Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

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  1. When did Americans begin to view the meaning of the United States Constitution to be a matter of subjective opinion? I thought that the view was introduced during the Progressive Era. However, as I read history, I have discovered that members of the Federalist Party abandoned the objective meaning of the Constitution. For example, George Washington signed a bill that charted the First Bank of the United States. According to the original, fixed meaning of the United States Constitution, the federal government doesn’t have the delegated authority to charter a National Bank for the country at Large.

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    Comment by Kenneth Lloyd | October 13, 2019 | Reply

    • publius, a little different question.. i believe the federal government is mandating whats called a REAL i.d. in order to travel and i believe its by plane it could be more. where in the constitution would they get the authority to mandate them ?

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      Comment by hippie49 | October 13, 2019 | Reply

      • A national ID card is TOTALLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL b/c nothing in the Constitution authorizes Congress to do that.

        It is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS: it will be just like the “internal passports” the Soviet People were required to have. They couldn’t travel from point A to Point B without written permission from the government.

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        Comment by Publius Huldah | October 14, 2019 | Reply

        • could not a drivers license be considered an internal passport ?

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          Comment by hippie49 | October 15, 2019 | Reply

          • I think you mean, “are they the same?”; and the answer is “No”. Originally, the ostensible purpose of a State driver’s license was to permit only those who had passed certain competency tests to drive on the public roads.

            But an “internal passport”, as in the Soviet Union, served the same purpose as the passport Americans need to travel abroad in foreign countries. Plus the Soviet People had to get written permission to travel from Point A to Point B.

            The State drivers’ licenses in these United States are now being transformed into items one must have in order to travel on airlines. First, airlines, then it will most likely be extended into other forms of private transportation; then perhaps to cross State borders in a privately owned vehicle.

            The globalists have big plans for us!!!

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            Comment by Publius Huldah | October 15, 2019

    • Well, the major transformation began during the late 1800s when Darwin’s theory of “evolution” was applied to Law. See this: https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/how-progressive-education-and-bad-philosophy-corrupted-the-people-undermined-the-constitution-of-the-united-states/

      But almost from the beginning, some started chipping away at the enumerated powers limitations on the powers of the federal government. The first example I can think of right now is the one you mention – the First Bank of the United States. But the mindset at that time of the supporters of a national bank was not yet that the meaning of the Constitution is a matter of subjective opinion, but that Congress has the implied power to do this; we need to do this so the federal government can do its job; it will help the Country, etc.

      It was highly controversial, but no one challenged it in Court.

      when the Second National Bank was chartered [the charter of the First NB expired in 1811], it was challenged; and in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), the US Supreme Court held that it was constitutional. They said the powers delegated to Congress by Article I, Section 8, clauses 1, 2, 3, & 11-14 PLUS the “necessary & proper” clause at Article I, Section 8, last clause, gave Congress the “implied” power to charter a National Bank.

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      Comment by Publius Huldah | October 14, 2019 | Reply

  2. My friends thinks that the Federal Constitution prevents the States from imposing term limits on their members of Congress. I don’t see anything in the Federal Constitution that stops the States from imposing such term limits.

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    Comment by Kenneth Lloyd | October 12, 2019 | Reply

    • Well, you are in good company as my favorite SCOTUS Justice, Clarence Thomas, agrees with you.

      but in 1995, SCOTUS decided this precise issue, and ruled that States may NOT add to what the Constitution says about the qualifications to be a Member of the US House or US Senate. See U.S. TERM LIMITS, INC. v. THORNTON(1995) at this link:

      https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/514/779.html

      You can read Justice Thomas’ dissent!

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      Comment by Publius Huldah | October 12, 2019 | Reply

      • Do you agree with Justice Thomas and myself?

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        Comment by Kenneth Lloyd | October 12, 2019 | Reply

        • I haven’t thought it through to the end. But the truth is, we all have our own private qualifications we impose. E.g., I wouldn’t vote for a man who is an adulterer and doesn’t know the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and Federalist Papers like the back of his hand. So why can’t States write such additional qualifications into State Law? Our problems are caused by electing immoral & ignorant people to office. Madison said our Constitution depends on a moral & virtuous People electing moral & wise men to office. So why can’t States codify that as “additional” requirements to be a US Congressman and US Senator?

          But TERM LIMITS are a really bad idea. See, https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/term-limits-a-palliative-not-a-cure/

          And if you read thru the Articles of Confederation, you will see that term limits were imposed in that Constitution. But our Framers wisely left them out of our present Constitution.

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          Comment by Publius Huldah | October 14, 2019 | Reply

  3. That answered my question too. Thanks.

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    Comment by jim delaney | October 11, 2019 | Reply

  4. Hi PH, Am I correct in saying the retained rights spoken about in the 9th amendment are God given natural rights?

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    Comment by Spense | October 11, 2019 | Reply

    • Our original Constitution doesn’t pretend to grant any “Rights” to The People. Instead, it is about the Powers which We The People granted to the federal government.

      Article IV, Section 2, clause 1, says “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States”. Blackstone’s shows us that for eons in English Jurisprudence, “privileges and immunities” refers to the 3 great basic rights with which God endowed us: Life,Liberty, and Property. Art. IV, Section 2, cl. 1, simply means that the God given rights of people in the different states are the same – and the federal gov’t is to act accordingly.

      That’s the only mention of our “Rights” in the original Constitution. Remember! The Constitution isn’t about OUR “Rights” – it’s about the Powers WE granted to the federal gov’t.

      The first 8 Amendments do not pretend to grant any rights. Instead, they list SOME of the rights God gave us, and say the federal gov’t can’t infringe them.

      The 9th Amendment basically says, that the “privileges and immunities” of the people, and the Rights listed in the first 8 Amendments IS NOT THE COMPLETE LISTS OF RIGHTS THE PEOPLE HAVE.

      It was a mistake to call them the “Bill of Rights” – that misnomer has caused much confusion and misunderstanding.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Publius Huldah | October 11, 2019 | Reply

      • Thanks PH, my reason for asking was for determining that the 9th amendment “secures” parental rights from the federal government. I agree about the name “Bill of Rights” creating confusion. I think the author of Virgina’s “Declaration of Rights”, George Mason chose the perfect name

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        Comment by Spense | October 11, 2019 | Reply

        • And remember that the Prime argument against federal control of children and their upbringing is that IT IS NOT AN ENUMERATED POWER!

          The feds can decide whether we go on the metric system or stay where we are – because of Article I, Sec. 8, clause 5. But nothing gives them power over children and their upbringing.

          Did Mason suggest “Bill of Restrictions”? That’s a better name than Bill of Rights. But it still causes a problem because the federal gov’t is prohibited from doing everything [over the Country at Large] which is not an enumerated power.

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          Comment by Publius Huldah | October 11, 2019 | Reply

          • PH, no, Mason chose “Declaration of Rights” The people declared by way of the constitution we declare these are our rights and government keep your hands off. Thanks for reminding me parental rights is also protected by the fact it is not an enumerated power.

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            Comment by Spense | October 11, 2019

      • Great point, PH, re the Bill of Rights. Of course, the framers were justifiably fearful that if they didn’t better spell out our natural rights, the feds would more readily usurp those rights. Anyway, great point.

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        Comment by jim delaney | October 11, 2019 | Reply

  5. PH
    In your recent article on NewsWithViews entitled “So You Think Trump Wants To Get Rid Of The Fed?” you included the following statement, “in order to fund still more massive, grotesquely unconstitutional, and out of control spending by the federal government.”
    In your opinion and based on your knowledge and experience, what percentage of the current budget is actually constitutional? It has to be around 80 to 90%.

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    Comment by Klaus Lindner | October 8, 2019 | Reply

    • Gimme a break! At least 80-90% of all federal departments and agencies are strictly unconstitutional!! There are only about 10 or maybe 12 functions designated by the U.S. Constitution specifically for the Federal Government. All else is reserved for the states and individuals. And with more than 2,000 federal agencies currently employing untold millions of civil service employees, how much of our federal budget could be spent for constitutional purposes. Maybe 10-20% at most?

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      Comment by paradigmrw | October 8, 2019 | Reply

      • If we were betting, I’d say 1% of the spending is constitutional.

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        Comment by Publius Huldah | October 8, 2019 | Reply

    • Oh, my Dear. I’d need several days (or weeks?) to read thru the federal budget and strike out everything which is unconstitutional. I really have no idea how much of the spending is unconstitutional. But if a person who went thru it, item by item, said 99.5 of the spending is unconstitutional, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Publius Huldah | October 8, 2019 | Reply

  6. What was the original intent and purpose of the federal Constitution’s emoluments clause?

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    Comment by Kenneth Lloyd | October 7, 2019 | Reply

    • An “emolument” is a perk attached to an office. See Webster’s 1828 dictionary http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/Emolument
      See also the Federalist Papers: I searched for “emoluments” and 12 Papers mention the term. http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/

      “Emoluments” are mentioned at Art. I, Sec. 9, last clause, and at Art. II, Sec. 1, next to last clause.

      Art. I, Sec. 9, last clause, prohibits any federal officer from accepting (without the consent of Congress), any present, Emolument, Office, or Title from any foreign State.

      Art. II, Sec. 1, next to last clause, prohibits the President from receiving additional Emoluments from the United States or from any State.

      The Emoluments now attached to the office of Presidency include living in the White House, with a full staff, Air Force One, security protection, and such like. Those perks can’t be increased or decreased – by the United States or any of the 50 States. And Trump can’t get a job lobbying for any foreign State while he is President.

      But this has nothing to do with Trump’s private businesses! George Washington’s Mount Vernon was a large business enterprise selling whiskey, flour, and such like. When Washington’s farm sold its produce, the proceeds weren’t “emoluments” within the meaning of the Constitution – they were the income from his farm.

      It has been so long since we had a President who did something besides live off the taxpayers while in public office, that we have forgotten that real men can have successful businesses BEFORE they run for office. And the Constitution doesn’t require Presidents to divest themselves of their businesses.

      If a President should corruptly run his commercial business – say grant favors [made possible by his official position] to those who benefit his commercial business [you know, like Secretary of State Clinton apparently granted official favors to those who donated to the Clinton foundation], then Congress can impeach, try, convict, and remove him from office.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Publius Huldah | October 11, 2019 | Reply


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