Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

What the Constitution REQUIRES Congress to do on January 6, 2021

By Publius Huldah

1. The Rule of Law is being erased in our Land

Several years ago, I saw a movie on TV. The setting was Berlin, Germany just after WWII at the time the Soviets were laying rolls of barbed wire on the ground to mark the border between East and West Berlin. The main characters were a young American woman and a young German man. He had gotten a law degree while Hitler was taking over Germany; but he never practiced law. She asked him why and he said, “The Law disappeared”.

And that’s what’s going on in our Country: The Law – as the standard which those in government must obey – has disappeared and is being replaced by the age-old system where those with the power do what they want, and the cowards go along with it.

Just as the cowards in Germany went along with Hitler; cowards in America are going along with the Left’s brazen theft of the recent election. Countries are destroyed by such cowards; and that may be the reason Revelation 21:8 lists cowards as the first to be thrown into the Lake of Fire: Tyrants couldn’t get to first base without the acquiescence of cowards.

So this paper calls upon each Member of Congress to rise up and restore the Rule of Law to our Land.1 Knowledge of Truth – and the Love of Truth – make us strong. So learn the Truth, embrace it, and restore the Rule of Law.

2. We must read each Part of the Constitution in the Light cast by the other Parts

It is impossible to understand any Part of the Constitution without understanding how that Part fits into the Whole; and how each individual Part is affected by the other Parts addressing the same subject. Accordingly, it is an ancient rule of construction that constitutional provisions or statutes that are on the same subject (in pari materia) must be construed together [link].

So it is a serious misconstruction of the 12th Amendment to assert that Congress’s role on January 6 is the passive one of merely counting numbers; or that the Presiding Officer has discretion to do whatever he wants.

As shown below, specific provisions of the Constitution impose on Congress the Duty to determine whether the Electors were lawfully chosen; and whether the putative President elect and Vice-President elect are qualified for office.

3. When it meets on January 6, Congress must enforce these Constitutional provisions respecting the Appointment of Electors

Article I, §4, clause 1; Article II, §1, clause 2; and Article II, §1, clause 4

Art. I, §4, cl. 1 says that only state and federal legislatures have the power to make laws addressing the Times, Places and Manner of conducting federal elections. So Judges and State executive officials have no lawful authority to change the election laws made by the Legislatures!

Art. II, §1, cl. 2 says that the Electors for President and Vice-President are to be appointed in such manner as the State Legislatures shall direct. So Judges and State executive officials have no lawful authority to change the election laws respecting how the Electors are to be chosen!

So Electors who were appointed in violation of these two provisions were unlawfully appointed and hence are not legally competent to cast votes for President and Vice President.

Art. II, §1, cl. 4 provides that Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors. At 3 USC §1, Congress set the time for chusing Electors for November 3.

So Electors who were appointed after November 3 by means of late ballots (which was made possible by unconstitutional changes to state election laws which unlawfully extended the deadlines for receiving ballots past Nov. 3) were unlawfully appointed and hence are not legally competent to cast votes for President and Vice President. 2

4. Congress must also enforce these Constitutional provisions respecting the qualifications for the Offices of President and Vice-President

Article II, §1, clause 5

Art. II, §1, cl. 5 sets forth qualifications for the Office of President. After our first generation of Presidents [who were all born as subjects of the King of England] had passed away; the qualifications for President are that he must be a “natural born citizen”, at least 35 years of age, and have been for at least 14 Years a Resident within the United States.

The last sentence of the 12th Amendment shows that no person who is ineligible to be President is eligible to be Vice-President. 3

The 22nd Amendment

The 22nd Amendment imposes term limits on the office of President. So any person who has already served two terms is constitutionally ineligible to be President.

The 20th Amendment, §3

§3 of the 20th Amendment addresses what happens when the President elect and/or Vice-President elect “fail to qualify”. So §3 underlines Art. II, §1, cl. 5; the last sentence of the 12th Amendment; and the 22nd Amendment: If the President elect or the Vice-President elect “fail to qualify”, they are to be passed over.

So! The Constitutional scheme is that the Electors’ choice is subject to Congress’ determinations of:

♦whether the requirements of Art. I, §4, cl. 1; Art. II, §1, cl.2; and Art. II, §1, cl. 4 were obeyed when the Electors were selected; and

♦whether the persons whom the Electors chose meet the requirements of Art. II, §1, cl. 5; the last sentence of the 12th Amendment, and the term limits provision of the 22nd Amendment.

If not, Congress must disqualify the persons.

5. Congress is also bound by these Constitutional provisions

The Guaranty clause at Article IV, §4

Art. IV, § 4 says:

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

Since the essence of a “Republic” is that power is exercised by Representatives elected by The People; 4 the violations of Art. I, §4, cl. 1; Art. II, §1, cl. 2; and Art. II, §1, cl.4 (which made massive election fraud possible) strike at the heart of our Constitutional Republic.

When Electors are selected in violation of our Constitution by means of last minutes changes unlawfully made to state election laws; and/or an election is stolen by means of fraud, the Right of The People to choose their Representatives is taken away from them – and the Republic is destroyed.

Art. IV, §4 imposes on Congress the Duty to guarantee lawful and honest federal elections. Congress can do this by enforcing Art. I, §4, cl. 1; Art. II, §1, cl.2; and Art. II, §1, cl. 4 by disqualifying the Electors chosen in contravention of those provisions.

Congress may (and should) also disqualify Biden and Harris on the additional ground that their pretended election was procured by cheating.  They must be stripped of their sham “win”. 5

The Supremacy clause at Article VI, cl. 2

Art. VI, cl. 2 says:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof…shall be the supreme Law of the Land…” [italics added]

Only those Acts of Congress which are consistent with the Constitution are part of the supreme Law of the Land. 6

Accordingly, Sections 5 and 15 of the Electoral Count Act (3 USC §§1-21), are unconstitutional to the extent they purport to:

♦require Congress to accept slates of Electors who were appointed in violation of Art. I, §4, cl.1; Art. II, §1, cl. 2; and Art. II, §1, cl. 4;

♦require Congress, in the case of dueling slates of Electors, to choose the slate signed by the Governor of the State and reject the slate approved by the State Legislature; 7 and

♦eliminate the 12th Amendment’s dispute resolution procedures under which the House of Representatives chooses the President; and the Senate chooses the Vice-President. 8

But, contrary to what some have asserted, the 12th Amendment most manifestly does NOT vest exclusive authority and sole discretion in the President of the Senate (Vice-President Mike Pence) to determine which slates of Electors for a State are to be counted and which slates are to be rejected!

As President of the Senate, the Vice-President has certain Parliamentary powers at his disposal; but he has no “discretion” in deciding whether he will adhere to the Constitutional framework governing the Election. He – and every other Member of Congress – must adhere to and enforce each Constitutional provision.

The Oath of Office at Article VI, cl. 3

Every Member of Congress is bound by Oath or Affirmation to support our Constitution. On January 6, you must lay aside all personal considerations. Do your DUTY as set forth in the Constitution. And remember: This isn’t about Trump – this is about whether our Republic is to survive. If you permit violations of the Constitution and the resulting fraud to prevail; you will destroy our Republic.

6. Our Constitution sets up an elegant system of checks and balances

One of the benefits of the “separation of powers” Principle is that it provides a mechanism for one power to correct violations made by another power. Within the federal and State governments, powers are divided into three Branches: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. Each Branch has the duty to “check” the violations of the other Branches.

Likewise, the power of the State governments is separated from the power of the federal government. When people within State governments violate the Constitution – as was done in the recent election – it is the Duty of the federal government to “check” the violation. Since Electors were chosen in violation of the Constitution; Congress has the Duty to check the violations and reject those Electors.

Endnotes:

1 The term, “rule of law”, is defined here at Point 7.

2 The same Principle applies to Electors who were chosen before Nov. 3 pursuant to [unconstitutional] state election laws which permit early voting for selection of Electors.

3 It appears that at the time Kamala Harris was born, her parents were not US Citizens. If so, she is constitutionally ineligible to be President or Vice-President [link]. Congress has the Duty to inquire into this matter; and if they find that she is not a “natural born citizen” within the original intent of Art. II, §1, cl. 5, it is Congress’ Duty to disqualify her. Congress is the body which is charged with determining the eligibility of the President and Vice-President [link].

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

5 If you win a medal at the Olympics; and it’s later discovered that you cheated by taking performance-enhancing drugs, you will be stripped of “win” and medal – and both will be awarded to your runner-up. The same Principle applies to stolen elections.

6 Federalist No. 78, 10th para (A. Hamilton): “…every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; ….” [emphasis mine]

7 Art. II, §1, cl. 2 provides that the State Legislatures have the power to direct how the Electors are to be appointed! The State Governor has no constitutional power whatsoever in the selection of Presidential Electors!

8 To the same effect, see the Complaint recently filed by US Representative Louie Gohmert [link].

January 5, 2021 Posted by | 12th Amendment, 20th amendment, 22nd Amendment, Article IV, Sec. 4, Election of President, Elections Clause, Electoral College, Electors, federal election of 2020, free and fair elections, Kamala Harris, Mail-in voting, stop the steal, Times Places and Manner clause | , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Article IV, §4, US Constitution REQUIRES Congress, the Supreme Court, and the President to Stop the Steal!

By Publius Huldah

Here is the interview Alex Newman of The New American Magazine and I did on December 23.

1. The Supreme Court’s Dereliction of Duty

The Pennsylvania Lawsuit

As pointed out in the interview [and previously here], Art. I, §4, cl. 1, US Constitution, delegates to state and federal legislatures alone the power to make the laws addressing the “times, places and manner” of conducting federal elections. In addition, Art. II, §1, cl. 2 provides that the State Legislatures are to decide how the Presidential Electors for their State are to be appointed.

But in Pennsylvania (and other States), Judges and State Executive Branch officials changed the laws made by their State Legislature in order to permit fraud of such a massive scale as would enable the theft of the election for the Biden/Harris ticket. Accordingly, during late September, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit challenging the unconstitutional changes to the State election laws. They lost in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and asked the US Supreme Court to review it.

But the Supreme Court dragged its feet. So on October 28, Justice Alito (who is the “go-to” Justice for the US Circuit in which Pennsylvania is located), issued a statement [link] where he identified violations of Art. I, §4, cl. 1 and Art. II, §1, cl. 2 as an issue of “national importance” which “calls out for review” by the Supreme Court; and that the Court should decide this issue BEFORE the election. He warned that the Supreme Court’s inaction on the “important constitutional issue” raised in the lawsuit has created conditions that could lead to “serious post-election problems.”

Justices Thomas and Gorsuch joined Justice Alito in his Statement – but nobody else.

The Supreme Court still hasn’t announced whether they will review the decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. They set this case for conference (among themselves) on January 8 [link] – which is two days after Congress meets to count the votes.

The Texas Lawsuit

The Supreme Court’s handling of the Texas lawsuit was equally egregious. The Texas case alleged that using COVID-19 as an excuse, state election officials and judges in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin usurped their State Legislature’s authority and unconstitutionally revised their State’s election statutes. These changes made massive election fraud possible. The Complaint sets forth compelling facts alleging the massive and coordinated fraud used to steal the November 3 election.

But the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, claiming that Texas “lacked standing” to bring the action. They were dead wrong. Here’s why:

Article IV, §4, US Constitution, says:

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

The essence of a “Republic” is that power is exercised by Representatives elected by The People.1 Accordingly, the violations of Art. I, §4, cl. 1 and Art. II, §1, cl. 2 – which made the massive election fraud possible – strike at the heart of our Constitutional Republic.

Obviously, when an election is stolen by corrupt politicians and political parties – with the connivance of Judges and State election officials – the Right of The People to choose their Representatives is taken away from them.

And this is why the State of Texas has “standing” to bring the lawsuit: Art. IV, §4, is for the benefit of the States who comprise this Union. The States created the federal government when they ratified the Constitution. The Supreme Court is merely the “creature” of that Constitution; and they may not lawfully act in contravention of the Document under which they hold their existence.

The US Supreme Court is required to act so as to preserve the Republican Form of Government for Texas and all other States. They shirked their Duty. Shame on the Supreme Court!

2. Attorney General William Barr’s Dereliction of Duty

Article IV, §4 also imposes on the US Attorney General – as part of the Executive Branch of the federal government – the Duty “to guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…”

Accordingly, the Attorney General has the Duty to prosecute persons engaged in federal election fraud; and he has the Duty to file civil actions addressing the election fraud – such as suggested by constitutional litigators William J. Olson & Patrick M. McSweeney in their Christmas Eve article here.

But not only did Barr not lift a finger to fight the fraud – he denied there was any fraud. He too shirked his constitutional Duty. Shame on William Barr!

3. Will Congress also shirk their Constitutional Duty?

Article IV, §4 also imposes on Congress the Duty to guarantee to the States a Republican Form of Government.

Section 3 of the 20th Amendment imposes on Congress the additional Duty of determining whether the President Elect and Vice President Elect have “qualified” for office [respecting that, this short post will help you].

Congress has the ability to perform its sacred Duty under Art. IV, §4, by disqualifying Biden and Harris on the bases that their election was procured by changes to State election laws made in violation of Art. I, §4, cl. 1 and Art. II, §1, cl. 2, which made possible the brazen fraud which resulted in the theft of the election for Biden and Harris.

Kamala Harris should be disqualified on the additional ground that she is not a “natural born citizen” as required by Art. II, §1, cl. 5 and the 12th Amendment [link].

But shockingly, it appears that some Republicans in Congress intend to go along with the fraud, and will use as an excuse the silly claim that presidential elections are up to the States and Congress shouldn’t bully the States!

But that would constitute an aiding and abetting of election fraud, and a shirking of Constitutional Duties. Congress! Do not strip The American People of their right to honest federal elections!

4. The Fraudulent Election is an Act of War against the People of the United States

This was not just another election. This was a planned and coordinated attack on the People of the United States. If we don’t defeat the fraud, the People of the United States will have been stripped of their sovereign power to choose their own Representatives. 2

This is an Insurrection against the sovereign power of WE THE PEOPLE. Traitors within our local, state, and federal governments have conspired with one another – and apparently foreign agents – to take our sovereign power away from us. And cowards are going along with it.

5. President Trump has constitutional and statutory authority to carry out the Duty imposed on him by Art. IV, §4

If, when it meets on January 6, Congress too shirks its constitutional Duty to guarantee honest federal elections and refuses to disqualify Biden & Harris; then the President is our last hope (within the purview of the Constitution). 3 Not only does Art. IV, §4 impose this duty on the President; he is also bound by his Oath of Office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” (Art. II, §1, last clause); and, by Art. II, §3, to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”. These three provisions impose upon him the Duty to act so as to preserve the Federal Constitutional Republic created by our Constitution of 1787.

And he has the constitutional and statutory authority to carry out his Duty:

Call up the Militia!

Article I, §8, cl. 15 authorizes Congress

…“to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;” [italics added]

Congress “provided for” calling forth the Militia by delegating to the President the authority to use his own judgment respecting whether to send the Militia into any State:

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

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

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

So the Militia may be called forth:

♦To enforce Art. I, §4, cl.1 (which requires that only state and federal Legislatures may make laws respecting the times, places and manner of holding federal elections);

♦To enforce Art. II, §1, cl.2 (which provides that the State Legislatures are to decide how the Presidential Electors for their State are to be appointed);

♦To enforce Art. IV, §4 (which requires the United States to guarantee to the States a Republican Form of Government); and

To suppress the Insurrection which is right now going on in our Country.

A Brief History of the Militia

The term, “Militia”, refers to the armed and trained male Citizens. The Militia Act of 1792 provided for the arming and training of these male Citizens [link]. Our Framers did not want a standing professional Army – that’s why appropriations for the regular Army were limited to two years (Art. I, §8, cl. 12). Enforcement of federal laws, suppression of Insurrections, and much of the national defense were to be the responsibility of the Militia. When the federal gov’t needs to enforce its laws, it is to call forth the Militia – the armed and trained Citizens – to do the enforcing! During the Washington Administration, the federal gov’t called forth the Militia to enforce the federal excise tax on whiskey. Federal law enforcement is thus the province of the Citizens – the Militia! 4

But with the Dick Act of 1903, the organized Militia was converted into the National Guard – which is an adjunct of the federal military. And with 10 USC § 246, Congress redefined “Militia” to consist of two classes:

“(b) The classes of the militia are—

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.”

Earlier this year, in response to the violent Insurrections in the cities, Edwin Vieira, JD., Ph.D. (our Country’s foremost authority on the Militia) showed here how President Trump has the authority to send the Militia into the cities to suppress the Insurrections. But as discussed here [at endnote 11], President Trump’s two previous Secretaries of Defense apparently indicated that they would not obey orders to send the National Guard into the cities. Will Chris Miller, the present acting Secretary of Defense, be any better?

But if President Trump calls up “the unorganized militia” – which remains in existence as recognized by 10 USC §246 and which has his back – to enforce Art. I, §4, cl.1; Art. II, §1, cl.2 and Art. IV, §4 – he doesn’t need the cooperation of any deep state Secretaries of Defense.

6. Calling up the Militia is not equivalent to imposing “martial law”!

I implore Patriots to become precise in your use of terminology. Calling up the Militia for the purposes at Art. I, §8, cl. 15 is not “imposing martial law” [and it’s not “Marshall law”]! Martial Law is typically imposed during war time when invading military forces disband civilian governments [including the courts] in the occupied country and replace the civilian government with direct military control of civilian populations.

7. What is “the rule of law”?

The “rule of law” is a term which politicians and Attorneys General, who have no idea what it means, love to sling around: In his recent address to students at Hillsdale College, former Attorney General Barr said the “rule of law” means “treating everyone the same”. That’s not even close.

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. The Bible shows that Kings governed justly only when they governed in accordance with the Law of God. In our Country, the civil authorities govern justly only when they obey our Constitution. See: Lex, Rex, by Rev. Samuel Rutherford (1644) and here under the subheading, “1. The Civil Authorities are under the Law.”

8. This isn’t about Trump – it’s about defending our Constitutional Republic from enemy attack

It doesn’t matter what you or I think of President Trump: there is much to criticize about his policies. This fight is about whether our Republican Form of Government, with honest & verifiable elections, is to be restored; or whether our Right to choose our Representatives is to be stripped from us forever.

Endnotes:

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

2 “…The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.” Federalist No. 22, last para (A. Hamilton). This is what we will lose if Congress and the President permit the cheats and subversives to get away with the election fraud.

3 If Congress and the President both shirk their Constitutional duties and “betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense …” Federalist No. 28 (A. Hamilton). Much blood will be on the hands of those who acquiesced in the fraud.

4 Not armed thugs from federal executive agencies such as the FBI, BATF, etc., etc., etc. !

January 3, 2021 Posted by | Article I Sec. 4, Article II Sec. 1, derelection of duty, Election of President, Elections Clause, Electoral College, Electors, federal election of 2020, republican form of government, Rule of Law, stop the steal, William Barr | , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

This is War: Trump Must Act to Stop The Fraud

In this explosive interview with The New American magazine’s Alex Newman, constitutional lawyer and former military attorney Joanna Martin (also known by her pen name as Publius Huldah) gives a lawful and constitutional roadmap for President Trump to defeat the 2020 election fraud and the effort to destroy America’s constitutional republic. After outlining how Congress, the Supreme Court, and even the executive have failed so far, Martin explains that Trump still has not just a right, but a duty to invoke the Insurrection Act. Article 4 of the Constitution requires the federal government to guarantee to every state a Republican form of government. And the Constitution also provides for the militia to execute the laws of the union and put down insurrections, both of which are required right now. Trump must act now, especially if Congress does not do its duty on January 6.

 

 

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Article I Sec. 4, Article IV, Sec. 4, Election of President, Elections Clause, Electoral College, Electors, federal election of 2020, Insurrection Act, Militia, Presidential Electors, republican form of government, Times Places and Manner clause | , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

A Constitutional Roadmap for Conquering Election Fraud

By Publius Huldah

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

1. Article IV, §4, US Constitution

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

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

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

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

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

2. The Constitutional framework governing federal elections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. The Statutory framework

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

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

A.

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

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

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

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

B.

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

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

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

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

C.

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

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

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

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

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

5. Election Fraud is a federal crime

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

6. The Duty of the Supreme Court

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

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

7. The State Legislatures should appoint replacement Electors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Warning

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

Endnotes:

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

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

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

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

December 5, 2020 Posted by | 12th Amendment, 20th amendment, Article I Sec. 4, Article II Sec. 1, Article II, Sec. 4, Article IV, Sec. 4, Election of President, Elections Clause, Electoral College, Electors, federal election of 2020, Kamala Harris, republican form of government | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 59 Comments

What can we do to get a reasonably honest election?

By Publius Huldah

A disaster of monumental proportions is likely to be ahead for our Country if we don’t take emergency action to get at least a reasonably honest election. Not only the President’s seat, but also the entire US House, the Houses in the State Legislatures, one/third of the seats in the US Senate, and a proportional number of seats in the State Senates, are all at stake in the upcoming election.

We are faced with irrefutable proof that the Marxists intend to steal the election. And they will not content themselves with stealing only the President’s seat – they seek to steal every seat on the ballots.

So we need to face up to the problem and take immediate action.

1. What does Congress have constitutional authority to do?

The President and Vice President are supposed to be elected using the procedures set forth in Article II, §1, cl. 2 and the 12th Amendment to our US Constitution. But we have ignored those provisions for a great many years; and it’s too late to obey them for the upcoming election of President and Vice President.

But Congress still has constitutional authority to invoke Article II, §1, cl. 4, which invests in Congress the power to determine the time of chusing the Presidential Electors and the Day on which they vote. That date is currently set for November 3, 2020.

Pursuant to Article I, §4, cl. 1, Congress may make laws determining the “Times, Places and Manner” of holding the federal elections to Congress.

Since we know that Trump ballots have been tossed into dumpsters, and election offices have been flooded with fake Biden ballots; the best course of action would be for Congress to make a law which reschedules the November 3 election to a later date; and cancels everything which has been done so far respecting the election (at least since the primaries).

Congress could then exercise its constitutional authority to establish common sense procedures respecting the “Time, Place and Manner” of voting in the upcoming elections. For example, Congress could pass a law providing that:

· Every registered voter who wants to vote must physically appear at his officially designated place of voting and produce proof of identity.

· Election Day should be one day – not weeks and months before & after the date set for the election.

· Absentee voting should be restricted to those who are out of the Country or out of State due to military service, service in the diplomatic corps, missionaries stationed overseas, businessmen stationed overseas, etc.

We used to do it this way.

But the Marxists came in with their hard luck stories about how these requirements were harsh, unfair, discriminatory, and so forth; and so our side [as usual] caved in and went along with the demands which stripped us of the ability to have even reasonably honest elections.

However, because Marxists now control the House, Congress lacks the ability to act as suggested above.

2. What does the US Supreme Court have constitutional authority to do?

Article I, §4, cl. 1 provides that the power to set the “Times, Places and Manner” of voting in federal elections is delegated exclusively to the Legislative Branches of the State & Federal governments [LINK]. Accordingly, and consistent with the Principle of “Separation of Powers” and the “political question” doctrine [LINK], the Judicial Branches of State and federal government have no lawful authority to substitute their views on these issues for those of the Legislative Branches.

Even so, with respect to the upcoming elections, lawless federal and state judges have been usurping power by substituting their views respecting the “Times, Places and Manner” of voting, for the views of State Legislatures. Some judges are ruling that because of COVID-19, voters shouldn’t be required to go to the polls – everyone must be allowed to vote by mail; and the time for counting ballots must be extended.

Obviously, the Supreme Court has no constitutional authority to substitute their views respecting the “Times, Places and Manner” of voting for those of the legislative bodies. Instead, the Supreme Court’s Duty is to issue orders and judgments which adhere to what the Constitution says.

So the Supreme Court should overturn the usurpatious orders of state and federal judges who attempted to usurp power over this issue. They should remind The People of our Country that only the State Legislatures and Congress may address these issues – that judges must keep their hands off. The power isn’t given to the Judicial Branches.

But a recent case out of South Carolina indicates that the most we will get from the Supreme Court is an unprincipled “cut the baby in half” compromise.

South Carolina law provides that a witness must sign an absentee ballot for the ballot to be valid. The Marxists (or their dupes) objected to this requirement and sued. Using COVID-19 as the excuse, the federal judge disagreed [!] with the statutory requirement for a witness, and said the State couldn’t enforce it. South Carolina election officials applied to the US Supreme Court for a stay of the lower Court’s order. 1

On October 5, 2020, in Andino v. Middleton [LINK], the Supreme Court stayed the Order, except to the extent that any ballots cast before they granted the Stay and received within two days of their Order may not be rejected.

So the Supreme Court’s Order is nothing for us to celebrate. The Supreme Court is allowing several days’ worth of unlawful ballots to be treated as valid; and thus are rewarding the trial judge’s usurpation of powers [which were granted to the South Carolina Legislature], by allowing these unlawful ballots to be counted.

But our good Justices, Thomas and Alito, and Gorsuch as well, would have granted the Stay in full and disqualified all the unlawful absentee ballots.

Justice Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion suggests that, like the majority, he doesn’t understand that the Judicial Branch has no constitutional authority to alter State election laws re the “Times, Places and Manner” of holding elections:  he pointed out that the actions of the lower Court violated Supreme Court precedent [!] that (1) an unelected federal judge ordinarily shouldn’t make public health decisions which overrule State Legislatures, and (2) federal courts ordinarily shouldn’t alter state election rules in the period close to an election. Yikes!

So while the Supreme Court might “give” us some relief from the massive cheating, it seems unlikely that they will provide a principled defense of our Constitution.

3. What must State Governments do?

State governments may be the only way salvage, at least to some extent, the upcoming election. Since the Judicial Branches of the State and federal governments have no constitutional authority to change the decisions of the Legislative Branches respecting the “Times, Places and Manner” of federal elections; State Governments should instruct the Election Officials for their State that they must obey & enforce the election laws passed by their State legislature and not the usurpatious orders of judges. Judges have no constitutional authority to change what the State Legislatures do on this issue!

Election officials should also be shown that judges have no power to enforce their orders & judgments – that they depend on the Executive Branches of the federal or State governments to enforce them. We are doomed if Americans remain unable to grasp this simple concept.

Endnote:

1 The better course of action would have been for South Carolina to nullify the lawless opinion of the federal judge by refusing to enforce it. Remember! Federal judges have no army – they can’t enforce their Orders. They must depend on the Executive Branch of the federal gov’t to enforce them. Who thinks President Trump would send in the National Guard to force South Carolina election officials to allow cheating in the upcoming election? If those officials had been familiar with what Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 78 (6th para), they would have known this.

 

October 15, 2020 Posted by | 12th Amendment, Andino v. Middleton, Article I Sec. 4, Article II Sec. 1, Elections Clause, federal election of 2020, federal judges, Mail-in voting, Nullification, political questions | , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

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

Mail-in voting

By Publius Huldah

1. As to elections for LOCAL & STATE offices (where no federal elections are on the ballot): What does your STATE CONSTITUTION say? Does it prescribe any particular “manner” of voting? “Manner of voting” refers to a requirement of personal presence at the place of voting and to a show of hands, or voice votes, or paper ballots, or voting machines; etc., OR voting by mail or by internet or by telephone, etc. The Laws made by your State Legislature respecting “manner of voting” must comply with your State Constitution, or the pretended laws are unconstitutional.

So! For local & state offices where no federal office is on the ballot; the matter is determined solely by your STATE Constitution and the Statutes your STATE Legislature has passed.

2. As to elections for the FEDERAL House of Representatives or Senate: See Article I, §4, clause 1, US Constitution: It provides that State Legislatures have the power to prescribe the “Times, Places, and Manner” of holding elections; but that Congress has an oversight power over the “Time” and “Manner” of election laws made by State Legislatures. [Remember, when Art. I, §4, cl. 1 was written, the State Legislatures chose the State’s Senators to the US Congress – so the “place” of choosing the Senators would be wherever the Legislature met.]

I wrote about Art. I, §4, clause 1, US Constitution here: https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/arizonas-proposition-200-what-the-constitution-really-says-about-voter-qualifications-exposing-the-elections-clause-argument/ under the subheading, The Dishonest “Elections Clause” Argument. Please study that.

It appears that Congress has not passed any Laws prohibiting or requiring mail-in voting in federal elections. (If anyone knows anything to the contrary, please let me know.) If Congress has not passed a law prohibiting mail-in voting, then States may permit it (assuming they are sufficiently foolish to do so). Congress does have the constitutional authority to prohibit mail-in voting in federal elections [and to continue to permit absentee ballots for members of the Military, diplomatic corps, Missionaries, etc.]

3. And remember: The 12th Amendment sets forth the totally different & separate procedures for electing President & Vice-President. We have ignored the 12th Amendment for a long time…

May 14, 2020 Posted by | Elections Clause, Mail-in voting | , | 11 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 | , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Arizona’s Proposition 200: What The Constitution Really Says About Voter Qualifications & Exposing The “Elections Clause” Argument.

By Publius Huldah.

In the recent opinion (October 26, 2010) of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Gonzalez v Arizona 200, ¹ Judges Sandra S. Ikuta & Sandra Day O’Connor overturned an initiative (Proposition 200) passed by the People of Arizona which … [prepare yourself] … requires Arizona “residents” who apply to register to vote, to provide … [this is really quite shocking] … documentary proof of citizenship!  Yes, the People of the State of Arizona, which has been overrun with illegal Mexican aliens, want to ensure that only citizens vote.

But Ikuta & O’Connor say The people of Arizona may not do that. Those two judges say that Proposition 200 is void as inconsistent with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg (NVRA), the “central purpose” of which is “to increase voter registration by streamlining voter registration procedures” (Opinion p. 30). 2 The NVRA doesn’t require applicants for voter registration to provide documentary proof of citizenship. Therefore, say Ikuta & O’Connor, the States may not require it.

Nonsense!  The NVRA is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the legislative powers granted to Congress by the Constitution.  It is also contrary to Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution, which shows that prescribing qualifications and registration of voters is a pre-existing power expressly reserved by the States.

Congress is granted by Art. I, Sec. 4, cl. 1, a very limited power over the “holding” of “Elections”:  This is the so-called “elections clause” which the federal government is using to gobble up Art. I, Sec. 2, cl.1.  But the federal government acts unlawfully because the “elections clause” is expressly restricted to “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections” – it does not extend to prescribing qualifications & registration of voters.

The U.S. Constitution Enshrines the Pre-existing Practice Where the People of the States Qualify & Register Voters.

1.   Article I, Sec. 2, clause 1, U.S. Constitution, 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.”

This tells us the States set the qualifications for electors [“voters”]:  Whoever votes in elections for the State House, is eligible to vote for members of the federal House of Representatives.

This is confirmed in Federalist No. 52 (2nd para):

“The first view to be taken of …[the House of Representatives] relates to the qualifications of the electors [voters] and the elected. Those of the former are to be the same with those of the electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. The definition of the right of suffrage is very justly regarded as a fundamental article of republican government. It was incumbent on the convention, therefore, to define and establish this right in the Constitution. To have submitted it to the legislative discretion of the States, would have been improper for the same reason; and for the additional reason that it would have rendered too dependent on the State governments that branch of the federal government which ought to be dependent on the people alone. 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 appears … to be the best that lay within their option. It 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, and it cannot be feared that the people of the States will alter this part of their constitutions in such a manner as to abridge the rights secured to them by the federal Constitution. “

Federalist No. 57 (5th para) says:

“Who are to be the electors of the federal representatives? …The electors …  are to be the same who exercise the right in every State of electing the corresponding branch of the legislature of the State. ” 

Before the U.S. Constitution was ratified, the People of the States qualified and registered voters; these qualifications were set forth in their State Constitutions, and they differed from State to State.  This is the practice which was enshrined in Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution.

2.  So!  Everyone understood that in the U.S. Constitution, the States – or rather, the People of the States by means of their State Constitutions – retained authority to qualify and register voters.

Accordingly, even though Sec.  1 of the 14th Amendment (ratified 1868) made citizens of the freed slaves, they still couldn’t vote unless their States let them.  Section 2 merely said that if a State denied suffrage to such new citizens, then the State’s population number for purposes of apportioning Representatives would be reduced.

Thus, in 1868, everyone still understood that The  States had reserved the power over qualification and registration of voters.

The Amendments to the U.S. Constitution Addressing Suffrage.

3. Everyone understood that Congress couldn’t simply make a law requiring the States to register former slaves to vote.  Hence, the 15th Amendment (ratified in 1870) says the right of citizens to vote shall not be denied “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude”.

4.  Now let us look at the 17th Amendment (ratified 1913) which provides for the popular election of U.S. Senators.  Clause 1 reiterates the Principle in Art. I, Sec. 2, cl.1, that qualifications for electors [voters] are set by the States:

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.  The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislature.”

See?  In 1913, everyone still understood that The States decide who may vote.

5.  Thereafter, additional Amendments provided that the right of citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex (19th Amendment, ratified 1920), failure to pay any tax (24th Amendment, ratified 1964), or age for citizens who are eighteen years of age or older (26th Amendment, ratified 1971).

The reason for the Amendments was this:  Everyone understood that Congress has no authority to make laws requiring States to register blacks, women, tax avoiders, or children!  The States retain complete control over the qualification and registration of voters  – and with those four Amendments, they agreed they wouldn’t deny suffrage on account of  being in one of those four categories of people.

What the U.S. Constitution, as Amended, Now Says about Qualifications of Voters

6.  So!  Under Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 1; the 17th Amendment, cl. 1; and the 15th, 19th, 24th, & 26th Amendments, The People of the States may set whatever qualifications they like for registering citizens to vote, as long as they do not deny it to any citizen on account of race (15th Amendment), sex (19th Amendment), failure to pay a tax (24th Amendment), or age for those 18 years or more (26th Amendment).  States are free to deny registration to black citizens, female citizens, tax avoider citizens, and citizens over the age of 18 on other grounds – such as conviction of a felony, or illiteracy in English. States may require, as a condition to registering to vote, that citizens pass a Logic test, outline The Federalist Papers, take an Oath to support the Constitution, and recite the Declaration of Independence by Heart!  States may prohibit welfare recipients – the “Take It From Somebody Else And Give It To Me” block – from voting altogether.   The only way the federal government can lawfully force any one State to register the illiterates, the irrational, the ignorant, the welfare parasites, or invading aliens, is by Constitutional Amendment ratified by three fourths of the States (Art. V).

The Dishonest “Elections Clause” Argument.

7. The federal government is now using Art. I, Sec. 4, cl.1, the “elections clause”, to strip the People of the STATES of their power (reserved by Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 1 & the 17th Amendment, cl. 1) to qualify & register voters.

The “elections clause” (Art. I, Sec. 4, cl.1) says:

“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.”

Times?  Places of Chusing Representatives?  Manner of “holding Elections”? What do these have to do with qualifying and registering voters?   In  Federalist No. 60 (next to last para), Hamilton explains that prescribing qualifications of the voters

” ….forms no part of the power to be conferred upon the national government. Its authority would be expressly restricted to the regulation of the TIMES, the PLACES, the MANNER of elections. The qualifications of the persons who may choose or be chosen, as has been remarked upon other occasions, are defined and fixed in the Constitution, and are unalterable by the legislature.” [capitals are Hamilton’s]

Fancy that! Article I, Sec. 4, cl. 1, means what it says:  Congress’ authority is restricted to the “times”, “places”, & “manner” of “holding elections”!   And Congress’ authority does not extend to prescribing qualifications of electors:  That is “defined and fixed” in Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 1, and is “unalterable” by Congress.

Perhaps because Hamilton foresaw a day when we would be plagued with federal judges too ignorant, sloppy, or dishonest to adhere to the plain & obvious meanings of  “time”, “place”, & “manner”, he spelled it out in Federalist No. 61:

“TIME” refers to when elections are held. Hamilton explains that 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” (4th & 5th paras).

“PLACE”: Hamilton points out that the suffrages of citizens 4 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).

James Madison discusses “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: [The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 3, January 21, 1788:

“Hon. Mr. King rose to pursue the inquiry, why the place and manner of holding elections were omitted in the section under debate. 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]

And so WE see that “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.

8.  “Holding Elections”is the actual voting part of the process.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with registering voters!  Webster’s American Dictionary (1828), defines “Election”:

“The act of choosing; choice; the act of selecting one or more from others…The act of choosing a person to fill an office or employment, by any manifestation of preference, as by ballot, uplifted hands or viva voce; as the election of a king, of a president, or a mayor.”

So!  Now YOU know exactly what Art. I, Sec. 4, cl. 1 means.  Now, let us see what the Ninth Circuit did to Our Constitution.

The Ninth Circuit’s Opinion in Gonzalez v. Arizona 200

9.  The majority opinion is a tangled web of 62 pages. I address three points: (a) They misrepresented what Alexander Hamilton & James Madison said; (b) They ignored Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 1; and (c) They rewrote Art. I, Sec. 4, cl. 1.

(a) Five of the Federalist Papers specifically address Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 1 & Art. I, Sec. 4, cl. 1:  Federalist No. 52, 57, 59, 60, & 61.  This paper honestly sets forth the gist of what these five Papers say.

But Ikuta & O’Connor ignored the passages this paper brings to your attention, and selected only the following two quotes from Federalist No. 59 (and one from No. 33 where they misrepresented what Hamilton said about the “supremacy clause”) 5 On page 15, in support of their false assertion that

“… The Framers decided that Congress should be given the authority to oversee the states’ procedures related to national elections as a safeguard against potential state abuse. See U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 …”

they quote from Federalist No. 59:

“…[n]othing can be more evident, than that an exclusive power of regulating elections for the national government, in the hands of the State legislatures, would leave the existence of the Union entirely at their mercy…”

On page 16 at footnote 8, they say:

“Alexander Hamilton described the need for congressional oversight of the states as follows: “[The Framers] have submitted the regulation of elections for the federal government, in the first instance, to the local administrations; which, in ordinary cases, and when no improper views prevail, may be both more convenient and more satisfactory; but they have reserved to the national authority a right to interpose, whenever extraordinary circumstances might render that interposition necessary to its safety.” The Federalist No. 59.

That’s it!  No mention of Federalist Nos. 52, 57, 60 & 61 which are quoted above.  Furthermore, Federalist No. 59 is the first of  a sequence of three papers which focus on Art. I, Sec. 4, cl. 1; and in this introductory paper, Hamilton explains why Congress must have the power granted by Sec. 4:  Otherwise, every election might result in the dissolution of the Union, if States prevented an election.  And as YOU have already seen, the meat of Hamilton’s discussion of Sec. 4 is in Nos. 60 & 61.

Ikuta & O’Connor next imply (page 16) that James Madison’s words at the Federal Convention of 1787 support their assertion that

“…the Framers approved language giving Congress power to “make or alter” the states’ regulations. See 5 Elliot’s Debates 401-02 (statement of James Madison)…”

5 Elliot’s Debates 401-02 is a different edition of  The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 2, THURSDAY, AUGUST 9, 1787. [here], which is quoted at length above.  And Madison is quite clear that the “Natl. Legislature[‘s]” “controuling power” is only over “the times places & manner of holding elections“, and he illustrates what that phrase means.

So the Ninth Circuit’s representation that Madison said Art. I, Sec. 4, cl. 1 gave to Congress the  broad power to make or alter all of a state’s “regulations” or procedures related to national elections is false.

(b) Not only did Ikuta & O’Connor ignore Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 1, they perpetuated another falsehood:

As shown above in Federalist No. 52 (2nd para), which discusses Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 1, the States retained their preexisting power to qualify & register voters.  The Framers expressly declined to reduce “the different qualifications [for voters]  in the different States to one uniform rule”, and they drafted a clause [Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 1] which “is conformable to the standard already established, or which may be established, by the State itself.”

In spite of this, Ikuta & O’Connor said on page 16:

“…the authority to regulate national elections “aris[es] from the Constitution itself,” and is therefore “not a reserved power of the States.” U.S. Term Limits, 514 U.S. at 805. Because federal elections did not come into being until the federal government was formed, individual states have no inherent or preexisting authority over this domain. See d. at 804-05.”

And on page 19:

“… the states’ sole power over national election procedures is that delegated by the Elections Clause, U.S. Term Limits, 514 U.S. at 805, and states otherwise have no reserved authority over this domain … “

Do you see?  Their claim that the states have “no inherent or preexisting authority” or “reserved authority” over qualifications & registration of voters, is demonstrably FALSE.

Lawyers who don’t think will say the Ninth Circuit has no choice but to follow the supreme Court in U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton.  But that is not true.  Our Oath of Office is to support the Constitution – not to obey the supreme Court (Art. VI, cl. 3).  Are we stupid sheep who blindly follow the supreme Court no matter what they say?

Furthermore, supreme Court opinions are not “law” – they are decisions in cases.  The “supreme Law of the Land” is expressly restricted to The Constitution and to those Acts of Congress and treaties which are made pursuant to the Constitution. (Art. VI, cl. 2).

(c) Finally, let us see how Ikuta & O’Connor rewrote Art. I, Sec. 4, cl. 1. As you know, that clause actually says:

“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.”

Now watch as, by means of a series of false statements, they transform “Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections” into an unlimited grant of power to Congress to do precisely what Hamilton said “forms no part of the power to be conferred upon the national government” (Federalist No. 60, next to last para):

On p.15 of their Opinion, they said:

“… the Elections Clause gives state governments initial responsibility to regulate the mechanics of national elections, “but only so far as Congress declines to preempt state legislative choices.” Foster v. Love, 522 U.S. 67, 69 (1997) …”

Also on page 15:

“… The Framers decided that Congress should be given the authority to oversee the states’ procedures related to national elections See U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779, 808-09 (1995)…”

On page 17:

“… Not only does the Elections Clause grant Congress authority to supersede state election laws…”

On pages 17 & 18:

“…a state’s role in the creation and implementation of federal election procedures under the Elections Clause is to administer the elections through its own procedures until Congress deems otherwise; if and when Congress acts, the states are obligated to conform to and carry out whatever procedures Congress requires. See Foster, 522 U.S. at 69″.

On page 20:

“… Because the Elections Clause empowered Congress to enact the NVRA, Wilson, 60 F.3d at 1414…”

On page 25:

“…Under the Elections Clause, Congress had the power “to provide a complete code for congressional elections, not only as to times and places, but in relation to . . . registration.” Smiley v. Holm, 285 U.S. 355, 366 (1932)…”

On page 34:

“… Given that the Elections Clause gives Congress ultimate authority over the federal voter registration process, Colgrove, 328 U.S. at 554…”

Their words are demonstrably false.  These judges rewrote Art. I, Sec. 4, cl. 1 in order to uphold the NVRA which purports to give Congress total control over voter qualification and registration.

Conclusion

10.  In Federalist No. 60 (1st, 4th, & next to last para), Hamilton discusses the concern that Art. I, Sec. 4, cl. 1, might be used by the federal government “in such a manner as to promote the election of some favorite class of men in exclusion of others” via regulation of the “places”, “time and manner” of elections.  Hamilton says this would never happen because:

“…qualifications…for those who may elect or be elected …forms no part of the power to be conferred upon the national government. Its authority would be expressly restricted to the regulation of the TIMES, the PLACES, the MANNER of elections. The qualifications of the persons who may choose or be chosen, as has been remarked upon other occasions, are defined and fixed in the Constitution, and are unalterable by the legislature [Congress]”

But the federal government has been using Art. I, Sec. 4, cl. 1 to gobble up Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 1 in order to mandate the extension of suffrage to Mexican and Muslim aliens, in order “to promote the election of some favorite class of men in exclusion of others”.  And who is this “favorite class of men” whom they want elected?  More statists.

Congress has no authority to make laws which “increase voter participation”.  Congress’ authority is expressly restricted to the “Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections”, and Hamilton & Madison show us exactly what that means.

Hamilton says that if the federal government were to attempt such a thing, it would cause an immediate revolt of the great body of the people, headed and directed by the State governments”(2nd & last paras).  Do we have the courage to stand up and honor our Oaths to support The Constitution?  Are we willing to make the effort?

11. The People of the State of Arizona are well within their pre-existing, reserved, and retained rights, enshrined by Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 1, to require applicants for voter registration to provide documentary proof of citizenship.  Qualification and registration of voters “forms no part of the power to be conferred upon the national government” (Federalist No. 60, next to last para).

Endnotes:

When I wrote this paper during November/December 2010, I used the pdf edition of the Court’s opinion at the Ninth Circuit’s website.  But that version of opinion was later removed from the Ninth Circuit’s site  – or it was relocated and I can’t find it.  There are differences between the original version of the opinion and the version which has been published here:   https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1542559.html

2 The majority opinion sets forth the gist of the National Voter Registration Act:

“The NVRA is a comprehensive scheme enacting three significant changes to federal election registration procedures nationwide: (1) it creates a standard “Federal Form”…for registering federal voters; (2) it requires states to establish procedures to register voters for federal elections according to three prescribed methods; and (3) it regulates maintenance of voting lists. See 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg et seq. (p. 25)

…the NVRA requires states to make registration opportunities widely available, at the motor vehicle bureau, § 1973gg-3, by mail, § 1973gg-4, and at public assistance, disability service, and other designated state offices, § 1973gg-5 … the NVRA eases the burdens of completing registration forms. At the motor vehicle authority, for instance, voter registration must be included as part of the driver’s license application and the combined form cannot require duplicative information. § 1973gg-3(c)(2)(A). The NVRA also regulates the Federal Form to meet its goal of eliminating obstacles to voter registration. See§ 1973gg(b)(1)-(2). Thus, the NVRA forbids the EAC from including any identifying information beyond that “necessary to enable the appropriate State election official to assess the eligibility of the applicant and to administer voter registration and other parts of the election process.” § 1973gg-7(b)(1)…” (p. 30)

The federal government banned State literacy requirements for voting, claiming that they dis-proportionally disenfranchise black citizens.  But the Constitution doesn’t give the federal government authority to dictate what States must and must not do re voter eligibility & registration – other than that States may not deny or abridge the right of citizens to vote on account of race (15th Amdt.), sex (19th Amdt.), failure to pay the tax (24th Amdt.), or age for citizens of eighteen years or more (26th Amdt.).  If the federal government wants to force any State to allow illiterates to vote, it must get an Amendment ratified by three fourths of the states which says that the right of citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of  illiteracy. Likewise, if they want to force any State to allow illegal aliens to vote, they must get an Amendment ratified by three fourths of the states which says that illegal aliens may vote.

4 Voting in this Country has always been restricted to CitizensBut not all citizens qualified to vote.

5 On page 18, they misrepresent what Hamilton said about the “supremacy clause” (Art. VI, cl. 2).  Go here to see what Hamilton really said about it.

December 5, 2010;  revised April 1, 2014; July 27, 2018.

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December 5, 2010 Posted by | Arizona's Proposition 200, Elections Clause, National Voter Registration Act, Voter eligibility, Voter Qualifications | 37 Comments

   

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