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

Searching for “Marriage” in the Fourteenth Amendment

By Publius Huldah.

During April 2015, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v Hodges and consolidated cases. The questions presented for the Court to decide are: 1

1. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a State to license a marriage of two people of the same sex?

2. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage of two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state? 2

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 law.” [emphasis mine] 3

Obviously, §1 says nothing about “marriage” or “homosexuality”. So how can it be said to authorize the supreme Court to FORCE States to accept same sex marriage?

Simple! All they have to do is redefineliberty” in §1 to get it to mean whatever they need it to mean in order to get the result they want in the cases before them.

And that is precisely what the supreme Court has been doing. In Roe v. Wade (1973), they looked at the word, “liberty”, in §1 and said it means “privacy”, and “privacy” means you can kill your baby. The 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…”

In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), they looked at the word, “liberty”, in §1 and said it means “consulting adults have the right to engage in private acts of homosexual sodomy”:

“We conclude the case should be resolved by determining whether the petitioners were free as adults to engage in the private conduct in the exercise of their liberty under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment…” (1st para under II)

“…The case does involve two adults who, with full and mutual consent from each other, engaged in sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle. The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct …” (3rd para up from end) [emphasis mine]

Do you see? The supreme Court uses the word, “liberty”, in §1 of the 14th Amendment to justify practices they approve of and want to force everybody else to accept. 4

And by claiming that these practices constitute “liberty rights” which arise under §1 of the 14th Amendment, they evade the constitutional limits on their judicial power.

I’ll show you.

The Judicial Power of the Federal Courts is Strictly Limited by The Constitution!

 The Constitution does not permit federal courts to hear any case the Judges want to hear. Instead, a case must fall within one of a few categories before federal courts have jurisdiction to hear it.

Article III, §2, clause 1, lists the cases federal courts have the delegated authority to hear. They may hear only cases:

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

2. 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]; and

3. Cases between two or more States; between Citizens of different States; between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States; and certain cases between a State and Citizens of another State or Citizens or Subjects of a foreign State [“diversity” jurisdiction].

Alexander Hamilton writes 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…” [emphasis mine]

If a case does not fit within one of these categories, federal courts may not lawfully hear it.

In Federalist No. 80, Hamilton explains the categories of cases over which federal Courts have jurisdiction.

Since the “right” to same sex marriage is claimed to arise under §1 of the 14th Amendment, we will focus on Hamilton’s discussion of cases “arising under this Constitution”; or, as Hamilton puts it, cases:

“…which concern the execution of the provisions expressly contained in the articles of Union…” (2nd para) [emphasis mine]

“Expressly contained”. Hamilton then gives examples of such cases: If a State violates the constitutional provisions which prohibit States from imposing duties on imported articles, or from issuing paper money [Art. I, §10], the federal courts are in the best position to overrule infractions which are “in manifest contravention of the articles of Union. [i.e., Constitution]”

Do you see?

So! Where are provisions addressing marriage and homosexuality “expressly contained” in our Constitution?

The answer any competent 8th grader should be able to give is, “Nowhere!”

Fabrication of “constitutional rights” in order to Usurp Judicial Power.

So now you see how Justices on the supreme Court evaded the constitutional limits on their judicial Power: They fabricated individual “constitutional rights” which they claimed were to be found in §1 of the 14th Amendment so that they could then pretend that the cases “arise under the Constitution”!

But power over abortion, homosexuality, and marriage is nowhere in our Constitution delegated to the national government over the Country at Large. 5

The supreme Court has usurped power over these objects. Their opinions are void for lack of jurisdiction and are proper objects of nullification. 6

It is time for The People and The States to man-up and smack down the supreme Court. Scrape the Court’s barnacles off Our Constitution! State Legislatures must make laws directing all State and local governments and Citizens to ignore such usurpatious opinions of the supreme Court.

Endnotes:

1 The briefs of the parties are HERE. The Questions Presented are set forth on pages 2 & 3.

2 If a same-sex marriage is contracted in one State pursuant to the laws of that State, are other States obligated, under the “full faith and credit clause”, to acknowledge the marriage as valid? Article IV, §1 states:

“Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.” [boldface mine]

At the time of our Framing, “marriage” does not appear to have been encompassed within “public Act or record”. In Federalist No. 42 (next to last para), Madison comments on the clause in connection with criminal and civil justice. An Act of the First Congress (May 26, 1790) prescribed the mode in which the public Acts, Records, and judicial proceedings in each State, shall be authenticated so as to take effect in every other state.  An amendment to the 1790 Act (March 27, 1804), addresses “records” which may be kept in any public office of the State. But this cannot have included marriage records because a number of the original 13 States recognized common law marriage. And even for States which required formalities (e.g., Virginia), marriages could be accomplished by publication of banns and subsequent recordation in church and parish records – which were not “public records”. Marriage licenses issued by the States were a later development. The meaning of the clause which prevailed when the Constitution was drafted and ratified remains until changed by formal Amendment to the Constitution. So the full faith and credit clause does NOT require States to recognize marriages contracted under the laws of other States.

3 Professor Raoul Berger shows in Government by Judiciary: The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment, that the purpose of §1 of the 14th Amendment was to extend citizenship to freed slaves, and provide constitutional authority for the federal Civil Rights Act of 1966 which protected freed slaves from southern Black Codes which denied them basic rights.

Professor Berger shows in Chapter 11 (page 222 of his book) that “due process” is a term with a “precise technical import” going 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! Berger stresses that “due process of law” refers only to trials – to judicial proceedings in courts of justice.  It does not involve judicial power to override State Laws!

In short, the due process clause of the 14th Amendment was to protect freed slaves from being lynched, imprisoned, or having their stuff taken away except pursuant to the judgment of their peers after a fair trial! It had nothing to do with “liberating” the American People from moral laws established thousands of years ago and codified into their own State Codes.

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment is badly written, uses vague terminology, and violates the “expressly contained” rule. One has to read, as Professor Berger did, the discussions in Congress and the text of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 to know what § 1 is about. But our moral and spiritual decline began in the early 1800s; from there, intellectual collapse quickly follows.

4 They even claim the right to keep on redefining “liberty” to include additional practices they might in the future want to force everyone to accept. They said in Lawrence v. Texas:

“Had those who drew and ratified the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment known the components of liberty in its manifold possibilities, they might have been more specific. They did not presume to have this insight. They knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom. (majority opinion, next to last para) [emphasis mine].

5 Because Congress has “exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever” over the federal enclaves described at Art. I, §8, next to last clause; Congress may make laws addressing these objects for those limited geographical areas. See also Art. IV, §3, cl 2. And pursuant to Art. I, §8, cl. 14, Congress may make laws addressing these objects for active duty military personnel.

6 The short and clear paper HERE proves that nullification of unconstitutional acts of the national government is the remedy advised by our Framers. One cannot honestly dispute this. PH

May 11, 2015

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May 11, 2015 Posted by | 14th Amendment, Article IV, Sec. 1, full faith and credit clause, Marriage, Marriage Amendment, same sex marriage | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

   

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