By Publius Huldah
We will never solve our political and fiscal problems if we continue in our present state of ignorance of the fundamental distinction between the federal Constitution and the State Constitutions.
With our federal Constitution, we created a national government to which we delegated only a handful of enumerated powers. If you would trouble yourself to read the federal Constitution, this fact would jump out at you and hit you over the head. [THIS simple chart will get you started.]
The federal government doesn’t need a budget because Congress’ spending is limited by the enumerated powers. Congress is to appropriate funds to carry out the handful of delegated powers, and then it is to pay the bills with receipts from taxes. 1
And if you read your State Constitution, you will see that those who ratified it [foolishly] created a State government of general and unlimited powers subject only to the exceptions carved out by its Declaration of Rights. 2
Since State governments were created to possess general and unlimited powers, State governments may lawfully spend money on just about anything they want. 2 Accordingly, State governments need budgets to limit their spending to receipts.
But Federal Spending is limited by the Enumerated Powers
The federal Constitution lists the items Congress is permitted to spend money on. If you read through the federal Constitution and highlight the powers delegated to Congress and the President, you will have a complete list of the objects on which Congress is lawfully authorized to spend money. Here is the list:
· The Census (Art. I, §2, cl. 3)
· Publishing the Journals of the House and Senate (Art. I, §5, cl. 3)
· Salaries of Senators and Representatives (Art. I, § 6, cl. 1)
· Salaries of civil officers of the United States (Art. I, §6, cl. 2 & Art. II, §1, cl. 7)
· Pay the Debts (Art. I, §8, cl. 1 & Art. VI, cl.1)
· Pay tax collectors (Art. I, §8, cl.1)
· Regulate commerce with foreign Nations, among the several States, and with Indian Tribes (Art. I, §8, cl.3) 3
· Immigration office (Art. I, §8, cl.4)
· The mint (Art. I, §8, cl. 5)
· Attorney General to handle the small amount of authorized federal litigation involving the national government (e.g., Art. I, §8, cls. 6 & 10)
· Post offices & post roads (Art. I, §8, cl. 7)
· Patent & copyright office (Art. I, §8, cl. 8)
· Federal courts (Art. I, §8, cl. 9 & Art. III, §1)
· Military and Citizens’ Militia (Art. I, §8, cls. 11-16)
· Since Congress has general legislative authority over the federal enclaves listed in Art. I, §8, next to last clause, Congress has broad spending authority over the tiny geographical areas listed in this clause.
· The President’s entertainment expenses for foreign dignitaries (Art. II, §3); and
· Since Congress had general legislative authority over the Western Territory before it was broken up into States, Congress could appropriate funds for the US Marshalls, federal judges, and the like for that Territory (Art. IV, §3, cl. 2).
So! That’s about all Congress is authorized by our original Constitution to spend money on. 4 Did I leave anything out? To find out, take 20 minutes and, armed with a highlighter, read carefully through the original Constitution and see for yourself.
Let’s look at some of the appropriations bills passed by the First Congress: 5
· HERE is the Act for the establishment and support of Lighthouses, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers, of August 7, 1789 (expenditure authorized by Art. I, §8, next to last clause);
· HERE is the Act providing for the Expenses which may attend Negotiations or Treaties with the Indian Tribes, and the appointment of Commissioners for managing the same, of August 20, 1789 (expenditure authorized by Art. I, §8, clause 3 & Art. II, §2, cl. 2);
· HERE is the Act providing for the establishment of the Post Office, of September 22, 1789 (expenditure authorized by Art. I, §8, cl. 7); and
· HERE is the Act providing for the compensation of federal judges and the Attorney General, of September 23, 1789 (expenditure authorized by Art. III, §1 for the federal judges; & for the AG, Art. I, §6, cl. 2 & Art. II, §2, cl. 2 & Art. I, §8, last clause)
Read these appropriations bills: They are single subject, short, easy to understand, and illustrate how appropriations bills ought to be written.
So, do you see? Congress is to make the appropriations for the objects of the enumerated powers delegated to the national government.
Pursuant to Art. I, §9, clause 7, Congress is to periodically publish a Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures.
We don’t need a federal budget because the Constitution delegates to Congress only limited and narrowly defined authority to spend money.
Accordingly, the federal Constitution doesn’t provide for a Budget. We never had a federal budget until Congress passed the unconstitutional Budget and Accounting Act of 1921.
We got the crushing federal debt because for 100 years, Congress has been IGNORING the existing constitutional limits on its spending. Most of Congress’ spending is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the delegated powers.
The Answer to our political and fiscal problems is already laid out in the federal Constitution: Downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers and return the usurped powers to the States or the People.
Why are Some Pushing for a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA)?
Many of those clamoring for a federal BBA don’t know about the fundamental distinction between the federal and State Constitutions. But they want to do something about the out of control federal spending; they are told a BBA is the answer; and so, without giving it much thought, they jump on the bandwagon.
But others have an evil agenda in pushing for a BBA – an agenda so evil that if they disclosed it, most Americans would reject it:
All versions of a BBA transform our federal Constitution from one which created a national government with only a few enumerated powers to a national government of general and unlimited powers. This is because BBAs substitute a “budget” for the enumerated powers; and accordingly, the national government would become lawfully authorized by the Constitution to spend money on whatever they put in the Budget!
That unlimited spending power on whatever they want is what would transform the national government into one of general and unlimited powers.
To add insult to injury, while all versions of a BBA pretend to limit spending; they actually permit increases in spending and increases in debt whenever the government body votes to do so. 6
When the history of our time is written, do not let it be said that the American People were too ignorant and lazy to be free. Do not let tricksters take away our glorious Heritage. Wake up! Stop applications for a convention for a BBA from being passed in your State. If your State has already passed such an application, urge your State legislators to rescind it.
1 The constitutional powers of the national government were supposed to be exercised with the proceeds of excise taxes & impost tariffs, with any shortfall being made up by an apportioned assessment on the States based on population.
2 The powers of State governments are also restricted by the federal Constitution: The list of prohibited powers at Art. I, §10, and by those few powers delegated exclusively to the national government.
3 HERE is the proof of the original intent of the interstate commerce clause.
4 The 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments increased the powers and spending of the federal government by expanding federal powers over the States and The People. It was necessary to amend the Constitution to remedy the defect of slavery and to extend citizenship to freed slaves; but there was a better way than the 13th -15th Amendments.
5 HERE is a helpful site for locating early Acts of Congress. Once you have the title and date of an Act, you can find the official source at the Library of Congress: e.g., THIS provides what one needs to find the official edition HERE.
6 Compact for America’s pretended BBA is actually a tricky device for imposing a national sales tax or value added tax on the American People – on top of the income tax – and does nothing to limit federal spending. Yet deluded State Legislators are now proposing it in Michigan as SB 306. You can find a short and simple section by section analysis of Compact for America’s BBA HERE.
By Publius Huldah
Our Constitution really was a 5000 Year Miracle.
The attached pdf chart illustrates the Miracle. You can download it and print it out.
Rights come from God, and the purpose of civil governments is to secure the rights God gave us.
Accordingly, WE THE PEOPLE ordained and established the Constitution for the United States of America wherein we created the federal government.
A “federal government” is an alliance of Sovereign States associated together in a “federation” with a national government to which is delegated supremacy over the States in specifically defined areas only.
These specifically defined areas are the “enumerated powers” WE delegated to the three branches of the national (“federal”) government.
The States and The People retained all other powers.
The pdf chart depicts the elegant simplicity of our Constitution; lists the few and defined powers WE delegated to the national government for the Country at Large; shows how the powers WE delegated to the national government secure specific God given rights; and shows the retention of all other powers by the States and The People.
Our Constitution isn’t broken! Our Constitution isn’t outdated. The problem is that WE – who are “the natural guardians” of the Constitution – didn’t bother to learn it. Since we didn’t bother to learn it, we elected representatives who also hadn’t bothered to learn it. And so everyone ignores it.
And we abandoned the religious and moral foundation of our Constitution.
It is our own ignorance of our existing Constitution, and the collapse of religion and morality which have brought us to the brink of destruction.
Our Constitution doesn’t need “fixing”! The only Amendments we need are to repeal some of the previous Amendments we got deceived into approving.
WE THE PEOPLE need “fixing”. Restoration of our religious and moral foundation and our Constitution is the Answer to the Healing of our Land.
Let the Restoration begin with you. Share this Article. Print out the chart. Study it. Flesh it out with your own personal readings of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bible. Have study groups in your home. You can become a “guardian” of the Constitution. PH
September 1, 2013
By Publius Huldah
1. With the U.S. Constitution, We The People created the federal government. It is our “creature”, and has no powers other than those We delegated to it in Our Constitution.
Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (1828), says re “constitution”:
“…In free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by the legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution.” [boldface mine]
If you, dear Reader, will study this paper and read the Constitution, you will know more about it than most State & federal judges, most law professors & lawyers, those who spout off on TV & radio, just about anybody in Congress, and the self-educated who fixate on their own idiotic theories. And you will certainly know more than anyone currently occupying any office in the executive branch of the federal government.
2. The federal government 1 has three branches: Article I of the Constitution creates the Legislative Branch (Congress) & lists its powers; Article II creates the Executive Branch & lists its powers (President); and Article III creates the Judicial Branch (federal courts) & lists its powers.
In this paper, we will consider only the enumerated powers of Congress. But the powers of the other two branches are likewise strictly limited and enumerated.
3. Congress is NOT authorized to pass any law on any subject just because a majority in Congress think the law is a good idea! Instead, the areas in which Congress is authorized to act are strictly limited and defined (“enumerated”).
WE delegated to Congress the following Enumerated Powers over the Country at Large:
Article I, § 8, clauses 1-16 delegate to Congress the powers:
(1) To lay certain taxes;
(2) To pay the debts of the United States;
(3) To declare war and make rules of warfare, to raise and support armies and a navy and to make rules governing the military forces; to call forth the militia for certain purposes, and to make rules governing the militia;
(4) To regulate commerce with foreign Nations, and among the States, and with the Indian Tribes;
(5) To establish uniform Rules of Naturalization;
(6) To establish uniform Laws on Bankruptcies;
(7) To coin money and regulate the value thereof;
(8) To fix the standard of Weights and Measures;
(9) To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting;
(10) To establish post offices and post roads;
(11) To issue patents and copyrights;
(12) To create courts inferior to the supreme court; and
(13) To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the Laws of Nations.
Other provisions of Our Constitution delegate to Congress powers over the Country at Large to make laws regarding:
(14) An enumeration of the population for purposes of apportionment of Representatives and direct taxes (Art. I, § 2, cl. 3);
(15) Elections of Senators & Representatives (Art. I, §4, cl. 1) and their pay (Art. I, § 6);
(16) After 1808, to prohibit importation of slaves (Art. I, § 9, cl. 1); 2
(17) After 1808, to restrict migration (immigration) to these United States (Art. I, §9, cl. 1);
(18) A restricted power to suspend Writs of Habeas Corpus (Art. I, §9, cl. 2);
(19) To revise and control imposts or duties on imports or exports which may be laid by States (Art. I, § 10, cl. 2 &3)
(20) A restricted power to declare the punishment of Treason (Art. III, §3, cl. 2);
(21) Implementation of the Full Faith and Credit clause (Art. IV, §1); and,
(22) Procedures for amendments to The Constitution (Art. V).
The 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, & 26th Amendments delegated additional powers to Congress over the Country at Large respecting certain civil rights & certain voting rights, the public debt [lawfully incurred], income tax, successions to vacated offices, dates of assembly, and appointment of representatives from the D.C.
So! In a nutshell, the powers WE delegated to Congress over the Country at Large fall into four categories:
♠ International relations, commerce and war;
♠ Control immigration by restricting who may come to these United States, and establish a uniform rule of naturalization of new citizens;
♠ Domestically, to establish a uniform commercial system: weights & measures, patents & copyrights, a monetary system based on gold & silver, bankruptcy law, a [limited] power over interstate commerce, and mail delivery.
♠And in some of the Amendments, to protect certain civil and certain voting rights.
That’s it! All other powers are retained by the States or the People.
Federal Enclaves & Territories:
4. Two provisions of Our Constitution grant to Congress broad legislative powers over these two categories of specifically defined geographical areas:
a) Federal Enclaves: Article I, §8, next to last clause, grants to Congress “exclusive Legislation” over the following geographically tiny areas: the seat of the government of the United States (not to exceed 10 square miles), forts, arsenals, dock-yards, and the like. As James Madison said in Federalist No. 43 at 2., it is necessary for the government of the United States to have “complete authority” at the seat of government, and over forts, magazines, etc. established by the federal government.
b) Territories: Article IV, §3, cl. 2 grants to Congress power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other property belonging to the United States (as opposed to property belonging to individual states). As these territories became States, Congress’ powers under this Article were terminated.
Congress may not lawfully exercise ANY other powers!
5. Thus, Congress has NO LAWFUL AUTHORITY to bail out financial institutions, businesses, and homeowners who don’t pay their mortgages; NO LAWFUL AUTHORITY to take control of our health care; NO LAWFUL AUTHORITY to pass laws denying secret ballots to employees who are solicited for membership by labor unions; NO LAWFUL AUTHORITY to take away your IRA’s and other retirement accounts, NO LAWFUL AUTHORITY to take your guns, NO LAWFUL AUTHORITY to pass laws respecting energy consumption or “emissions”, education, housing, etc., etc., etc.
Therefore, all laws which Congress has made on such topics are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the legislative powers WE delegated to Congress in OUR Constitution. WE THE PEOPLE did not give such powers to Congress when we ordained and established the Constitution, created the Congress, and listed its 22 enumerated powers over the Country at large. And WE did not delegate those powers to Congress in any of the Amendments.
6. You ask, “How can Congress make all these laws if they are unconstitutional?
Congress gets away with it because WE are ignorant of what our Constitution says; and We have been indoctrinated into believing that Congress can do whatever they want!
Consider Prohibition: Up to 1919, everyone still understood that The Constitution did not give Congress authority to simply “pass a law” banning alcoholic beverages! So the Constitution was amended to prohibit alcoholic beverages, and to authorize Congress to make laws to enforce the prohibition (18th Amdt.).
But after the Progressives took over the federal government during the early 1900s, the federal government was transformed from one of limited & enumerated powers only to the Frankensteinian monster it is today. The Progressives are the ones who imposed the regulatory welfare state where the federal government regulates business and commerce, natural resources, human resources, and benefits some people [e.g., welfare parasites, labor unions & obama donors] at the expense of others.
The Progressives claimed the power to determine what is in the “public interest” and have the federal government implement their notions of what advances the “public interest”.
Under the Progressives, the federal government was no longer limited by the enumerated powers delegated in the Constitution; but would follow the “will of the people” as expressed by their representatives in the federal government. In other words, the Progressives gave the federal government a blank check to fill out anyway they want.
During the regime of Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), all three branches of the federal government abandoned the Constitution: FDR proposed “New Deal” programs; Congress passed them. At first, the Supreme Court ruled (generally 5 to 4) that these programs were unconstitutional as outside the legislative powers delegated to Congress. But when FDR threatened to “pack the court” by adding judges who would do his bidding, one judge flipped to the liberal/progressive side, and the Court started approving FDR’s programs (5 to 4).
7. Since then, law schools don’t teach the Constitution. Instead, they teach decisions of the FDR-dominated supreme Court which purport to explain why Congress has the power to regulate anything it pleases. The law schools thus produced generations of constitutionally illiterate lawyers and judges who have been wrongly taught that three clauses, the “general welfare” clause, the “interstate commerce” clause and the “necessary & proper” clause, permit Congress to do whatever it wants!
8. “Well”, you ask, “what about ‘the general welfare clause’? Doesn’t that give Congress power to pass any law on any subject as long as it is for the ‘general Welfare of the United States’ “? NO, IT DOES NOT!
First, you must learn what “welfare” meant when the Constitution was ratified: “Welfare” as used in the Preamble & in Art. 1, §8, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution, meant
“Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government” (Webster’s, 1828).
But The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969), added a new meaning: “Public relief – on welfare. Dependent on public relief”. Do you see how our Constitution is perverted when new meanings are substituted for original meanings?
Second, James Madison addresses this precise issue in Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras): Madison points out that the first paragraph of Art. I, §8 employs “general terms” which are “immediately” followed by the “enumeration of particular powers” which “explain and qualify”, by a “recital of particulars”, the general terms. So, yes! The powers of Congress really are restricted to those listed herein above.
OUR FOUNDERS UNDERSTOOD that the “general Welfare”, i.e., the enjoyment of peace & prosperity, and the enjoyment of the ordinary blessings of society & civil government, was possible only with a civil government which was strictly limited & restricted in what it was given power to do!
9. “OK”, you say, “but what about ‘the commerce clause’ (Art. I, §8, cl. 3)? Doesn’t that give Congress power to pass laws on any subject which ‘affects’ ‘interstate commerce’ “? NO, IT DOES NOT! In Federalist No. 22 (4th para) and Federalist No. 42 (11th &12th paras), Alexander Hamilton & James Madison explain the purpose of the “interstate commerce” clause: It is to prohibit the States from imposing tolls and tariffs on articles of import and export – merchandize – as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling. That’s what it does, Folks; and until the mid-1930’s and FDR’s “New Deal”, this was widely understood. 3
10. “Well, then”, you say, “doesn’t the ‘necessary & proper’ clause’ [“elastic clause” or “sweeping clause” ] (Art. I, §8, last clause) allow Congress to make any laws which the people in Congress think are ‘necessary & proper’?” NO, IT DOES NOT! Alexander Hamilton says the clause merely gives to Congress a power to pass all laws necessary & proper to execute its declared powers (Federalist No. 29, 4th para); a power to do something must be a power to pass all laws necessary & proper for the execution of that power (Federalist No. 33, 4th para); “the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same if [this clause] were entirely obliterated as if [it] were repeated in every article” (Federalist No. 33, 2nd para); and thus the clause is “perfectly harmless”, a tautology or redundancy. (Federalist No. 33, 4th para). James Madison agrees with Hamilton’s explanation. (Federalist No. 44, 10th-17th paras). In other words, the clause simply permits the execution of powers already declared and granted. Hamilton & Madison are clear that no additional substantive powers are granted by this clause.
11. The 10th Amendment states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
So! If a power is not delegated by Our Constitution to the federal government; and if the States are not prohibited (as by Art. I, § 10) from exercising that power; then that power is retained by the States or by The People. And WE are “The People”!
12. Our Framers insisted repeatedly that Congress is restricted to its enumerated powers. James Madison says in Federalist No. 45 (9th para):
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people…” [emphasis mine]
In Federalist No. 39 (14th para):
“…the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignity over all other objects.”
and in Federalist No. 14 (8th para):
“…the general [federal] government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects…” [emphasis mine]
13. In all its recent legislation, Congress ratchets up its concerted pattern of lawless usurpations. The executive branch and the federal courts approve it. Such is the essence of tyranny. They are “ruling” without our consent, and hence the federal government is now illegitimate. PH
1 “Federal” refers to the form of government: An alliance of States associated in a “federation” with a national government to which is delegated supremacy over the States in specifically defined areas ONLY.
2 Some object that our Constitution endorsed slavery. During the 18th century, slavery was universal. But Article I, § 9, clause 1, is our Proclamation to the World that WE would abolish the slave trade! James Madison wanted the “barbarism” & “unnatural traffic” of the slave trade abolished immediately (Federalist Paper No. 42, 6th para).
3 See Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in United States v. Lopez (1995). Justice Thomas’ opinion shows why those disposed to usurp attack him so virulently.
Revised July 1, 2009; Sep 8, 2009; Oct. 17, 2010; Jan 3, 2013; Feb. 4, 2013
By Publius Huldah
1. The Constitution grants to Congress only limited powers to make criminal laws. These powers fall into five categories: a) those made pursuant to express authorizations for four specific crimes; b) those made under the “necessary and proper” clause; c) those made for the few tiny geographical areas over which Congress has “exclusive Legislation”; d) those governing the military; and e) those made pursuant to two of the Amendments to the Constitution. Let’s look at each category:
a) Art. I, § 8 grants to Congress authority to define & punish counterfeiting, piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, & offenses against “the Laws of Nations”.  Article III, §3 grants to Congress a restricted power to declare the punishment of Treason.
b) Art. I, §8, last clause, grants to Congress the power “to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution …all …Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States…”. This necessary and proper clause allows Congress to make criminal laws when necessary to enforce powers vested by the Constitution in the federal government. This worried people, so Madison & Hamilton explained it:
In Federalist No. 44, Madison said, regarding the peoples’ fears of usurpations by Congress:
what is to be the consequence, in case the Congress shall misconstrue this part of the Constitution and exercise powers not warranted by its true meaning, I answer the same as if they should misconstrue or enlarge any other power vested in them…the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments,  which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people, who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers (17th Para).
In Federalist No. 33, Hamilton cited Art. VI, cl.2, as showing that laws which are not pursuant to the Constitution are merely acts of usurpation and deserve to be treated as such (7th Para). He also said:
If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify. (6th Para)
So! Congress has authority under the necessary and proper clause to make criminal laws enforcing the “Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises” authorized by Art. I, §8, cl.1; to make criminal laws prohibiting the filing of false statements or claims in Bankruptcy Court (Art. I, §8, cl. 4); and to make criminal laws forbidding the importation of slaves after 1808 (Art. I, §9, cl. 1). Article II, §4 mentions impeachment of civil officers for, among other things, “bribery”; so by implication, Congress is authorized to pass a criminal statute prohibiting the accepting of bribes by civil officers of the United States. The main duty of the federal judiciary created by Art. III is to conduct trials [in the limited category of cases which they are permitted to hear], and that means parties & witnesses. Parties & witnesses must be required to tell the Truth. So, it would be necessary and proper for Congress to make laws declaring perjury and lying under oath in federal court criminal offenses.
These examples are not exclusive – there are doubtless additional criminal laws which would be appropriate exercises of the necessary and proper clause. But it is important to note that private citizens would rarely, if ever, be in situations where these criminal laws would apply to them!
c) Article I, §8, next to last clause, authorizes Congress to exercise “exclusive legislation in all Cases whatsoever” over small defined geographical areas: the seat of the government of the United States [not to exceed ten squares miles], forts, dock-yards, magazines, arsenals, and the like. As Madison said in The Federalist No. 43 (4th –6th Paras), it is necessary for the government of the United States to have “complete authority” at the seat of government, and over forts, dock-yards, etc. This means that over these limited geographical areas, Congress has authority to make the full range of laws criminalizing murder, robbery, extortion, arson, rape, kidnapping, etc. It is important to note that private citizens would not be affected by these laws unless they are inside the District of Columbia, military bases, dock-yards, and the like. 
d) Article I, §8, cl. 14 authorizes Congress “To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.” Under this grant of authority, Congress has properly enacted The Uniform Code of Military Justice, the criminal code which governs members of our military forces. This covers all the “standard” criminal offenses plus additional crimes uniquely appropriate to those in the military: failure to obey a lawful order, dereliction of duty, absent without leave, desertion, conduct unbecoming an officer, etc. Again, it is important to note that civilians are not affected by the criminal code which governs our military forces.
e) Some of the Amendments to the Constitution authorize Congress to enact laws to enforce them: The 13th Amendment would authorize Congress to make laws criminally punishing those who keep slaves. The 16thAmendment presumably authorizes Congress to make criminal laws to enforce the “income” tax. The 18th Amendment (now repealed) authorized Congress & the States to make laws criminally punishing those who manufactured or trafficked in intoxicating liquors. The 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th, & 26th Amendments restrict only States &/or the federal government. The other Amendments (after the original Ten) address “housekeeping” issues. So, Congress’ criminal jurisdiction over private citizens under all Amendments is limited to those who keep slaves or don’t pay “income” taxes (whatever “income” meant when the Amendment was adopted). Estate and gift taxes are not authorized by the Constitution.
2. So! Much of the federal criminal code of today consists of “laws” which are mere usurpations and deserve to be treated as such. They are not “laws”, because they are outside the legislative powers granted to Congress by the Constitution. Excepting members of the military, and outside the tiny geographical areas (the District of Columbia, military bases, dock-yards, etc., and any Territories) where Congress has “exclusive legislation”; Congress has no general authority to pass criminal laws. Thus, laws which purport to be of general application throughout the several States criminalizing acts respecting firearms, ammunition, hate crimes, environmental crimes, economic crimes, banking crimes, computer crimes, murder, kidnapping, narcotics, arson, extortion, etc. etc., etc., etc., etc., are all unconstitutional usurpations.
Lest you think this is astonishing, remember that before the 18th Amendment was ratified in 1919, everybody knew that Congress didn’t have the power to make laws criminalizing the manufacture or distribution of intoxicating beverages! Congress needed an Amendment to the Constitution to authorize them to make the laws giving effect to prohibition! But today, Congress is lawless & filled with usurpers; and the federal prisons are filled with inmates convicted under unconstitutional laws.
Do we have a remedy for these usurpations by Congress? YES! As Madison, quoted above, said,
the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts.
Thus, when Congress makes a criminal law for which it lacks constitutional authority, the Executive Branch (in the person of the U.S. Attorney) has the power & duty to refuse to prosecute the violation. If that check fails, the Judicial Branch has the power to declare the statute unconstitutional.  If the U.S. attorneys and federal judges both fail in their obligations to enforce the Constitution, Madison said, as quoted above,
…in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people, who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers…
Hamilton said, as quoted above,
If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.
Did you get that? Hamilton said that when our ”creature”, i.e., the federal government, usurps power, WE are to judge the conduct by the standard of the Constitution, and WE are to take appropriate action to “redress the injury done to the Constitution”! This includes demands for impeachment, recall petitions, defeating faithless representatives in the next election, nullification by states, jury nullification, non-violent civil disobedience, ignoring unconstitutional “laws” because an unconstitutional “law” is a “mere usurpation and deserves to be treated as such” ; and the like.
Alexander Hamilton considered the people to be “the natural guardians of the Constitution”; and contemplated “a people enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority.” (The Federalist, No. 16, 10th Para).  One expects Hamilton would be disappointed in “the People” of today.  It is OUR responsibility to learn the Constitution, to educate the people in our spheres of influence, and to take this country back from the faithless usurpers who have betrayed us.
3. Did the Framers of the Constitution advocate anarchy? No way! The legislatures of the States have whatever authority granted to them by their State Constitutions to enact criminal codes applicable to those within the borders of their States. Madison said it all in Federalist No. 45 (9th Para):
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.
It is up to the States to enact the criminal codes which apply to the people within their borders.
Publius/Huldah July 4, 2009
Webster’s American Dictionary (1828) defines “laws of nations” as, “the rules that regulate the mutual intercourse of nations or states. These rules depend on natural law, or the principles of justice which spring from the social state; or they are founded on customs, compacts, treaties, leagues and agreements between independent communities.”
Here is one example of a “law of nations” based on custom: From antiquity to modern times, envoys between warring armies have been entitled to safe conduct while on their missions. In the [excellent!] movie, “300”, it was a shocking thing when the Spartan King, Leonidas, killed the envoys of the Persian King Xerxes. Our concept of “diplomatic immunity” is thus an ancient one.
 Madison here illustrates checks which the Executive & Judicial Branches have over Congress. We all know that Courts may declare an act of Congress unconstitutional; but most don’t know that the President should refuse to enforce an Act of Congress which the President, in the exercise of his thoughtful & independent judgment, deems unconstitutional. The President’s Oath is to “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution…” (Art II, § 1, last cl.). It is not to “go along with” Congress – it is not to “obey” the Courts. The President must make his own independent determinations. He may not properly abdicate this duty in favor of another Branch! The Executive Branch is to function as a check on the other two! The check on the President is impeachment & removal from office.
 Article IV, §3, cl. 2 also granted to Congress authority to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territories belonging to the United States [such as the Western Territories before they became States – Federalist No. 43, 11th Para]. This gave Congress authority to make the full range of criminal laws to govern those Territories until such time as they became States. When they became States, jurisdiction to enact criminal laws would be transferred TO the new State.
 It is the responsibility of defense counsel to raise the issue of the unconstitutionality of the statute under which defendant is charged. But lawyers, like everybody else in our modern culture, have been indoctrinated into statism; and like everybody else, are often unaware that Congress must be authorized by the Constitution to enact a criminal law before the law is valid. The judge has an independent responsibility to raise the unconstitutionality of the statute; but like defense counsel and everybody else, they often don’t know that Congress must have constitutional authority for their Acts.
 Hamilton also knew that “an illegal usurpation of authority”, to be successful, “would require not merely a factious majority in the legislature, but the concurrence of the courts of justice and of the body of the people.” Federalist No. 16, 10th Para. [emphasis added]. Thus, the people, as the natural guardians of the Constitution, have a duty to protest when the authorities act lawlessly! If they don’t, they will suffer the consequences, as in Europe during the last century &, as we may soon see, in our own once blessed country.
Warning! The following contains explicit religious content which may be highly offensive to some: This obligation to protest lawlessness reflects the covenantal nature of civil government as established in the Bible (See David’s covenant at 1 Chron 11:1-3 & 2 Sam 5:1-4; Joash’s (via the priest Jehoiada) covenant at 2 Kings 11:17 & 2 Chron 23:16; and Josiah’s covenant at 2 Kings 23:1-3). Out of this covenantal relationship arises the peoples’ obligation to protest lawlessness. If they don’t protest, God punishes the people because of the misdeeds of their “kings”. See, e.g., 2 Sam 21, which tells of God’s sending a 3 year famine because Saul put the Gibeonites to death; 1 Chron 21 & 2 Sam 24, which tell of the pestilence which killed 70,000 Israelites because David took the census; 1 Kings 16:29-33, 17:1, 18:1, 18:17-19 which tell of the reign of Ahab & Jezebel and the famine God (via Elijah) sent because Ahab & his house had forsaken the commandments of the Lord; 2 Chron 21:1-14, which tell of King Joram and the heavy blow God struck at Joram’s people because of Joram’s wickedness; and 2 Kings 21:10-17 & Jer 15:3-4 which tell of the four dooms God visited upon Jerusalem & the S. Kingdom because of the sins of Manasseh. If the Germans had protested Hitler in a timely fashion, millions of lives would have been spared. Will we make the same mistake?
 Hamilton contemplated “…the most vigilant and careful attention of the people…” (Federalist No. 23, next to last Para). In speaking of power disputes between the federal and state governments, Hamilton said that if the rights of the people “…are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress.” (Federalist No. 28 7th Para).
Postscript added June 16, 2015:
Hat tip to my FB Friend, Richard Storm:
Watch this video and listen carefully from the 2.50 minute mark to 3:20. That sums it all up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_voVdVnvw_I&feature=share
June 29, 2009; revised April 16, 2011