Liberty, by Peter Mancus
38. Constitutional illiterates are uninformed or misinformed and dangerous. They are incompetent citizens who commit citizenship malpractice, and, if an office holder, statecraft malpractice. They do not even realize how incompetent and dangerous they are to themselves and to others and the problems they create for themselves, others and civil authority.
39. Legally, the United States is a constitutionally limited democratic republic with certain guaranteed minimum rights for all citizens that are off limits and beyond the control of all civil authority and all majorities. These guaranteed minimum rights cannot Constitutionally be pre-conditioned, diluted, infringed, or suspended, etc., by civil authority, by a majority or by civil authority with the backing of a majority.
40. The U.S. Constitution, as modified by the U.S. Bill of Rights, is Mankind's greatest political-legal achievement. This is because it is a workable set of rules calculated to achieve a workable harmony between Majority Control and Minority Rights, with everyone enjoying certain rights within a Constitutional framework.
41. Per our constitutionally limited democratic republic with certain guaranteed minimum rights for all citizens, five wolves cannot get away with eating two sheep and one lamb. This is because the two sheep and one lamb have certain minimum rights which the majority and civil authority are supposed to (and required to) honor.
42. It is prudent for all wolves to respect the rights of all sheep. Majorities are fickle. Majorities are not permanent. Today's wolf is tomorrow's sheep; today's sheep is tomorrow's wolf. Do today's wolves think today's sheep will have pity on them when today's sheep become tomorrow's wolves and today's wolves become tomorrow's sheep?
43. There is security in the Bill of Rights, but only when the Bill is understood, supported and enforced. Outside the Bill, there is brute force and mob rule. Take away the Bill of Rights, or give that Bill lip service, and sheep become mutton to wolves.
44. Because wolves love to devour defenseless sheep, sheep must find the means, and the courage, to cope with and to defeat wolves.
45. Without the Bill of Rights, when the wolves devour the sheep, what will wolves rip into next?
46. The controlling majority that still counts is the one that came together on December 15, 1791 when the U.S. Bill of Rights was ratified.
47. Every U.S. citizen is free to celebrate Christmas, or not celebrate Christmas, on December 25 because of what happened ten days earlier, back in December, 1791.
48. Two things are strong circumstantial evidence that this nation is populated with Constitutional illiterates. First, few people know what happened on December 15, 1791, and second, December 15 is not widely celebrated nor remembered as a crucial date in our nation's history.
49. The United States, the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Bill of Rights were born as a result of courageous men who defied a king and his redcoats, who used their wits and skills in a coordinated, sustained manner, and their unregistered, privately owned firearms to make their July 4th Declaration stick. In so doing, many of these courageous men sacrificed their lives and their fortunes, but not their sacred honor. Approximately only one half of those who signed that Declaration were alive when the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The non-survivors were killed in combat with the British, captured and executed by the British, or died of old age or disease.
50. The "supreme law of the land" is the U.S. Constitution, which includes the U.S. Bill of Rights. Article VI, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution says so.
51. All judicial officers, all elected officers, all law makers, all bureaucrats, all law enforcement officers, all members of the armed forces, and all citizens are subject to the "supreme law of the land."
52. [Note: This point is important. Please pay careful attention.] The entire U.S. Bill of Rights, effective December 15, 1791, to date, per the U.S. Constitution, is part of the Supreme Law of the Land. As such, the entire U.S. Bill of Rights, per the express terms of the U.S. Constitution, as modified by that Bill, was, from the moment it was ratified, and still is, binding on all civil authority [federal, state and local] in the United States, regardless of what anyone else, including the U.S. Supreme Court, says to the contrary. This is because:
Article V of the U.S. Constitution states:
"...amendments...shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified...."
Article VI, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states:
"This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."
Article VII of the U.S. Constitution states:
"The ratification of the conventions of nine states, shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same."
The Preamble to the U.S. Bill of Rights states, in part:
"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."
Go back and read carefully the above four bullet points. What is the true legal significance of these points? I submit that the significance is this: the U.S. Bill of Rights was binding on all levels of civil authority [federal, state and local], from the instant it was ratified on December 15, 1791 to date. A tyrant wannabee will have to win a civil war to undo what was done on December 15, 1791, if, but only if, citizens understand the above four bullet points and manifest courage [a most mysterious intangible] to restore their inalienable rights, as codified in the Bill of Rights.
What part, if any, of the following is factually not true?
- Article V of the U.S. Constitution states that all amendments to it are part of it.
- Article VI, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states that it is the supreme law of the land.
- Article VII of the U.S. Constitution clearly put the states on written notice that their ratification of the Constitution would be sufficient "for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same."
- The states which ratified the Constitution, and which later joined the Union, are charged with knowing about Article VII and its legal import.
- Those parts of the Constitution created a federal system of civil authority: one central government with its powers and multiple state and local governments with their powers, all subject to the supreme law of the land, the U.S. Constitution.
- The Preamble to the U.S. Bill of Rights states that the purpose of the Bill was "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."
- What was "the Government" that was created when "it," the U.S. Constitution, was ratified in 1789? Answer: one central government and multiple state governments.
- The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Bill of Rights were ratified on December 15, 1791. When ratified, the entire Bill of Rights modified, and became part of, the U.S. Constitution.
- The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land—Article VI, Section 2 says so. There is no exception for the states.
- The U.S. Constitution could not be the supreme law of the land if the states were exempt from that law.
- Conclusion: the U.S. Bill of Rights was intended to apply to the entire government, namely, all ratifiers of the U.S. Constitution [the states] and the government that the states created by ratifying the U.S. Constitution, namely, a system of federalism [one central government and multiple state governments.]
53. After the colonies won their independence from England, even before George Washington took office as the first U.S. president, two of Washington's greatest champions, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, became the heads of competing factions, the forerunners of political parties and special interests groups. Hamilton championed the cause of Statism, Industrialization, and Nation Building. Jefferson championed the cause of Individual Liberty, Small Government, and Agrarianism. [For a scholarly discussion of this conflict, read the following: The Presidency of George Washington by Forrest McDonald, ISBN 0-7006-0359-X and The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson by Forrest McDonald, ISBN 0-7006-0330-1.]