Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

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

By Publius Huldah

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.

September 20, 2020 Posted by | 12th Amendment, 1st Amendment, Article I Sec. 4, COVID-19 scam, dead voters, Elections Clause, Eli Richardson, federal election of 2020, ghost voters, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, mail-in voter registration, Mail-in voting, Nullification, political questions, Red States, Times Places and Manner clause, Toss-up states, US District Court Middle District of Tennessee, voter registration | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Why the States must Nullify the National Voter Registration Act Now!

By Publius Huldah

From the earliest days of our Republic, 1 some years before our federal Constitution of 1787 was ratified; 2 the Citizens of the States determined the qualifications for voting, and memorialized these qualifications in their State Constitutions. In keeping with this hallowed practice, the Citizens of North Carolina recently amended Article VI of their State Constitution to add to the Qualifications for voting the requirement that persons voting in person present a photo ID [link].

But lawsuits have been filed in federal court objecting to the photo ID’s; and the judge on one of them, U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs [Mid. Dist. North Carolina], has announced that she will issue a preliminary injunction against the requirement that voters present a photo ID. North Carolina election officials scurried to comply with Judge Biggs’ announcement; and Republican politicians called for an appeal [link].

The purpose of this paper is to show a better way to proceed – to show how North Carolina can enforce the US Constitution and the qualifications for voting set forth in its State Constitution.

We begin by looking at what our federal Constitution says about qualifications of voters.

1. Our federal Constitution enshrines the pre-existing practice where States set the qualifications for voters

In our federal Constitution of 1787, the States expressly retained their pre-existing power to determine the qualifications of voters: Article I, §2, cl. 1, US Constit., says,

“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]

So! Under our federal Constitution, those who are eligible to vote for Representatives to their State Legislature are, by definition, the ones eligible to vote for Members of the federal House of Representatives.

The 17th Amendment [ratified 1913] provided that those who were eligible to vote for Representatives to the US House would also be eligible to vote for the US Senators.

With four later amendments, the States decided that they would not deny eligibility to vote to Citizens on account of race (15th Amendment), sex (19th Amendment), failure to pay taxes (24th Amendment), and for those 18 years of age or older on account of age (26th Amendment).

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

2. Voting fraud

But today, we all know that, due to the federal government’s long continuing refusal 3 to control immigration 4 and protect the States from Invasion,5 illegal aliens are flooding into our Country. In at least 15 States, illegals may get drivers’ licenses [link] [link]; and with California’s “motor voter law”, illegals are automatically registered to vote when they get a drivers’ license! 6

Furthermore, there are Precincts in this Country where well over 100% of the registered voters turn out to vote [link]! This Georgia Precinct had a 243% voter turnout!

Our elections are also corrupted by the “ghost voters” described in Deroy Murdock’s article [here]. Murdock shows that throughout the United States, over 3.5 million persons who don’t exist are registered to vote. For North Carolina, Murdock finds 189,721 ghost voters. Virginia has 89,979 ghost voters. But that’s a pittance compared to California which “is a veritable haunted house, teeming with 1,736,556 ghost voters.”

When you add California’s 1,736,556 ghost voters to the illegal aliens who also vote there (thanks to “Motor Voter”)7 and understand that this problem is nation-wide; who can deny that the States need to man-up and clean up their corrupt voting systems? The federal government has no constitutional authority to clean up the voting rolls; 8 but the States have the inherent and retained duty and power to do so.

By requiring photo IDs, the Citizens of North Carolina have taken a first step towards getting rid of some of those 189,721 ghosts, plus the illegals, who corrupt elections within their State.

3. The Federal Government has usurped the States’ expressly retained power to set qualifications for Voters

In 1993, Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) [link], wherein they unlawfully seized power to dictate voter registration procedures (for federal elections) for the entire Country.

By dictating the registration procedures each State must use, and by mandating the voter registration form [the “federal form”] each State must use when registering voters; the NVRA stripped the States of their power to determine whether voters in their State meet the qualifications for voting set forth within their State Constitutions. It thus prohibits the States from enforcing the qualifications for voting set forth in their State Constitutions! 9

This is shown by what happened in Arizona:

The Constitution of the State of Arizona restricts voting to Citizens. During 2004, the People of Arizona (which had been overrun with illegal aliens) adopted an initiative (Proposition 200) which required those in Arizona who apply to register to vote, to provide documentary proof of citizenship.  But a lawsuit was filed in federal court; and the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that since the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 doesn’t require applicants for voter registration to provide documentary proof of citizenship, the States may not require it.

Thereafter, in Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (2013), the US Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s opinion [link].

I wrote about the Ninth Circuit’s opinion [here] and the Supreme Court’s opinion [here]. Both opinions are monuments to judicial incompetence – or worse. The assertions made by the Courts in their attempts to justify their unconstitutional judgments are demonstratively false. The majority opinion of the Supreme Court is also logically incoherent.

But here we are: The Supreme Court has held that since the federally mandated voter registration form doesn’t require that persons registering to vote provide proof of citizenship, the States may not require it. What this means, in practice, is that the States must register anyone who fills out the federal form.

4. So where does this leave North Carolina?

The federal voter registration form may be seen (in 15 different languages) [here].

The federal form doesn’t require applicants for registration to provide a photo ID. Therefore, consistent with Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., North Carolina may not require applicants for registration to provide a photo ID.

May North Carolina require voters to present a photo ID when they show up to vote? The Supreme Court hasn’t directly addressed this; 10 but consider that since the federal government requires the States to register anyone who fills out the federal form, why would the feds permit the States to deny exercise of the suffrage to any name which is “registered”?

We already know how U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs is going to rule – and her ruling is consistent with the Supreme Court’s lawless holding in Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.

5. Are There any Men in North Carolina?

The 7th paragraph of our Declaration of Independence recites how the Colonists opposed with manly firmness the King’s invasions on the rights of the people.
Are there any politicians in North Carolina today who will oppose the federal government’s invasions on the rights of the Citizens of North Carolina to set and enforce requirements for voting within their State?

A State Attorney General with brains and a spine would inform the federal judge that North Carolina won’t participate in the litigation; that she may issue all the Orders and Judgments she wants – North Carolina will ignore them – because (if she obeys the Supreme Court instead of the federal and State Constitutions) her Orders and Judgments will be void as in violation of Article I, §2, clause 1, US Constitution; and as in violation of the Sovereign Rights of North Carolina to enforce their own Constitution respecting voter qualifications.

What could a federal judge do about such a principled response from North Carolina? She has no Army. She has no power to enforce her judgments. She has to depend on the Executive Branch of the Federal government to enforce her judgments.11

So we would find out whether Trump actually means it when he says he wants honest elections, or whether he is just another fake “conservative”. If he is a fake, he will send in the National Guard to enforce the Judge’s unconstitutional judgment. But if Trump lives up to his words about the need for honest elections [link]; then he will refuse to send in the National Guard to enforce the unconstitutional Judgment; and North Carolina will have won the Battle and set a noble example for other States to follow.

6. Conclusion

The Deep State which controls the federal government doesn’t want elections cleaned up – they need dirty elections to get their henchmen in office. So they have embarked upon a course of action (such as the NVRA) to try to prevent the States from cleaning up elections. So, for Heaven’s Sake! Man up and resist! Our Framers always advised the States to resist unconstitutional acts of the federal government [link] [link]! We will never get honest elections unless the States man up and reclaim their rightful authority over their own voter rolls. Do it before you lose the political power to do it.

Endnotes:

1 From 1778 to 1789, we operated under our first federal Constitution, the Articles of Confederation [link].

2 Our present federal Constitution was ratified on June 21, 1788 [link].

3 Both political parties have embraced the Globalists’ open borders policy – both parties have failed to secure our Borders.

4 Art. I, §9, cl. 1, US Constit., delegates to Congress as of January 1, 1808, the power to control immigration.

5Art. IV, §4, US Constit., requires the federal government to protect each of the States against Invasion.

6 During 2013, California passed a law which permits illegal aliens to get drivers’ licenses [link]; and during 2015, consistent with the unconstitutional National Voter Registration Act, passed “Motor Voter” providing that when one gets a drivers’ license, one is automatically registered to vote [link].

7 So with a “National Popular Vote” for President, or to ratify a new Constitution (if the mode of ratification for the new Constitution is a national referendum), it would be easy to steal the outcome! Illegal aliens and “ghost voters” in California alone would determine the outcome for the entire Country.

8 President Trump’s Executive Order 13799 of May 11, 2017, which purported to establish a “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” [link], is unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated to the federal government.

9 Justice Thomas understands this: Until the federal government usurped power over this issue, the States always determined their own procedures for registration of those who were, pursuant to their State Constitution, qualified to vote. The function of registration of voters is so that the States may determine whether the qualifications for voting set forth in their State Constitution have been met! Justice Thomas points out in his dissent in Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. at II. A. 2:

“This understanding of Article I, §2, is consistent with powers enjoyed by the States at the founding. For instance, ownership of real or personal property was a common prerequisite to voting … To verify that this qualification was satisfied, States might look to proof of tax payments… In other instances, States relied on personal knowledge of fellow citizens to verify voter eligibility. . . States have always had the power to ensure that only those qualified under state law to cast ballots exercised the franchise.

Perhaps in part because many requirements (such as property ownership or taxpayer status) were independently documented and verifiable, States in 1789 did not generally “register” voters . . . Over time, States replaced their informal systems for determining eligibility, with more formalized pre-voting registration regimes. . . But modern voter registration serves the same basic purpose as the practices used by States in the Colonies and early Federal Republic. The fact that States have liberalized voting qualifications and streamlined the verification process through registration does not alter the basic fact that States possess broad authority to set voter qualifications and to verify that they are met.” [italics added].

10 In the Supreme Court’s majority opinion [link], Scalia mentioned (4th para down from top) that Arizona’s Proposition 200 also required voters “to present identification when they vote on election day”; but he did not grace us with an answer as to whether States may require voters to prove that they are who they say they are when they show up to vote.

11 As Alexander Hamilton points out in Federalist No. 78, the Judicial Branch is the weakest branch. All they can do is issue orders and judgments – they can’t enforce their orders and judgments. They must rely on the Executive Branch to carry them out:

“… the judiciary… will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them. 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; italics added]

February 27, 2020 Posted by | Arizona Lawsuit, Arizona's Proposition 200, federal election of 2020, National Voter Registration Act, Nullification, Voter eligibility, Voter Qualifications | , , , , | 22 Comments

The States Determine Qualifications for Voting and Procedures for Registration, and only Citizens may Vote

By Publius Huldah

1. Summary

The federal government is usurping the powers of the States, expressly retained by Art. I, §2, cl. 1, US Constitution, to determine qualifications for voting. And by perverting Art. I, §4, cl. 1, it is also usurping the States’ reserved power to determine procedures for registration of voters.

Consistent with Principles of Republican Government, every State in this Union has restricted voting to Citizens. 1 But on October 26, 2010 in Gonzales v. Arizona, a three judge panel on the US Circuit Court of Appeals (9th Cir.) construed the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) and asserted that Arizona has no right to require applicants for voter registration to provide proof of citizenship. I wrote about it at the time HERE. On rehearing, the en banc Court of Appeals agreed with the panel; and on June 17, 2013, in Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., the Supreme Court affirmed.

A few months thereafter, California passed a law which permits illegal aliens to get drivers’ licenses; and during 2015, consistent with the unconstitutional NVRA, passed “Motor Voter” providing that when one gets a drivers’ license, one is automatically registered to vote. 2

The federal government is unlawfully mandating that illegal aliens be allowed to vote in our elections.

2. The Concept of “Citizenship”

Emer de Vattel’s The Law of Nations was a Godsend to our Framing Generation because it provided the new concepts our Framers needed to transform us from subjects of a Monarchy to Citizens of a Republic.3 Book I, Ch. XIX, defines “citizens”, “inhabitants” and “naturalization”:

· “Citizens” are the members of the civil society who are bound to it by certain duties, subject to its authority, participate in its advantages and in the rights of citizens [§212].

· “Inhabitants” are foreigners who are permitted to settle in the country and are subject to its laws, but do not participate in all the rights of citizens [§213].

· “Naturalization” is the process whereby the country grants to a foreigner the quality of citizen, by admitting him into the body of the political society [§214].

So “citizens” have civic advantages and political rights which are not extended to “inhabitants” – and certainly not to aliens who have unlawfully entered a country.4

Accordingly, our Constitution permits only Citizens to serve in Congress (Art. I, §2, cl. 2 & §3, cl. 3); the President must be a “natural born Citizen” (Art. II, §1, cl. 5); Article IV, §2, cl. 1 & §1 of the 14th Amendment refer to the “privileges and immunities of citizens”; and the 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments5 refer to voting by “Citizens”.

3. The Federalist Papers show that voting is a privilege of Citizens alone

The slaves in America were “inhabitants”, not “citizens”. They weren’t allowed to vote. Federalist No. 54 (5th para from bottom) tells us:

“…The qualifications on which the right of suffrage depend are not…the same… [in the several States]. In some of the States the difference is very material. In every State, a certain proportion of inhabitants are deprived of this right by the constitution of the State, who will be included in the census by which the federal Constitution apportions the representatives… the Southern States might… [insist]…that the slaves, as inhabitants, should have been admitted into the census according to their full number, in like manner with other inhabitants, who, by the policy of other States, are not admitted to all the rights of citizens…” [boldface added]6

In Federalist No. 60 (1st, 2nd and last paras), Hamilton speaks of the “fundamental privilege” of citizens to vote, and that citizens who are conscious and tenacious of their rights would flock to the places of election to overthrow tyrants. In Federalist No. 61 (2nd para), Hamilton speaks of “the suffrages of the citizens”, and of voting as an “invaluable privilege”.

Over and over, The Federalist Papers show that voting is restricted to citizens:

“In republics, persons elevated from the mass of the community, by the suffragees of their fellow-citizens, to stations of great pre-eminence and power…” (No. 22, 6th para from bottom)

“If we consider the situation of the men on whom the free suffrages of their fellow-citizens may confer the representative trust, we shall find it involving every security which can be devised or desired for their fidelity to their constituents (No. 57, 7th para) … “… that each representative of the United States will be elected by five or six thousand citizens…” (No. 57, 7th para from bottom)

“There is a peculiarity in the federal Constitution which insures a watchful attention in a majority both of the people and of their representatives to a constitutional augmentation of the latter. The peculiarity lies in this, that one branch of the legislature is a representation of citizens, the other of the States…” (No. 58 at 3.)

“…A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations …” No. 68 (3rd para)

4. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary shows our Founding Generation saw voting as restricted to citizens

Suffrage is:

“1. A vote; a voice given in deciding a controverted question, or in the choice of a man for an office or trust. Nothing can be more grateful to a good man than to be elevated to office by the unbiased suffrages of free enlightened citizens.”

Citizen is:

“5. In the United States, a person, native7 or naturalized, who has the privilege of exercising the elective franchise…”

Franchise is:

“1. … the right to vote for governor, senators and representatives, is a franchise belonging to citizens, and not enjoyed by aliens…”

Inhabitants and aliens may not vote unless they become naturalized citizens and meet whatever additional qualifications for voting are set forth in the State Constitution. Naturalization is:

“The act of investing an alien with the rights and privileges of a native subject or citizen. naturalization in Great Britain is only by act of parliament. In the United States, it is by act of Congress, 8 vesting certain tribunals with the power.”

5. State Constitutions set forth the Qualifications for Voting

When we operated under the Articles of Confederation (our first federal Constitution),9 the States determined the qualifications for voting in state and local elections and in elections to the Continental Congress. These qualifications were set forth in the State Constitutions, and varied from State to State.

In our federal Constitution of 1787, the States expressly retained (at Art. I, §2, cl.1) their pre-existing power to determine the qualifications of voters; and ordained that those whom they determined were qualified to vote in elections to their State House of Representatives would thereby be qualified to vote for their federal Representatives to Congress.

Our Framers specifically rejected the idea that the new Congress or the State Legislatures would determine who was eligible to vote. Instead, only The People of each State were competent to define the right of suffrage for their State, and their definition was enshrined in their State Constitution. In Federalist No. 52 (2nd para), James Madison tells us:

“…The definition of the right of suffrage is very justly regarded as a fundamental article of republican government.10 It was incumbent on the convention, therefore, to define and establish this right in the Constitution. To have left it open for the occasional regulation of the Congress, would have been improper … To have submitted it to the legislative discretion of the States, would have been improper … To have reduced the different qualifications in the different States to one uniform rule, would probably have been as dissatisfactory to some of the States as it would have been difficult to the convention. The provision made by the convention … must be satisfactory to every State, because it is conformable to the standard already established, or which may be established, by the State itself. It will be safe to the United States, because, being fixed by the State constitutions, it is not alterable by the State governments…”[boldface added]

Remember! Since the federal and state governments are merely “creatures” of constitutions, they have no power to determine who may vote. That power belongs to the “creators” of the governments. Only The People are competent to set the qualifications for voting; and our determinations are enshrined in our State Constitutions.

6. The States reserved power to determine procedures for voter registration

Our Constitution of 1787 created a federal government to which we delegated only “few and defined” powers [see chart]. Nowhere in the Constitution did we delegate to the federal government power to dictate procedures States must use in registering voters. Accordingly, it is a “reserved” power.11 Until the federal government usurped power over this issue, the States always determined their own procedures for registration. Justice Thomas wrote in his dissent  in Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. [at II. A. 2]:

“This understanding of Article I, §2, is consistent with powers enjoyed by the States at the founding. For instance, ownership of real or personal property was a common prerequisite to voting … To verify that this qualification was satisfied, States might look to proof of tax payments… In other instances, States relied on personal knowledge of fellow citizens to verify voter eligibility. . . States have always had the power to ensure that only those qualified under state law to cast ballots exercised the franchise.

Perhaps in part because many requirements (such as property ownership or taxpayer status) were independently documented and verifiable, States in 1789 did not generally “register” voters . . . Over time, States replaced their informal systems for determining eligibility, with more formalized pre-voting registration regimes. . . But modern voter registration serves the same basic purpose as the practices used by States in the Colonies and early Federal Republic. The fact that States have liberalized voting qualifications and streamlined the verification process through registration does not alter the basic fact that States possess broad authority to set voter qualifications and to verify that they are met.”

7. The federal government has usurped the States’ powers to determine who may vote and determine procedures for voter registration

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) purports to require States to “accept and use” a federal voter registration form! The Ninth Circuit asserted that since the federal form doesn’t require applicants to provide documentary proof of citizenship, the States may not require it. This paper exposes some of the false arguments made by the Ninth Circuit’s three judge panel, and sets forth what Hamilton and Madison actually said as to the genuine meanings of Art. I, §2, cl. 1 and §4, cl.1: Arizona’s Proposition 200: What The Constitution Really Says About Voter Qualifications & Exposing The “Elections Clause” Argument.

But the Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit. Justice Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion, swept Art. I, §2, cl. 1 under the rug and ignored Hamilton’s and Madison’s explanations of Art. I, §4, cl. 1.  Scalia asserted:

“The Clause’s [Art. I, §4, cl. 1] substantive scope is broad. “Times, Places, and Manner,” we have written, are “comprehensive words,” which “embrace authority to provide a complete code for congressional elections,” including, as relevant here and as petitioners do not contest, regulations relating to “registration”….” 12

Scalia said,

“…the NVRA forbids States to demand that an applicant submit additional information beyond that required by the Federal Form…”

and concluded,

“… the fairest reading of the statute is that a state-imposed requirement of evidence of citizenship not required by the Federal Form is “inconsistent with” the NVRA’s mandate that States “accept and use” the Federal Form…”

IF Scalia understood that the NVRA was unconstitutional, it was his DUTY to say so even though Counsel for the State of Arizona apparently failed to raise the issue.

So what should we do when federal courts  – as here – issue unconstitutional opinions?

8. Our Framers said nullification is the natural right, which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression

The federal government has refused to control our borders and, as a result, we are being invaded. The federal government is demanding that invaders be allowed to vote in our elections. We have no obligation to obey unconstitutional dictates of the federal government. See Nullification: The Original Right of Self-Defense. What does your State Constitution say about qualifications for voting? Demand that your State government enforce your State Constitution.

And Remember! As Hamilton told us in Federalist No. 78 (6th para), federal courts can only issue judgments – they must rely on the Executive Branch to enforce them. So the President’s “check” on usurping federal judges is to refuse to enforce their opinions. States must man up and obey the Constitution instead of unconstitutional dictates of the federal Legislative and Judicial Branches. Do you think that President Trump will send out US Marshalls or the National Guard to FORCE States to allow illegal aliens to vote? The iron is hot – the time to strike is now.

Endnotes:

1Justice Alito’s dissenting opinion in Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. says (2nd para):

“…Exercising its right to set federal voter qualifications, Arizona, like every other State, permits only U. S. citizens to vote in federal elections, and Arizona has concluded that this requirement cannot be effectively enforced unless applicants for registration are required to provide proof of citizenship…” [boldface added]

2 The California legislature thus violated Article II, Section 2, California Constitution which says, “A United States citizen 18 years of age and resident in this State may vote.”

3That Vattel had such influence is proved HERE.

4All men everywhere possess the rights God gave them. But in a civil society, the members possess political or civic rights which are not extended to inhabitants, lawful visitors, or illegal alien invaders.

5 With these four Amendments, the States agreed they would not deny suffrage to Citizens on account of race, being a female, not paying the tax, or being between 18 to 21 years of age. States retain power to deny suffrage to any Citizen on account of other factors (e.g., illiteracy, being on welfare, or stupidity).

6 Freed slaves were naturalized by §1 of the 14th Amendment.

7Vattel §212: “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” [See §§ 215-217 for other places babies may be born as natural-born citizens.]

8Art. I, §8, cl. 4, US Const.

9 The Articles of Confederation were ratified July 9, 1778.

10A “republic” is a state in which the exercise of the sovereign power is lodged in representatives elected by the people.

11The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution … are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people.” (10th Amendment) [italics added]

12 Counsel for the State of Arizona made a major strategic error in [apparently] failing to challenge the constitutionality of the NVRA as outside the scope of powers granted to Congress and as in violation of Art. I, §2, cl. 1 and §4, cl.1, US Const. 

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August 16, 2018 Posted by | Arizona's Proposition 200, Article I, Sec. 2, Elections Clause, National Voter Registration Act, Voter eligibility, Voter Qualifications | , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Parental Rights Amendment: Selling You and Your Kids Out to Big Government

By Publius Huldah

If politicians introduced a bill mandating the slaughter of all human babies under the age of two years; but called it, “The Little Babies Protection Act”, establishment conservatives and unthinking people all over the Country would be clamoring for its passage.

We have become a shallow and easily deceived people. If it sounds good on the surface, we are all for it. We assume the proposal will live up to its name. 1 We don’t trouble ourselves to actually read proposals and analyze them before we clamor for passage.

The name, “parental rights amendment” (PRA), sounds so good!  But it actually strips parents of their God-delegated authority over their children, and transfers that authority to the federal government.

In order to understand this, you must first learn about “enumerated powers”.

 Enumerated Powers

When WE THE PEOPLE ordained and established the Constitution for the United States, We listed, itemized – enumerated – every power WE delegated to each branch of the federal government over the Country at Large.  All other powers were retained by The States or The People.

James Madison, Father of our Constitution, says in Federalist No. 45 (3rd para from end):

“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 … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface mine]

Do you see? We delegated only “few and defined” powers to the federal government over the Country at Large. These are the “enumerated powers” actually listed in the Constitution. 2

These enumerated powers over the Country at Large concern:

  • Military defense, international commerce & relations;
  • Control of immigration and naturalization of new citizens;
  • Creation of a uniform commercial system: Weights & measures, patents & copyrights, money based on gold & silver, bankruptcy laws, mail delivery & some road building; and
  • With some Amendments, protect certain civil rights and voting rights.

It is only with respect to the “enumerated powers” that the federal government has lawful authority over the Country at Large. All other powers are “reserved to the several States” and The People. 3

So!  Where in the Constitution did WE THE PEOPLE delegate to the federal government power over children and their care and upbringing?  We didn’t.  Accordingly, it has no lawful authority over these objects.

Thus, any federal law, treaty 4, executive order, agency rule, or court opinion which pretends to exercise such power over children is unconstitutional as outside the scope of enumerated powers delegated to the federal government for the Country at Large. 5

See?  This is all very simple.

So then, how does the federal government go about obtaining lawful authority over the care and upbringing of children? By means of lies, trickery and deceit:

The so-called “Parental Rights” Amendment

 Let us now read it. Here it is from the website of the deceptively named, parentalrights.org:6

“SECTION 1

The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.

SECTION 2

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.

SECTION 3

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.

SECTION 4

This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.

SECTION 5
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.”

Look again at Section 3!

We will go through each section.  But first, two general observations:

Parents have Responsibilities to their children, not “rights” over them.

The Creator God who – as recognized by the Signers of our Declaration of Independence – endowed us with unalienable Rights; also assigned to parents specific responsibilities to their children. 7 Among these are:

  • Provision for children: 2 Corinthians 12:14; Proverbs 13:22; 1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12.
  • Education and moral instruction of children:  Proverbs 1:8-9, 6:20-21, 13:1, 22:6 & 23:19-22; Genesis 18:19; Deuteronomy 4:9-10 & 6:1-7; Ephesians 6:1-4; 2 Timothy 1:5  & 3:15-17.
  • Discipline of children: Proverbs 13: 24, 15:5, 19:18, 22:15, 23:12-14, 29:15-17; Hebrews 12:5-11; Colossians 3:21.

Parents are supposed to provide for, care for, teach, protect, and educate their children.  NOT civil government!

The Judicial Power of the Federal Courts

Article III, Sec. 2, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution, enumerates the powers of the federal courts:

“The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;…”

“Judicial Power” refers to the power of courts to hear and decide cases.

Amendments are part of the Constitution.  Thus, federal courts have power to decide issues addressed by Amendments.

The PRA would transform “families” and “children” from matters over which the federal government now has no lawful authority to matters under the total control of the federal government.

The PRA is a delegation of lawmaking power over families and children to the federal government. Congress may make whatever laws it pleases pertaining to YOUR children; the Executive Branch may issue whatever rules or orders it pleases pertaining to YOUR children – and under Section 3 of the PRA, federal judges will decide whether these laws, orders & rules serve the government’s interest.  If so, you lose.

Lawsuits involving these matters would become cases “arising under this Constitution”, or “Laws of the United States”, or “Treaties”, which would ultimately be decided by five (5) judges on the supreme Court.  The authority of millions and millions of American parents would be transferred to five (5) judges on the supreme Court.

That Court has a long history of perverting every word of our Constitution it touches. 8 It is suicidal to transfer Family Authority to that Court.

Let us now look at each section of the PRA:

Section 1: The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.”

Just as the supreme Court sees the First Amendment as the source of our right to free speech, and they decide what speech is protected by that Amendment and what speech is not, 8 so it will see the PRA as the source of “parental rights”, and they will decide what “rights” parents have and what “rights” they do not have.

Consider also:  Do the words “upbringing” or “care” in Section 1 include religious training, discipline, diet, medical treatment, and whether the child may wield a hoe in the family garden?  What does it mean that these are not listed?  That parents have no “rights” regarding these issues? The supreme Court will decide what it means.

Section 2:  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.”

What is not included in the parental right to direct education? What is a “reasonable” choice?  Who decides what is not included and what choices are “reasonable”?  Federal judges decide.

“Section 3: 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.”

Do you understand this Section?  Whatever “parental rights” you think you have will be infringed by the federal government or the State governments if they have a good reason for it.  Federal judges will decide whether the federal or State governments have a good reason to infringe your “parental rights”.

Section 4: This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.”

What?  Does this mean that parents retained the “right” to make these decisions?  Or does it mean that the PRA does not “protect” that right, hence parents no longer have it?

I suggest to you that federal courts will construe this section to mean that parents will no longer be permitted to make decisions about terminating or continuing medical care for their seriously ill, injured, or “defective” (Downs’ syndrome, birth defects, etc.) children.

Do not forget:  We elected as President a man who supports the murder of little babies who survive abortions.  9 Is this man going to appoint federal judges who disagree with the killing of children?

Section 5: 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.”

The PRA does not stop the President and Senate from ratifying the UN Declaration on The Rights of the Child.

NO RIGHTS ARE GUARANTEED BY THE PRA! You cannot name one “parental right” which cannot be voided if the federal or state government shows federal judges that the government has an interest in voiding the right.

Further, since the PRA makes federal control of children an enumerated power, it is the PRA itself which would give the U.S. Senate constitutional authority to ratify the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of the Child!

The PRA is monstrously deceitful.

Here is the PRA which has been introduced in the current Session of Congress:  H.J. Res. 50

Here is a list of House sponsors of the PRA in this Session of Congress. Form delegations and go see your Representatives.  Instruct them!  I bet they never read it before they endorsed it.

Put Not Your Trust in Princes

People!  Your blind trust in charlatans and politicians is destroying us.  They pretend to be what they are not in order to deceive you.  Stop flaunting your blind trust as a mark of virtue.  Blind trust in humans is irresponsible – it is not a virtue.  PH

Endnotes:

1 E.g., we assume the “Balanced Budget” Amendment is about curtailing federal spending.  Since we don’t look behind the name, we don’t know that the BBA is really about eliminating the enumerated powers limitation on spending & legalizing what is now unconstitutional spending.

2 See:  Congress’ Enumerated Powers, the President’s Enumerated Powers, & the Enumerated Powers of the Federal Courts.

3 Read the Tenth Amendment!

4 parental rights.org has been using the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child to terrorize parents into believing that only the PRA can save them from the UN Declaration.

You must learn about the treaty making powers of the United States.  The President and Senate may not lawfully circumvent the Constitution by international treaties – they may not do by treaty what they are forbidden to do by the Constitution.  Since the Constitution delegates NO powers over children to the federal government, they may not lawfully circumvent the Constitution by ratifying the UN Declaration.  These 2 papers explain the treaty-making power.

It is the PRA which would give the federal government lawful authority to ratify the UN Declaration!  Because issues relating to “children” would become an enumerated power delegated to the federal government by the PRA itself!   So the PRA is a monstrous deception.

5 Accordingly, they are proper objects of nullification.

6 Parental rights.org periodically changes the text of their proposed PRA.  The version set forth herein was copied from their website during June 2013.

7 To my friends in the Ayn Rand camp:  These are historical facts – the Bible says what it says and our Framers believed it.  Ayn Rand had no argument with the Natural Law Principle that parents have the responsibility of raising their own children.

8 The supreme Court looked at the word, “liberty” in Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment and said it means “privacy”; and “privacy” means “women may kill their unborn babies”!  A short time later, they looked at the same word and decided that it means, “homosexual sex is a liberty right”!  Do you see?  That Court treats the 14th Amendment as Marquis de Sade’s play dough.

And look at how that Court has butchered the First Amendment:  That Amendment says, in part:

“Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech…”

Since speech control is not one of the enumerated powers delegated to Congress over the Country at Large; and since all legislative Powers granted by our Constitution are vested in Congress (Art. I, Sec. 1); neither the Executive nor Judicial Branches have power over “speech” for the Country at Large.

Regulation of speech is reserved to the States and the People (10th Amendment). The States exercised this retained power by means of State laws against defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intrusion upon seclusion, publicity given to private life, etc., etc.

Yet the supreme Court treats the First Amendment as the source of our right to free speech, and they decide what speech is “protected” by the First Amendment and what speech is “not protected” by the First Amendment.  If the former, you may say it; if the latter, you may not say it.  The supreme Court has usurped power to censor our speech!

So!  In Snyder v. Phelps (2011), the Westboro Baptists picketed, with vile and defamatory signs, the funeral of an American Soldier who was killed in action. The bereaved Father filed a lawsuit under various State Laws such as defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, etc.

The Jury found for the Father and held Westboro liable for $2.9 million in compensatory damages and $8 million in punitive damages.

But the supreme Court overturned the Jury Verdict and said that the Westboro Baptists had a “right” protected by the First Amendment to spew their malice at this young soldier’s funeral, and it mowed down the State laws which made such defamatory speech actionable.

This is how the supreme Court construes an Amendment which merely prohibits CONGRESS from making laws restricting speech! 

The federal government has no lawful authority over speech in the Country at Large!  Yet those lawless judges on the supreme Court have also seized power to forbid students from leading Christian prayers in the public schools!

9 Jill Stanek is an RN who worked in the Labor & Delivery Department in an Illinois hospital where aborted babies born alive were left to die.  Read her article where she proves that our President opposed Illinois’ Born Alive Infant Protection Act.  Obama wanted the babies to die.  How can you put YOUR children in the hands of judges this man nominates? PH

UPDATE!  Michael Farris, Esq., the executive director of parentalrights.org, who has said that he is the primary author of the PRA, has posted a response to my paper here:  http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/07/michael-farris-of-hslda-reponds-to-publius-huldahs-critique-of-the-parental-rights-amendment/

By all means, go read it – and the comments!

July 11, 2013

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July 11, 2013 Posted by | Amendments: Parental Rights Amendment, Parental Rights Amendment, parentalrights.org | | 28 Comments

Where do “Rights” come from? What is “federalism”? Does our Constitution “evolve”? What’s a “Republic”? What is the function of a constitution?

BASIC CONCEPTS OF “GOVERNMENT”

By Publius Huldah

Think NOT that you must have a law degree to understand the Constitution of the United States; or that the lawyers, law professors and black robed judges are the ones who understand it best.  They are the ones who perverted it.  To restore constitutional government, We the People must learn the basic concepts of  “government”; and we must learn the Constitution, elect representatives who will honor their oaths to support it (Art VI, clause 3), and remove from office those who don’t.

The Constitution is a short document which anyone – who makes a reasonable effort – can understand quite well.  You need  (1) The Declaration of Independence, (2) The Constitution, and (3) The Federalist Papers.   The latter is a collection of 85 essays written for the public by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, and published during 1787 and 1788, in order to explain the proposed Constitution to the People and to induce them to ratify it. [1] Also, since word meanings can change drastically throughout time [2], if we are to understand the objective meaning of the Constitution – the original intent – we must understand the words the same way the founders understood them.  An American Dictionary of The English Language, Noah Webster (1828), in available on-line here.

1.  The function of a Constitution is to create a civil government and define its powers:

…In free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by the legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution. (Webster’s 1828)

2.  “Federal” refers to the form of our government:  An alliance of States with close cultural and economic ties associated together in a “federation” with a national government to which is delegated supremacy over the States in specifically defined areas. [3]

3.  A “republic” is “a state in which the exercise of the sovereign power is lodged in representatives elected by the people…” (Webster’s 1828).   A “constitutional republic” is a state in which the representatives (and other officials) are limited and restricted by a constitution.  This country was established as a constitutional republic.

4.  A “democracy” is two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

5.  Decentralization:  In a free country, government is decentralized: there exist various kinds of government, each with their own sphere of operation.   Webster’s (1828) lists three: “self-government” – man’s control and restraint over his own temper, passions, and social actions; “family government” – parents’ authority over their children and other family matters; and civil government – the form of, and the rules and principles by which a nation or state is governed.

There is also government in religious associations (e.g., Mat 18:15-17); charities; professional, trade, and sports associations (in earlier times, these set the standards and handled the discipline for their members); and other voluntary organizations with their own rules and requirements.

But in a totalitarian country, the civil government eliminates the other forms of government so that its power is unchallenged in all spheres of life:

a) Our national government is eliminating self-government by taking away the responsibility of individuals to act morally and responsibly in the conduct of their own affairs.  Not only does it force individuals to participate in government retirement and medical programs – matters which in the past were considered to be individual and family responsibilities; it now, with respect to daily  expenses,  “bails out” the least responsible at the expense of the more responsible!  We are no longer required to govern ourselves: We may sit around, indulging in blame shifting, excuse-making and nursing grievances, and the government pays our living expenses!  As individuals, we have abandoned self-discipline altogether – we abuse our own health with our excesses and bad habits!

b) It is eliminating family government by dictating as to the discipline and education of children, and insisting that minor children may obtain abortions without their parents’ knowledge or consent!   Matters that were, in the past, treated as family responsibilities  (financial and other assistance to family members; education of children, care of aging parents, etc.)  have been taken over by civil government.   We no longer look to our families for assistance – we look to the civil government!  Is it any wonder we now consider the president as “the one” to “save” us?

c) Previously, churches were the moral authorities in our country.  But the national government has eliminated that moral authority!  Even though the modern “welfare” state is based on Coercion & Looting & Distribution of Plunder to favored groups – the legalization of Envy & Theft [4] – the Pastors dare not speak out against it – they have been silenced by the 501 c (3) tax exemption.   So we have been deprived of the benefit of their moral guidance on issues affecting our country – that’s what the national government demands!   So the churches are restricted to speaking on saving souls,  “escape” or “rescue” from this Earth, what happens when we’re dead, and other such matters that don’t challenge Caesar’s sovereignty on Earth.  For Caesar claims that the Earth and everything on it belongs to him!

d) Charity is properly the work of individuals, churches, and private associations.   Some, such as The Salvation Army, provide Christian instruction along with assistance.  But a totalitarian government will not tolerate this challenge to its total power; so it now speaks of reducing the tax deduction for charitable giving.   As economic conditions worsen, charitable giving will decline; private charities will diminish, but the national government seeks always to expand.

e) The state governments have taken over the licensing and disciplining of the trades and professions; and Congress conducts hearings on whether sports figures take steroids!

6.  Decentralization & Local Governments:  In a free country, civil government itself is decentralized – we have city governments, county governments, and state governments, as well as the federal government.  Each local government has its own constitution that defines its powers & duties.

When speaking of the national government, do not confuse its few powers – those enumerated in the U.S. Constitution – with the more extensive powers that may be granted to State and local governments in their constitutions.   James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 45 (9th paragraph):

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those that 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….

So, do you see?  The federal government isn’t supposed to have anything to do with our lives, liberties and properties except as follows:  Other than those in military service, it has no lawful criminal jurisdiction over us except as described here; it has no civil jurisdiction over us unless we file for bankruptcy; if we are inventors or writers, it secures for us the rights to patents & copyrights; it makes rules for naturalizing new citizens, and it delivers our mail!  (Art I, Sec 8 & Art III, Sec 3, U.S. Constitution)  That’s basically it, Folks!

So mortgage bailouts, medical care, pensions, family matters, education, housing, food stamps, tattoo removal, “community redevelopment”, light bulbs, and the like, are NONE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S BUSINESS!   The local governments, if the People have authorized such in the local constitution, may address such matters.  But the only areas in which the federal government may lawfully act are those enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.

7.  In a free country, civil government is restrained – it is limited by the constitution in what it is allowed to do. But in a tyranny, those who hold power do whatever they want – they know no law but their own ideas, whims, self-interest, self-glorification, and lust for power.  Webster (1828) defines “govern”:

To direct and control…either by established laws or by arbitrary will…Thus in free states, men are governed by the constitution and laws; in despotic states, men are governed by the edicts or commands of [a tyrant]…. [5]

WE the People created the national government when We, as  States, ratified the Constitution.  WE determined its powers and duties and enumerated those powers and duties in the written Constitution.   None of the three branches of the national government:  neither the Legislative, nor the Executive, nor the Judiciary, may do ANYTHING unless WE first gave it permission in the Constitution.   WE are the Creators; those in the national government, be they Senators, Representatives, federal judges, or the President, are mere creatures.  Alexander Hamilton said in The Federalist Papers, No. 33, (6th paragraph):

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 [the Constitution], and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify. [emphasis added]

Our Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land (Art VI, cl.2); and anything contrary to our Constitution is lawlessness – no matter who in office or on the bench does it.

8.  Should we understand our federal Constitution the same way our founders did (“original intent”)?  Or, does its meaning “evolve” throughout time, so that it “means” whatever the gang in power (at any point in time) says it means?

a) One side – the “strict constructionists” or “originalists” – say the Constitution has a fixed meaning, and we must look at the original intent of the Constitution.   We easily learn this original intent by understanding the words the same way our founders understood them [e.g., Webster’s 1828 Dictionary] & by referring to The Federalist Papers and other original source documents. [6]

b) The other side (composed primarily of activist judges, totalitarian leftists and people who don’t think) say the Constitution has no fixed meaning.  They say it is an “evolving”, “living, breathing” thing that means whatever the judges, from time to time, say it means [7] or, like Congress and many of our presidents, ignore it altogether.

And just how do we learn what the judges say the Constitution means?  Well, you really have to go to law school and learn how to do legal research; how to read judicial writing (which is often intended to conceal the judges’ complete lack of intellectual honesty); and how to construe conflicting court decisions.  Then, you usually end up going with the court’s latest pronouncement (once you have located it) – knowing full well that it may change when a new gang gets on the bench. [8]

Obviously, under the second view – we don’t have constitutional government.  Instead, the judiciary, the Congress, and the Executive Branch impose their unfettered wills on us; and THIS is how we have been transformed from a “free state” where we were governed by the constitution and laws; into a despotic state, where we are governed by the edicts or commands of judges, congressmen & senators, presidents, and meddlesome federal agencies.

9. What are “Rights” and where do they come from?  Are rights unalienable gifts from God?  Are rights inherent to our nature as humans?   Is the Bill of Rights (the first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution) the source of our rights?  Are “rights” entitlements to stuff paid for by other people?

a) Our Declaration of Independence says our Rights are unalienable and come from God:

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… [9]

b) The Philosopher Ayn Rand correctly saw rights as inherent to the nature of man; although she thought God had nothing to with it.   In John Galt’s speech (Atlas Shrugged), he said:

The source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity. A is A—and Man is Man. Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival.  If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work.  If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational.  Any group, any gang, any nation that attempts to negate man’s rights, is wrong, which means: is evil, which means: is anti-life.

c) Others say that our rights come from the Bill of Rights.  But this too is a pernicious error.  To say that the Bill of Rights “confers” our rights; or to discuss “the full scope” of any of the First Ten Amendments, constitutes a restriction on, and reduction of, the rights given by God.  To say that the Bill of Rights is the source of our rights, diminishes them from their proper status as unalienable gifts from God, and transforms them into privileges which we hold, or not, according to whether they are recognized in a document written by men; and according to the interpretations of judges!

d) The statist view is that rights come from “the government”.   The statists are not concerned with Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness! [10] To them, a “right” is a claim for stuff paid for by somebody else:  The “right” to a public school education; the “right” to medical care; the “right” to housing; etc.  But it is a contradiction in terms  – it is a perversion – to speak of  “rights” to stuff that is produced by, or paid for, by others!  To hold that people who produce exist to be plundered by civil government for the ostensible benefit of others is nothing less than 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.

10. The U.S. Constitution is the document that created the national government. [11] When the People through their States ratified the Constitution, the People and the States did not lose their status as independent sovereigns who would be capable of corrective action if the national government were to exceed the powers granted to it.

Except for those few powers (primarily relating to national defense & other external objects) that the People and the States specifically delegated to the national government, the People and the States remain independent and sovereign.

Furthermore, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor Prohibited by it to the States, [12] are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

So when the “creature” usurps powers not granted in the Constitution, the “Creators” are not bound by the usurpations.  Those usurpations are, by definition, lawless.   When this happens, the States have the Right and the Duty to rein in their creation – for the creature has become Frankenstein.

Tenth Amendment Resolutions, nullification by States, Jury nullification, etc.  are lawful, consistent with our Constitution, and if properly implemented, can restore our Constitutional Republic with its federal form of government!  That, instead of a totalitarian dictatorship with a populace forever crushed with debt, is the Blessing we want to leave our Posterity.

Endnotes:


[1] The authors’ 18th century style of writing might seem difficult at first; but if you stick with it, you will get used to it, and may come to find it delightful.

[2] E.g., “mean” used to mean “poor”; “nice” used to mean “precise, exact”; “gay” used to mean “jovial, merry”, etc.

“Welfare” as used in the Preamble & in Art I, Sec 8, cl 1, U.S. Constitution, meant “Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government” (Webster’s 1828).   But  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969), adds a new meaning:  “Public relief” – on welfare. Dependent on public relief”.  Do you see how our Constitution is perverted when 20th century meanings are substituted for the original meanings?

[3] As the national government usurps more & more of the powers retained by the States or the People, the form of our government becomes less & less “federal”, and more & more “national”.

[4] See Frederic Bastiat’s short & easily understood work, The Law (1848), which is without a doubt, the best thing to ever come out of France.  A magnificent refutation of socialism.   On-line English ed. at bastiat.org

[5] In the classic work on political philosophy,  Lex, Rex, or The Law And The Prince, Samuel Rutherford (1644), Rev. Rutherford sets forth the biblical model wherein the king is subject to the Law to the same extent as the citizens: e.g., Deut 17:18-20; 2 Kings 22:8-13; 23:1-3.   THIS is what “The Rule of Law” means – when the “king” is under the Law.   When the “king” claims that he is above the law, then we have “the Rule of Men” – i.e., tyranny.

Contrast Rutherford’s model, which the drafters of our Constitution followed, with that of the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), who glorified the state and saw it as superior to the people.  THAT is the political philosophy that gave rise to German statism, the Third Reich, and Hitler worship.  That is the model which is rapidly taking over the minds of the American People.

[6] It’s fast & easy:  With an annotated copy of the Constitution, you look up the Federalist Paper cited, skim through it until you get to the relevant passage, and in a few minutes, you usually can know the original intent.  You then know more than our judges know!  Congratulations!  [But sometimes we also have to refer to other contemporaneous works.]

[7] Thus, instead of the judges being subject to the Constitution; the Constitution is subject to the will of the judges.

[8] Franz Kafka’s novel, The Trial (1937), describes an arbitrary and incomprehensible legal system where the peoples’ access to The Law is cut off.   “Before the Law, stands a door keeper… “.  The hero of Kafka’s novel couldn’t get past the doorkeeper and so was denied access to The Law.   Folks, that’s what our courts – the doorkeepers – are doing to us.  The U.S. Constitution is the supreme Law of the Land (Art VI, cl. 2); but the Courts have taken it away from us and won’t give it back! The Trial is on-line in English translations from the German.

[9] The Bible reveals additional rights bestowed on us by God, such as the right to inherit, earn, & keep property; the right of self-defense; the right & duty to demand that the “king” adhere to the Covenant of civil government; etc.  The distinguishing characteristics of all these God-given rights are (1) they are necessary for man to exist as man and (2) they may be held and enjoyed at NO expense or loss to any other man. (Ayn Rand was 100% right on these points.)

[10] They love death: abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia.  They hate private property.  They hate Liberty.  Productive men exist, not to pursue their own Happiness or to serve God; but to be plundered by civil government.  Folks, we need to face Reality and acknowledge that these are not people whose “intentions” are “good”.

[11] It is important that you always keep at the front of your mind:  The national government is a creation of the People & their States.  The People & their States are the Creators – the national government is merely the creature.

[12] Art I, Sec 10 prohibits the States from exercising powers specifically delegated to the national government, and from passing those obnoxious laws which are inimical to a free country such as Bills of Attainder, ex post facto Laws, laws  impairing the Obligation of contracts, or granting Titles of Nobility.

June 20, 2009; revised July 23, 2020.

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June 20, 2009 Posted by | Basic Concepts, Decentralization of government, Definitions and Basic Concepts, Federalism, Original Intent or Evolving Constitution?, Rights, Self Government, Totalitarianism | , , , , | 20 Comments

Mark Meckler’s “COS” Board Member has drafted new Constitution which imposes gun control

By Publius Huldah (Joanna Martin, J.D.)

Our Framers understood that a free State cannot exist without an armed and trained populace (i.e., the Militia). Accordingly, they wrote a Constitution which prohibits the federal and State governments from infringing the natural right of the People to keep and bear arms.

Under our Constitution, the federal government has no authority to make any laws whatsoever over the Country at Large restricting the rights of the People to keep and bear arms. Gun control is not an enumerated power. Furthermore, the Second Amendment expressly forbids the federal government from infringing the right of the People (the Militia) to keep and bear arms.

The States are also prohibited from infringing the right of the People to keep and bear arms by Article I, Sec. 8, clauses 15 & 16, US Constitution. Those two clauses provide for the Militia of the Several States; and implicitly prohibit the States from making any laws which would interfere with the arming and training of the Militiamen in their States. 1

Applications for Congress to call a convention under Article V, US Constitution

But various groups, such as Mark Meckler’s Convention of “States” (COS) organizations, have been lobbying State Legislators to pass applications asking Congress to call an Article V Convention.

Whether or not State Legislatures should ask Congress to call an Article V Convention is one of the most important – and contentious – issues of our time. The Delegates to such a convention, as Sovereign Representatives of the People, have the power to throw off the Constitution we have and propose a new Constitution, with a new and easier mode of ratification, which would create a new government. 2

The Pennsylvania Senators Roundtable Discussion

On November 8, 2021, several Pennsylvania Senators conducted a roundtable discussion about whether they should pass Mark Meckler’s “COS” application (SR 152) for Congress to call an Article V convention. Mark Meckler and his allies were present in support of SR 152. Firearms Owners Against Crime was present in opposition to SR 152. Gun Owners of America was there also. 3

Much of what Meckler said at the roundtable is not true. But this paper focuses on his comments ridiculing his opponents’ concerns that, if there is an Article V convention, we could lose our existing Right to keep and bear arms.

Meckler showed up at the roundtable decked out in gun garb; and, after dropping names to show his connections with gun rights organizations, proceeded throughout the discussion to preen his commitment to “the Second Amendment”. He ridiculed the warnings that if there is an Article V Convention, Delegates would have the power to impose a new Constitution which, among other horrors, strips us of our Right to keep and bear arms without infringement.

Meckler said that Chuck Cooper, a litigator for the NRA, is on COS’s Legal Advisory Board and has written an open letter saying, “…it’s a ridiculous argument that there could be a runaway convention and we could lose our Second Amendment.” [13:31 – 13:57]

A bit later on, Meckler said:

“…Professor Robbie George at Princeton who is considered the foremost conservative constitutional scholar in America is on our Legal Advisory Board. … [43:02 – 43:25]

So who is Professor Robbie George? And who says he is the foremost conservative constitutional scholar in America?

Robbie George (Robert P. George) was on the National Constitution Center’s Constitution Drafting Project. The National Constitution Center is a quasi-official branch of the federal government.

Robbie George and three others have drafted a new Constitution which severely restricts the Right of the People to keep and bear arms! His new Constitution says at Article I, Sec. 12, clause 7:

“Neither the States nor the United State [sic] shall make or enforce any law infringing the right to keep and bear arms of the sort ordinarily used for self-defense or recreational purposes, provided that States, and the United States in places subject to its general regulatory authority, may enact and enforce reasonable regulations on the bearing of arms, and the keeping of arms by persons determined, with due process, to be dangerous to themselves or others.”

So Robbie George’s new Constitution:

  • authorizes the state and federal governments to ban the possession of all arms unless they are “ordinarily used for self-defense or recreational purposes”. Who will decide what arms are “ordinarily” used for self-defense or recreation? The governments will decide.

  • authorizes the state governments and the federal government (in those places subject to its “general regulatory authority”), to enact and enforce “reasonable regulations” on the bearing of those arms they permit us to have. What’s a “reasonable” regulation? The governments will decide; and,

  • authorizes the state and federal governments to strip us of our right to keep even those arms “ordinarily used for self-defense”, if someone in the government (presumably a judge) decides you are a danger to yourself or others.

We live in a time when Christians who read the Bible; People who read the Constitution; and Moms who speak out at School Board meetings against pornography in the schools, mask mandates, or the teaching of critical race theory, are labeled “domestic terrorists”.  Should “domestic terrorists” be allowed to keep and bear arms? Of course not- they are dangerous!

At the roundtable, John Velleco of Gun Owners of America said:

“The questions that we’re dealing with on this is how will this [Meckler’s “COS” application SR 152] impact the Second Amendment? Because that’s, as an organization, that’s all we care about. … So we need to determine if this is something that seriously could impact in a negative way the Second Amendment, then we are compelled to engage 100%. … our bigger issues in Pennsylvania are passing constitutional carry.” [1:07:05 – 1:07:51]

Yet even though Meckler’s Board Member Robbie George had already participated in the drafting of a new Constitution which imposes gun control; and thereby would rescind the Second Amendment, Meckler responded:

“And I will tell you there are 5 Million people in this country … that are signed up for convention of states. Right here, there are 90,000 in this state. 90,000!

The question was asked, will this help pass constitutional carry? The answer is hell yes, it will! Because right now, our activists are very angry with gun rights organizations in this state. And they’ll not support anything that these gun organizations are doing, because they’re now sworn enemies on Article V. … But I will say, on Kim Stolfer’s organization, they should be working with these organizations. Every one of those 90,000 should be signed up with these organizations and members of these organizations fighting for everything they [the gun organizations] want.” [1:21:21 – 1:22:05]

So Meckler, who postures as a “Second Amendment guy” [13:31-13:57] , threatened that unless Kim Stolfer supports Meckler’s SR 152 application for a convention, Mecker’s alleged 90,000 supporters in Pennsylvania 4 will not support anything Kim Stolfer’s gun rights organization does!

Look behind the Curtain

This push for an Article V Convention is the most vicious bait and switch ever perpetrated on the American People. It’s all about getting a new Constitution under the pretext of getting amendments. 5 If Congress calls an Article V convention, Robbie George’s proposed Constitution, or another just as tyrannical, can be proposed. 6 And since any new Constitution will have its own new mode of ratification (such as a national referendum), it’s sure to be approved.

The solution to our political and economic problems is to read and enforce the Constitution we already have. States and local governments and individual Citizens can take a giant step forward by not taking federal funds to participate in unconstitutional federal programs.

And rescind your States’ existing applications for an Article V convention! It doesn’t matter what the ostensible purpose of a convention is, as set forth in a State’s applications. Once the Convention assembles, the Delegates can do whatever they want including approving the Constitution Robbie George participated in drafting, or another Constitution which will also legalize the tyranny which is taking over our Country.

We are to fight tyranny by resisting it; not by legalizing it.

Endnotes:

1 With the Militia Act of 1792, Congress required all able-bodied male Citizens in the Country (with a few exceptions) between the ages of 18 and under 45 to buy a rifle, bayonet, ammo & ammo pouch, and report to their local Militia Unit for training. States may not lawfully do anything to interfere with this constitutional grant of power to Congress.

2 This is shown in these flyers:

3 These are two large gun rights organizations. John Velleco and Val Finnell appeared for GOA; Kim Stolfer of Pennsylvania appeared for Firearms Owners Against Crime.

4 It should be enlightening to ask Meckler to provide documentation of his claim to have 90,000 supporters in Pennsylvania. Legislators in other States have looked behind the curtain and found “COS” claims of support to be false: See Phony Petitions and Polls.

5 James Madison expressly warned of this stratagem: See this flyer at footnote 2.

6 Altogether, the National Constitution Center has three proposed new Constitutions. All of them transfer massive new powers to the new federal government.

Additional proposed Constitutions are discussed here.  One of them, the Constitution for the Newstates of America, was produced some 60 years ago [and factions have been pushing for an Article V convention ever since]. Under the Newstates Constitution, the States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government. Article I, Part B., Sec. 8 provides that the People are to be disarmed. Article XII, Sec. 1, provides for ratification by a national referendum – so whoever controls the voting machines will determine the outcome.

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December 18, 2021 Posted by | "convention of states", armed citizens, Article V, Article V Convention, Constitution Drafting Project, constitutional convention, convention lobby, Convention of States project, COS, gun control, Mark Meckler, Militia, National Constitution Center, Red Flag Laws, Robbie George, Robert P. George, runaway convention, Second Amendment | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

When the feds violate the Constitution, should we blame the Constitution?

By Publius Huldah

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” organizations (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 objected. 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?

March 21, 2021 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Article V Convention, Congressional Research Service Report, constitutional convention, convention lobby, Convention of States project, Daniel Webster, Delegates to a convention can't be controlled, Federal Convention of 1787, Incorporation doctrine, Purpose of amendments to constitution, Rob Natelson | , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Mark Levin’s “Liberty” Amendments: Legalizing Tyranny

By Publius Huldah

For 100 years, the federal government has usurped powers not delegated to it in our Constitution.

What should we do about it? Should we reclaim our existing Constitution and put an end to the usurpations?

Or should we “modernize” the Constitution by changing it so as to delegate to the federal government the powers it has usurped – so as to legalize what is now unconstitutional?

Mark Levin begins “The Liberty Amendments” by saying he doesn’t believe the Constitution requires “modernization through amendments”. But he then proposes a series of amendments, six of which modernize our Constitution to delegate to the federal government most of the powers it has usurped during the last 100 years.

And each of his six amendments does the opposite of what its title promises. I’ll show you. 1

Levin’s amendment to “limit the federal bureaucracy” [p 99-100 of his book]

George Washington’s cabinet had four members: Secretary of State, Secretary of War, Secretary of the Treasury, and Attorney General. Those functions are authorized by our Constitution. 2

But today there are numerous agencies in the Executive Branch of the federal government. Where is the constitutional authority? What Article, Section, and Clause authorizes the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Labor, Transportation, HHS, HUD, DHS, EPA, SBA, etc., etc., etc.?

There is no constitutional authority! Accordingly, all these agencies are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated in our Constitution.

Well then, a person who wanted to “limit the federal bureaucracy” would demand that these agencies be closed, and their functions returned to the States and The People, right?

But Mark Levin doesn’t do this. Section 1 of his amendment legalizes all these agencies. It says:

“All federal departments and agencies shall expire if said departments and agencies are not individually reauthorized in stand-alone reauthorization bills every three years by a majority vote of the House of Representatives and the Senate.”

As long as Congress periodically “reauthorizes” the agencies – they remain.

Levin’s amendment thus changes the constitutional standard for whether an executive agency lawfully exists from whether it carries out an enumerated power [as in Washington’s Cabinet] to whatever the President wants and Congress agrees to. Do you see?

Now look at Section 2 of Levin’s amendment to “limit the federal bureaucracy”. It says:

“All Executive Branch regulations exceeding an economic burden of $100 million, as determined jointly by the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office, shall be submitted to a permanent Joint Committee of Congress, hereafter the Congressional Delegation Oversight Committee, for review and approval prior to their implementation.”

Article I, §1, of our Constitution says only Congress may make laws. 3 But since Woodrow Wilson, executive agencies in the federal government have been churning out regulations which govern all aspects of our lives. These comprise the now gigantic Code of Federal Regulations.

All these regulations are unconstitutional as in violation of Art. I, §1! 4

Well then, one would expect that a person who wanted to “limit the federal bureaucracy” would demand the repeal of existing regulations and an end to all future rulemaking, right?

Not Levin! Section 2 of his amendment legalizes all existing regulations and the rule making process. Levin’s “fix” is merely to form a congressional committee to review certain regulations before they are imposed on the American People.

And so, federal executive agencies will continue to churn out millions of pages of regulations – but now, they will be constitutional because Levin’s amendment makes it all lawful.

Do you see? Levin’s amendment legalizes the status quo and does the opposite of what he claims.

Levin’s amendment “to limit federal spending” (p 73 -74)

Our Constitution limits federal spending to the enumerated powers. If you go through the Constitution and highlight the powers delegated to Congress or the President, you will have a complete list of the objects on which Congress may lawfully spend money. That is how our Framers controlled federal spending. It is the enumerated powers which limit spending – not the amount of revenue the federal government generates or the size of the GDP. Do you see?

The reason we have a crushing debt is because for 100 years, the federal government has ignored the limits – already set forth in the Constitution – on its spending.

Well then, a person who wanted to “limit federal spending” would demand that Congress begin to downsize the federal government and restrict spending to the enumerated powers, right?

But Levin doesn’t do this. Section 1 of his amendment legalizes all the spending which is now unconstitutional as outside the enumerated powers. It says:

“Congress shall adopt a preliminary fiscal year budget no later than the first Monday in May for the following fiscal year, and submit said budget to the President for consideration.”

Levin’s amendment thus legalizes the unconstitutional status quo where the President and Congress adopt a “budget” and spend money on whatever they put in the budget! Levin would permit Congress and the President to lawfully spend money on whatever they want – spending which is now unlawful because our Constitution doesn’t authorize it.

Furthermore, Levin’s amendment does nothing to control federal spending. While Sections 3 & 4 of his amendment pretend to limit spending to revenues or to a percentage of the GDP; Sections 6 & 7 permit Congress to suspend the spending limit and continue to raise the national debt. 5

Levin’s amendment “to limit federal taxing” (p 75)

Our Constitution doesn’t permit the federal government to levy taxes so that Congress and the President will have the funds to spend on whatever they want.

Congress may lawfully levy taxes only to raise the funds to carry out the enumerated powers. Article I, §8, clauses 1 & 2 say:

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general Welfare of the United States …” [and] “To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;”

Immediately after clauses 1 & 2 follows the list of enumerated powers we delegated to Congress for the Country at Large. 6

Add to this short list of enumerated powers, the “housekeeping powers” itemized elsewhere in the Constitution (e.g., the census); the salaries authorized by Art. I, §6, cl. 1; Art. II, §1, next to last clause; Art. III, §1, cl. 1, and others on the civil list; and you see the purposes for which Congress is authorized to levy and collect taxes, borrow money, and spend money, for the Country at Large. 7

So! Congress should not be levying taxes except to generate revenue for its constitutional functions. If Congress restricted its spending to those few powers delegated in the Constitution, the federal government would need very little money from us.

One would expect that a person who wants to “limit federal taxation” would demand that the federal government stop taxing to raise money to spend on unconstitutional purposes, right?

Not Levin! While his amendment limits the federal income tax to 15% of income – it institutionalizes the present practice where Congress lays & collects taxes for any purposes whatsoever. 8

Levin’s amendment “to protect private property” (p 137)

The federal government has no lawful authority to own land for any purpose other than those enumerated in the Constitution. Article I, §8, next to last clause, permits the federal government to have exclusive Legislative Jurisdiction over the District of Columbia [which was not to exceed “ten Miles square”], and Places purchased with the Consent of the State legislatures for the erection of forts, dock-Yards, and other needful buildings (e.g., federal courthouses, post offices) to carry out the enumerated powers.  So the federal government may lawfully own buildings and lands which are purchased to carry out its enumerated powers.

The federal government has no lawful authority to own national parks, grazing areas, forests, and such, because those are not enumerated powers. 9

And the federal government has no lawful authority to restrict peoples’ use of their own land. Nowhere in our Constitution did we delegate that power to the federal government! Accordingly, all federal laws and regulations (EPA, etc.) which pretend to restrict an owner’s use of his land are unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated.

Furthermore, the States’ and local governments’ powers of eminent domain and other “takings” of private land are addressed in their own State Constitutions and laws. This is NOT a federal issue!

But Levin’s amendment “to protect private property” changes all of the above. It says:

“When any governmental entity acts not to secure a private property right against actions that injure property owners, but to take property for a public use from a property owner by actual seizure or through regulation, which taking results in a market value reduction of the property, interference with the use of the property, or a financial loss to the property owner exceeding $10,000, the government shall compensate fully said property owner for such losses.”

Levin’s amendment:

Changes the constitutional standard for federal ownership of lands from carrying out an enumerated power to whatever someone in the federal government deems a “public use” [which can be anything];

Legalizes what are now unconstitutional holdings of lands by the federal government – such as grazing lands;

Legalizes “takings” by regulation – restrictions via regulations on the use of private lands – by all levels of government;

Takes from the States and The People their retained powers over eminent domain and regulatory takings, and makes it a federal issue under the control of the federal government; 10 and

Provides that as long as a taking does not reduce the value of the property by more than $10,000, the governments don’t have to pay the property owner one red cent. So! If your local or State or federal government takes some of your land, or restrict its use by regulation, Levin’s amendment requires compensation to be paid if the “taking” exceeds $10,000. If the government decides that your loss is less than $10,000, you eat the loss. The amendment legalizes government theft of private property.

Levin’s amendment “to protect the vote” (p 183-184)

Before our Constitution was ratified, the States qualified & registered voters. Qualifications were set forth in their State Constitutions, and requirements differed from State to State.  This power was expressly retained by the States with Art. I, §2, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution. 11

The four voting amendments reduced this retained power of the States, and delegated to the federal government power to stop States from denying suffrage to citizens on account of race (15th Amendment), sex (19th Amendment), failure to pay a tax (24th Amendment), or age for citizens eighteen years of age or older (26th Amendment).

Except as restricted by these four amendments, the States retain their pre-existing power to set qualifications for registering citizens to vote, as long as they do not deny it on account of race, sex, failure to pay a tax, or age for those 18 years or more. States remain free to deny registration on other grounds – such as conviction of a felony or illiteracy. And of course, States retained power to restrict voting to citizens!

But the retained powers of the States to set voter qualifications for registration were diminished far beyond the scope of the amendments, due to usurpations by the federal government, and because the States forgot that they retained at Art. I, §2, cl. 1 most of their original power to qualify & register voters.

In Arizona’s Proposition 200: What The Constitution Really Says About Voter Qualifications & Exposing The “Elections Clause” Argument, I show how the federal government infringed upon the States’ retained powers over voter qualifications & registration; and how the two judges in that case wrongly ruled that Arizona could not require applicants for registration to provide proof of citizenship!

So! What should we do about non-citizens voting? Here is a novel idea: The States should man up and reclaim their powers retained by Art. I, §2, cl. 1; tell Eric Holder to take a hike; require all currently registered voters to provide proof of citizenship; and refuse to register new voters unless they provide proof of citizenship. Enforce the Constitution we have!

   But Section 1 of Levin’s amendment “to protect the vote” says:

“Citizens in every state, territory, and the District of Columbia shall produce valid photographic identification documents demonstrating evidence of their citizenship, issued by the state government for the state in which the voter resides, as a requirement for registering to vote and voting in any primary or general election for President, Vice President, and members of Congress.”

Levin’s amendment (it has 5 Sections) rewards the federal government for unlawfully forbidding States from requiring applicants to prove they are citizens, by transferring more power over voter qualifications & registration to the federal government. 10

But Levin’s amendment does even more harm than vesting in the federal government a power it already usurped – it ushers in a national ID card. Who thinks the feds won’t dictate the contents of the card and keep copies? [Do you really think a national ID card is a great idea?]

To add insult to injury, Levin’s amendment doesn’t even prohibit non-citizens from voting – it merely requires citizens to get an ID card before they can register to vote. Non-citizens are not required to get ID cards. The supreme Court (which will now lawfully have judicial power over this issue) will decide whether aliens can vote.

Levin’s amendment “to promote free enterprise” (p 117)

In Federalist No. 22 (4th para) and Federalist No. 42 (11th &12th paras), Hamilton & Madison explain the original intent of the “interstate commerce” clause:  It is to prohibit States from imposing tolls & tariffs on articles of merchandize as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling. Until the mid-1930’s, this was widely understood. Here is a full proof of the original intent of that clause and the story of how the supreme Court usurped power over interstate commerce.

The original intent of that clause is still the supreme Law of the Land! 12 So the States must man up and enforce that original intent. They must ignore – nullify – all pretended federal laws, regulations, and judicial opinions which are contrary to that original intent.

Levin’s amendment “to promote free enterprise” says:

“SECTION 1: Congress’ power to regulate Commerce is not a plenary grant of power to the federal government to regulate and control economic activity but a specific grant of power limited to preventing states from impeding commerce and trade between and among the several states.”

“SECTION 2: Congress’s power to regulate Commerce does not extend to activity within a state, whether or not it affects interstate commerce; nor does it extend to compelling an individual or entity to participate in commerce or trade.”

Section 1 broadens the powers of the federal government from prohibiting States from imposing tolls & tariffs on articles of merchandize as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling, to prohibiting the States from doing anything which “impedes” commerce and trade between and among the States.

Many things can be said to “impede” commerce and trade. And who will decide what “impedes” and what doesn’t “impede”? Five judges on the supreme Court.

Section 2 mentions two instances where Congress’ power to regulate Commerce does not extend. This is dangerous because of the legal maxim, Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius (the expression of one thing is the exclusion of the other).

Accordingly, Congress’ power to regulate commerce would extend to other instances. Which ones? We don’t know – the supreme Court will decide – on a case by case basis.

Conclusion

Levin’s amendments legalize – make constitutional – the very abuses they purport to correct, nullify the natural rights of the people, and fundamentally change the constitutional design.

Even though our Constitution is not being enforced, it still declares this federal government lawless! The true rule of law is still on our side, 13 but not for much longer if we foolishly allow our Constitution to be re-written.

P.S. added Nov. 10, 2015: Here, from Levin’s own website, is a list of “conservatives” who support Mark Levin’s proposed amendments.  I suggest Americans STOP letting other people tell us who is a “conservative”.  STOP blindly accepting other peoples’ words as Truth.  Most of the time, most people don’t know what they are talking about – they are merely repeating what they have heard.  But YOU can stop this in yourself, and you can help stop other people from doing it. Here is the link: http://www.marklevinshow.com/2014/03/17/the-liberty-amendments-in-paperback/

Endnotes:

1 Telling the Truth about a person’s proposals isn’t “demonizing” him. People angrily reject valid criticism of Levin’s proposals because they have made an idol of him. If their loyalty were to Truth – instead of to their idol – they would want to be set straight.

2 Article II, §2, and:

Secretary of State: Art. I, §8, cl. 3

Secretary of Treasury: Art. I, §2, cl. 3; Art. I, §8, cl. 1; Art. I, §9, cl. 4-7; Art. VI, cl. 1

Secretary of War: Art. I, §8, clauses 11-14

Attorney General: Art. I, §8, cl. 6, 10 & 17; Art. III, §§2 & 3; Art. IV, §2, cl.2

3 Article I, §1, says: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States…” [emphasis mine]

4 They are also unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated to the federal government.

5 I explain the problems with “balanced budget” amendments here.

6 These are the enumerated powers over the Country at Large listed at Art. I, §8:

    • Clause 3: regulate “commerce” [For the Truth about the “commerce clause”, go here];

    • Clause 4: uniform laws on naturalization and bankruptcies;

    • Clause 5: coin money & regulate its value, and fix standard of weights & measures;

    • Clause 6: punish counterfeiting;

    • Clause 7: establish post offices & post roads;

    • Clause 8: issue patents & copyrights;

    • Clause 9: set up federal courts inferior to the supreme court;

    • Clause 10: punish piracies & felonies on the high seas and offenses against the Law of Nations;

    • Clauses 11-14: war, letters of marque & reprisal, Army & Navy, and rules for the military

    • Clause 15-16: the Militia.

 

7 The anti-federalists objected to Art. I, §8, cl. 1 & 2. They claimed:

“…the power ‘to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,’ amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare.”

James Madison answered in Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras) that clauses 1 & 2 permit Congress to levy taxes & borrow money only to carry out the enumerated powers! Madison said:

“Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it… But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning … is an absurdity…” [boldface mine]

So! Article I, §8, cl.1 is merely a “general expression”, the meaning of which is “ascertain[ed] and limit[ed]” by the clauses which “immediately follow” it. In other words, clauses 1 & 2 grant to Congress the power to raise money; and clauses 3-16 enumerate the objects on which Congress may appropriate the money so raised, thus limiting clauses 1 & 2. Do you see?

8 Levin’s amendment also corrects – on behalf of the feds – the following: When the 16th Amendment was ratified, “income” apparently didn’t include “wages”. Accordingly, it would be unconstitutional to force people to pay “income” taxes on “wages” – and such would thus be a proper object of nullification by States. But Levin’s amendment legalizes the status quo and rips this remedy from the States.

9 When our Constitution was ratified, the new federal government acquired (from its predecessor) the Western Territory (Federalist No. 7, 2nd & 3rd paras, and Federalist No. 43 at 5.) over which the new federal government was delegated, by Art. IV, §3, general legislative powers. As the Territory was broken up into new States, the general legislative powers would expire and sovereignty [except as to the few powers delegated exclusively to the new federal government] would be transferred to the new State.

10 Amendments to the Constitution generally increase the powers of the federal government: They usher in implementing federal statutes & executive agency regulations, and judicial power over the issue is transferred to the federal courts. Art. III, §2, cl.1, says, “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases … arising under this Constitution …” Do you really not see?

11 Article I, §2, cl. 1, says:

“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. [boldface mine]

So! Whoever votes in elections for their State House, is eligible to vote for members of the federal House of Representatives. See also Federalist No. 57 (5th para) & Federalist No. 52 (2nd para).

12 Article VI, cl. 2, the “supremacy clause”, states that only our Constitution, federal laws made “in Pursuance” of the Constitution, and Treaties made “under the Authority of the United States”, shall be the supreme Law of the Land. Supreme Court opinions are NEVER part of the supreme Law of the Land! But we have wrongly made them the only Law of our Land.

13 What is “the Rule of Law”? What is the Rule of Man?

Our Constitution is based on God’s model for civil government as set forth in the Bible. The foundational Principle of God’s model is that the civil authorities are under the law. God is The Lawmaker – the kings are to apply God’s Law:

    • Deut. 17:18-20: The king is to write out a copy of God’s Law. He is to have it by him and read from it all his life so that he may keep, observe, and apply it.

    • 1 Kings 2:1-4: King David on his deathbed tells Solomon he must conform to God’s ways, and observe his statutes, commandments and judgments, as written in the Law of Moses.

The parallel in our Constitution is that the Constitution is the Supreme Law which the civil authorities are to obey. Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines “constitution”:

“…In free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by the legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution.”

So our Constitution is the Standard by which the validity of all Acts of Congress, all acts of the Executive Branch, all judicial opinions, and all Treaties is measured and judged (Art. VI, cl. 2).

So law comes from a higher source than the civil authorities. The “Rule of Law” prevails when the civil authorities obey that higher Law – be it God’s Law or our Constitution.

Tyrants, on the other hand, claim that they are the source of law. The Roman Caesars, Stalin, Hitler, the dictator of N. Korea and Obama all claim that their will is “law”. Consider Obama’s usurpatious executive orders and rules made by his executive agencies. This is the “Rule of Man” – when the civil authorities deny they are subject to a higher law (be it God’s Law or the Constitution), and hold that their will is “law”. Do you see? PH

revised Jan 10, 2016.

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April 25, 2014 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Liberty Amendments, Mark Levin, The Liberty Amendments, Voter eligibility, Voter Qualifications | , , , | 36 Comments

Article V Convention: How “Individuals of Insidious Views” Are Stealing Our Constitution

By Publius Huldah

Q: How are amendments to the federal Constitution made?
A: Article V of our Constitution provides two method of amending the Constitution:

  1. Congress proposes amendments and presents them to the States for ratification; or
  2. When 2/3 of the States apply for it, Congress “calls” a convention to propose amendments.

Q: Which method was used for our existing 27 amendments?
A:  The first method was used for all 27 amendments including the Bill of Rights which were introduced into Congress by James Madison. 3

Q:  Is there a difference between a constitutional convention, con con, or Article V Convention?
A:  These names have been used interchangeably during the last 50 years.

Q:  What is a “convention of states”?
A:  That is what the people now pushing for an Article V convention call it. 

Q: Who is behind this push for an Art. V convention?
A:  The push to impose a new Constitution by means of an Article V convention (and using a “balanced budget” amendment as justification) started in 1963 with the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.  1    Today, it is pushed by:

Q:  Why do they want an Article V Convention?
A:  The only way to get rid of our existing Constitution and Bill of Rights is to have an Article V convention where they can re-write our Constitution.  Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for Michael Farris’ “Convention of States”, said:

“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution” [boldface mine].

Q: How can they impose a new constitution if ¾ of the States don’t agree to it?
A: Only amendments require ratification by ¾ of the States (see Art. V). But a new constitution would have its own new method of ratification – it can be whatever the drafters want.  For example, the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a referendum called by the President (See Art. XII, section 1).

Q: Can a convention be stopped from proposing a new Constitution?
A:  No.  Once the delegates are duly appointed & assembled, they are acting under the inherent authority of A People to alter or abolish their form of government [Declaration of Independence, 2nd para]; and have the sovereign power to do whatever they want at the convention.

Q: Is this what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787?
A:  Yes.  Pursuant to Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74) to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.  But the delegates ignored this limitation and wrote a new Constitution.  Because of this inherent authority of delegatesit is impossible to stop it from happening at another convention.  And George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton won’t be there to protect you.

Q: Did the delegates at the Convention of 1787 introduce a new mode of ratification for the new Constitution?
A:  Yes. The Articles of Confederation required the approval of all 13 States for amendments to the Articles to be ratified.  But the new Constitution provided it would become effective if only 9 of the 13 States ratified it (Art. VII, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution).

Q:  Who would be delegates at a Convention?
A:  Either Congress appoints whomever they want; or State governments appoint whomever they want.

Q: Who would be chairman at a convention?
A: We don’t know.  But chairmen have lots of power – and George Washington won’t be chairman.

Q: But if the States appoint the delegates, won’t a convention be safe?
A: Who controls your State?  They will be the ones who choose the delegates if Congress permits the States to appoint delegates.  Are the people who control your State virtuous, wise, honest, and true?

Q: But aren’t the States the ones to rein in the federal government?
A: They should have been, but the States have become major consumers of federal funding.  Federal funds make up almost 35% of the States’ annual budgets. The States don’t want to rein in the feds – they don’t want to lose their federal funding.

Q: Did Thomas Jefferson say the federal Constitution should be amended every 20 years?
A: No! In his letter to Samuel Kercheval of July 12, 1816, Jefferson wrote about the Constitution for the State of Virginia, which he said needed major revision.  And remember James Madison’s words in Federalist No. 45 (3rd para from the end):

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 … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface mine]

The powers delegated to the feds are “few and defined” – what’s to amend?  All else is reserved to the States or the People – so State Constitutions would need more frequent amendments.  Do you see?

Q:  Did Alexander Hamilton say in Federalist No 85 (next to last para) that a convention is safe?
A:  No!  He said, respecting the ratification of amendments, that we “may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority”.  But today, our State legislatures don’t protect us from federal encroachments because:

  • We have been so dumbed down by progressive education that we know nothing & can’t think;
  • State legislatures have been bought off with federal funds; and
  • Our public and personal morality is in the sewer.

Q: Did Our Framers – the ones who signed The Constitution – think conventions a fine idea?
A:  No!

“Conventions are serious things, and ought not to be repeated.”

  • Alexander Hamilton wrote of:

“…the utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded…”  Federalist No. 85 (9th para)

“3… an election into it would be courted by the most violent partizans on both sides; it … would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric. … it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention, which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second, meeting in the present temper of America…” [boldface mine]

Q:  Do we have “violent partizans” or “individuals of insidious views” who seek a “dangerous opportunity to sap the very foundations of the fabric” of our country?
A: Yes, and they have been pushing for an Article V convention since 1963.

Q:  What did our Framers say about the purpose of amendments to the Constitution?
A:

  • the novelty and difficulty of what they were doing would require periodic revision (Mr. Gerry on June 5, 1787);
  • remedy defects in the Constitution (Hamilton on Sep. 10, 1787);
  • useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers” (Federalist No. 85, 13th para); and
  • “amendment of errors” & “useful alterations” suggested by experience (Federalist No. 43 at 8.) 3

Q: But those pushing for a convention say the remedy for politicians who violate the Constitution is to amend the Constitution.
A:  Yes, that is their crazy claim:  that even though for over a century, the feds have been usurping hundreds of powers not delegated in the Constitution, all we have to do is amend the Constitution, and everyone will start obeying it. 4

Q: But they say the feds would obey future amendments because the feds haven’t violated recent amendments, such as women’s suffrage.
A: Of the 15 amendments ratified since the 12th in 1804; 10 increased the powers of the feds (13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, 26th); and 4 were “housekeeping” amendments (20th, 22nd, 25th, 27th) – so of course the feds “obeyed” those. 5

Q: What about their claim that the feds violate the Constitution because they don’t understand it?
A:  Rubbish! Our Constitution is so simple that Hamilton said The People were “the natural guardians of the Constitution”. The Oath of office at Art. VI, clause 3, implicitly requires the feds to learn it.  For phrases the feds have perverted – such as the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare” & “necessary and proper” clauses, a quick look into The Federalist Papers reveals the original intent.  I illustrate that here and elsewhere.

Q: How do we get rid of the bad amendments such as the 16th &17th?
A: Repeal them the same way we repealed the 18th amendment.  Instead of sending to Congress people who don’t know the Constitution; send people who know the Constitution and commit to repealing the bad amendments.  And if they don’t act to repeal them, fire them!

Q:  Why was the “convention method” put in Article V?
A:  We don’t really know why it was put in because Madison’s Journal of the Convention does not tell us.  This chart compiles the references in Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787 to what became Article V.

  • Law professor John A. Eidsmoe  suggests the convention method of Article V was added rather hastily, at the time when the delegates were closing their deliberations, and this provision did not receive the careful attention given to most other provisions of the Constitution.
  • It may also have been a compromise designed to induce  George Mason & Randolph to sign the Constitution.  6

Q: Why can’t what happens at the convention be controlled by federal or State laws?
A: We are naïve and tell ourselves that people will “play by the rules”.  So we assume all we have to do is make some laws saying delegates can’t exceed the scope of the call, and everyone will obey it.

But if they don’t, who is going to enforce these laws you have so much faith in? The feds? Obama would love the constitution for the Newstates of America – it makes him dictator!  He won’t prosecute delegates who violate the call. Your State government?  They sold you out to the feds long ago. Errant delegates will be protected by the feds.   It doesn’t matter what a law says if it isn’t enforced.

Ever since 1963, globalists have intended to use an Article V convention as the means for imposing a new Constitution on us.  Today, George Soros – the destroyer of countries – is financing the push for a convention.  Don’t let him and his minions destroy America.

Conclusion

This little chart illustrates our Constitution & Declaration and the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government.  For 100 years, we elected politicians who ignore them. We don’t understand that the amendments proposed by Michael Farris, Mark Levin, Randy Barnett, & Nick Dranias increase the powers of the federal government because we don’t know the list of enumerated powers in the Constitution. You could remedy that:  Print out the chart and read the Constitution & Declaration!

As The Blue Tail Gadfly said, even though “the Constitution is not being enforced, it still declares this federal government LAWLESS! The true rule of law is still on our side, but not for much longer if the Constitution is allowed to be foolishly altered.”

Endnotes:

1   http://patriotcoalition.com/docs/Ford-Pursuit-of-Globalism.pdf

2 Those pushing for a convention are not telling the truth about what Madison said in his letter to Turberville.  The only way you can know who is telling the truth is to study the letter.

3 Madison did not endorse the “convention method” of proposing amendments.  He always said that when States want amendments, they should instruct their congressional delegation to pursue it:

  •  In his letter of 1788 to Turberville, he speaks of the two methods of proposing amendments:

“2. A Convention cannot be called … without the previous application of ⅔ of the State legislatures…The difficulties … must …be much greater than will attend the origination of amendments in Congress, which may be done at the … [instruction] of a single State Legislature… ”

  • How was the Bill of Rights handled?  On May 5, 1789, Rep. Bland (p. 258-261) introduced into Congress a petition from Virginia for an Art. V Convention to propose amendments.  On June 8, 1789, Madison (p. 448-460) circumvented Bland and introduced the amendments for Congress to propose to the States.  On September 24, 1789, Congress sent them to the States for ratification.

4 If your spouse violates the marriage vows, amend the vows and your marriage will be saved!
If motorists violate the speed limit, amend the speed limit and safety will be restored!
When people violate the Ten Commandments, amend the Ten Commandments!
When politicians violate the Constitution, amend the Constitution, and all will obey it!

 5 It is important to understand that the proposed amendments drafted by Randy Barnett, Mark Levin, Nick Dranias, and Michael Farris all increase the powers of the federal government by legalizing powers they have already usurped – or they delegate new powers to the federal government.

6 The Constitution was a product of compromise:  Alexander Hamilton was an abolitionist – but the Constitution permitted slavery.  James Madison wanted to stop the importation of slaves immediately (Federalist No. 42, 6th para); but Art. I, Sec. 9, clause 1 permitted it to continue 20 more years. Hamilton said the Constitution wasn’t perfect, but “is the best that the present views and circumstances of the country will permit” (Federalist No. 85, 6th – 8th paras).  The “convention” provision of Art. V seems to have been added – on the last day of deliberations (Sep. 15, 1787) – to induce Mason & Randolph to sign the Constitution.  But they still refused to sign. PH

Note: This last series of Questions and Answers was suggested by an esteemed colleague:

Q: Are there unanswered questions about an Article V Convention?
A: Yes!  Article V is utterly silent about the following and more:

  • How would delegates be selected?  And who would select them: Congress? The States? A national Referendum?
  • Would the States even be represented at the convention? If so, how many delegates and/or how many votes would each State have at a convention?
  • Would a convention be open or closed to the public and the media?  (The Convention of 1787 was closed.)
  • Could a convention be limited to consideration of a single amendment, or several amendments?  [The plural language of Article V, “a convention for proposing amendments,” suggests the convention could not be limited to a single amendment.]
  • Could a convention consider an entirely new constitution?
  • How would state calls for a convention be tabulated? For example:   If 20 states call for a convention to consider a balanced budget amendment; 10 states call for a convention to consider a term limits amendment; and 4 states call for a convention to consider a right-to-life amendment, will these all be counted together to constitute 34 state calls for a convention?  And will the convention be authorized to consider all three amendments even though none of them individually have been called for by 34 states?  May it consider other amendments?   Must all of the state calls for a convention agree on the precise wording of the amendment to be considered?  And could a convention alter the wording of the proposed amendment, or must it be passed or rejected in exactly the form the states called for?   Will state calls for a convention many years ago be counted in determining whether 34 states have called for a convention?  For example, in the 1970s and 1980s about 32 states called for a convention to consider a balanced budget amendment.  If two more states called for a convention today, would that constitute 34 states?  Article V says nothing about any time limit on such calls.
  •  If a state calls for a convention, may the state later rescind its call?  Article V is silent about this question.  Several of the states that called for a convention in the 1970s and 1980s later rescinded their calls, but no court has ever determined whether those rescissions are valid.
  • What rules would a convention follow, and who would make those rules?  Article V says if two-thirds of the states apply for a convention, “Congress … shall call a convention.”  Since Congress and Congress alone calls a convention, presumably Congress and Congress alone has authority to make rules for a convention — rules for delegate selection, voting, election of officers, agenda, scope of business, and other matters.  What if the Senate and the House cannot agree on rules for a convention?  Nothing in Article V gives the states any authority whatsoever to demand that a convention follow certain rules, or to condition their calls for a convention with the requirement that certain rules or limitations be followed.
  • If Congress can make rules for a convention and does so, what guarantee exists that the convention will abide by those rules?

The plain fact is, the Constitution is utterly silent about all of these questions.  As convention proponents confidently and dogmatically proclaim their answers to these questions, please ask yourself:  Do they have any authority for their claims?  Are you willing to just take their word for it?

Q:  Why are convention proponents so certain that a convention will be run by constitutional conservatives?
A:  This is a complete mystery.  There is no such guarantee.  Considering liberal dominance of the media, law schools, well-funded legal foundations, and state and federal governments, liberal dominance of a convention is not only possible but probable.

Q:  Is the drive for a convention led by conservatives?
A:  Some conservatives support a convention, along with numerous liberals and liberal organizations who are waiting in the wings to jump in and dominate a convention once it has been called.  But many conservatives strongly oppose a convention.  So please do not be misled into thinking support for a convention is the “default” conservative position.

Revised June 23, 2014

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February 27, 2014 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Jordan Sillars, re-writing the Constitution | , , , , , | 39 Comments

Propaganda And The Conspiracy against Our Constitution

By Publius Huldah

The “Convention of States” (COS) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page contains 989 words – none of them true – except for these which appear in the first paragraph:

“The federal government is spending this country into the ground … It’s time American citizens took a stand and made a legitimate effort to curb the power … of the federal government.”

In my last paper, I showed how our Constitution itemizes what Congress is authorized to spend money on; and that we have a $17 trillion debt because everyone ignores the limits the Constitution places on Congress’ spending powers.

To curb the federal government, We must do things we have neglected for over 100 years: Reclaim our role as “the natural guardians of the Constitution”; 1 learn our Founding Principles & Documents; enforce them with nullification and by rejecting candidates who don’t know them by heart; stop relying on politicians to handle things; 2 reclaim personal responsibility; and get ready for a rocky road ahead.

But the “convention of states” conspirators 3 say the only solution is a convention to “propose amendments” to the Constitution.  They tell lies about nullification – the one remedy our Framers actually advised when the feds usurp powers. They say our Constitution is the problem. They say it contains “loopholes and vague phraseology” which politicians exploit. They suggest the States are victims of federal tyranny; are the ones to “fix” our Constitution; and that the States call and control the convention.  They say it is impossible for the convention to force a new Constitution down our throats.  But I submit that is precisely what they intend to do.

Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for COS, let the cat out of the bag when he said:

“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution” [boldface mine].

Contrary to what the conspirators say, there is no way to stop the convention from “running away”: All the delegates need do is come up with a new Constitution. It can provide for any method of ratification they want.

That is what happened in 1787 when the Continental Congress called a convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. 4 The delegates ignored their instructions and wrote an entirely new Constitution with its own new method of ratification.

The Conspirators’ Campaign of Propaganda against The People

The conspirators’ claims spit in the Face of Facts and Reality.  So how have they been able to convince people to believe their claims; and go along with their destructive scheme?

They are exploiting the ignorance and desperation of The People by manipulating them with propaganda. Their FAQ’s employ nine well known techniques of propaganda: 5

  • Assume the Major Premise
  • Appeal to Desperation
  • Claim there is a Panacea
  • Repetition for Emphasis
  • The Big Lie
  • Fabricated Legal Principles & Precedent  [“Imaginary Evidence”]
  • Oversimplify
  • Exploit Wishful Thinking
  • The Self-sell.

Assume the Major Premises

Throughout the FAQs, it is assumed that:

  1. The purpose of amendments is to control the federal government;
  2. Our Constitution is defective;
  3. That there is such a thing as a “convention of states” which States call and control;
  4. States will protect us from the federal government; and
  5. The federal government will obey amendments to the Constitution.

These are the five major assumptions upon which their scam is constructed. They don’t prove them – they know many will blindly accept them. Only thoughtful people examine assumptions.

But you can become a “thoughtful person” if you will start examining what you are told.

Their first major premise: The Truth is two (2) delegates at the Federal Convention of 1787 (Mason & Randolph) wanted States to be able to amend the Constitution without involvement of Congress. The conspirators’ crazy and dishonest claim that the purpose of amendments is to control the federal government is based on Mason’s & Randolph’s comments you can find here.  Theirs was the minority view; Art. V provides for Congress’ involvement in both methods of amendment; and Mason & Randolph objected so much to our Constitution they refused to sign it.

Our Framers at the Federal Convention of 1787 understood that the purpose of amendments is to remedy defects in the Constitution [slavery]; and that the novelty and difficulty of what they were doing would require periodic revision [the 11th, 12th, & 27th amendments].  Hamilton said in Federalist No. 85 (13th para) that useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers”.  Madison said in Federalist No. 43 (at 8.) that “useful alterations will be suggested by experience.”

People are deceived by the conspirators’ first premise because they don’t understand that our Constitution created a federal government of strictly limited and defined – enumerated – powers. Everything the feds have authority to do is itemized in our Constitution.  Does our Constitution delegate to the feds power to ban incandescent light bulbs, determine portion sizes of school lunches, and force us into obamacare?  No! So what do you do when the feds usurp powers over such objects?  Amend the Constitution?  Really?  How would you amend the Constitution to fix such usurpations?  Make an Amendment saying the feds can’t regulate light bulbs?  And so on for every power they usurp?

It is crazy to say the purpose of amendments is to control the federal government. When the feds usurp powers not delegated, no amendment saying they can’t do what they did will restrain them. They violated the Constitution when they usurped the power in the first place!

Furthermore, the amendments they write don’t restrict the feds:  Michael Farris’ “parental rights amendment” delegates power over children to the federal and state governments, and empowers judges to determine the extent of that power! One of Randy Barnett’s amendments gives the feds lawful power over “harmful emissions” [EPA now exercises usurped powers], and power “to define and provide for punishment of offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States” [read that again!]. Mark Levin’s amendments also increase the powers of the feds by legalizing powers they have usurped. His “override” amendments remove the Constitution as the standard of what is lawful and what is not, and substitute majority vote. Yet the conspirators say such amendments would curb the federal government!

But we must not be distracted by proposed amendments. Their amendments are most likely a pretext to get a “convention” so they can carry out their plot to replace our Constitution.

Their second major premise: Our Constitution is the cause of our problems.

Except for some of the existing Amendments Americans already got manipulated into supporting, what is wrong with our Constitution?  For the most part, it is easy to understand. For phrases federal judges have perverted – such as the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare”, & “necessary and proper” clauses, a quick look into The Federalist Papers usually reveals the original intent.  I illustrate that here.

This one page chart illustrates the structure of our federal system and the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government. What needs “fixing”?  We are in our present mess because for 100 years, we elected & re-elected politicians to federal and state office who ignore it.

All our Constitution wants is (1) to be learned & obeyed; and (2) to have repealed some of the existing Amendments. Repeal those the same way we repealed the 18th Amendment. We don’t need a “convention” for that. Instead of sending ignorant phonies to Congress; send people who know the Constitution [make them pass tests before you support them] and commit to repealing the 17th Amendment and other ill-considered Amendments.

Their third major premise: That there is such a thing as a “convention of states”: The FAQs say “Article V, Section 2 of the Constitution” gives state legislatures the power to call a convention; that Federalist No. 85 says Congress has “no control over the delegates”; that “Virginia called the Philadelphia Convention of 1787”; and that “Basic common sense” and “Agency law 101” says “Each state chooses its own delegates”.

Those claims are truly bizarre.

Read Art. V:  There is no “Section 2”.  Article V says Congress calls the convention – not state legislatures.  All state legislatures can do is apply to Congress for Congress to call it.

Federalist No. 85 says Congress must call a convention when two-thirds of the States apply for it. Hamilton does not say Congress has “no control over the delegates”! 6

Virginia did not “call” the Philadelphia Convention of 1787!  The Continental Congress did.  Their Resolution calling the 1787 convention, pursuant to Art. 13 of The Articles of Confederation, is quoted at endnote 4.  And when the Continental Congress called the 1787 convention, they specifically provided that delegates would be appointed by the States. 4

But Art. I, Sec. 8, last clause, of our Constitution delegates to Congress power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out the powers vested in it by Art. V.  So Congress has the power to organize the convention, appoint the chairman and delegates, etc.  The Mason & Randolph view was rejected. And the clear words of our Constitution cannot be changed by some ignorant person’s subjective conceptions of “common sense” and “Agency law 101”!

Their fourth major premise: That States are victims of federal tyranny and will rein in the federal government given the opportunity at a convention.

But look at what States have done. They have acquiesced in federal usurpations in exchange for federal funds. The States adopted unconstitutional federal education schemes such as “race to the top” and common core for the federal grant money.

DHS is becoming America’s equivalent of the East German STASI and Soviet KGB. With the connivance of State governments, DHS is taking over local & State law enforcement. And read about the fusion centers in every State – the States acquiesced!

John Barnes shows that State governments no longer focus on managing “a relatively self-contained polis”, but on “siphoning as much money as possible from the federal government”; and that “state government is becoming a mere pass-through for federal funds and an apparatus of federal policy.”  Barnes shows us how State governments all over the Country are bloated with bureaucrats whose job is to “maximize federal funding”.

Google “maximize federal funding” – you will see.  No rational person can believe that the politicians in the States – who are the ones who sold us to the feds in the first place – are the ones to rescue us from the feds.  If the States wanted to, they could rein in the feds right now by using the remedy our Framers really did advise: Nullification.

Their fifth major premise: That the federal government will obey amendments.

But think! The feds continually violate the Constitution we have.  They exercise thousands of usurped powers.

The conspirators insist the feds would obey future amendments because the feds haven’t violated recent amendments, such as women’s suffrage.  Well, of course not!  Of the 15 amendments ratified since the 12th in 1804; 10 increased the powers of the feds (13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, 26th); 7 and 4 were “housekeeping” amendments (20th, 22nd, 25th, 27th).

Do you see?

Appeal to Desperation

The gist of this propaganda technique is to argue that we must do something – we can’t do nothing – so let’s do what I propose.  And we better do it “before it is too late”.

Many Americans are in a panic over the rapidity with which Obama – with the connivance of the Republican and Democrat parties and the State governments – is setting up a national totalitarian police state.

But we mustn’t allow the conspirators to exploit our desperation so as to induce us into surrendering our Constitution. All Americans who have fallen for the conspirators’ scam have been manipulated by THIS technique.

We have effective options.  We have failed to gain the knowledge which would enable us to be the Sovereigns we are supposed to be.  We have contented ourselves with blind faith in talk show hosts, politicians, and other charlatans. We are what needs fixing.

Claim there is a Panacea

With this, you claim that what you are offering is a magical cure for all the problems.

The conspirators say all we have to do to fix our problems is have a “convention of states”. They say they will propose amendments to the Constitution, and the federal government will be “fixed”.  They ignore the facts that everyone has ignored the Constitution we have; that it was the States who sold us out in the first place; and that We The People kept reelecting ignorant & glib politicians who violate the Constitution to state & federal office.

There is no such thing as a panacea. We have a long road ahead of us to fix the problems We caused by our own folly, ignorance, and laziness.

Repetition for Emphasis

With this, you drive home a few simple and unproven points by repeating them over and over until the public believes them.

The five major premises listed above are repeated over & over & over & over & over.  People believe them because they have been programed to believe them.   

Orange quotes Adolf Hitler:

“It [propaganda] must repeat those points over and over again until the public believes it. The principles behind propaganda are the same principles of mind control, hypnotic suggestion, and mental programming: distraction and repetition. With propaganda, distraction draws attention away from information that is true and directs attention to information that is false. Repetition of the false information imbeds it in your subconscious mind so that your acceptance of its truth becomes a conditioned response. You accept this information as true without thinking whenever it is presented to you again.”

This is why most of mankind has lived under tyranny.  People will believe anything if they hear it enough.  Folks!  You better start facing Reality and taking charge of what you believe.

The Big Lie

The gist of this is to:

 “…keep repeating the same lie[s] over and over, in spite of all arguments and evidence to the contrary, until people believe it.  Massive repetition is essential.”

It has already been proved by this and other writers that everything the conspirators say about nullification and a “convention” is false. But they keep repeating it.  Why?  Because massive repetition of lies will induce people to believe them.

Fabricated Legal Principles & Precedent [“Imaginary Evidence”]

The FAQs make various assertions about how this “convention of states” would operate, such as:

  • “The applications must request a convention of states for the same subject matter” or “same issue”;
  • “States are free to develop their own selection process for choosing their delegates…  each state has one vote at the convention.”

The FAQs say this reflects “widely accepted” “procedures and rules” Rob Natelson found during his “extensive research”, which were followed in the “interstate conventions” which “were common” during “the Founding Era”.

Folks! If these customs existed and established binding precedent on the Congress we created when we ratified our Constitution, why did James Madison not know about them?  During the Federal Convention of 1787, Madison said, respecting Article V:

September 10, 1787: Mr. Madison remarked on the vagueness of the terms, “call a Convention for the purpose”, as sufficient reason for reconsidering the article.  “How was a Convention to be formed? – by what rule decide? – what the force of its acts?”

September 15, 1787: Mr. Madison did not see why Congress would not be as much bound to propose amendments applied for by two-thirds of the States, as to call a Convention on the like application.  He saw no objection, however, against providing for a Convention for the purpose of amendments, except only that difficulties might arise as to the form, the quorum, &c., which in constitutional regulations ought to be as much as possible avoided.

Do you see?  And don’t forget: Article V says Congress calls the convention; and Art. I, Sec. 8, last clause, delegates to Congress power to make laws needed to execute the powers vested in it by Article V. This constitutional provision supersedes any “customs” to the contrary.

Oversimplify

 The gist of this technique is to:

“Reduce the issue to a few simple sentences that any blithering idiot can understand. Leave out all the complicated facts and confounding factors. Reduce the debate to just a few simple-minded sentences and slogans. Reduce complex multi-faceted issues to simplistic statements that can be expressed in a short sound bite.”

Aren’t the FAQs a few simple concepts any blithering idiot can understand?

It is this and other writers who point out the “complicated facts”.  Are we too stupid to be free?

Exploit Wishful Thinking

With this technique, you tell people what they want to hear, rather than the unpleasant truths.

The conspirators are offering an easy way out which satisfies a deep yearning: to feel good. We don’t have to accept responsibility for our own failures to become a “natural guardian of the Constitution”; we are encouraged to blame shift and see the Constitution as the cause of our problems; and we don’t have to trouble ourselves to actually learn our Founding Principles & Documents.  All we have to do is join the conspirators.  And then, everything will be wonderful.

The Self-sell

This technique gets people to convince themselves of your ideas by asking for their help in promoting your ideas. “They will sell themselves on the idea as they try to sell it to others.”

Orange gives this example of the Self-sell:  In “Cold Turkey”, Dick Van Dyke plays a preacher who wants everyone in his town to quit smoking.  He got the local Neo-Nazis to quit by enlisting them as “smoking-ban enforcers”.

The conspirators want to build a “grassroots operation” of volunteers to sell their scheme to State legislators [the ones who already sold us to the feds for federal funds.] And we have seen these volunteers’ mindless comments on the internet as they regurgitate the talking points in the FAQs – they sell themselves as they try to sell to others. 8

Conclusion

You better wise up now. Study this chart. Flesh it out with your readings of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.  Have study groups. What Hamilton asked you to be is not difficult.

Endnotes:

1 Our Framers never saw courts as the final authority.  See James Madison Rebukes Nullification Deniers.  Hamilton expected us to be “a people enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority” (Federalist No. 16, next to last para).

2 Politicians are as ignorant as those who elect them. But we want a savior who will rescue us without any effort on our part. So we look to politicians to save us. They always betray us; and we are presented with still another phony who says what we want to hear, whom we support, and who betrays us. This happens because we don’t know our Constitution, and thus can’t evaluate the politicians.  If WE knew our Constitution, those smooth-talking ignoramuses wouldn’t have a chance of getting elected. You would see right through them.

3 Progressives & phony “conservatives” have worked hand in hand for many years to replace our Constitution. See Richard D. Fry, “Convention of States”: The Wrong Solution to the Wrong Problem.

4 The conspirators tell the brazen lie that the convention “cannot throw out the Constitution because it derives its authority from the Constitution.”  Rubbish!  Pursuant to Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74):

“Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union.” [emphasis mine]

The delegates ignored these limitations and wrote a new Constitution with a new method of ratification.  It is impossible to stop this from happening at another convention. And George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton won’t be there.

The conspirators also say a “Constitutional Convention” is safe because no amendment will be passed which is not ratified by ¾ of the States. This is deceptive because the concern is about a runaway convention & a new Constitution – not amendments. Since a new Constitution can have any method of ratification the delegates want, it can be forced on us.

5 See Propaganda and Debating Techniques by A. Orange. Orange is a “librul”, and on a vendetta against AA.  But he understands how scoundrels use propaganda to deceive the unthinking.  See how Adolf Hitler used these same techniques to manipulate the German People.

6 I addressed this same lie in “Mark Levin Refuted: Keep the Feds in Check with Nullification, not Amendments!” under the subheading, “What Levin Claims Article V Says”.  Congress’ lack of discretion is limited to the issue of “to call or not to call” a convention once the requisite number of States has applied for it.  After Congress “calls” the convention, Art. I, Sec. 8, last clause kicks in to empower Congress to make all laws necessary to carry out the call.

7 The result of the voting amendments (15th, 19th, 24th, 26th)was to transfer the power of determining voter qualifications from the States (Art. I, Sec. 2, cl.1) to the federal government.

It was necessary to amend the Constitution to remedy the defects which permitted slavery; but the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments delegated powers over the States to the federal government.  It would have been better to merely repeal the provisions at Art. I, Sec. 2, cl.3 which provided for a partial counting of slaves; and Art. IV, Sec. 2, cl. 3 which permitted Congress to make laws against fugitive slaves.  And if the States had been wise instead of foolish, they would have banned slavery and extended citizenship & civil rights to freed slaves on their own, and provided the education to help them make the transition from slave to citizen.  Stupidity and wickedness are not cheap, Folks.  And Amendments are a very tricky business.

8 There is nothing wrong with asking others to help promote ideas – when the ideas are True and Good.  But when the ideas are destructive and false, the self-sell is immoral manipulation. PH

January 28, 2014

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January 28, 2014 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Federal Convention of 1787, Jordan Sillars, Michael Farris, Necessary and Proper clause, re-writing the Constitution | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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