Americans have been steadily losing their property rights, one of the key elements of the US Constitution and its amendments, deemed important to the Founders because of tyranny experienced under British rule.
Thomas Jefferson, 1788:
It astonishes me to find … that so many of our countrymen … should be contented to live under a system which leaves to their governors the power of taking from them the trial by jury cases, freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom of commerce, the habeas corpus laws, and of yoking them with a standing army. This is a degeneracy in the principles of liberty … which I would not have expected for at least four centuries.
When the US Constitution was drafted, approved and finally ratified by the states of the Union, it was assumed that the description of specific powers granted to the government would leave no doubt, as to what the government could do and could not. The absence of powers over the rights of the people should have kept them protected. The Founders decided to be specific and add to the Constitution ten amendments to declare the Bill of Rights. The Constitution details the powers authorized by the federal and state governments and the Bill of Rights is a guarantee of those rights as part of the US Constitution.
I disapproved from the first moment … the want of a bill of rights to guard liberty against the legislative as well as the executive branches of the government.
Too many Americans are uninformed about their constitutional rights and liberties prescribed by the Bill of Rights, and especially the limited powers of federal government provided for by the US Constitution. Americans who have been educated in public schools controlled by the government can educate themselves better, or those that just want to know about the Bill of Rights that is actually written [without judicial-political interpretation] guarantee of rights and liberties prescribed and acknowledged by the Founders of the United States. The articles of the Constitution prescribes the limitation of powers and authority of the separate branches of government that elected officials, officers of the government, and law enforcement individuals swear an oath to protect and abide by the US Constitution and its amendments. We the People are, if we are to continue to have those rights and liberties to continue are duty bound to protect our constitution that belongs to all Americans. Under the principles of natural law, the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments belong to all people of the world. There is information and explanation of the US Constitution and its amendments, as well as explanation of the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers that were discussions presented by the Founders of the United States under pseudo names. Websites like US Constitution and even the archives of the US Government has that information that can be downloaded and kept on your computer for future reference.
Constitution Facts, Patriot Post, and Cato offer pocket-size books of the Constitution and its amendments. Hillsdale College offers online classes, Constitution 101 and Constitution 201 free of charge with a request for a donation. These organizations advocate preservation and protect the US Constitution and its amendments.
For more than 200 hundred years, American citizens have enjoyed freedoms prescribed by the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments, of which others were added later. Important amendments added include the abolishment of slavery, voting rights for women and every lawful American, et cetera. Citizens were tasked to protect the Constitution and its amendments, the front line of defense yet indirectly. Elected officials were tasked, under oath, to directly apply the Constitution’s articles and amendments and to protect and apply its laws. Legislators who submit a bill in the US Congress in either the House of Representatives or the Senate that is not compliant with the US Constitution and its amendments is effectively dishonoring their oath of office. The same oath applies to the executive branch [US president and his officers] and the judicial branch of judges and justices. The US Constitution, for the most part, especially the Bill of Rights, is clearly presented intended for all citizens to understand. Complications arise, however, when judges and justices “interpret” the articles and amendments of the US Constitution for varied reasons.
Our Republic is faltering and dying because We the People have allowed those we elect to ignore and bypass those articles and amendments of our Constitution. We the People have allowed government to control our educational system and teach our children that our type of government is a democracy instead of a constitutional republic that the Founders worked so hard to create.
For the first 150 years, with the exception of the US Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison in 1803 has stood solid for the People, and in accordance with its original intent. Yet, We the People have ignored the warnings of the Founders who insisted that We the People are dutifully obligated to preserve and protect our Constitution and ensure that their children continue to the next generation. Benjamin Franklin, knowing human nature, was skeptical that the people would keep that which the Founders created and declared that we have a republic, if we can keep it. It was based upon the principles of natural law, essential liberty, and the rule of law; not the rule of men or the mob.
The US Constitution is the supreme law of the land, ratified by the original thirteen states and later adopted by those states that joined the Union. State governments rightfully have their own constitutions, but they cannot deprive US citizens within those states of their rights and liberties prescribed by the amendments to the Constitution. Until recently, too many state governments deprived the rights of the people in those states liberties of the Second Amendment. Finally, the Supreme Court declared that the Second Amendment was the law of the land and no states can deprive lawful and mentally capable citizens of those rights prescribed clearly in the short paragraph that is the Second Amendment.
State governments may require permits to carry concealed firearms in order to ensure that citizens are mentally capable and do not have a criminal record through a background check. In addition, some states require a safety training class before obtaining a concealed carry permit. These are safety measures that state governments have the right to add to the basic rights of the Second Amendment without depriving lawful citizens from those rights. However, state governments do not recognize other state issued permits. Recently there is legislation pending that declares a person who has a legal permit to carry concealed firearms [concealed or in the open] in their home state are afforded the same rights no matter what state they are traveling through or visiting. It is because the right to keep and bear arms is the Supreme Law of the Land to be honored in every state that is part of the union of states that is the United States.
The first president to grossly exceed the constitutional limits of authority of office and the complying legislature of the US Congress was during the twelve years of the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. [See Violations of the Constitution] Following the reign of FDR, the idea that the US Constitution was a Living Document became part of the judicial interpretation.
In recent decades, religious liberty has been violated in an effort to silence, specifically Christians, so as to move toward a secularism, both concerning morality and social movements. The Constitution protects religious liberty by prohibiting laws that establish a religion and prevent domination of one religion from using political power within the concept of majority rule or mob rule. The First Amendment prohibits laws that prevent free exercise of religion, yet today children are not allowed to pray before meals in school lunchrooms, institutions and society’s nosey bodies insist that the Christmas tree must be called “Holiday Tree” in order to prevent “offending” non-Christians. The establishment of the US Constitution was inspired by ancient laws like the Code of Hammurabi and the Ten Commandments that Moses brought from a monument for people to live by. Indeed, the international and old principle of the Golden Rule, also applied. Thus, in the Supreme Court, one can find depictions of those laws; yet the Ten Commandments are not allowed to be visible to the public or on property of the government. Literally Christianity is being silenced and Christians are being persecuted, while carte de blanche is provided for Muslims whose doctrine is NO tolerance towards other religions and whose doctrine promotes hatred and violence; indeed, infiltrating and subverting our government, like in Europe, in its global domination towards theocracy. The people have freedom to exercise their religion and religion is tolerated if that religion does not practice or have a doctrine of intolerance, hate and violence. The First Amendment does not protect religion in that manner, for individual liberty exists upon a broad base as long as those rights and liberties do not transgress upon another. Those who are operating our government refuse to see the dangers and injustice, or support the intolerant religion, or is too afraid to speak out and take action. It is a sad eulogy for a republic once deemed The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
The Warren Court in Trop v. Dulles established the degradation of the rule of law provided by the US Constitution, the principles of our Republic, in 1958. In that Supreme Court ruling, the justices noted that the Constitution should be attuned with evolving standards …that mark the progress of a maturing society. The Supreme Court has become a despotic branch, and as Thomas Jefferson warned …
The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch … The Constitution … is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please.
The times is long overdue for Congress, elected by the People, to reform the present unbalanced and growing powers arrogated by the Executive and judiciary branches, beginning with Senate rules. Judges who violate their oaths of office [or any member of the federal government] should be impeached immediately through the process prescribed for impeachment hearings. Thomas Jefferson wrote of this …
We have …required a vote of two-thirds in one of the Houses for removing a judge; a vote so impossible where any defense is made before men of ordinary prejudices and passions, that our judges are effectually independent of the nation … For experience has already shown that the impeachment it has provided is not even a scare-crow.
It is time to remove judges who do not faithfully discharge the duties of the office in which they have been appointed and it is certainly time for the Senate to perform their duties to ensure that only constitutionalists sit as justices in the US Supreme Court – not pawns for the executive branch.
Our Constitution has become little more than words on paper that serves the special interest of political entities who interpret the Constitution as they deem fit and that which fits their political ideology – far removed from the principles of a constitutional republic. Alexander Hamilton and John Jay wrote Federalist Papers in order to define the proposed Constitution before its ratification.
Judges …by being often associated with the Executive …might be induced to embark too far in the political views of that magistrate, and thus a dangerous combination might by degrees be cemented between the executive and judiciary departments. It is impossible to keep the judges too distinct from every other avocation than that of expounding the laws. It is peculiarly dangerous to place them in a situation to be either corrupted or influenced by the Executive.
Federalist No. 78 …
The Judicial Branch may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment …liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have everything to fear from its union with either of the other departments.
Federalist No. 81 …
There is not a syllable in the Constitution which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution.
George Washington advised …
The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, ‘till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People is sacredly obligatory upon all.
Two centuries later, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote of judicial activism …
As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to ‘do what the people want’, instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically.
This phenomenon is known as legislating from the bench, where judges make policies instead of the legislature.
The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution is based upon natural law, which outlines the natural rights of humanity that was provided by the Creator under the principles of Judeo-Christian philosophy of the Founders and still within the majority of Americans. Natural law applies whether one believes in a creator or not. Therefore, Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is individual and within natural law endowed by the Creator that includes freedom of choice, not the government. The 110th United States Congress created a bill [HR 1964 & S. 1173] called the Freedom of Choice Act that …
…declares that it is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child; terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability; or terminate a pregnancy after viability when necessary to protect her life or her health.
This means that the bill would prohibit a federal, state or local government entity from denying or interfering with a woman’s right to exercise those choices or discriminate against that person who made the choices – AND provides prohibition to apply retroactively. The bill was introduced in 2004 and reintroduced in the 110th Congress referred to committee with no further action. For one, this bill should have been introduced as an amendment to the Constitution, if it was truly a law establishing freedom of choice. If a woman has the right to decide to take a life [preborn infant], then freedom of choice should address other issues, not just abortion; like freedom to end one’s own life assisted by a medical practitioner. Presently the abortion clinics across the United States have become infant death centers, where women end the life of preborn infants for any reason that suits them. Congress has the habit of putting through bill intended to pass into legislation and become law that should be stated and addressed as an amendment, specifically when it concerns rights and liberties. If that bill would have passed Congress, Barack Obama promised to sign it into law when/if he became president. Yet, the same president supports a government controlled health care program where freedom of choice is not part of the picture. It is because those who are not constitutionalists pick and choose what they decide should be considered constitutional law.
Alexander Hamilton wrote:
The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.
The wall of separation between church and state is a metaphor based upon bad history, a metaphor which was proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned. … The greatest injury of the ‘wall’ notion is its mischievous diversion of judges from the actual intention of the drafters of the Bill of Rights.
George Washington stated:
Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths …?
Indeed, presently politicians and citizen organizations are bent upon dissolving the rights of the Second Amendment, and if that goes into the cobwebs of history, surely others will soon follow.
We’ve gone astray from first principles. We’ve lost sight of the rule that individual freedom and ingenuity are at the very core of everything that we’ve accomplished . Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.
Our Constitution established a Republic, not a democracy, intended to reflect the consent of the governed, a nation of laws, not men or special interest groups. John Adams wrote:
A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
More recently in history, Ronald Reagan made a similar statement …
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.
We the People need to regain our rights and liberties back and property rights would be a good place to start. Congress, if responsible voters choose constitutional electives, will be busy rescinding, amending, and deleting laws already on the books that do not promote freedom of choice, Bill of Rights amendments, and articles of the Constitution. They will be busy because there are at least 28,000 federal laws and regulations to wade through. Keeping them busy, they will not have time to further legislate our rights and liberties away.
For further reading … Patriot Post Historic Documents and Old Glory archives under subject category, Constitution 101.