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The Balance of Powers Act – How People Are Destroyed For Lack of knowledge

publius-HuldahBy Publius Huldah

Our own Ignorance is destroying us.  Mark Twain wrote in his autobiography:

“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

That is what has been going on in our Country for a very long time. Our “intellectuals” can’t think; our “scholars” parrot each other; the self-educated fixate on idiotic theories; no one studies original source writings; and The People jump on every bandwagon that rolls by.

In order to write intelligently on our Constitution, one needs to have studied and understood the original source writings of our Framers.  No matter what your educational level, if you don’t know what is in our Declaration of Independence and federal Constitution; and if you are not familiar from personal study with The Federalist Papers, The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798, Madison’s Report on the Virginia Resolutions (1799-1800), and Madison’s Notes on Nullification (1834), among other original source writings, then you have no business writing about these issues.

But we are flooded with rubbish about the Constitution put out by law professors, history professors, Ph.Ds. of this or that, Heritage Foundation, those with no academic qualifications, and politicians. And none of them know what they are talking about!

And The People read their rubbish and believe it.

One of many such writings which plague us is the Balance of Powers Act  (“BOPA”). 1

The BOPA reflects a justified frustration with the innumerable usurpations by the federal government during the last 100 years.

But it also reflects such fundamental misunderstandings of our Founding Principles that it misstates or ignores them.  Accordingly, it undermines our Constitution.

There are 6 major problems with the BOPA:

1. It wrongly presents the federal government as a party to the U.S. Constitution.

Throughout the BOPA, the following refrain is recited:

 “The guarantee of those powers is a matter of compact between the state and people of _[state]__ and the United States as of the time that _[state]____ was admitted to statehood in _[year of admission]_.” [boldface mine]

That refrain elevates the federal government (“the United States”) 2 to the status of a “party” to the compact (Constitution)!

But the federal government is not a party to the Constitution! WE THE PEOPLE created the federal government when we ordained and established The Constitution. The federal government didn’t even exist until the Constitution was ratified.

Accordingly, our Framers understood that the federal government is merely our “creature”, and is not a “party” to anything. In Federalist No. 33 (5th para), Alexander Hamilton writes:

“… 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 [Constitution] they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.” [boldface mine]

Thomas Jefferson writes in his Draft of the Kentucky Resolutions, 8th Resolution:

“… they [The States] alone being parties to the compact, and solely authorized to judge in the last resort of the powers exercised under it, Congress being not a party, but merely the creature of the compact, …” [emphasis mine]

James Madison writes in his Report on the Virginia Resolutions (1799-1800) under the 3rd resolution:

“It…[is]…a plain principle, founded in common sense…and essential to the nature of compacts, that, where resort can be had to no tribunal superior to the authority of the parties, the parties themselves must be the rightful judges, in the last resort, whether the bargain made has been pursued or violated. The Constitution of the United States was formed by the sanction of the states, given by each in its sovereign capacity. … The states, then, being the parties to the constitutional compact, and in their sovereign capacity, it follows of necessity that there can be no tribunal, above their authority, to decide, in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated; … ” [boldface mine]

Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison are saying that because the States alone are “the parties” to the compact, they are the final authority to decide whether their “creature”, the  federal government, has violated the compact.   THIS is why States have the natural right of nullification!

But by asserting that States and the federal government are in a “compact” together, the BOPA elevates our “creature” to the status of a sovereign party right up there with The States!  Thus, it undermines the “plain principle” that the States alone, as the parties to the compact, have the right to decide, in the last resort, whether the federal government has violated the compact! 3

2. It wrongly suggests that each State (after the original 13) has a different Constitution

Here is another wrongheaded aspect of the same refrain in BOPA:

“The guarantee of those powers is a matter of compact between the state and people of _[state]__ and the United States as of the time that _[state]____ was admitted to statehood in _[year of admission]_.” [boldface mine]

The BOPA makes the absurd suggestion (which is piled on top of the untrue assertion that the federal government is a party to the compact) that every State admitted after the original 13, has a different “compact” with the federal government, depending on the year of admission.

So instead of one Constitution applicable to all States, we have (according to the BOPA) some 37 “compacts” (Constitutions) [50-13= 37].   Not only is this absurd, it perpetuates the lie spewed by progressives that the meaning of the Constitution evolves.

When Tennessee was admitted to statehood on June 1, 1796, she was admitted “on an equal footing with the original states, in all respects whatsoever”.  The U.S. Constitution has the same force in Tennessee and in the same manner as if Tennessee had been one of the original 13 States.  See, “An Act for the admission of the State of Tennessee into the Union”.

3. It misstates the original intent of the “interstate commerce” clause.

 Section 2 (3) of the BOPA asserts that the interstate commerce clause (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 3):

“…was meant to empower Congress to regulate the buying and selling of products made by others (and sometimes land), associated finance and financial instruments, and navigation and other carriage, across state jurisdictional lines…”

That is demonstrably false, and no authorities are cited.

We look to The Federalist Papers to learn the original intent of the clause. Federalist No. 22 (4th para), Federalist No. 42 (9th &10th paras), Federalist No. 44 (at 2.), and Federalist No. 56  (4th & 5th paras), explain the two purposes of the “interstate commerce” clause:

♣To prohibit the States from imposing tolls and tariffs on articles of import and export – goods & commodities – merchandize – as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling; and

To permit the federal government to impose duties on articles of commerce and imports.4

 

4. It doesn’t properly set forth the original intent of the “necessary and proper” clause.

Section 2 (4) of the BOPA asserts that the necessary and proper clause (Art. I, Sec. 8, last cl.), was:

“… a limitation of power under the common-law doctrine of “principals and incidents,” which restricts the power of Congress to exercise incidental powers. There are two (2) main conditions required for something to be incidental, and therefore, “necessary and proper.” The law or power exercised must be 1) directly applicable to the main, enumerated power, and 2) it must be “lesser” than the main power.”

That is neither helpful nor authoritative.

The Federalist Papers explain the original intent of this clause. It merely delegates to Congress the power to pass laws necessary and 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 and proper for the execution of that power (Federalist No. 33, 3rd 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” (No. 33, 2nd para); and thus the clause is “perfectly harmless”, a  “tautology or redundancy” (No. 33, 3rd para).  Madison says the same in Federalist No. 44, at 1 (under his discussion of the SIXTH class).

In plain English, the clause merely permits Congress to make laws to carry out the enumerated powers of the three branches of the federal government.

For example: The duty of some of the federal courts created by Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 9 is to conduct trials (in the types of cases Art. III, Sec. 2, cl. 1 permits them to hear).  Trials involve parties and witnesses. They must be required to tell the Truth! So, it would be necessary and proper for Congress to make laws against perjury in federal court.

 

5. It misstates the original intent of the “general welfare” clause.

Section 2 (5) of the BOPA asserts that the general welfare clause (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 1) requires:

“… that congress only enact laws which serve all citizens well and equally. When James Madison was asked if this clause were a grant of power, he replied “If not only the means but the objects are unlimited, the parchment [the Constitution] should be thrown into the fire at once.” Thus, we re-establish that this clause is a limitation on the power of the federal government to act in the welfare of all when passing laws in pursuance of the powers delegated to the United States, showing no favor to any race, creed, color or socio-economic class.”

That is not true, and no authorities are cited in support of the assertion that the general welfare clause means that Congress must treat all social classes the same.

The limitation imposed by the Constitution on Congress’ powers is that laws made by Congress must fall within the scope of the enumerated powers delegated to Congress. 

The term, “general welfare”, as used in our Constitution, has nothing to do with treating people of all races, creeds, and social classes the same.

Our Framers understood the “general welfare” (as applied to States) to refer to:

“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 Dictionary)

They saw that this condition could be brought about by the federal government we created in our Constitution:  A federal government divided into three parts, with each part having checks on the other parts; and with only enumerated powers delegated to each of the three parts.

Accordingly, the Preamble to our Constitution says:

“WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” [boldface mine]

And that portion of our Constitution which introduces the list of most of the enumerated powers delegated to Congress over the Country at Large (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl 1) says:

“The Congress shall have Power … to … provide for the common defense and general Welfare of the United States…” [boldface mine]

Immediately thereafter follows the enumeration of 15 specific powers delegated to Congress over the Country at Large. In essence, these 15 powers authorize Congress to:

♣Provide for military defense and international relations and commerce;

♣Establish a uniform commercial system (bankruptcy laws, a money system based on gold & silver, weights & measures,  mail delivery & some road building, patents & copyrights); and

♣Make laws for naturalization of new citizens.

Our Framers understood that the “general Welfare” – the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, and the enjoyment of the ordinary blessings of society and civil government – would prevail with the federal government of narrowly defined and enumerated powers created by our Constitution! 5

Section (6) (A) of the BOPA then goes on to assert that the commerce clause, general welfare clause, and necessary & proper clause were amended and limited by the 2nd, 9th, and 10th Amendments!

Rubbish! Not only is no authority cited for this bizarre assertion, it is because the author lacks understanding of the original intents of the three clauses that he believes they needed to be “fixed” by amendments!

6. It ignores the Essential Characteristic of our Federal Constitution.

The essence of our federal Constitution is that it created a federal government of three branches, with each branch having checks on the other two branches. Furthermore, it delegated only specific, narrowly defined powers to each branch.

James Madison writes in Federalist No. 45 (3rd para from end) of the “few and defined” powers delegated to the federal government:

“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 the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface mine]

What We have lost is the knowledge that Our Constitution delegated only “few and defined” – enumerated – powers to each branch of the federal government. For complete lists and explanations of the powers our Constitution delegated to each branch, see:

♣Congress’ enumerated powers [Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 1-16 is not the complete list]

♣The president’s enumerated powers

♣The federal court’s enumerated powers

Any American of common sense and ordinary understanding is capable of fully understanding the scope of the powers delegated by our Constitution to Congress and to the President. 6

This is one of the keys to Restoration of our Constitutional Republic.

The BOPA contains a number of other statements which are confused and erroneous.

Conclusion

Our Framers were exquisitely educated in Logic, Judeo-Christian values, political philosophy, and statecraft. The American People of our Founding Era had the Wisdom and Humility to listen to our Framers.

Let us once again show that same Wisdom and Humility.  Listen to Our Framers.

Endnotes:

1 The BOPA is the product of The Constitutional Justice Division of the North American law Center.  As grand as those titles do sound, the BOPA does not reflect the light cast by minds schooled in law or statecraft. Furthermore, the writing is confused and some of the sentences undiagrammable.

2 Throughout our Constitution, the “federal government” is referred to as “the United States”.

3 Parties to compacts have mutual rights and obligations. The federal government has no “rights” – it has only those few delegated powers WE enumerated in the Constitution. The People pre-existed the Constitution. The States pre-existed the Constitution. Since the federal government didn’t exist until the Constitution was ratified, it can’t be a “party” to it! It is impossible to understand our Constitution unless one understands that the federal government is merely a “creature” of the Constitution – and as such, is completely subject to its terms.

4 For additional proof of the original intent of the “interstate commerce” clause see: Does the Interstate Commerce Clause Authorize Congress to Force us to buy Health Insurance?

5 The progressives say the general welfare clause gives Congress power to pass any law they say promotes the “general welfare”.

James Madison refutes that misconstruction in Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras).  See also: Does the general welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution authorize Congress to force us to buy health insurance?

The BOPA’s erroneous assertion that the clause means that laws passed by Congress must “serve all citizens well and equally”, could easily morph into the perversion that Congress may do whatever it likes as long as its laws are fair to all races, creeds, and classes.

But the constitutional standard is that acts of Congress must fall within the scope of the enumerated powers delegated to Congress. We must not blur that clear line with our own fabricated feel-good theories.  READ the last 4 paras of Federalist No. 41!

6 Some knowledge of law and litigation is necessary to fully understand the enumerated powers of the federal courts. But if our People would make the modest effort necessary to learn the enumerated powers of Congress and the President, they would become

a people enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority.” (Federalist No. 16   [Hamilton] next to last para)

Then they would be able to distinguish between constitutional and unconstitutional acts of Congress and the Executive Branch. PH

March 25, 2013

Gun Control, the Dick Act of 1902, Bills of Attainder & Ex Post Facto Laws

publius-HuldahBy Publius Huldah

The latest round of rubbish flooding our in boxes is an ignorant rant claiming that the Dick Act of 1902 (which respects our Right to be armed) can’t be repealed because to do so would “violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws”.

Who dreams up this stuff? Does anyone check it out before they spread it around?

Of course we have the God-given right to keep and bear arms, to self-defense, etc., etc.  Our Declaration of Independence (2nd para) recognizes that our Rights come from God and are unalienable.

The 2nd Amendment to our federal Constitution recognizes that this God-given right to keep and bear arms is to be free from any interference WHATSOEVER from the federal government.

Our Framers were all for an armed American People – they understood that arms are our ultimate defense in the event the federal government oversteps its bounds.  See, e.g., what James Madison, Father of Our Constitution, writes in the second half of Federalist Paper No. 46!  The reason the Citizens – the Militia – are armed is to defend ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, communities, and States from an overreaching, tyrannical federal government.

Accordingly, the federal government is nowhere in the Constitution granted authority to restrict, in any fashion whatsoever, guns, ammunition, etc. Thus, ALL laws made by Congress, and ALL regulations made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco (ATF), are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers granted to Congress and to the Executive Branch by our Constitution. Regulation of arms and ammunition is NOT one of the “enumerated powers” delegated to Congress or the Executive Branch.

Furthermore, all pretended regulations made by the ATF are also unconstitutional as in violation of Art. I, Sec. 1, U.S. Constitution, which vests ALL legislative powers granted by the Constitution in CONGRESS.   Executive agencies have no lawful authority whatsoever to make rules or regulations of general application to The People!

In addition, the President and the Senate may not lawfully by treaty do anything the Constitution does not authorize them to do directly.   Since the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to disarm us, the federal government may not lawfully do it by Treaty.   See, http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/the-treaty-making-power-of-the-united-states/

But the assertion that one Congress may not repeal acts of a previous Congress is idiotic.

And the assertion that Congress can’t repeal the Dick Act because a repeal would “violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws” shows that whoever wrote that doesn’t know what he is talking about. He obviously has no idea what a “bill of attainder” is, and no idea what an “ex post facto law” is.

This accurately explains what a “bill of attainder” is: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/Bill-of-Attainder.htm

An “ex post facto” law RETROACTIVELY criminalizes conduct which was not criminal when it was done.

Say you barbequed outside last Sunday. That was lawful when you did it. Next month, Congress makes a pretended law which purports to retroactively criminalize barbequing outdoors. So, now, what you did is a crime (for which you are subject to criminal prosecution); even thou when you did it, it wasn’t a crime. That is an ex post facto law.

Now, say Congress passes a pretended law making possession of firearms a crime and ordering everyone to turn in their guns. Only if you do not turn in your guns will you have committed a “crime”.  That is not an ex post facto law because if you turn in your guns, you won’t be criminally prosecuted. The “crime” is the failure to turn in your guns – not the prior possession of guns.

Such a law would be totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL, because gun control is not one of the enumerated powers of Congress. Thus, the law would be outside the scope of the powers delegated to Congress.

It would also be unconstitutional as in violation of the 2nd Amendment.

But it would not be an ex post facto law.

People shouldn’t sling around terms, the meanings of which, they do not understand. It is immoral.

If TRUTH spread as rapidly as lies, our problems would have been resolved long ago.  But if People can come to love TRUTH more than they love the ignorant rubbish they circulate, perhaps it is not too late to restore our Constitutional Republic. PH

Endnote:

In Federalist Paper No. 84 (4th para), Alexander Hamilton says re ex post facto laws (and of the importance of the writ of habeas corpus):

“…The creation of crimes after the commission of the fact, or, in other words, the subjecting of men to punishment for things which, when they were done, were breaches of no law, and the practice of arbitrary imprisonments, have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny…” PH

Choosing The Senate President

Nothing triggers my Don Quixote spirit more so than that part of the Presidential campaign when the Presidential candidate is shopping for a running mate. Reading between the lines, over the lines, or under the lines, I can find nothing in the Constitution to justify the Presidential candidate being allowed to pick the V.P. candidate.

The Founding Fathers intended for the office of Vice President to be the second most powerful office in government. He is to serve as the Presiding Officer over the day-to-activities of the Senate and is to be selected by voters of the entire country, not by the voters of a single state, as is the case today when we allow the Senate Majority Leader to usurp the constitutional duties of the Vice President. The only duties assigned to the Vice President by the Constitution are to count the votes of the Electoral College and to serve as President of the Senate. Click HERE  for a more detailed discussion.

We have seen over the past three-and-a-half years the damage that can be done to our legislative processes and to the country when political hacks whose only loyalty is to their party and their only goal is gaining more power, are allowed to preside over the two houses of Congress. While John Boehner is incompetent as Speaker of the House, at least his office is constitutional and he was duly elected by the membership of the House.  There is however, no constitutional requirement that the Speaker be from the majority party of even a member of Congress.

While the Constitution (Art. 1.2.9) permits the House to elect its Presiding Officer, the same is not true for the Senate. Article I, Sec. 3, clause 6, 7 requires, “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided. The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.”  

The President pro tempore is not a permanent office. He is to be chosen by the Senate to serve temporarily as the Presiding Officer of the Senate only, “in the absence of the Vice President, or when he (the V.P.) shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.”  The Speaker of the House is the Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives, and the Vice President of the United States is the Presiding Officer of the Senate. There is no constitutional requirement for him to be a member of the majority party just as there is no requirement that the Speaker of the House be a member of Congress. The President of the Senate is the only officer of the Legislative Branch to be elected nationally and accountable to the voters of the entire country.

While there is no way, in the short term, to bring the Federal government back in line with the Constitution, we should be working tirelessly to that end. In the meanwhile, if Mitt Romney wishes to follow the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution and Amendment XII, in selecting his running mate, he should choose Rick Santorum since he received the second largest number of delegates during the Primaries.

Also see these two posts from the 2008 election cycle.

http://illinoisconservative.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/thomas-jefferson-advice-to-sarah-palin/

http://illinoisconservative.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/sarah-palin-as-president-of-the-senate/

Another Big Lie of the Left

One of the most absurd and dangerous ideas ever sold to the American people is found in the oft repeated slogan, “Our diversity is our strength”. We have heard this a lot lately with the push for open borders and sodomite marriage. A little reflection mixed with a little common sense quickly shows the fallacy of this cliché. “How can two walk together except they be agreed?”  The problem is that it has been repeated so often and sounds so appealing that many if not most of our fellow citizens have accepted it as the gospel truth. Consequently, they are not too alarmed when the Democrat Party uses the many diverse groups that make up the American society to divide us into voting blocks designed to keep them in power.

The Hallmark of the American socialists who make up today’s Democrat Party, is their success in dividing the American people into groups along racial, ethnic, economic and social lines, and then pandering to those groups through legislation designed to secure their loyalty in dependable, organized voting blocs. Often proponents of this tactic use the motto, “E Pluribus Unum”, Latin for, “Out of many, one,”  inscribed on the Great Seal of the United States, to show that diversity has always been an American ideal.

As is usual when progressives attempt to use language to support their causes, the motto on the Great Seal has a meaning opposite to what the left would have us believe. At the time it was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1781, it had nothing do with the population makeup of the thirteen colonies. Rather it was a graphic illustration of the unity of those colonies in their opposition to British tyranny under King George III.

On the face of the Great Seal immediately above the banner containing the motto, we see a constellation of thirteen stars representing the unity of the thirteen colonies. The shield has thirteen stripes, again representing the thirteen colonies. The olive branch, a universally recognized symbol of peace, held in the eagle’s claw, has thirteen leaves and thirteen berries. The thirteen arrows, held in the other claw represent the Iroquois symbol of war. Together, they form a graphic illustration of a line found in the Declaration of Independence, “We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends. (End of next to last para.)

On the reverse side of the seal, we see an unfinished pyramid with thirteen levels representing the yet unfilled potential of the Union. Above the pyramid we have the all-seeing eye of Divine Providence watching over its progress, another reference to the Declaration; “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” (Last sentence in Declaration of Ind.)

The Great Seal of the United States was officially adopted by the new Congress on September 15, 1789 when it ordered, “that the seal heretofore used by the United States in Congress assembled, shall be, and hereby is declared to be, the seal of the United States.”  The motto inscribed on the seal became the unofficial motto of the U.S. until Congress adopted “In God We Trust” as the Nation’s official motto in 1956. U. S. coins today have both mottoes inscribed on them, one on each side. It is important to recognize that in the thinking of the Founders the emphasis was on the unity, “One”, not the diverse, “Many”.

It was not diversity that supplied the strength to build the most prosperous and powerful nation on earth. Our unity was, and is our strength. When we lose that unity, we become correspondingly weaker as a nation. Neither does our history support the proponents of multiculturalism and diversity. There were several other colonies on the North American continent at the time of the Revolution in 1776. The largely French speaking colonies of Canada did not join in the Revolution or in the formation of the new government, although the Articles of Confederation made provision for their inclusion. Of course, the Spanish speaking colonies to the south did not participate, leaving the thirteen English speaking colonies along the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Georgia with one culture, one language and one God. It was the unification of this group that was illustrated by the Great Seal.

In Matthew 12:25 Jesus spoke the self-evident truth that, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:”  That will be America’s fate, if we continue to allow the left’s efforts to divide us to succeed, as it has been doing for the last several decades. We must reject the ideas of multilingualism and multiculturalism if we are to regain the liberties we have lost and once again take control of our government. That does not mean that we should reject immigration or that we deny the many blessings of citizenship to the diverse sub-cultures that make up our society. It means that new immigrants and the positive elements of the sub-cultures must be assimilated into the overall American culture, as they were by our forefathers during the founding and expansion of America for the first four-hundred or so years of our existence. America is a nation of former immigrants who wished to become Americans. America afforded them the opportunity and encouragement to do just that, and we must do so again or we will be brought to “desolation” and “shall not stand” as a nation.

America’s Deal With The Devil

As that great twentieth century American philosopher, Pogo Possum, observed over forty years ago, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”As we consider the post-Constitution, totalitarian oligarchy modern America is fast becoming, millions of Americans are awakening from their slumber and asking, “What happened?”

What happened is that we ignored the warnings sounded loud and clear by our Founding Fathers who designed our system of government and allowed a fifth column to grow in our midst like a giant malignant cancer. Consider the warnings issued by some of our first Presidents and compare them with the President now sitting in the White House with his advisers planning for the “fundamental transformation of America”.

Elias Boudinot, President of the Continental Congress, 1782-1783: “Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerates, their political character must soon follow.”

George Washington, first U.S. President, 1789-1797: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”

John Adams, second U.S. President, 1797-1801: “should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practicing iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

Although Benjamin Franklin was not a President, no essay on our present day condition of political and cultural corruption would be complete without quoting from his last speech to the Convention: “Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.” (Emphasis added)

The truth clearly recognized by the Founders quoted above is that a nation’s government is always an expression of the moral character of its people. Fredrich Hayek pointed out this truth in his popular 1944 treatise, “The Road to Serfdom”, an examination of the rise of National Socialism in Germany during the 1930s. Hayek argues that the implementation of socialism with its centrally planned economy demands a concurrently planned social order enforced by a totalitarian government. Socialism and individual liberty cannot coexist and for socialism to thrive in America requires a shift in moral values so its people are willing to sacrifice liberty for vague promises of security. Although Hayek’s book was published almost fifty years ago in England, one cannot read it without experiencing the eerie feeling that he is writing about America in 2012.

In tracing the historical roots of socialism in America, we have to start with the Second Great Awakening at the turn of the nineteenth century. It was during this time that the “social gospel” with its emphasis on changing human nature through revival meetings came into vogue. In terms of the “number of converts” the Second Great Awakening was a huge success, but its utopian ambition of bringing in the millennium kingdom through social reform created a fertile ground in which socialism could thrive. By the time the effects of the Great Awakening began to fade at the end of the nineteenth century, socialism was already well entrenched in America. Among the groups responsible for our cultural decline and the corresponding growth of socialism we have to include the Christian Churches and the Christian clergy.

During the last century the “church” made a Faustian bargain with the government, –“You leave us alone and we will leave you alone”–, expressed in the often heard slogan, “separation of church and state”, which is based on a misunderstanding of the First Amendment that says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” An objective reading of the First Amendment without the preconceived assumptions fostered by the constant drumming into our consciousness, the cliché “separation of church and state” shows, not a separation between government and religion but rather, a declaration of the independence of religion from the coercive powers of government. What the Founders were attempting to accomplish with the First Amendment was to free religion from the symbiotic relationship between church and state and establish its rightful independence from the despotic powers of government that had plagued the Christian Church throughout its seventeen hundred year history.

Certainly the Founders quoted above did not consider the First Amendment in the same sense in which it is understood today. Even James Madison who is generally considered to be the Father of the Bill of Rights, but was not as fervent in his religious beliefs as some of the others, frequently called for special days of national prayer and fasting during his eight years as our fourth President. In 1813 Madison even supported and signed into law a bill to rebate the import duties on printing plates used by the Bible Society of Philadelphia to print Bibles.

“An Act for the relief of the Bible Society of Philadelphia. Be it enacted, &c., That the duties arising and due to the United States upon certain stereotype plates, imported during the last year into the port of Philadelphia, on board the ship Brilliant, by the Bible Society of Philadelphia, for the purpose of printing editions of the Holy Bible, be and the same are hereby remitted, on behalf of the United States, to the said society: and any bond or security given for the securing of the payment of the said duties shall be cancelled. Approved February 2, 1813.”

Our current application of the doctrines of church and state relationships is not supported by the Constitution or the Bible. The ministry of Christ, the Apostles and the early churches were conducted in large part in a public venue and often before hostile crowds; a far cry from today’s Sunday morning services in the comfortable sanctuaries of elaborate church buildings before congregations of adoring believers. When Jesus did teach in the Temple and Synagogues, His messages were often directed against the religious leaders and teachers of the day, the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. Today they would probably be directed against the Pastors and teachers of our modern evangelical Christian churches.  Unless we are willing to work to restore the Biblically moral foundations of our culture there is little chance that we can survive as a nation with our liberties intact. America is sorely in need of a spiritual revival, and that revival must start with the Christian Church and its ministers.

The Constitution, Vattel, and “Natural Born Citizen”: What Our Framers Knew

By Publius Huldah.

We have been visited recently with several very silly articles which assert that Marco Rubio is a “natural born Citizen” within the meaning of Art. II, §1, cl. 5, U.S. Constitution (ratified 1789), and hence is qualified to be President:

Bret Baier (Fox News) asserts that Congress may define (and presumably redefine, from time to time) terms in the Constitution by means of law.

Chet Arthur in American Thinker quips that “the original meaning of ‘natural born citizen’” is determined by reference to “The Heritage Guide to the Constitution” and to the definition of “citizen” at Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment, ratified 1868.

Human Events claims that anyone  born within The United States is a “natural born citizen” eligible to be President.

Jake Walker at Red State purports to show how the term has been used from 1795 to the present.  After quoting James Madison on the citizenship requirements imposed by Art. I, §2, cl. 2, to be a member of the House, Walker gleefully quotes a 1795 discussion of “natural born subject” to “prove” that anyone born here is a “natural born citizen”:

“It is an established maxim, received by all political writers, that every person owes a natural allegiance to the government of that country in which he is born. Allegiance is defined to be a tie, that binds the subject to the state, and in consequence of his obedience, he is entitled to protection…” [emphasis mine]

“The children of aliens, born in this state, are considered as natural born subjects, and have the same rights with the rest of the citizens.” [emphasis mine]

But “subjects” are not “citizens”; and we fought a war so that we could be transformed fromsubjects of the British Crownto Citizens of a Republic!

The four writers don’t know what they are talking about.  But I will tell you the Truth and prove it. We first address Word Definitions.

Word Definitions:

Like clouds, word meanings change throughout time.  “Awful” once meant “full of wonder and reverence”; “cute” meant “bowlegged”; “gay” meant “jovial”; and “nice” meant “precise”.

Accordingly, if someone from an earlier time wrote of a “cute gay man”, he was not referring to an adorable homosexual, but to a cheerful bowlegged man.

So!  In order to understand the genuine meaning of a text, we must use the definitions the authors used when they wrote it.  Otherwise, written texts become as shifting and impermanent as the clouds – blown hither and yon throughout the years by those who unthinkingly read in their own uninformed understandings, or deliberately pervert the text to further their own agenda.

So!  Is Our Constitution built on the Rock of Fixed Definitions – those our Framers used?  Or are its Words mere clouds to be blown about by Acts of Congress, whims of federal judges, and the idiotic notions of every ignoramus who writes about it?

What Did Our Framers mean by “natural born Citizen”?

Article II, §1, cl. 5, U.S. Constitution, requires the President to be a “natural born Citizen”.

The meaning of this term is not set forth in The Constitution or in The Federalist Papers; and I found no discussion of the meaning in Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention or in Alexander Hamilton’s notes of the same.

What does this tell us? That they all knew what it meant. We don’t go around defining “pizza”, because every American over the age of four knows what a pizza is.

Our Framers had no need to define “natural born Citizen” in the Constitution, because by the time of the Federal Convention of 1787, a formal definition of the term consistent with the new republican principles1 already existed in Emer Vattel’s classic, Law of Nations.

And we know that our Framers carefully studied and relied upon Vattel’s work.  I’ll prove it.

How Vattel’s Law of Nations got to the Colonies, and its Influence Here:

During 1775, Charles Dumas, an ardent republican [as opposed to a monarchist] living in Europe sent three copies of Vattel’s Law of Nations to Benjamin Franklin. Here is a portion of Franklin’s letter of Dec. 9, 1775 thanking Dumas for the books:

“… I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…” (2nd para) [boldface added]

Vattel’s Law of Nations was thereafter “pounced upon by studious members of Congress, groping their way without the light of precedents.”

Years later, Albert de Lapradelle wrote an introduction to the 1916 ed. of Law of Nations published by the Carnegie Endowment.2 Lapradelle said the fathers of independence “were in accord with the ideas of Vattel”; they found in Vattel “all their maxims of political liberty”; and:

“From 1776 to 1783, the more the United States progressed, the greater became Vattel’s influence.  In 1780 his Law of Nations was a classic, a text book in the universities.”(page xxx) [emphasis added]

In footnote 1 on the same page (xxx), Lapradelle writes:

“… Another copy was presented by Franklin to the Library Company of Philadelphia. Among the records of its Directors is the following minute: “Oct. 10, 1775. Monsieur Dumas having presented the Library with a very late edition of Vattel’s Law of Nature and Nations (in French), the Board direct the secretary to return that gentle-man their thanks.” This copy undoubtedly was used by the members of the Second Continental Congress, which sat in Philadelphia; by the leading men who directed the policy of the United Colonies until the end of the war; and, later, by the men who sat in the Convention of 1787 and drew up the Constitution of the United States, for the library was located in Carpenters’ Hall, where the First Congress deliberated, and within a stone’s throw of the Colonial State House of Pennsylvania, where the Second Congress met, and likewise near where the Constitution was framed …” [emphasis added]

So!  Vattel’s work was “continually in the hands” of Congress in 1775; Members of the Continental Congress “pounced” on Vattel’s work; our Founders used the republican Principles in Vattel’s work to justify our Revolution against a monarchy; by 1780, Vattel’s work was a “classic” taught in our universities; and our Framers used it at the Federal Convention of 1787. 3

Vattel on “natural born citizens”, “inhabitants”, and “naturalized citizens”:

From our beginning, we were subjects of the British Crown. With the War for Independence, we became citizens.1 [READ this footnote!] We needed new concepts to fit our new status as citizens.  Vattel provided these new republican concepts of “citizenship”. The gist of what Vattel says in Law of Nations, Book I, Ch. XIX, at §§ 212-217, is this:

§ 212: Natural-born citizens are those born in the country of parents who are citizens – it is necessary that they be born of a father who is a citizen. If a person is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.

§ 213:  Inhabitants, as distinguished from citizens, are foreigners who are permitted to stay in the country. They are subject to the laws of the country while they reside in it. But they do not participate in all the rights of citizens – they enjoy only the advantages which the law or custom gives them. Their children follow the condition of their fathers – they too are inhabitants.

§ 214: A country may grant to a foreigner the quality of citizen – this is naturalization.  In some countries, the sovereign cannot grant to a foreigner all the rights of citizens, such as that of holding public office – this is a regulation of the fundamental law.  And in England, merely being born in the country naturalizes the children of a foreigner.

§§ 215, 216 & 217: Children born of citizens in a foreign country, at sea, or while overseas in the service of their country, are “citizens”. By the law of nature alone, children follow the condition of their fathers; the place of birth produces no change in this particular.

Do you see?  The republican concept of “natural born citizenship” is radically different from the feudal notion of “natural born subjectship.” Under feudalism, merely being born in the domains of the King made one – by birth – a “natural born subject”.  But in Vattel’s Model and Our Constitutional Republic, Citizens are “natural born” only if they are born of Citizens.

How Our Framers applied Vattel’s Concept of “natural born citizen” in Our Constitution:

The Federal Convention was in session from May 14, through September 17, 1787.  John Jay, who had been a member of the Continental Congress [where they “pounced” on Vattel], sent this letter of July 25, 1787, to George Washington, who presided over the Convention:

“…Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of foreigners into the administration of our national government and to declare expressly that the Command in Chief of the american army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen…”4

According, Art. II, §1, cl. 5 was drafted to read:

“No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” [boldface added]

In § 214, Vattel states that “fundamental law” may withhold from naturalized citizens some of the rights of citizens, such as holding public office. The Constitution is our “fundamental law”; and, following Vattel, Art. II, §1, cl. 5 withholds from naturalized citizens (except for our Founding Generation which was “grandfathered in”) the right to hold the office of President.5

Remember! None of our early Presidents were “natural born Citizens”, even though they were all born here. They were all born as subjects of the British Crown. They became naturalized citizens with the Declaration of Independence. That is why it was necessary to provide a grandfather clause for them. But after our Founding Generation was gone, their successors were required to be born as citizens of the United States – not merely born here (as were our Founders), but born as citizens.

And do not forget that the children born here of slaves did not become “citizens” by virtue of being born here. Their parents were slaves; hence (succeeding to the condition of their parents) they were born as slaves. Black people born here did not become citizens until 1868 and the ratification of the 14th Amendment.

So!  Do you see?  If Our Framers understood that merely being born here were sufficient to confer status as a “natural born citizen”; it would not have been necessary to grandfather in our first generation of Presidents; and all the slaves born here would have been “natural born citizens”. But they were born as non-citizen slaves, because their parents were non-citizen slaves.

David Ramsay’s 1789 Dissertation on Citizenship:

David Ramsay was an historian, Founding Father, and member of the Continental Congress  [REMEMBER: This is where they “pounced” on Vattel], whose Dissertation On The Manner Of Acquiring The Character And Privileges Of A Citizen Of The United States was published in 1789, just after ratification of our Constitution and the Year the new Government began.

It is an interesting dissertation and only 8 pages long. At the bottom of his page 6, Ramsay states:

“The citizenship of no man could be previous to the declaration of independence, and, as a natural right, belongs to none but those who have been born of citizens since the 4th of July, 1776.” [modernized spelling & emphasis are mine]

Do you see?  Ramsay’s Dissertation sets forth the understanding of the Time, formally stated by Vattel and incorporated by our Framers, that a “natural born Citizen” is one who is born of citizens.  And we had no “citizens” until July 4, 1776.

Now, let us look at the First Congress.

How the First Congress followed Vattel and our Framers:

Article I, §8, cl. 4 delegates to Congress the power “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization”.6 Pursuant to that power, the First Congress passed the Naturalization Act of 1790.  Here is the text, which you can find at 1 Stat. at Large, 103:

“SECTION1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any alien, being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof, on application to any common law court of record, in any one of the states wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such court, that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law, to support the constitution of the United States, which oath or affirmation such court shall administer; and the clerk of such court shall record such application, and the proceedings thereon; and thereupon such person shall be considered as a citizen of the United States. And the children of such persons so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under the age of twenty-one years at the time of such naturalization, shall also be considered as citizens of the United States.   And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States … APPROVED, March 26, 1790.” 7

So!  This Act of the First Congress implements the Principles set forth in Vattel, embraced by our Framers, and enshrined in Art. II, §1, cl. 5, that:

  • A “natural born Citizen” is one who is born of parents who are citizens.
  • Minor children born here of aliens do not become citizens until their parents are naturalized. Thus, they are not “natural born” citizens.

Our Framers rejected the anti-republican and feudal notion that mere location of birth within a Country naturalizes the children of a foreigner. 8

The distinction written into Our Constitution and implemented by the Naturalization Act of 1790 is between someone who is born a citizen, by being born of parents who are already Citizens, and someone who becomes a citizen after birth by naturalization. Only the former are eligible to be President.

 So!  Original Intent?  Or Whatever the People with the Power want it to Mean?

I have proved the original intent of “natural born Citizen” at Art. II, §1, cl. 5 – it is one who is born of parents who are citizens. We may not lawfully change that definition except by Amendment to the Constitution.  Section 1 of the 14th Amendment does not change the definition because the 14th Amendment defines “citizens” of the United States (which includes naturalized citizens) and not “natural born Citizen”.

Some Democrats no longer pretend that the glib, handsome & black Obama (who, following the condition of his putative father, was born a subject of the British Crown) is “a natural born Citizen”. They now assert that the Democrat Party has the right to nominate whoever they choose to run for president, including someone who is not qualified for the office. [See pages 3 & 4 of the linked Court Order.]

The school-girlish Establishment Republicans who swoon over the glib, handsome & Hispanic Marco Rubio (who is not a “natural born Citizen”, but only a naturalized citizen) will ultimately destroy our sovereignity. Once we accept that our President need not be a “natural born Citizen”, we will have made a major step towards submission to global government. Because then, anybody can be President. PH.

Endnotes:

1 Monarchies have subjects. Republics are formed by citizens.  We broke from a monarchy under which we were subjects; and with our War for Independence, were transformed into citizens!

The common law of England recognizes only subjects of the Crown. England has never had citizens.  Her feudal doctrine of “natural born subjects” is set forth in Book I, Ch. 10, of Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (I modernized the spelling):

“THE first and most obvious division of the people is into aliens and natural-born subjects. Natural-born subjects are such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England, that is, within the … allegiance of the king; and aliens, such as are born out of it.  Allegiance is the tie … which binds the subject to the king …” [emphasis mine]

Under feudalism, people are possessions who belong to the Land in which they were born. So they are “naturally” subject to whoever owns the Land. They were born as subjects to the owner of the land [ultimately, the King] on which they were born.

With our War for Independence, We repudiated the notion of natural born subjects.  As Citizens, We ordained and established Our Constitution wherein We created a federal government which was subject to us!

Jake Walker doesn’t seem to know the difference between being “a subject of a King” and “a citizen of a Republic”, as he equates the feudal concept of “natural born subject” with the Republican concept of “natural born Citizen”.

Chet Arthur and Human Events tell us the “original intent” of “natural born Citizen” at Art. II, §1, cl. 5 is given by an Amendment defining “citizen” [not “natural born citizen”] ratified 80 years later!

And Bret Baier seems unaware that the methods for amending the Constitution are set forth in Article V; and that Congress may not amend the Constitution by making a law which redefines terms set forth in the Constitution!

These four amateurs would do well to study Birthright Citizenship and Dual Citizenship: Harbingers of Administrative Tyranny, by Professor Edward J. Erler. Erler addresses the distinctions between “citizenship” and “subjectship”; and the concept of “citizenship” at §1 of the 14th Amendment. He proves that not everyone born here is a “citizen”: Only those whose parents are “subject to the jurisdiction of the US” are citizens. Illegal aliens are not “subject to the jurisdiction of the US” – they are invaders whose allegiance is to the Country they left.  Foreign diplomats stationed here are not “subject to the jurisdiction of the US”. Thus, children born here of these aliens are not citizens!

2 The 1916 ed. of Law of Nations with Lapradelle’s introduction is a Google digitized book. If you download it, you get an easily readable text.

3 Many thanks to my friend, David J. Edwards, who provided me with Evidence of Vattel’s profound influence on our Founders & Framers.

4 The hyperlink contains another link where you can see Jay’s handwritten letter!

5 Note that Art. I, §2, cl. 2, permits naturalized citizens to serve as Representatives; and Art. I, §3, cl. 3, permits them to serve as Senators.

6 “Naturalization” is the process, established by law, by which foreigners become citizens.

7 Note that in §§ 215, 216 & 217, Vattel says that children born of citizens in a foreign country, at sea, or while overseas in the service of their country, are “citizens”. He goes on to say that by the law of nature alone, children follow the condition of their fathers; the place of birth produces no change in this particular.  But he doesn’t expressly say they are “natural born citizens”. The italicized words at the end of the 1790 Act correct that and make it clear that children of citizens of the United States are “natural born citizens” wherever they are born.

8 The 14th Amendment doesn’t change this one whit! READ Prof. Erler’s paper, linked above.

NOTICE! To all who strain to find something I “failed to mention”: I didn’t quote Minor v. Happersett because Minor merely paraphrases, in dicta, a portion of the Naturalization Act of 1790, the text of which is set forth above.

And I didn’t show why John McCain & Mitt Romney ARE natural born Citizens; and why Marco Rubio & Obama are NOT natural born Citizens. J.B. Williams has already done an excellent job in applying the Republican Principles set forth by Vattel, and which were embraced by our Founders, Framers, and the First Congress, in his recent paper, Romney, Rubio, McCain And Natural Born Citizen. PH

More articles by Publius Huldah

July 19, 2012

2012 Election Is Only The First Step

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.