As we continue on, Alexander Hamilton did not believe that it was necessary to create a Bill of Rights, because no one in their right mind would exceed their powers that are set in the Constitution. However, by looking at our government and other officials today you can determine for yourself that is not the case. As each day passes there is some bill submitted to limit, abridge, or take away one of your rights or the rights of someone else, or some corporation. Now here is where I would disagree with the Supreme Court, I do not believe corporations have rights per se. What I mean is that corporations are fictions of the state and federal governments and their rights are given by statute with certain rights protected under the Constitution as they are considered to be a legal “person”.
Let us see what the definition is…person (refer to Black’s Law Dictionary, 6 Ed) A person, for legal purposes, is generally more broadly defined to refer other than just a natural person. A person may also include a corporation, company, partnership, firm, association or society. For example, when a company incorporates, it has standing as a legal person to sue and be sued in courts of law. The precise definition of a person may vary by state and applicable laws.
This whole discussion on what a “person” is, or is not, was referenced in the discussion on the Fourteenth Amendment and within that the discussion on the Dredd Scott Case of 1856. And let us not forget Dave Champion’s Treatise on The 14th Amendment Clarified. If you pay close attention to the US Constitution you will notice that the Fourteenth Amendment is the first place where you see “citizen” with the small “c”. Also, throughout the US Constitution the word “Person” is with a capital “P” and a small “p” person comes to light in the Fourteenth Amendment, again. It is understood that our Founding Fathers, Representatives, Senators, Lawmakers, etc. know what they are doing and writing and therefore have written these words differently because they have created a different class of “person” in each of these cases. I know there is a case from the US Supreme Court which has, essentially, stated such is the case but it eludes me right now – when I find it I will update this.
Without going too far off track, let us just agree that it was a good idea to place those Rights within a Bill of Rights as a means of protecting individual rights. In fact, if there was not an agreement to create the Bill of Rights, the Constitution would not have been ratified because there were too few signatories. There was a requirement of 9 states that had to ratify the Constitution; however, if it was not for the promise of the “Bill of Rights” there were five states not willing to sign the Constitution, Virginia and Massachusetts were at the top of that list.
One of the greatest misunderstandings concerning the Bill of Rights is that everyone, or most everyone, states their First or Second Amendment Rights are being violated. That is completely incorrect, as you and I do not receive our Rights from the US Constitution, but rather from God, or from Nature’s God, or from Nature by virtue of the fact you are alive. On the other hand, there are people who receive their Rights from statutes of Law or the Constitution. Those people are discussed in the Fourteenth Amendment and the Dredd Scott case, because they are”persons”. Regardless if they are fictitious persons, or natural persons, who are the prodigies of previously known slaves. They are persons and are classified as “US citizens”, which is a federal citizen as opposed to a state Citizen. The majority of the individual people within the United States are, in the words of our Founding Fathers “Citizens of each State”, “Citizens of the Several States” (US Constitution, Art IV, section 2), or “Citizens of the United States” (US Constitution, Art I, section 3)
Consider this, every ten years we have a US Census and they send out their forms, either the short or long form. Both forms ask questions, some are unnecessary and personal. They have no need for your Social Security Number, how much food you buy, how many bathrooms you have, etc, etc. The purpose of the US Census is to determine the number of people who reside in each state for the purposes of tax apportionment and for the determination of how many representatives each state is to have in Washington D.C. There is no need for a toilet count there! On the last Census I gave them my name, how many people lived in this house, and then cited Article I, Section 2 of the US Constitution. One of their people came to the house and I told him the same thing. Of course, he tried to threaten me with the $5000 fine, etc., I reminded him of the purpose of the Census and the US Constitution, hmmmmmmm. He tried to get some information from my neighbors and their reply was, “What did they say?” …”Well, I guess it is none of your business then!”
Sorry for getting off point, but I thought it fit…next time, unless I have anything else on the prelude to the Bill of Rights, I will start on the Preamble. Until next time, have fun and I hope you enjoyed this segment.
Alexander Hamilton, J. J. (1788). THE FEDERALIST PAPERS.
Know Your Constitution – Carl Miller Parts 1 – 3 (abt. 1980). [Motion Picture].
West Publishing Co. (1990). Black’s Law Dictionary Centenial Edition 6th. St. Paul: West Publishing Co.