Nullification or Article V conventions?
By KrisAnne Hall, JD
Article V Conventions and Nullification are NOT mutually exclusive, nor is one the magic pill for all of our federal problems. Each is a legitimate Constitutional solution, but each has a different aim and application. Each plan has its inherent dangers and there are legitimate concerns that should be considered and these dangers guarded against. They can be used together in the defense of Liberty as long as we understand each in its own context and consider the pitfalls involved. It must be noted that we are having this discussion because of the very fact that we have stepped so far out of the Constitutional boundaries given to this government that we are operating practically in a post-Constitutional America. At this point, it is unlikely that any solution will be perfect or without peril.
Two different animals
Article V Convention is a long term fix aimed at making corrections at the federal level. Nullification is an immediate defense at the state, local and individual level. Article V aims to make structural changes or further clarifications to the operations of the federal government and its relation to the states by amending the Constitution. Nullification aims to make no changes to the current Constitution, but is simply an assertion by the individual sovereign states and communities of the authority they already possess and a declaration of the limitations to federal power already defined by the Constitution. Article V convention in the current context seeks to fix what is assumed to be broken or lacking in the federal system and is to be used in the rarest of circumstances. Nullification, as intended by the framers, was to be a part of “republican maintenance,” whereby the central government was to be continually kept in check by its masters, the people through their states.
Both have their merits and their dangers. Let us take a look some concerns that the framers themselves noted. We should keep these things in mind so that we can work TOGETHER to defeat the common enemy…TYRANNY.
Some of the challenges with Article V:
WHO are the delegates and what is their motivation?
According to James Madison in Federalist 49, one significant problem with conventions is – WHO will be the delegates? Madison discusses two options for choosing delegates: either through the Legislators or through popular vote of the people. In each case he believed there was cause for concern.
In modern terms, when delegates are chosen by the legislators, what we could see are appointments based upon party loyalty, power or popularity rather than upon Constitutional expertise and dedication to Liberty principles. When the delegates are chosen by popular vote, typical election dynamics could determine the outcome. Voters would vote based upon party popularity and perhaps even a “lesser of two evils” and the same corrupt politicians would now be “fixing” the very problems they created. Madison framed the outcome this way, “The same influence which had gained them an election into the legislature, would gain them a seat in the convention… They would consequently be parties to the very question to be decided by them.”
According to Madison, the real difficulty with delegates boils down to “motivation”. What will be the motivating force behind the delegates and their amendments? Madison recognized that the only reason we have our current Constitution is that the framers had just come from a bloody revolution that kept the delegates focused upon LIBERTY and that forced them to set aside their party politics and personal motivations and it was still no easy path:
“We are to recollect that all the existing constitutions were formed in the midst of a danger which repressed the passions most unfriendly to order and concord; of an enthusiastic confidence of the people in their patriotic leaders, which stifled the ordinary diversity of opinions on great national questions; of a universal ardor for new and opposite forms, produced by a universal resentment and indignation against the antient government;” ~ James Madison Federalist 49
Madison seems to be telling us that without some overriding and unifying motivation, the convention would likely degrade into another Republican vs. Democrat drama. If we cannot get delegates that are properly constitutionally minded rather than driven by political gain and greed, this will never benefit us.
WHEN will it be done?
One practical difference between nullification and convention is the time each takes to implement. Any advocate of Article V must admit that this is a LONG TERM goal and not a quick fix. To call convention, choose delegates, agree on amendments, an Article V convention could take several years, possibly 5 to 10 years. Adding to the time frame is the Article V requirement of 3/4 ratification by the States. That means EVERY AMENDMENT must be agreed upon (debated), individually, by 3/4 of the States to ratify. During such a time frame, it would be prudent to use nullification to puts the brakes on at the state level until corrections (if truly needed) can be made at the federal level.
What will be the scope and impact?
Probably the most debated aspect is the notion of a “runaway convention.” Some say the ¾ ratification is a check on a runaway convention, that ¾ of the states would never go along with a total rewrite of the Constitution or the addition of harmful amendments. Of course, ¾ of the states DID ratify the very harmful 16th and 17th amendments. Tinkering with the foundation is always risky business. SO at the end of the day it may well come back to the main issue of the motivation, focus and education of the people and their delegates. What about the opposite of a runaway convention? What about a do-nothing convention? What if we do open-heart surgery on the Constitution for something as cosmetic as a balanced budget amendment?!
First, Nullification is a constitutional solution not because it is enumerated per se, but because the Constitution is a contract (technically a compact) among the States that created the federal government. The States are the parties to the Constitutional Contract and the federal government is the PRODUCT of that contract. Inherent in EVERY contract is the right of the parties to that contract to control the product of the contract. The States are the representatives of the people in this contract and have a DUTY to keep the federal government within its constitutional boundaries and thus protecting the rights of the people. It is inherent in the very nature of the Constituion. Nullification is that act of the PEOPLE through their States to keep the federal government within in its “limited and defined” boundaries and should be as regularly carried out as an oil change in your car. Madison states this principle again in Federalist 49:
“As the people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived; it seems strictly consonant to the republican theory, to recur to the same original authority, not only whenever it may be necessary to enlarge, diminish, or new-model the powers of government; but also whenever any one of the departments may commit encroachments on the chartered authorities of the others.”
This is not the forum for a full explanation of Nullification. If you are unfamiliar with this term or have in the past heard that it is not an option available to the States for a myriad of reasons, please take the time to read the FACTS about nullification before you give in to any one position. THIS LINK will get you started.
Fear of Nullification
The first problem with nullification is fear and lack of education. For some, nullification’s association (rightly or wrongly) with the Civil War and slavery (despite the fact that it was used to resist slavery) throws a veil of fear over the entire issue. So care must be taken not to add fuel to the fire of racial division because those who capitalize on such things will use it for their own design. Many mistruths and misconceptions regarding this Liberty solution must be overcome in order to even utilize this option. Retorts such as “the South lost the war,” “SCOTUS says no,” or “it’s the law of the land” are common among those ignorant of the concepts of State and local autonomy and nullification.
Even as nullification happens all around us today with, States legalizing marijuana and same sex marriage; states denying the federal government power to enforce the indefinite detention provisions of NDAA 2012 and Obamacare; local and state governments refusing to enforce federal gun restrictions, some will still say that nullification is an obscure and outdated concept. With more than 100 years of distorted history, overcoming fear and lack of education surrounding Nullification is no easy task.
Participation by the States:
Whereas Article V requires 3/4 of the States to ratify any amendment, Nullification can be achieved on a State by State basis. However, many staes that would at first glance be thought to be inclined to resist federal encroachment are often controlled by “federal supremacists,” those who believe that the federal government is superior to the states. Many state legislators do not understand the true nature of the states’ relationship to the federal government and they understand the states’ right and duty to interposition even less.
Federal Enforcement of Unconstitutional Acts
One more roadblock to nullification is the acquiescence to federal bullying and bribery. The dirty little secret is that the feds generally do not have the resources to enforce most of its dictates; it must co-opt state and local resources. This is done primarily through bullying and legalized bribery. The feds use state EPA, state DOE, state and local law enforcement elements to enforce its demands. In most cases the state and local entities comply. Without such compliance the federal dictates would be ineffective and in most cases unenforceable. The most obvious attempt at forced compliance will be through the withholding of federal funds. Any State who intends to maintain their supremacy over the federal government will have to be able to become self-sufficient in the face of federal funding withdrawal and brave leaders will have to be willing to call the bully’s bluff. In an arena where it’s all about the money and in a political system where politicians climb the ladder of power by giving and receiving favors this is also a significant obstacle.
Sometimes opponents of nullification characterize the concept as “ignoring laws you don’t like.” The question at issue in nullification is not whether we like the law or not, the question is whether the law is constitutional or not. A possible danger is that states may wish to “nullify” inherent natural rights, such as those protected in the bill of rights from the abuse of the federal government. When such tyranny arises on the state level, the citizens must be ready to resist this tyranny as well, or else choose to live as slaves.
The REAL Solution lies within the operation of BOTH methods!
What Article V conventions cannot do to stop tyranny now, nullification can if successfully implemented accomplish with near immediate effect. Where Nullification ends, Article V provides a long term solution to strengthening the restraints on the federal government, if done by the right people for the right reasons in the right way. If we DO NOT engage in Nullification now, we will never survive as a republic long enough for the Article V Convention to have any hopes. If we just engage in Nullification and do not follow through with shoring up the established boundaries, I believe we will dissolve into individual sovereign States and the Republic will die.
We will not succeed if we are so caught up in our own causes that we have to defeat everyone else’s. That is egocentric and immature. Truth be told, we will not succeed without all the efforts of all the people working together in the defense of Liberty. We need nullification daily to maintain the Republic, yet if we continue to allow the foundation to erode, we may indeed need a convention to right the ship.
So let’s approach the defense of Liberty like grown-ups. Let’s work together instead of trying to punch each other in the eye to elevate ourselves.
I have confidence that when all is said and done, our future will look back and say, “Coming up with a new and better form of government was nearly impossible. The original Constitution itself was not the problem; it was the ignorance of the people that lived under it.”
If you want more detailed information about this discussion go to my book Sovereign Duty! Also available thru many online book stores
Historical Proof- Why Britain MUST BREXIT!
By KrisAnne Hall, JD
British history is rich with sacrifice for the principles of Liberty; understanding that Liberty is a gift from God and not a privilege granted by government. It was passionate battles for Liberty that drove the wisdom of limited government that is seen in America and around the globe. In those battles for Liberty we find several repeating mechanisms of despotism; foreign influence, corrupt courts, diminishing property rights and government intrusion in church matters, just to name a few. Our forefathers paid a dear a price to secure our Liberty.
Many have repeated the phrase, “Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.” King Solomon said, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” Human nature never changes, and those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. We are walking a path of destruction we need not trod. Our forefathers forged a way for us to avoid tyranny in government, but we have put down their lamp and now wander in the dark. We cannot restore Liberty, we cannot recapture our future, without thehard earned wisdom of the past.
Beginning with the Anglo-Saxon resistance to Danish rule in the early eleventh century, the British people paid a dear price for the wisdom necessary to forge the way for just government. Yet it appears this crucible of Liberty is not immune from tripping over the same obstacles of their past. The Anglo-Saxon communities of the eleventh century, seemed to have an inherent understanding of the evils of foreign rule. Having had Anglo-Saxon kings in the past and upon the death of Danish King Sven Forkbeard, the Anglo-Saxons re-established their former Anglo-Saxon King, Æthelred.
Æthelred was allowed to be King, but under new terms; a limited monarchy where the King was to be in submission to the will of the people. The Witenagemot, who was particularly strong during Æthelred’s reign, would ensure this limitation of power. The agreement with Æthelred would begin the future of Liberty Charters, creating the new limited monarchy that would make the Kingdom of England unique and pave the way for limited government and secured Liberty to the people in the west.
When Edward the Confessor failed to produce an heir, the people found themselves in threat of foreign rule, once again. The heir to the throne would be the Norman, William I. In an effort to keep Norman rule out of England, the people would attempt to establish Harold Godwinson, an Anglo-Saxon, to be their king. The appointment of Harold by the people was a direct affront to the man who had earned the nick-name “William The Conqueror.” William raised his Norman army and defeated Harold and the people in the Battle of Hastings, reaffirming his Right to be king.
William I was Norman and that was the style of rule he intended to establish in England. However, the Anglo-Saxon style of rule, where the king bore a certain level of submission to the people, had become too deep rooted for William to overtly overturn. William, determined to rule in the unlimited nature of a Norman king, decided to establish his style of rule in a more surreptitious way. Instead of declaring his Divine Right to Norman rule, William began by replacing the jurists in the English courts with men who were not loyal to English law, but loyal to the ideologies of the King. With these men on the bench, William could enforce his foreign, Norman law on the English people even when it was contrary to English law. Apparently William knew what history and human nature dictates, that people are less suspect of the courts to change the politics of the land.
William knew that if he was going to transform England into Norman rule and avoid armed rebellion, he would have to change the ideology of those in the kingdom. William used the foreign, Norman law, the force of the courts, and even the physical force of his reign to chase the land owners who opposed his rule completely out of the kingdom. By foreign, Norman law, when land became abandoned the ownership of that land reverts to the King. William used this law to assume possession of the land he cleared and invited his Norman allies to live on these lands and support his reign. By force and manipulating the courts, William hoped to change the ideology of the land; by filling the kingdom with those who supported his Norman style of rule and by putting fear in the hearts of those landowners that remained.
The Norman foreign law transformation would take place over the reign of William I and his son William II. This oppression of the Anglo-Saxon style of government – kings in submission to people – would end with the “accidental” death of William II in 1100 when an arrow from William’s brother, Henry I’s hunting party “accidentally” hits William II in the eye. Henry I became be king, but not without controversy. In his efforts to please the people, Henry agreed to sign the 1100 Charter of Liberties; a promise from Henry that the evil and oppressive reign of his father and brother would end: “And I take away all the bad customs by which the kingdom of England was unjustly oppressed; which bad customs I here set down in part:…”
Henry restored England to “the laws of the Anglo-Saxon King Edward” removing the foreign Norman rule over the people. This promise of Liberty would fade quickly in the minds of kings; nearly 100 years later, King John would engage in the very activity the Charter promised to eliminate.
King John was another Norman King, and is perhaps the most evil king England would ever know. The people described John as a “wicked, evil king,” that “even hell was fouled by the presence of John.” John was a massive taxation king. Those who could not pay their taxes found themselves in jeopardy of prison, mutilation, and even execution. John would transgress the boundaries and promises of Henry I’s 1100 Charter of Liberties. When the people chose Steven Langton to be their Archbishop, John denied the people their choice and inserted himself into the business of the church. This would be the last violation of the 1100 Charter of Liberties the people would tolerate: a rebellion formed against John. Through this rebellion, John was forced, by sword, to sign a new promise; The Magna Carta of 1215. The Magna Carta reasserted the promises of the 1100 Charter of Liberties, but also established new limits upon the King.
This new limit on government, took a bold stand against the foreign influence that plagued the kingdom and required, “all foreign born knights, crossbowmen, serjeants, and mercenary soldiers” that aided John’s foreign Norman rule were summarily expelled from the kingdom. John would sign the Magna Carta with a sword at his throat and was removed from the throne less than a year later. The Magna Carta is often undersold in its importance. Prior to the Magna Carta, promises came by willing consent of the king. The Magna Carta established, in writing, the demands of the people upon their king and bound the limited monarchy to the control of a representative government.
The British people would have to battle with kings and queens for the next 4 centuries to maintain limited and local government and shun foreign influence to preserve the Liberties of the people codified in the 1100 Charter of Liberties and the Magna Carta of 1215. The next true advancements in codified Liberty would come during the reign of Charles I.
Charles’ father, James I, would saturate the British government once again with foreign influence and power. This foreign ideology, along with its power and control, remained even as Charles assumed the throne. Charles’ refusal to be bound by Parliament and the people; his denial of the people’s rights in Liberty, led to next evolution of Liberty Charters; the Petition of Right of 1628.
The Petition of Right, an exercise of clause 61 of the Magna Carta of 1215, declared the grievances of the people against the King. This Charter listed eleven points of violation of the Liberties of the people and restated the violated provisions of the Magna Carta and Charter of Liberties.
Charles signed the Petition by the force of a sword to keep his throne. However, the promises he made to the people were clearly just to pacify his opposition; his blatant disregard for Liberty would continue. It is in the time of Charles’ reign that the people rebelled in the Bishop Wars against the king’s intrusion in their churches; a violation of both the Liberty Charter and Magna Carta. Charles was finally brought up on charges of treason in 1641, through the Grand Remonstrance.
The Grand Remonstrance, another Charter of Liberty, is a list of grievances against Charles’ violations of the three previous Charters. In this list we see, once again, the trials of the past that are direct warnings for our present and our future.
“The root of all this mischief we find to be a malignant and pernicious design of subverting the fundamental laws and principles of government, upon which the religion and justice of this kingdom are firmly established.”
This document is an invaluable lesson in human nature and government overreach. It is a survey of 600 years of kings and government, declaring a design in their actions whose only purpose is to overturn and undermine Liberty. Once again this document identifies the “malignant and pernicious design” as infiltration of foreign law and foreign influence upon government;
“Such Councillors and Courtiers as for private ends have engaged themselves to further the interests of some foreign princes or states to the prejudice of His Majesty and the State at home…to maintain continual differences and discontents between the King and the people, upon questions of prerogative and liberty…to conjoin those parties of the kingdom which were most propitious to their own ends, and to divide those who were most opposite…”
What were those foreign influences that were so destructive to liberty? A few examples found are the use of foreign law to deny people their guaranteed Rights through a corruption of the courts;
Charles was sentenced to death for his violations of Liberty and the people establish a higher standard of limited government than ever before. This influence of the people over government would have to be renewed in less than 40 years, during the reign of James II and through the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
James II boldly engaged in the same tactics of previous kings. Among his violations of the four previous Liberty Charters, James would completely ignore the separation of powers established between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches;
“By assuming and exercising a power of dispensing with and suspending of laws and the execution of laws without consent of Parliament;”
James, violating separation of powers, engaged in the writing of laws that were reserved to Parliament alone, so he could maintain foreign influence without Parliament’s obstruction. James also corrupted the judiciary by creating the Courts of Ecclesiastical Causes to circumvent the courts of common law, increasing the power of foreign law and influence, thereby wielding the law and judiciary by his will and that of his foreign advisers, contrary to the Liberty Charters and the will of the people;
“By issuing and causing to be executed a commission under the great seal for erecting a court called the Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes;”
James actions were as if he used the Grand Remonstrance as a guide book on what to do instead of a document limiting and denying the king’s authority. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 was the people’s response to James’ audacious disregard for the Liberties of the people. This revolution birthed the final installation of the Liberty Charters of Great Britain; the English Bill of Rights of 1689. It was in this document that the people would not only declare the evils of foreign influence but also establish an oath of office for the government; all must pledge to eschew all foreign influence from this day forward.
“I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm. So help me God.”
History proves that foreign influence is the enemy to Liberty. When government becomes yoked with foreign power it no longer needs the consent of the people; it no longer feels the control of the people; it no longer fears the condemnation of the people. A government with the aid of foreign influence has no respect for the Liberty of the people; it doesn’t have to. When the people cannot control their government, there is no limit to government power. A government with foreign backing will never allow limits by the people. Refusing foreign influence is the only way to maintain a limited government that respects the Rights of the people.
Foreign influence will also breed discord between the people and their government and the people with each other. When government refuses the limits of the people and enforces laws that are contrary to their Rights, both history and human nature dictate that hostility between the people and government will arise. Disharmony will arise between the people, pitting those who want to exercise their Rights and those who support the government and foreign rule. The irony of this inevitable consequence of foreign influence is that this conflict actually weakens the government and leaves it ripe for takeover by the very foreign power creating the struggle. Refusing foreign influence is actually essential in maintaining the security of the people and their government.
You cannot tame the fire of foreign influence. It does not want to help or guide; it wants to control and consume. But foreign influence cannot be controlled, molded, or even limited. Once allowed within your government, foreign influence is an all-consuming fire that will bring the destruction of a raging inferno. There has never been any other conclusion and doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity.
How many of these same violations upon our Liberties do we find in government today? How often will we continue to blindly put ourselves at risk by yoking with foreign influence? In a day when we are believed to be more civilized and better educated than our centuries past, how can we be living with government engaging in the same “malignant and pernicious design” as these days of old?
Since we know that experience is an oracle of truth, where that experience shows the same results over and over again, wisdom says we must then hold those anticipated consequences to be an inevitability. History gives us those certainties about Britain remaining in the European Union.
This is not a conclusion based upon racism; that is an ignorant and ridiculous assumption. This is a decision based upon history, truth, and inevitable consequences. If Britain stays in the EU it will be the destruction of British Liberty and British government as you know it.
There are eternal consequences for our acquiescence to foreign power. History has given us all the direction we need to make a well-educated decision. We cannot claim ignorance as an excuse. If we neglect what we owe to God, our future, and the sacrifices of our past, our consciences will reproach us for our folly and our Posterity will curse us for our selfish considerations.
Who is Your Politician? Take the Test
by KrisAnne Hall, JD
The fight for American Liberty began with one man in 1761, his name is James Otis, Jr.
Because one man said, "Consequences be what they will, I am determined to proceed" the fight for Liberty was birthed in the hearts of our founders. We can learn a lot from the wisdom and conviction of this one man.
The way people conduct themselves is a clear identification of what they believe and who they are as a person. Through their actions, politicians will classify themselves. Otis teaches us about 3 distinct classifications of political personalities:
“I can sincerely declare that I cheerfully submit myself to every odious name for conscience' sake; and from my soul I despise all those whose guilt, malice, or folly has made them my foes.” James Otis, Jr. Feb 1761
Guilt- these whose who know the Constitution requires they limit government and the defend the Rights of the people, yet they choose to claim that the necessity of compromise justifies abandoning their duty to the people and the Constitution for to sake of action. I call it sacrificing principle on the altar of pragmatism.
Malice – these are the people are simply power hungry, greedy, and often times of a wicked morality. They willingly work contrary to the Rights of the people and the Constitution to satisfy their own greed, pride, and self-serving intentions.
Folly – these are the people who have the best intentions, but are ignorant of their true duty to the Constitution and the Rights of the people. Through their ignorance they end up working contrary to their good intentions and end up destroying the Rights of the people and the purpose of the Constitution.
Does your politician fall into any of these categories? If your politician is not defending Liberty 100% of the time, then he must fall into one of these groups. What we must be willing to accept is regardless of motivation driving your politician; whether compromise, ignorance, or wickedness, the end result is exactly the same- the destruction of the Liberty of the people. Otis is teaching us that we must boldly proclaim how these people have classified themselves through their actions and declare them a foe and not a friend.
That means we must make the hard choices. We must be able to set aside personal feelings, group loyalties, and familiar relationships to support only those who put the Constitution and the Liberties of the people FIRST. Identify which classification your politician falls into and show them their errors. If they give your excuses and/or refuse to correct their behavior then they have clearly classified themselves, and you must label them a foe to liberty no matter who they are. We can no longer be a people who settle for the “lesser of two evils” because in the end evil is all we will get!
Our founders are crying out through history and the ages with instruction and inspiration. They are reassuring us that they were able to make the hard choices and we can, too. The one advantage we have is that we are not living in a kingdom and revolution is not our only solution. Through their sacrifice they gave us a Constitutional Republic along with very powerful, yet peaceful means, to control those in government. We must simply be willing to get educated and implement the solutions they gave us. We must be willing to do the right things for the right reasons.
The bottom line is this: the people are not a reflection of their government, the government is a reflection of its people. If we want a government that chooses Liberty First and operates Constitutionally, then WE must be a Constitutionally and Liberty minded people, First. We can do it, it is in our blood.
Learn more about James Otis, Jr here: http://bit.ly/HistoryRevisionDebunked
Politicians - Media- America's Abusers
by KrisAnne Hall, JD
One of America's Founders, Mercy Otis Warren, gives us a great deal to talk about in her quote:
"Thus we have seen...the many become slaves of the few; preferring the wretched tranqulity of inglorious ease, they patiently yield to despotic masters, until awakened by multiple wrongs; which once aroused to a consciousness of freedom...ever revolts at the idea of servtitude."
Think about those phrases: "tranquility of inglorious ease" and "patiently yield to despotic masters."
Sometimes, and I mean this quite genuinely, my heart and soul weeps violently over the modern American condition. Sometimes it feels like it is not possible that anyone could love America more than I do. I am certain that it is not true, but the depth of my emotion sure makes it feel like it sometimes. I don't love America because of the majestic mountains, fields of grain, or the flag that represents our Republic. I love our American Union because I love Liberty. I love Liberty because I love the God that authored it. I love Him & I love His gifts with all my heart & soul.
So when I see my fellow brothers & sisters who speak fidelity to America, yet seek the solutions that bring about the opposite of Liberty, I can sometimes hardly hold back my emotions. I know this is not a new affliction. Hannah Winthrop said, "How often do we see people blind to their own interests precipitately maddening on to their own destruction!" We do so because we have been trained in lies and error. We do so because we have been deceived, distracted, and convinced we are defeated before we even try.
Meditate on these words written by Thomas Jefferson in 1807:
“It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more compleatly deprive the nation of it's benefits, than is done by it's abandoned prostitution to falsehood. Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knolege with the lies of the day. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live & die in the belief, that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time; whereas the accounts they have read in newspapers are just as true a history of any other period of the world as of the present, except that the real names of the day are affixed to their fables.”
America's media & politicians have become nothing but a source of sickening and toxic blither, whose only purpose is to divide Americans through contrived and artificial standards. They work to keep us hating each other so we cannot see the REAL enemy nor can we join together in Liberty and be truly free. We are enslaving ourselves at their command and we do not even realize it.
Americans are like the battered spouse and the politicians and the media are like our abusers; every day, constantly berating us into believing that we are ugly, we are worthless, we are stupid, and we are nothing without them; beating our spirits daily while smiling and whispering in our ear how much they truly love us. Like a controlling abuser, they isolate us from each other so we cannot know truth and we cannot find the power in each other to escape their foul clutches.
These abusers are causing us to enslave ourselves through their messages of hate, division, fear & partisan isolation. However, my fear is that we may be close to believing the lies of our abusers and that we are drifting further and further from the one thing that is our true love and salvation... The love of Christ that sets us free and gives us the Power & Ability to love our neighbor as ourselves. When the heart is full of vitriol then the spirit cannot be free. Our enemy is not each other. Our enemy are those who teach and encourage us to hate each other.
There have been times throughout our history that Americans have come together, in all colors, creeds, and genders, united in the name of Liberty & Justice for all. THAT is WHO America is in her spirit. We need reconnect with that spirit and look our abusers in they eye and boldly proclaim, “You have no power over me.” We need to unite, every American, regardless of skin color, political party, economic status, or geography- unite in the one thing that makes us all equal- LIBERTY. We have had victory before and we will have victory again. There is only one way- unified, together, in Liberty.
I will end these thoughts with a quote from Patrick Henry:
“What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
We must want Liberty more than comfort. We must understand that without liberty our peace becomes our chains and bonds.
That is why I am ALWAYS & FOREVER- #LibertyFirst
Gorsuch Sides With Scalia
by JC Hall
I thoroughly enjoy listening to and helping my wife, KrisAnne Hall dissect the legal opinions of this current Supreme Court. I have discovered that going through these opinions is one of the best ways to learn about how our system is functioning, as opposed to how it should be functioning. It has also been extremely clarifying to see the blind spots and ideological biases of the various Justices. The US v Davis case is yet another fascinating glimpse into the Constitutional views of the All-powerful Nine-member Band. In this case Justice Gorsuch delivers another powerful defense of Constitutional principles.
In writing the majority opinion for US v Davis, Gorsuch sides with the late Justice Antonin Scalia (Johnson v US). Gorsuch holds in Davis that overly vague criminal laws offend both due process and separation of powers - due process, by failing to give individuals a clear definition of forbidden activity; separation of powers, by forcing the courts, not Congress, to define criminal conduct.
Justice Scalia put the first nail in the coffin in 2015 with his majority opinion in Johnson v US. In Johnson, Scalia declared the very same statutory language before the court in Davis, to be vague and unconstitutional. Justice Scalia wrote, "Government violates this guarantee (due process) by taking away someone's life, liberty, or property under a criminal law so vague that it fails to give ordinary people fair notice of the conduct it punishes, or so standardless that it invites arbitrary enforcement.” (as an aside, too bad Scalia didn’t seem to hold this view consistently when it came to Kelo v New London)
The Supreme Court dealt with the phrase again in April 2018 in Sessions v Dimaya. The majority explained that the Constitution disallowing vague laws, “guards against arbitrary or discriminatory law enforcement by insisting that a statute provide standards to govern the actions of police officers, prosecutors, juries, and judges.” Counting US v Davis, the vague language in these statutes has now struck out three times. Since Gorsuch may have dealt the decisive blow, some may start to notice that his consistent liberty-minded approach on this issue is a real threat to the bipartisan fetish for big government.
Gorsuch seems to operate on a consistent principle that vague statues run afoul of the Constitution. If a citizen cannot know what the law demands of him, then his liberty is in jeopardy. This stirs the ire of both regulatory-minded, control-freak leftists and statist, police-state conservatives.
In the case of civil statutes that empower the government’s vast regulatory behemoth Gorsuch says, “Congress must set forth standards sufficiently definite and precise to enable Congress, the courts, and the public to ascertain whether Congress’s guidance has been followed….A statute that does not contain ‘sufficiently definite and precise’ standards ‘to enable Congress, the courts, and the public to ascertain’ whether Congress’s guidance has been followed at once presents a delegation problem and provides impermissibly vague guidance to affected citizens.” This angers the new, green Marxists. They need vague regulatory authority for unelected bureaucrats to have free reign to legislate through the unaccountable “fourth-branch” of our post-constitutional government.
In the case of criminal statutes, Gorsuch holds that, “In our constitutional order, a vague law is no law at all. Only the people's elected representatives in Congress have the power to write new federal criminal laws. And when Congress exercises that power, it has to write statutes that give ordinary people fair warning about what the law demands of them.” This angers the police-state conservatives who wish to empower the government to run roughshod over the citizens’ liberty in order to stop a “bad guy” from doing “bad things” and then throw the book at him with as many sentence enhancements as possible. (Let’s set aside for a moment the argument that Congress lacks authority to make federal law regarding things NOT FEDERAL in the first place. That’s a blog for another day.)
Kavanaugh, for his part, did his best to make the police-state argument, “Bad guy do bad things. Bad guy must pay.” His dissenting rant against gun ownership as being violent “by its very nature,” has him sounding like some raving leftist, gun-grabber from the House of Representatives, proving that a statist is a statist no matter if he sits on the left side of the sofa or the right.
Since SCOTUS is increasingly seen as the final oracle of truth on all matters whatsoever, we will see how Congress, judges, and others in the legal system adjust to this blow to vague statutory language. Destroying this “wiggle room,” as our founders intended, would be a significant bulwark against the assaults on individual liberty by the regulatory state as well as by the police state. Unfortunately, many Americans will miss the significance of this opinion since so many have been programmed to think in binary terms of left and right. So, they typically interpret SCOTUS opinions like the rest of their reality, by counting the number of “left supporters” versus the number of “right supporters.” So, 99 times out of 100, this story will be reported and interpreted as “Gorsuch sides with left,” or “Conservative Duel: Gorsuch v Kavanaugh.” There is only one dichotomy that matters, Liberty versus Tyranny. None of these guys are perfect, but thus far Gorsuch seems to hold to the principles of liberty more consistently than any of his colleagues.
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