Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

How States can Man-up and Stop Abortion

By Publius Huldah

If the American People [and American lawyers] had been properly educated, they would know that our federal Constitution created a federal government of enumerated powers only; and that most of the powers delegated to Congress over the Country at Large are listed at Art. I, §8, clauses 1-16, US Constitution.

“Abortion” is not listed among the enumerated powers. Therefore, Congress has no power to make any laws about abortion for the Country at Large.1 And since “abortion” isn’t “expressly contained” in the Constitution, it doesn’t “arise under” the Constitution; and since state laws restricting abortion don’t fit within any of the other categories of cases the federal courts are authorized by Art. III, §2, cl. 1 to hear, the federal courts also have no power over this issue.

So from the beginning of our Constitutional Republic until 1973, everyone understood that abortion is a State matter. Accordingly, many State Legislatures enacted statutes restricting abortion within their borders.

But in 1973, the US Supreme Court issued its opinion in Roe v. Wade and made the absurd claim that Section 1 of the 14th Amendment contains a “right” to abortion. In Why Supreme Court opinions are not the ‘Law of the Land,’ and how to put federal judges in their place, I showed why the Supreme Court’s opinion in Roe is unconstitutional.

But Americans have long been conditioned to believe that the Constitution means whatever the Supreme Court says it means.2 Accordingly, for close to 50 years, American lawyers and federal judges have mindlessly chanted the absurd refrain that “Roe v. Wade is the Law of the Land”; State governments slavishly submitted; and 60 million babies died.

So who has the lawful authority to stop abortion?

1. Congress has constitutional authority to ban abortion in federal enclaves and military hospitals

Over the federal enclaves, Congress has constitutional authority to ban abortion: Pursuant to Article I, §8, next to last clause, Congress is granted “exclusive Legislation” over the District of Columbia, military bases, dock-Yards, and other places purchased with the consent of the State Legislatures (to carry out the enumerated powers).3 Article I, §8, cl.14 grants to Congress the power to make Rules for the government and regulation of the Military Forces. Accordingly, for the specific geographical areas described at Article I, §8, next to last clause, and in US military hospitals everywhere, Congress has the power to make laws banning abortion.

2. But federal courts have no constitutional authority over abortion

Article III, §2, cl. 1 lists the ten categories of cases federal courts have authority to hear. They may hear only cases:

♦“Arising under” the Constitution, or the Laws of the United States, or Treaties made under the Authority of the United States [“federal question” jurisdiction];

♦Affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers & Consuls; cases of admiralty & maritime Jurisdiction; or cases in which the U.S. is a Party [“status of the parties” jurisdiction];

♦Between two or more States; between a State & Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States; between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States; and between a State (or Citizens thereof) & foreign States, Citizens or Subjects [“diversity” jurisdiction].4

These are the only cases federal courts have authority to hear. Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 83 (8th para):

“…the judicial authority of the federal judicatures is declared by the Constitution to comprehend certain cases particularly specified. The expression of those cases marks the precise limits beyond which the federal courts cannot extend their jurisdiction, because the objects of their cognizance being enumerated, the specification would be nugatory if it did not exclude all ideas of more extensive authority.” [boldface added]

Obviously, State laws restricting abortion don’t fall within “status of the parties” or “diversity” jurisdiction; and federal courts haven’t claimed jurisdiction on those grounds. Instead, they have asserted that abortion cases “arise under” the US Constitution!

But 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]…” 5 [boldface added]

Obviously, “abortion” is not “expressly contained” in the Constitution. So it doesn’t “arise under” the Constitution. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court had to redefine the word, “liberty”, which appears in §1 of the 14th Amendment, in order to claim that “abortion” “arises under” the Constitution.

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment says:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” [boldface added] 6

Do you see where it says that pregnant women have the “right” to abortion? It isn’t there! So this is what the Supreme Court did in Roe v. Wade to legalize killing babies: They said “liberty” means “privacy” and “privacy” means state laws banning abortion are unconstitutional. And American lawyers and judges have slavishly gone along with this evil absurdity ever since!

3. States must reclaim their traditionally recognized reserved power to restrict abortion!

Since “abortion” is a power reserved by the States or the People, State Legislatures should reenact State Statutes restricting abortion.

When a lawsuit is filed in Federal District Court alleging that the State Statute violates the US Constitution, the State Attorney General should file a motion in the Court to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. He should point out that the Court has no constitutional authority to hear the case; that Roe v. Wade is void for lack of subject matter jurisdiction; that “abortion” is one of the many powers reserved by the States; and that the State Legislature properly exercised its retained sovereign power when it re-enacted the Statue restricting abortion.

The State Attorney General should also advise the Court that if the Court denies the Motion to Dismiss, the State will not participate in the litigation and will not submit to any pretended Orders or Judgments issued by the Court.

Now! Here is an interesting fact which everyone would already know if they had had a proper education in civics: Federal courts have no power to enforce their own Judgments and Orders. They must depend on the Executive Branch of the federal government to enforce their Judgments and Orders.7

Since President Trump has proclaimed his opposition to abortion, who believes that he would send in the National Guard to force the State to allow physicians to kill more babies within the State? Please understand: An opinion or ruling from a federal court means nothing unless the Executive Branch chooses to enforce it.8 THIS IS THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH’S “CHECK” ON THE JUDICIAL BRANCH! If the President, in the exercise of his independent judgment, thinks that an Order or Judgment of a federal court is unconstitutional, it is his duty imposed by his Oath of Office 9 to refuse to enforce it.

4. The modern day approach to dealing with absurd Supreme Court Opinions

But most pro-life lawyers will tell you we should proceed as follows: That we need to get a number of States to pass “heartbeat laws”. Pro-abortion forces will then file lawsuits in federal district courts alleging that the heartbeat laws violate Roe v. Wade and are “unconstitutional”. Most States will lose in the federal district courts. But they can appeal to one of the 13 US Circuit Courts of Appeal. Most of the States will also lose in the Circuit Court. But if just one Circuit Court rules in favor of the heartbeat law, then there will be “conflict” among the Circuits and the US Supreme Court is likely to hear the issue. This will give the US Supreme Court the opportunity [years from now] to revisit Roe v. Wade, and they might overrule it!

But I suggest, dear Reader, that we must purge our thinking of the assumption that we can’t have a moral and constitutional government unless Five Judges on the Supreme Court say we can have it. Since it is clear that federal courts have no constitutional authority over abortion, why do we go along with the pretense that they do? Why not just man-up and tell them, “You have no jurisdiction over this issue”?

Our Framers would be proud of you.

Endnotes:

1 Accordingly, the federal Heartbeat Bill and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, to the extent they purport to apply outside federal enclaves and military hospitals, are unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated to Congress over the Country at Large.

2 The Supreme Court was created by Art. III, §1, US Constitution, and is completely subject to its terms. As a mere “creature”, it may not re-write the document under which it holds its existence.

3 In Federalist No. 43 at 2., James Madison explains why Congress must have complete lawmaking authority over the District of Columbia and the federal enclaves.

4 The 11th Amendment reduced the jurisdiction of federal courts by taking from them the power to hear cases filed by a Citizen of one State against another State.

5 Federalist No. 80 (3rd & 13th paras) illustrates what “arising under the Constitution” means: Hamilton 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.

6 “Privileges and immunities” and “due process” are ancient Principles of English Jurisprudence well-known to earlier generations of American lawyers. “Equal protection” within §1 of the 14th Amd’t means that with respect to the rights recognized by these ancient Principles, States were now required to treat black people the same as white people. See Raoul Berger, Government by Judiciary The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

7 In Federalist No. 78 (6th para), Hamilton shows why federal courts have no power to enforce their orders and judgments – they must rely on the Executive Branch to enforce them:

“… the judiciary… will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them. The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.” [caps are Hamilton’s; boldface added]

8 During the Eisenhower administration, a federal court ordered the State of Arkansas to desegregate their public schools. But the Governor of Arkansas refused to comply with the federal court orders. So President Eisenhower sent in the National Guard to force Arkansas to admit black students to a public school. See this archived article from the New York Times.

Here, Eisenhower chose to enforce the Court’s Order. But if he had decided that he would NOT enforce it, the schools would have remained segregated. Federal courts are dependent on the Executive Branch of the fed. gov’t to enforce their Orders! This is what Hamilton is talking about in Federalist No. 78.

9 The President’s Oath is to “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” (Art. II, §1, last clause). It is not to obey the Judicial Branch of the fed. gov’t.

Jefferson’s letter of September 28, 1820 to William Charles Jarvis may be read HERE at page 161.  The Works of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Paul Leicester Ford, Vol. XII.

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June 30, 2019 Posted by | 14th Amendment, Abortion, Alabama Heartbeat law, Article III, Sec. 2, Enumerated Powers of Federal Courts, Federalist Paper No. 78, Federalist Paper No. 80, Federalist Paper No. 83, Judicial Supremacy, Roe v. Wade | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Why Supreme Court opinions are not the “Law of the Land”, and how to put federal judges in their place.

By Publius Huldah

Central to the silly arguments made by the “Convention of States Project” (COSP) is their claim that 200 years of Supreme Court opinions have increased the powers of the federal government (as well as legalized practices such as abortion); that all these opinions are “the Law of the Land”; and we need an Article V convention so we can get amendments to the Constitution which take away all these powers the Supreme Court gave the federal government.

But the text of Article V contradicts COSP’s claim. Article V shows that our Constitution can be amended only when three fourths of the States ratify proposed amendments. The Supreme Court has no power to amend our Constitution. And it’s impossible for an amendment to take away powers our Constitution doesn’t grant.

1. First Principles

Let’s analyze COSP’s silly argument. We begin by looking at First Principles:

♦The Judicial Branch was created by Art. III, §1, US Constitution. Accordingly, it is a “creature” of the Constitution. 1

♦The federal government came into existence when the States, acting through special ratifying conventions held in each of the States, ratified the Constitution.2

Since the Judicial Branch is merely a “creature” of the Constitution, it follows that it is subordinate to the Constitution, and is completely subject to its terms. It may not annul the superior authority of the States which created the Judicial Branch when they ratified the Constitution; 3 and as a mere “creature” of the Constitution, it may NOT change the Constitution under which it holds its existence! 4

 

2. Supreme Court Opinions are not “the Law of the Land”

Article VI, cl.2, US Constit., the “supremacy clause”, defines “supreme Law of the Land” as the Constitution, and acts of Congress and Treaties which are authorized by the Constitution. Supreme Court opinions aren’t included!

Furthermore, Art. I, §1, US Constit., vests all law-making powers granted by the Constitution in Congress. Our Constitution doesn’t grant any lawmaking powers to the Judicial Branch.

So why does everybody say, as we heard during the Kavanagh confirmation hearings, that Roe v. Wade is “the Law of the Land”? Because Americans have been conditioned to believe that the Supreme Court is superior to our Constitution; that their opinions about our Constitution are “law”, and we are bound by them unless and until they issue new opinions which release us from their previous opinions.

 

3. Organic & statutory law and the totally different “common law” precedent followed in courts

Americans have been conditioned to ignore the huge distinctions between organic and statutory law, on the one hand; and the common law which is embodied in the precedents followed by judges in litigation.

Organic Law

Black’s Law Dictionary defines “organic law” as

“The fundamental law, or constitution, of a state or nation, written or unwritten; 5 that law or system of laws or principles which defines and establishes the organization of its government.”

The organic laws of the United States are

  • The Declaration of Independence – 1776
  • Articles of Confederation – 1777
  • Ordinance of 1787: The Northwest Territorial Government
  • Constitution of the United States – 1787

The Articles of Confederation was our first Constitution. It was replaced by our Constitution of 1787 when it was ratified June 21, 1788. The Northwest Ordinance was superseded by the transformation of the area covered by the Ordinance into States [pursuant to Art. IV, §3, cl. 2, US Constit.].

Do you see how absurd is the claim that the Supreme Court, a mere “creature” of the Constitution of 1787, has the power to change the Organic Law of the United States?

Statute Law

Black’s Law Dictionary defines “statute law” as the

“Body of written laws that have been adopted by the legislative body.”

As we saw above, all legislative Powers granted by our Constitution are vested in Congress (Art. I, §1). Acts of Congress qualify as part of the “supreme Law of the Land” only when they are made pursuant to Authority granted to Congress by the Constitution (Art.VI, cl. 2). When Acts of Congress are not authorized by the Constitution, they are mere usurpations and must be treated as such.6

Common Law

The “common law” applied in courts in the English-speaking countries came from the Bible.7 The Bible has much to say about our relations with each other: don’t murder people, don’t maim them, don’t steal, don’t bear false witness, don’t tell lies about people, don’t be negligent, don’t cheat or defraud people, and such. The Bible provides for Judges to decide disputes between people and empowers Judges to require the person who has violated these precepts to pay restitution to the person whom he harmed. So, e.g., the Biblical prohibitions against bearing false witness and slandering people became our modern day concepts of slander, libel, and defamation. These principles were applied in the English courts from time immemorial, and are applied in American Courts. Modern day American attorneys litigate these common law concepts all the time. So if I am representing a client in an action for say, fraud, I look at the previous court opinions in the jurisdiction on fraud, and see how the courts in that jurisdiction have defined fraud – i.e., I look for “precedents” – the courts’ previous opinions on the subject – and I expect the Judge on my case to obey that precedent. 8

THIS is the “common law”. It is “law” in the sense that it originated with God’s Word; and from “time immemorial” has been applied in the Courts of English speaking countries. But this precedent is binding or persuasive only on courts. 9 As precedent for judges to follow, it is never “the law of the land”!

So, keep these three categories – organic, statutory, and common law – separate, and do not confuse court precedent with the “Law of the Land”. The latter is restricted to the Organic Law, and statutes and treaties authorized by the Organic Law.

Now let’s look at the constitutional jurisdiction of the federal courts.

 

4. What kinds of cases do federal courts have constitutional authority to hear?

The ten categories of cases the Judicial Branch has authority to hear are enumerated at Art. III, §2, cl. 1, US Constit. 10

The first category is cases “arising under this Constitution”. In Federalist No. 80 (2nd para), Hamilton shows these cases concern “provisions expressly contained” in the Constitution. He then points to the restrictions on the authority of the State Legislatures [listed at Art. I, §10], and shows that if a State exercises any of those prohibited powers, and the federal government sues the State, the federal courts would have authority to hear the case (3rd & 13th paras).

So if a State enters into a Treaty, or grants Letters of Marque & Reprisal, or issues paper money, or does any of the other things prohibited by Art. I, §10, the controversy would “arise under the Constitution” and the federal courts have constitutional authority to hear the case.

Likewise, if a State passed a law which violated the Constitution – say one requiring candidates in their State for US Senate to be 40 years of age – instead of the 30 years prescribed at Art. I, §3, cl. 3 – the federal courts have constitutional authority to hear the case.

So the purpose of this category is to authorize the Judicial Branch to enforce the Constitution – not re-write it!! 11

Now let’s look at one way the Supreme Court butchered our Constitution in order to strike down State Laws they didn’t like.

 

5. How the Supreme Court violated the “arising under” clause to hear cases they have no constitutional authority to hear

Let’s use “abortion” to illustrate the usurpation. Obviously, “abortion” is not “expressly contained” in the Constitution. So abortion doesn’t “arise under” the Constitution; and the constitutionality of State Statutes prohibiting abortion doesn’t fit into any of the other nine categories of cases federal courts have authority to hear. Accordingly, federal courts have no judicial power over it. The Supreme Court had to butcher words in our Constitution in order to usurp power to legalize abortion. This is what they did:

The original intent of §1 of the 14th Amendment was to extend citizenship to freed slaves and to provide constitutional authority for the federal Civil Rights Act of 1866. That Act protected freed slaves from Southern Black Codes which denied them God-given rights. 12

Now look at §1 where it says, “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;”

That’s the “due process” clause. As Professor Berger points out [ibid.], it has a precise meaning which goes back to the Magna Charta: it means that a person’s life, liberty or property can’t be taken away from him except by the judgment of his peers pursuant to a fair trial.

But this is how the Supreme Court perverted the genuine meaning of that clause: In Roe v. Wade (1973), they looked at the word, “liberty” in the due process clause and said, “liberty” means “privacy”, and “privacy” means “a woman can kill her unborn baby”. 13

And they claimed they had jurisdiction to overturn State Laws criminalizing abortion because the issue arises under the Constitution at §1 of the 14th Amendment! [ibid.]

The Supreme Court redefined words in Our Constitution to justify the result they wanted in the case before them.

The Supreme Court didn’t “enforce” the Constitution – they butchered it to fabricate a “constitutional right” to kill unborn babies.

And the lawyers said, “It’s the Law of the Land”; the People yawned; and the clergy said, “the Bible says we have to obey civil government – besides, we don’t want to lose our 501 (c) (3) tax exemption!”

 

6. What are the remedies when the Supreme Court violates the Constitution?

The opinions of which the convention lobby complains constitute violations of our Constitution. 14 The three remedies our Framers provided or advised for judicial violations of our Constitution are:

1. In Federalist No. 81 (8th para), Hamilton shows Congress can impeach and remove from office federal judges who violate the Constitution. Congress is competent to decide whether federal judges have violated the Constitution! Impeachment is their “check” on the Judicial Branch.

2. In Federalist No. 78 (6th para), Hamilton shows the Judicial Branch must rely on the Executive Branch to enforce its judgments. If the President, in the exercise of his independent judgment and mindful of his Oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”, determines that an opinion of a federal court is unconstitutional; his Duty is to refuse to enforce it. The President is also competent to decide whether federal judges have violated the Constitution! Refusing to enforce their unconstitutional judgments is his “check” on the Judicial Branch.

3. On the Right & Duty of the States – who created the federal government when they ratified the Constitution – to smack down their “creature” when their “creature” violates the Constitutional Compact the States made with each other, see Nullification: The Original Right of Self-Defense.

Endnotes:

1Creature” is the word our Founders used – e.g., Federalist No. 33 (5th para) & Jefferson’s draft of The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 (8th Resolution).

2Art. VII, cl. 1, US Constit., sets forth ratification procedures for our Constitution.

3 Madison’s Virginia Report of 1799-1800 (pp 190-196).

4 Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787 shows that on July 23, 1787, the Delegates discussed who was competent to ratify the proposed new Constitution. Col. Mason said it is “the basis of free Government” that only the people are competent to ratify the new Constitution, and

“…The [State] Legislatures have no power to ratify it. They are the mere creatures of the State Constitutions, and cannot be greater than their creators…”

Madison agreed that State Legislatures were incompetent to ratify the proposed Constitution – it would make essential inroads on the existing State Constitutions, and

“…it would be a novel & dangerous doctrine that a Legislature could change the constitution under which it held its existence….”

It’s equally novel & dangerous to say that the Supreme Court may change the Constitution under which it holds its existence.

5 It is said England doesn’t have a written constitution.

6 Acts of Congress which are not authorized by the enumerated powers are void. They are not made “in Pursuance” of the Constitution and have supremacy over nothing. Federalist No. 27 (last para) says:

“…the laws of the Confederacy [the federal government], as to the ENUMERATED and LEGITIMATE objects of its jurisdiction, will become the SUPREME LAW of the land; to the observance of which all officers, legislative, executive, and judicial, in each State, will be bound by the sanctity of an oath. Thus the legislatures, courts, and magistrates, of the respective members [the States], will be incorporated into the operations of the national government AS FAR AS ITS JUST AND CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY EXTENDS…” [capitals are Hamilton’s]

See also Federalist No. 33 (last 2 paras) and Federalist No. 78 (10th para).

7 John Whitehead mentions the Biblical origin of the common law in The Second American Revolution.

8 Art. III, §2, cl.1 delegates to federal courts power to hear “Controversies between Citizens of different States.” Much of the litigation conducted in federal courts falls into this category. These lawsuits aren’t about the Constitution. Instead, they involve the range of issues people fight about in State Courts: personal injury, breach of contract, business disputes, fighting over property, slander & libel, etc. In deciding these cases, federal judges are expected to follow the “common law” precedents.

9 In Federalist No. 78 (next to last para), Hamilton discusses how judges are bound by “precedents” which define and point out their duty in the particular cases which come before them.

10 In Federalist No. 83 (8th para), Hamilton says:

“…the…authority of the federal …[courts]…is declared by the Constitution to comprehend certain cases particularly specified. The expression of those cases marks the precise limits, beyond which the federal courts cannot extend their jurisdiction…”

11 James Madison agreed that the purpose of the “arising under this Constitution” clause is to enable federal courts to enforce the Constitution. At the Virginia Ratifying convention on June 20, 1788, he explained the categories of cases federal courts have authority to hear. As to “cases arising under this Constitution”, he said:

“…That causes of a federal nature will arise, will be obvious to every gentleman, who will recollect that the states are laid under restrictions; and that the rights of the union are secured by these restrictions. They may involve equitable as well as legal controversies…”

12 This is proved in Harvard Professor Raoul Berger’s meticulously documented book, Government by Judiciary: The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

13 In Roe v. Wade (1973), the Supreme Court said under Part VIII of their opinion:

“…This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is … is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy…”

14 Many Supreme Court opinions violate our Constitution. Wickard v. Filburn (1942), discussed HERE, is another of the most notorious. But we elect to Congress people who don’t know our Constitution or The Federalist Papers; and they are unaware of their Duty – imposed by their Oath of office – to function as a “check” on the Judicial Branch by impeaching federal judges who violate our Constitution.

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November 25, 2018 Posted by | 14th Amendment, 3000 page constitution, Abortion, annotated constitution, Article V Convention, common law, Convention of States project, Creature of the Compact, due process clause, Enumerated Powers of Federal Courts, federal judges, Judicial Abuse, Law of the Land, Nullification, organic law, precedents, Publius Huldah, Roe v. Wade, statute law, The Judicial Branch | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

   

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