By Jerry McDaniel
As a Constitution Conservative, I take a back seat to no one when it comes to defending the Constitution. In fact, I go much further than most conservatives do. I believe the Philadelphia Convention, and the thirteen state ratifying conventions were all done under the superintending providence of God. Therefore, I also believe that our founding documents contain God’s plan for the governing of America. Even a casual survey of American history clearly shows that whenever we deviate from that plan we pay a dear price in political turmoil and economic hardships.
It is imperative for the survival of the Republic that Mitt Romney be elected in November. Obama has to be turned out of office before he completes his mission to “fundamentally transform America” — if it is not too late already. Romney is the only alternative available at this time. However, we must not be misled into believing that electing Romney is going to turn things around overnight. Throughout his political life, Romney has been a follower, not a leader. That is not going to change automatically when he gets in the White House.
Furthermore, Romney has not exhibited a firm grasp of the Constitution during his campaign for the Presidency. For example, he has promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Millions of voters will cast their ballot for him based on that promise. However, when he makes it, he is being disingenuous. The President does not repeal legislation, only Congress can do that. Even Romney knows that much about the working of our government, therefore, he is being disingenuous with the American people when he makes the promise. What he should say is, “on my first day in office I will urge Congress to repeal Obamacare as its first order of business.” That he can do.
He also says frequently, “On my first day in office I will, by executive order, issue waivers to the states exempting them from having to enforce the provisions of Obamacare.” (Paraphrased) Here he is violating at least two clear provisions of the Constitution. Executive Orders, in the sense he is using the term, carries the weight of law. The very first sentence in the body of the Constitution, First Article, First Clause, clearly states, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Executive Orders, other than administrative orders directed to employees of the Executive Branch directly in the President’s chain-of-command, are unconstitutional.
When he indicates that he will not enforce Obamacare as President, he is in effect, saying that he and he alone will decide what the law is. Unfortunately, the same conservatives who condemn Chief Justice Roberts and the Obama Justice Department for making one-man decisions concerning which laws to enforce or what the law is in the first place, are the same conservatives that are cheering Romney on in his promises. Far too many critical decisions are made in our government by one person, whether it is the President, a bureaucratic Czar, or the “swing vote” on the Supreme Court. This has to stop, and should never be encouraged by a Constitution Conservative, whether or not we agree with the intended outcome.
One of the most overlooked sentences in the Constitution is found in the last sentence of Article II, Section 3, “He (the President) shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed…” This is one of the few specific duties of the President spelled out in the Constitution. Whether we like it or not, Obamacare was passed by Congress and signed by the President, therefore, it is the law and the President is responsible for its execution.
However, it is not the law of the land. Article VI, paragraph two says, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof … shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby,” Notice, it is the Constitution itself that is the Supreme Law of the Land, not the opinions of the Supreme Court or the acts of Congress when they conflict with the Constitution. One of the first landmark cases of the Supreme Court was Marbury vs. Madison in 1803. Chief Justice John Marshall, writing for the Court, said in his opinion, “a law repugnant to the Constitution is null and void.” Obamacare is not only repugnant to all thinking Americans, it is also repugnant to the Constitution; therefore, it is really no law at all. Nevertheless, until it is repealed by Congress, it is the duty of the President to enforce it. What then, can we do?
To answer that question we have to look to the hierarchy of sovereignty laid out in our Founding documents. In the Preamble to the Constitution which defines the purpose of our federal government, we read, “We the People…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights says, “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.”
In America, the supreme power resides with the people by natural law, as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. In order to maintain a civil society, the people delegate certain powers to representatives elected by them to serve in the state legislatures that, in turn, are restricted by State Constitutions. In 1774, the people of the original thirteen states formed state governments made up of their elected representatives. Those state legislatures delegated certain powers to the First Continental Congress to form a confederation, primarily for the purpose of conducting the Revolutionary War. In 1786, Congress authorized a convention in Philadelphia for the purpose of strengthening the Articles of Confederation to make them more effective in dealing with issues common to all the states that could not be adequately handled by the states individually. In that Convention, the Constitution was written creating a federal government with limited powers for carrying out a finite number of enumerated responsibilities dealing mostly with national defense and commerce.
In the hierarchy of powers, the federal government as a creation of the Constitution has the least amount of legitimate power, carefully limited to those matters delegated to it by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. In all matters not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, State Law is supreme over federal law. This power structure is not contradicted by the “Supremacy Clause” quoted above in Article VI. Since legislating health care is not one of the enumerated powers given to the federal government by the Constitution, the state legislatures can forbid the enforcement of Obamacare within its jurisdiction. Until it is repealed by Congress– hopefully in January 2013–, it is up to the state governments to prevent its implementation on a state-by-state basis.
While it is the responsibility of every Patriot to vote for Mitt Romney for President in the upcoming election, do not be misled into expecting President Romney to reverse the downward slide of American society without constant prodding from our side. Those patriots who expect to return to their slumber after the November election had better stock up on NoDoze. The real work begins in January of 2013 and we can expect it to continue for at least the next generation if we are to return America to the Constitutional Republic designed by our Founders. While we are attempting to regain control of our federal government, we also have to give serious attention to reforming our state governments. More on that later.