Bill of Rights

freedom-of-speech

Part 10:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

We have a RIGHT to peaceably assemble with others, this is not in dispute.  We also have the RIGHT to petition our government for redressing our grievances; this also is not in dispute.  These articles are foundational to our right to gather as a people to tell those who govern us, by our consent, that they have done us a great disservice.  However, the US Supreme Court stated in a 1984 decision, “Nothing in the First Amendment or in this Court’s case law interpreting it suggests that the rights to speak, associate, and petition require government policymakers to listen or respond to communications of members of the public on public issues.”  Seems a bit odd, don’t you think?  Our Founding Fathers fought over one of the grievances of just such a nature.  In-fact, it was not unheard of that if someone was considered such an upstart the British Crown would remove that person(s) to England for trial there, which created the impetus for the requirement of a jury of one’s peers in the Sixth Amendment.

Here is where things get interesting as I was reading the definition of the “Freedom of Speech” in Black’s Law Dictionary; I was referred to the “Fighting Words Doctrine.”  Who knew?  And clearly indicate that not all speech is protected by the First Amendment.  “These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or “fighting” words — those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.”  Over the course of some 60-70 years the doctrine has been honed down to be more specific than ambiguous.  An interesting case in 1971 comes to bear with this aspect of the First Amendment:  “The Court further expanded its protection of offensive speech in Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971). Cohen was arrested and convicted for disturbing the peace after wearing a jacket bearing the words “F— the Draft.” The Supreme Court reversed the conviction, redefining fighting words as only those “personally abusive epithets which, when addressed to the ordinary citizen, are, as a matter of common knowledge, inherently likely to provoke violent reactions.” The Court reasoned that because Cohen’s statement was not an insult directed toward a particular individual, it could not be regulated as fighting words.”

Our Founding Fathers intended for our government to listen to us, since they had just shaken off the British who listened to no one but themselves.  And though the US Supreme Court has deigned it to not be a requirement of Government to answer the People, historically speaking, the people redressed their grievances with the King of England; two examples being the Magna Carta of 1215 and the Petition of Rights.  The colonists attempted to all things peacefully, over the course of a decade but the crown would not relent.  In those similar instances the people of England attempted peaceful solutions and then waged war on the crown.  The crown knew if he did not relent, it would have been sure death at the hands of his servants, hmmmmmm… The colonists followed a similar path and ended up booting the British forces out of the colonies!  On a side note, what the colonists were experiencing was far less intrusive than that of us in this present day.  People are still fighting in courts this very day, but the courts (for the most part) are siding with the government.

See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9,  Part 10

Works Cited

Alexander Hamilton, J. J. (1788). THE FEDERALIST PAPERS.

Andrews, J. (2001). Amendments to the US Constitution: Amendment I. In J. Andrews, Guide for Learning and Teaching the Declaration of Independance & US Constitution (p. 382). San Marcos, CA: Center for Teaching the Constitutiuon.

Butler, J. (n.d.). THE BEST OF CARL MILLER. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from MY PRIVATE AUDIO: http://www.myprivateaudio.com/CARLTEXT.pdf; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s-zHrNPfkQ (PARTS 1, 2, & 3)

freedomforum.org. (n.d.). What is the Fighting Words Doctrine? Retrieved January 1, 2014, from Freedom Forum: http://www.freedomforum.org/templates/document.asp?documentID=13718

Geiger, R. (2008, June 4). Background on the First Amendment. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from Oklahoma State University School of Media & Strategic Communications: http://journalism.okstate.edu/faculty/jsenat/foioklahoma/educationlessons/Background_on_First_Amendment.pdf

Justia. (1984, February 21). Minn. Bd. Commun. for Colleges v. Knight – 465 U.S. 271. Retrieved January 1, 2014, from JuUSTIA US Supreme Court: http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/465/271/

Lockhart, W. B., Kamisar, Y., & Choper, J. H. (1970). THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION Cases and Materials. St. Paul: West Publishing.

Know Your Constitution – Carl Miller Parts 1 – 3 (abt. 1980). [Motion Picture].

Turner, B. (2011, January 18). The Tyranny Of The Supreme Court. Retrieved January 1, 2014, from American Patriot Commision blog: http://americanpatriotscommission.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/the-tyranny-of-the-supreme-court/

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Bill of Rights

Part 6:docs-003

We are all aware that we have Rights and Liberties, which are protected by the US Constitution.  We also know that the US Constitution is constantly being re-interpreted thereby abridging, modifying, and eroding our Rights and Liberties.  The questions are:  (1) Do you even know that is happening?  (2) Do you even care that it is happening? (3) Are you doing anything about it? (4) What can you do about it? AND at what point will you make a stand for your Rights and Liberties?

People have made their stand against the tyranny of government, elitism, and other forms of hatred toward the sovereignty of the individual over his, or her, government or the corporate lobbies which push the agenda they desire.  Unfortunately, many of our representatives give in to the temptation in order to attain re-electability for the next term.  It is up to We the People to take back our government from the politicians and take back the courts from the judges who choose to legislate from the benches throughout America.  But exactly, how far are you willing to go?  Are you willing to be jailed to protect the Rights of another individual as was mentioned in the last part?

States and the Government are constantly requiring you the individual to obtain a permit in order for you to do something.  Don’t you find that rather odd?  I do!  For you have absolute Rights, corporations and governments have privileges.  Let me clarify, you are the individual from whom (you and others) created the local and state governments and you gave them certain privileges to do things on your behalf (read the Declaration of Independence), the states in-turn created the federal government and we elected our representation to serve at our pleasure by caring for the day-to-day business of governmental dealing.

Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105 (1943) (Supreme Court trumps The U.S. Supreme Court and American flag. Washington, D.C., USA.everything else) Murdock is basically a religious test case. A religious group wanted to go out and preach among the public as that is their right to evangelize.  Pennsylvania wanted them to have a license to solicit.  The group claimed their first amendment right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the right to worship and exercise their religion unencumbered. The points on the case that are established are “A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the federal constitution; and that a flat license tax here involved restrains in advance the constitutional liberty of press and religion, and inevitably tends to suppress the exercise thereof.” That the ordinance is non-discriminatory, and that it applies also to peddlers of wares and merchandise is immaterial. The liberties granted by the first amendment are in a preferred position. Since the privilege in question is guaranteed by the federal constitution, and exist independently of the state’s authority, the inquiry as to whether the state has given something for which it cannot ask a return is irrelevant.  No state may convert a secured liberty into a privilege and issue a license and a fee for it.

The first thing you need to understand is Article 6 paragraph 2 of the constitution. This is known as the supremacy clause of the constitution. Basically what it says is “This constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made pursuance thereof, and the treaties made or which shall be made under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land. The judges in every state shall be bound thereby. Anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary are not withstanding in law.

Pissed-off-JudgeOne of the most important cases in American history is Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).  This is one of the leading cases in the history of the U.S. The opinion of the court was “Anything that is in conflict is null and void of law; Clearly for a secondary law to come in conflict with the supreme was illogical; for certainly the supreme law would prevail over any other law, and certainly our forefathers had intended that the supreme law would be the basis for all laws, and for any law to come in conflict would be null and void of law. It would bear no power to enforce, it would bear no obligation to obey, it would purport to settle as though it had never existed, for unconstitutionality would date from the enactment of such a law, not from the date so branded by a court of law. No courts are bound to uphold it, and no citizens are bound to obey it. It operates as a mere nullity or a fiction of law, which means it doesn’t exist in law.

rodneyNow, that is quite powerful to say the very least!  Most people do not study law or the Constitution.  With all due respect to all Americans, I believe it is high time that we started studying both again, taking all of the lessons to heart.  A little background for you so that you may relate to me.  I listened to many shows while at work trying to understand the Constitution, my Rights, and the law because I was interested in them.  Of course, when you learn something new, you want to share it all with your friends and so I did.  Then one day I received a ticket based upon an accusation.  First off, an officer of the law cannot write out a ticket based upon an accusation without proof, one person’s accusation is not proof; secondly, an Animal Control Officer is not an officer of the law, but is a corporate subcontractor of the county; then there is what the laws stated which were not violated, that which the Nebraska Supreme Court had stated on the subject and we cannot forget there was in the state statutes which stated, “No such ordinance or resolution shall place a duty or liability on any person, other than an employer, employment agency, or labor organization…”  Which in-turn says that the county makes laws applicable to the employers and labor organizations, not the people that reside within.  I wrote my own briefs and had a blast doing it and I learned quite a lot about the law.  Oh, let us not leave out the fact that my neighbors enjoyed the entertainment value.  Also, you elect one body to create laws within each state, and that is the legislature.  The counties are extensions of the state, but are empowered to govern the businesses within their borders.  I found that rather interesting, oh by the way they had to drop the case because they had nowhere to go with it.

Even though these court cases are specific to religion, taxation, politics, CaseDismissedetc. they are applicable to all situations.  You are required to think for yourself and determine how it applies.  Another thing you must keep in mind is the fact that when you obtain a lawyer to fight your battle you deem yourself to incompetent before the court, but if you fight your own battles you have greater leeway because most laws and rules within the courtroom are geared toward lawyers, you aren’t a lawyer, huh.

See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

Works Cited

Butler, J. (n.d.). THE BEST OF CARL MILLER. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from MY PRIVATE AUDIO: http://www.myprivateaudio.com/CARLTEXT.pdf; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s-zHrNPfkQ (PARTS 1, 2, & 3)

Geiger, R. (2008, June 4). Background on the First Amendment. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from Oklahoma State University School of Media & Strategic Communications: http://journalism.okstate.edu/faculty/jsenat/foioklahoma/educationlessons/Background_on_First_Amendment.pdf

Lockhart, W. B., Kamisar, Y., & Choper, J. H. (1970). THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION Cases and Materials. St. Paul: West Publishing.

Know Your Constitution – Carl Miller Parts 1 – 3 (abt. 1980). [Motion Picture].

 

The Bill of Rights

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Part 5:

ARTICLE I (aka, the First Amendment to the US Constitution.)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This being the most important of natural rights, according to our forefathers, it only made good sense to place it at the forefront of all other rights to be protected by this new constitution.  These natural rights being the right to freely speak or express one’s self, to freely assemble, to govern and express your personal religious beliefs without retribution, to freely publish, and to bring about grievances against the government.  There is an acronym that aids in your memory of these rights of paramount importance and it is as follows:

Grievances, Religion, Assembly, Speech, Press OR GRASP

The rights of greatest importance, which is impossible as all rights are of equal importance but perhaps in priority, are the rights of religion and speech.  Religion will probably trump only because it was for religious persecution that the people left England to set up house in the New World.  So, let us begin with religion.

RELIGION

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” This is known as the Establishment Clause it is the provision that our Congress will make no law thereby creating a state sponsored religion, nor any law to respect a specific religion.  Thomas Jefferson in his second inaugural address, 1805, in which he declared to the whole country, “In matters of religion, I have considered its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [i.e., federal] government.” In other words, Jefferson’s wall metaphor in his 1802 letter was referring to the First Amendment’s prohibition of federal interference with the authority of the states in religious matters. It was a wall to prevent federal trespass. On the issue of religion, as with other matters, Thomas Jefferson emerges as a believer in what might be called states’ rights.  This was the meaning of the “wall of separation” metaphor, it was a limitation upon the general or Federal government.

We must discuss the case of Everson v. Board of Education (1947).  Everson believed that the New Jersey law was misapplying the “wall of separation” by reimbursing the cost of transportation for children to schools other than public schools since most of the private schools in NJ during the 1940s were run by the Roman Catholic Church, it begged the question concerning the Establishment Clause.  It was upheld as a public service.  However, it appears that Justice Hugo Black, who wrote the majority opinion, was both factually and historically incorrect in his assessment of the situation.  He stated that the First Amendment prohibited states from having an establishment of religion; where in reality, Jefferson stated that it was the Federal government was prohibited from trespassing upon the rights of the states in matters such as these.

This is how the US Constitution is RE-INTERPRETTED over the course of time and permits the government to trample upon the rights that are otherwise protected.  Now, of course, in my opinion, it truly matters not whether the Bill of Rights existed or not, nor does it matter how someone else interprets your exercise of your God given rights.  Those rights are yours and are not negotiable, you can opt to lay down and suspend your rights anytime you desire and then pick them pack up again!

Now to move right along, “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  This is called the Free Exercise Clause, a protected right preventing the government’s intrusion upon your endowed rights given by God, not by Government!  This was the great thing way back when, they wrote the laws and declarations so the people could understand them; unlike today where each law or amendment to the constitution is written so ambiguously that it must be interpreted by the courts…so, sad!  Notice the free exercise clause where it can be stated emphatically that “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom…” which means by making any law that violates, prohibits, or abridges your expressed, or unexpressed, freedoms is both unlawful and unconstitutional…in my opinion.

The Declaration of Independence declared to the world that “Every individual is sovereign over his own person with natural inalienable rights.”  But as time slips away from us all, our rights and liberties are slowly being shaven and chiseled away.  One question must be asked and answered by every free man:  Where will you draw the line in the sand?  How many of your endowed, inalienable rights are you willing to give up?  What are you willing to do to protect your rights, your liberties, and your country?  What are you willing to do to reclaim your country from your rogue & tyrannical government?  Run for office and perhaps tip the balance of power?  What are you willing to do?

william-penn-5

One Story Behind the First Amendment

How religious freedoms and the First Amendment came to pass:  Edward Bushnell and three fellow JURORS learned this lesson well. They refused to bow to the court. They believed in the absolute power of the JURY, though their eight companions cowered to the court. The four JURORS spent nine weeks of torture in prison, often without food and water, soaked with urine, smeared with feces, barely able to stand, and even threatened with fines, yet they would not give in to the judge. Edward Bushnell said, “My liberty is not for sale,” though he had great wealth and commanded an international shipping enterprise. These “bumble heads”, so the court thought, proved the power of the people was stronger than any power of government. They emerged total victors.

The year was 1670, and the case Bushnell sat on was that of William Penn, who was on trial for violation of a “Conventicle Act.” This was an elaborate Act which made the Church of England the only legal church. The Act was struck down by their not guilty vote.  Freedom of Religion was established and became part of the English Bill of Rights and later it became the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In addition, the Right to peaceful assembly was founded, Freedom of Speech, and also habeas corpus. Had Bushnell and his colleagues yielded to the guilty verdict sought by the judge and prosecutor, William Penn most likely would have been executed as he clearly broke the law.

The first such writ of habeas corpus ever issued by the Court of Common Pleas was issued to free Edward Bushnell.  Later this trial gave birth to the concept of Freedom of the press.  There would have been no Liberty Bell, no Independence Hall, no city of Philadelphia, and no state called Pennsylvania, for young William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, and leader of the Quakers, was on trial for his life. His alleged crime was preaching and teaching a different view of the Bible than that of the Church of England. This appears innocent today, but then, one could be executed for such actions. He believed in freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the right to peaceful assembly. He had broken to government’s law, but he had injured no one. The four heroic JURORS knew that only when actual injury to someone’s person or property takes place is there a real crime. No law is broken when no injury can be shown. Thus there can be no loss or termination of rights unless actual damage is proven

The trial made such an impact the every colony but one established the jury as the first liberty to maintain all other liberties. It was felt that the liberties of people could never be wholly lost as long as the jury remained strong and independent, and that unjust laws and statutes could not stand when confronted by conscientious JURORS. JURORS today face an avalanche of imposter laws. JURORS not only still have the power and the RIGHT, but also the DUTY, to nullify bad laws by voting “not guilty.” At first glance it appears that it is almost unfair, the power JURORS have over government, but necessary when considering the historical track record of oppression that governments have wielded over private citizens.

See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Works Cited

Alexander Hamilton, J. J. (1788). THE FEDERALIST PAPERS.

Butler, J. (n.d.). THE BEST OF CARL MILLER. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from MY PRIVATE AUDIO: http://www.myprivateaudio.com/CARLTEXT.pdf; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s-zHrNPfkQ (PARTS 1, 2, & 3)

Geiger, R. (2008, June 4). Background on the First Amendment. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from Oklahoma State University School of Media & Strategic Communications: http://journalism.okstate.edu/faculty/jsenat/foioklahoma/educationlessons/Background_on_First_Amendment.pdf

Lockhart, W. B., Kamisar, Y., & Choper, J. H. (1970). THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION Cases and Materials. St. Paul: West Publishing.

McElroy, J. H. (2011, April 9). Understanding the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from First Principles ISI Web Journal: http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/articles.aspx?article=1485

Know Your Constitution – Carl Miller Parts 1 – 3 (abt. 1980). [Motion Picture].

The Bill of Rights

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Part 4

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

—————————–

Believe it or not, most people, even the studiers of the Constitution, do not realize there is a preamble to the Bill of Rights.  Sometimes, regardless of how smart you are, some things need to be pointed out to you; thus, providing you with an ah-HA moment.

Section 1:

States both when and where Congress convened for this Bill of Rights.

Section 2:

As I have mentioned prior to this, there were 5-6 states which would not sign on to the newly drafted Constitution until there was a promise to create a Bill of Rights.  This also being mentioned before, where the Bill of Rights is actually a Bill of Prohibitions that the Government has neither power nor standing to change, abridge, or nullify.  Unfortunately, if you have paid attention to the news, the so-called conspiracy theorists, and all of the other Americans who are screaming bloody murder over the fact that their rights are being trampled on.

Just consider, for a moment, that as Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Declaration of Independence the thought that man is “… endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”   Meaning that GOD, Our Creator, or Nature’s God, has given us certain rights (which are innumerable).  The ability to possess the means to protect oneself and family from every possible form of harm is our right…I have the right to purchase any type of firearm to protect my life, my family and my property.  There are many who disagree with that statement, but if you understood that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to secure for the people the right to protect themselves from a rogue government – it is not to protect the right to hunt and be a gun sportsman! (…more on that later.)

The Rights that are listed in the first ten amendments are not all inclusive, but rather an abbreviated list of innumerable Rights we all have, dependent upon the circumstances and Prohibitions (or restrictive clauses) against government.  What I mean by that is, as we have discussed before, are you a federal citizen or a citizen of the several states?

It is an established matter of law that our representation, representatives, and government officials, know what they are doing AND they write and enact laws purposefully.  Back in time, during our founding, the laws were written in such a fashion that their intent was blatantly understood by all of the people.  On the other hand, the laws written today are so ambiguous that whenever there is a question concerning its meaning it must be taken before a court.

Section 3:

Stated that the Senate and House of Representatives met and by a 2/3 majority proposed these Amendment to the Constitution and were ratified by ¾ of the Legislatures (States) to be accepted as part of the amended Constitution.

Section 4:

This section accepted these newly ratified Articles to the Constitution.

The preamble is not very complicated, in and of itself, but you truly must (like all other things) keep it in the context of the purpose set forth by the writers of the Bill of Rights and with the US Constitution as a whole and it must be read in the light of the Declaration of Independence as was stated by the US Supreme Court in US Supreme Court, majority opinion; Gulf, Colorado & Sante Fe Railroad Co. v Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 159-160 (1897), …the first official act of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident***.”  While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.” 

Each person must determine for themselves what they are, originalists or living document believers.  As an originalist the founding documents mean the same thing from one day to the next; however, as a believer of the living document ideology, the meaning changes from generation to generation, and perhaps even from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  Decide for yourself what you are.

Next we will delve in to the First Amendment, until then…

See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

The Bill of Rights

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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.

See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Works Cited

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.

The Bill of Rights

Part 2

…the first official act of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident***.”  While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.” 

– US Supreme Court, majority opinion; Gulf, Colorado & Sante Fe Railroad Co. v Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 159-160 (1897)

This sets the tone for the beginning of these United States and I promise not to digress too far from the subject matter.  As a unified people the Declaration of Independence was the first legal act of this country to the world thereby separating the ties that bound us to the English Empire forever.

Now, I understand the Supreme Court had ruled in the case of Cohens v. Virginia, 19 U.S. 264 (1821) that The Federalist Papers, was the exact record of the intent of the framers of the constitution Madison, Hamilton, and Jay. I have also seen references, in many instances where the Anti-Federalist Papers were also given much weight in court cases heard by the Supreme Court of the United States.  So obviously being able to read their published thoughts as they were doing this constitution is very forceful in terms of constitutional interpretation. The intent of the lawmaker is the law. And it shall be liberally enforced in favor of you; you are the clearly intended and expressly designated beneficiary.  Everything you can do to enhance your position in terms of how your lawmakers thought when the framed this constitution clearly makes your case even stronger for the constitution to be interpreted in favor of you. So, it is recommend you get a copy of The Federalist Papers and read it.  That being said, you also need to research the Debates concerning the creation of the Constitution, which would also be considered the mind of the Founding Fathers.

How, you may ask, do either of these two relate to the Bill of Rights?  First of all, the Declaration of Independence set the tone for these United States and for every legal act thereafter.  Secondly, the Supreme Court of the United States tells us that the Federalist Papers (written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay) are the basis of the Founding Fathers decisions and mind with respect to the United States Constitution, with respect to the Cohens case.  And through deduction we can also extrapolate the messages from the Anti-Federalist Papers (written or inspired by Thomas Jefferson, George Clinton, Robert Yates, Samuel Bryan, Melancton Smith, Richard Henry Lee, Mercy Otis Warren, & Patrick Henry) as also being the mind and basis of the decisions of our Founding Fathers.

In Federalist Pater #84, Alexander Hamilton was attempting to influence the American People that there was no need for a Bill of Rights to be added to the Constitution because the rights of man were retained by him if not specifically given to the state or the federal government.  Hamilton stated in this paper, The observations of the judicious Blackstone, in reference to the latter, are well worthy of recital: “To bereave a man of life, [say she] or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary government.” And as a remedy for this fatal evil he is everywhere peculiarly emphatical in his encomiums on the habeas corpus act, which in one place he calls “the BULWARK of the British Constitution.”  Despite the old English in which it is written you can discern from it its meaning and if you consider the present day events of our Legislature you can see that he was completely off point.  The reason I say he was completely off point is just consider the USA PATRIOT ACT (which was the start of the indefinite detentions); consider the Japanese-American camps during WWII in which American citizens were cast and thereby lost all that they owned and this was by one of our beloved Presidents (FDR); the JOHN WARNER DEFENSE ACT in which our Fourth and Fifth Amendment protected and secured RIGHTS were gutted and do not forget the one hundred twenty five year old Possee Comitatus Act of 1878 which said military forces could not act on American soil as it was not constitutional for them to do so.  Despite all that Hamilton spoke within that paper it only took 236 years to steal the rights away from America’s Citizens.  You can also pinpoint some Constitutional violations as early as George Washington with the quashing of the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791, or John Adams with the Alien and Seditions Act of 1796.

I, for one, am of the belief that there are no reasonable restrictions on a man’s God given rights other than, perhaps, if one’s exercise of rights would denigrate the rights of another in an illegal and unconscionable way.  There have been a great number of Supreme Court cases which either strengthened the Citizen’s rights or degraded them.  There are two minds in the Supreme Court of the United States that you need to be aware of: One is the “Originalist” and the other is the “Living Document”.  Each mind has valid points; however, I am of the mind that should be an Originalist, which means you possess the ideological mindset to determine the mind and meaning of the Founding Fathers when they wrote the Constitution.  Those with the Living Document mindset believe that the Constitution is a living breathing document and its meaning changes upon the whims of society and with the times…this mindset is dangerous to the Rights and Liberties of every American, in my opinion; one day you have a specific Right and the next, based upon the whims of society, you no longer have that right.  Consider the above paragraph where you possess the Right of Habeas Corpus written within the text of the Constitution, but President Lincoln through extra-constitutional means suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus.  This was a duty of the Congress in Article I, section 9.  You will note throughout our history that Presidents have time and again overstepped their boundaries with respect to their duties and responsibilities and those of another branch of government.  This is more noticeable in more recent days with the information technology available to us.

More to come…

See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Works Cited

Alexander Hamilton, J. J. (1788). THE FEDERALIST PAPERS.

Butler, J. (n.d.). THE BEST OF CARL MILLER. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from MY PRIVATE AUDIO: http://www.myprivateaudio.com/CARLTEXT.pdf; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s-zHrNPfkQ (PARTS 1, 2, & 3)

LII. (n.d.). 18 USC § 1385 – Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from Legal Information Institute: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1385

Know Your Constitution – Carl Miller Parts 1 – 3 (abt. 1980). [Motion Picture].

On the Constitutional Side…

14th Amendment

14th Amendment

The Fourteenth Amendment Part 6

I find it very odd that a President of these United States and a supposed Constitutional Professor and Scholar is being urged by his party members to increase the debt ceiling, further debasing the American economy and the value of the US Dollar, to use this Fourteenth Amendment; more specifically section 4 which states:

“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.”

This amendment was NOT intended for the future Presidents to raise the debt ceiling for it was Jefferson who eloquently stated:

“We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.  We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude.  If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds…[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers…And this is the tendency of all human governments.  A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for [another ]…till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery…And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt.  Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

This section is simply the acknowledgement of Public Debt accrued due to the Civil War, the War Between the States, or the War of Northern Aggression.   Just as any Citizen should do, the Government also should acknowledge its debts.  It even specifically states within it that any debt accrued for the purposes of insurrection or rebellion will not be acknowledged or paid by any state or the United States.

I, for the life of me, cannot determine where these people get the impression that they can increase the debt ceiling by circumventing the US Congress, who possesses the reigns of the public purse.  This, in my opinion, is a blatant act of tyranny and another usurpation of authority that one branch of government does not possess.  This is quite sad and a sad day in general!  History repeats, similarly when FDR created many of the unconstitutional acts and were deemed to be so by the US Supreme Court.  Another unfortunate period in history where FDR threatened to pack the courts and then all of a sudden the courts began seeing those unconstitutional acts to be constitutional…just like waving a wand of power, hmmmmmm.

See also Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6