The Constitution is a fiercely partisan document. It is partisan in favor of liberty for the people and sovereignty for the states. It is partisan against political parties and the expansion of power by the federal government. Most politicians reject the Constitution, not with their words but with their actions. All occupants of elective or appointed offices of the United States are required to swear allegiance to the Constitution. That is an accepted part of the ceremony installing them in office.
Unfortunately for the Country, that’s all it is to most politicians, just a formality to be gotten out of the way so they can get on with the business of running the country and the lives of its citizens. There is a plethora of evidence supporting this assertion. It is virtually impossible to find evidence to the contrary. The overwhelming majority of Federal policies are unconstitutional. Our new President, Barack Obama, although he fancies himself as a constitutional scholar and actually taught constitutional law for eleven years at one of America’s most prestigious universities, shows nothing but disdain for its precepts in the policies he has proposed since taking office.
I am sometimes reminded that I am not a lawyer. Attempts are often made to refute my seemingly unorthodox views of the Constitution with references to Supreme Court decisions. It is true that I do not have training in law, however, I do have formal training in hermeneutics, the science and methodology of interpreting texts. It is only natural that my approach to the Constitution would be different than most politicians who are for the most part trained in the law.
As to the Supreme Court decisions and other rulings by federal courts, they constitute the current law of the land, the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. According to Article VI, Clause 2,
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
One of the key words in this Article is the word “pursuance”. Webster defines “pursuance” as “the act of putting something into effect”. The term “pursuant to” is defined as, “In accordance with: in carrying out”. Laws made by Congress and decisions made by the courts that ignore or contradict the Constitution are, in effect, both illegal and unconstitutional. It is the duty of judges at all levels including the Appellate Courts and the Supreme Court to declare such laws and decisions null and void. (See Jefferson’s 1819 Letter to Judge Roane)
The lawyer studies the Constitution looking for loopholes, as is their custom with most laws. As a textual critic, I study the Constitution looking for the meaning of the words used and the principle behind the thoughts the writers were attempting to convey. The Constitution was not written for lawyers. It was written for the planters, craftsmen, merchants, hunters and other common folks whose duty it would be to approve or reject it as the guiding document for our form of government.
The career politician rejects the Constitution because it severely limits his or her power. On the other hand, the patriot reveres and defends it for the same reason. It is the only defense we have against the tyranny of government and the destruction of our liberties.
NEW! Website Post:
Washington’s Farewell Address
Part 1: Plan to Retire
Part 2: Importance of National Unity
Part 3: On The Constitution
Part 4: On Political Parties
Part 5: On Religion and Government, Public Debt and Taxes
Part 6: On International Relations