allowed to shut down public streets for “prayers”, etc.
Do Muslims have the “right” to apply their law here? No! Art. VI, clause 2 of Our Constitution says:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
OUR Constitution and laws authorized by OUR Constitution are the supreme law of this land – and anything to the contrary must fall. It violates Our Constitution for Muslims to practice shariah here! Muslims who thus seek to overthrow Our Constitution and replace it with shariah are guilty of criminal sedition. The federal government has the duty to prosecute them for sedition – or deport them.
5. Can the federal or state or local governments properly extend to Muslims a “right” to build mosques & proselytize here? No! Because The Declaration of Independence says the purpose of civil government is to secure the rights God gave us. Muslims seek to take away our God-given Rights. Civil government is supposed to protect us from those who seek to divest us of our Rights.
We must insist that our federal, State, and local governments STOP the islamization of Our Country. We must insist that they live up to the one legitimate purpose of civil government: to protect our GOD-given rights.
6. WE are a Christian Country based on Judeo – Christian principles. Our Constitution is not a suicide pact. It does not require us to permit Muslims to take Our Country over and destroy Our principles and impose their barbaric totalitarian system on us.
The Declaration of Independence recognizes God as Creator, supreme Judge and Regulator of the World, and as our Divine Protector.
Article VII of Our Constitution, just above the signatures, recognizes the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It says,
Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven …
7. So! Let us summarize the above three Principles:
(1) Our Rights come from God – they predate & preexist the Constitution. Our Constitution doesn’t give “rights” to anybody. So Muslims don’t have “constitutional rights” to come here, build mosques, proselytize, and impose shariah.
(2) All the Evidence shows that Muslims take away from People the Rights God gave them. Since Our Declaration of Independence acknowledges that the purpose of civil governments is to secure the Rights GOD gave us, it is the duty and responsibility of civil governments at all levels to protect us from islamization.
(3) Article VI, clause 2, U.S. Constitution – the “Supremacy clause” – makes it unconstitutional for Muslims to practice shariah law ANYWHERE in Our Country.
8. The Center for Security Policy recently issued a scholarly (but readable) report: “Shariah: The Threat to America”. Important suggested policy changes are listed on pages 141-144. Tell your tea party groups! Take delegations to your local, state, and federal representatives and tell them about it. Most of them are weak & ignorant, so you must educate them and demand that they do their job and defend your community from islamization.
9. Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders lists ten steps western countries must take to stop the islamization of their countries. All ten steps are mandated by our Declaration of Independence, and consistent with our Constitution:
(1) Stop cultural relativism: We must formalize the Idea that we have one dominant culture that is based on Judaism & Christianity [Wilders adds “humanism”].
(2) Stop pretending that Islam is a religion.
(3) Show the true face of fundamentalist Islam. It is a brutal totalitarian ideology.
(4) Stop all immigration from Muslim countries. For Muslims who are already citizens, tell them that if they adhere to our values and our Constitution, they may stay as equals. But if they deviate, we will expel them.
(5) Outlaw shariah and deport practitioners.
(6) Require Muslims to sign legally binding pledge of integration and allegiance.
(7) Stop building mosques.
(8) Seek reciprocity with Saudi Arabia for western churches & synagogues.
(9) Close all Islamic schools – they are fascist institutions teaching hate.
(10) Remove our current weak leaders.
It is time to boldly stand up for Our God, OUR Declaration of Independence, and Our Constitution, and say, “No!” to those who are taking over Our Country. It is time to use Our God-given unalienable Rights and Our Constitution as the Sword & Shield they are meant to be. We can and must use these to defeat Islamization. PH
September 19, 2010
Post Script added July 22, 2011
Watch Melanie Phillips explain how the abandonment of the concepts of Objective Truth and the embracing of moral relativism & multiculturalism is permitting the islamization of England: