Justice Roberts Gives Some Good Advice

In their ruling of the Arizona Immigration laws, the Supreme Court declared the“discretion of the federal agents” to be sovereign over the states.In the ruling on the Affordable Healthcare Act, the Supreme Court declared the federal government to be sovereign over the citizens.These rulings have served a nearly fatal blow to the 9th and 10th Amendments of the Constitution.Now, more so than ever, or at least since 1830, the citizens of this nation must stand together in defense of the Constitution, as the ultimate protectors of our God given rights.

Our founders did not make the federal government sovereign over the people or the states.The 9th Amendment makes it perfectly clear that all rights belong to the people, enumerated or not.The 10th Amendment makes it clear that aside from the power “delegated” to the federal government, EVERYTHING ELSE belongs to the people through their states.And the Federal government was only delegated very limited powers.James Madison said those powers were limited primarily to external objects and named them specifically as war, peace, foreign commerce and negotiations.What that means for us, is that the federal government has no business what so ever in our health care, or in our businesses, our schools, or any other aspect of daily life, whatsoever!

Over the years, through an absolute dearth of true Constitutional teaching in the government schools, especially our law schools and through the replacement of precedent over the intent of the founders, we have allowed our courts to stray far from the original limitations and purpose of the Constitution. Our founders never intended for the “general welfare” clause to mean the “everything welfare” clause.Madison explains in his 1792 argument against federal subsidies that the general welfare clause was not meant to expand the power of the government beyond its limitations, but to describe the purpose of the power delegated within strict confinement of those boundaries.This was not just his opinion, but the opinion of ALL who drafted the Constitution.

I, sir, have always conceived – I believe those who proposed the Constitution conceived – it is still more fully known, and more material to observe, that those who ratified the Constitution conceived – that this is not an indefinite government, deriving its powers from the general terms prefixed to the specific powers –but a limited government, tied down to the specified powers, which explain and define the general terms.” James Madison On the Cod Fishery Bill, granting Bounties 1792 (emphasis added)

I dare say, James Madison himself would barely recognize the government we have today.Actually, maybe he would, because it looks identical to the one he and his patriot brothers and sisters pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to declare independence FROM and ultimately defeat in the name of Liberty.

Apart from the twisted logic and contortions Chief Justice Roberts uses to justify this tyranny under the tax and spending clause, there are some fascinating and instructive statements in this ruling.Believe it or not, embedded in this ruling, are the instructions for righting the ship, and bringing this nation back to where we need to be.

There are three things that we as a nation must do now.We no longer have the luxury of waiting until November and seeing what will happen.If we do not do these three things, if we fail in our attempts, we will fully establish the totalitarian government our Supreme Court has supported.

First, we must keep the proper perspective.The Supreme Court is NOT the ultimate arbiter of the Constitutionality of a law.The Supreme Court is 1/3 of the federal government, with no more or less power than the other two branches.It is the Constitution that is the Supreme law of the land, not the Justices of the Supreme Court, and all decisions, even ones made by the court must stand before the ultimate judge – the rule of law in the Constitution.The Constitution was written and ratified by“an act of the whole American People” as Thomas Jefferson declared in 1802.Its purpose is to “secure the blessings of Liberty…to our posterity”.To secure that Liberty, “governments were instituted among men”, not over them, and “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.”Our founders gave us a government dependent upon OUR consent, not the will of the Supreme Court.They knew that since Liberty belonged to us, we would be the only ones suited to determine when “any form of government became destructive to those ends.”Hamilton articulated this responsibility very well in Federalist Paper #33.

“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution…”

Believe it or not, Justice Roberts also gives us this directive in the healthcare ruling.He plainly tells the people of this nation, get off your backsides, stop complaining, accept the consequences of your decisions and do something about it!

“Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices. (emphasis added,)-Justice Roberts.

Therefore, we have a job to do, since WE THE PEOPLE are the ultimate arbiters and guarantors of Liberty.

The next thing that must be done is the states must do their jobs.Madison declared our state legislators to be the “sure guardians of our Liberty.”How many of our state legislators really understand that their primary job description is to protect the people from federal encroachment? Listen to the power in Madison’s exact words.

the State Legislatures will jealously and closely watch the operations of this Government, and be able to resist with more effect every assumption of power, than any other power on earth can do; and the greatest opponents to a Federal Government admit the State Legislatures to be sure guardians of the people’s liberty.”

Our states, especially those who thought it important enough to file a lawsuit, must stand now and say, this law is unconstitutional, this ruling is unconstitutional and we are not bound by it!Basically, our states must have the courage to say, “WE WILL NOT COMPLY”.It is our states that must“redress the injury done to the Constitution.”Once again, Justice Roberts in the very ruling that dealt such a devastating blow to the Republic, points the way.

“In the typical case we look to the States to defend their prerogatives by adopting “the simple expedient of not yielding” to federal blandishments when they do not want to embrace the federal policies as their own. Massachusetts v. Mellon, 262 U. S. 447, 482 (1923). The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Sometimes they have to act like it.” (emphasis added) -Justice Roberts.

Not only did he give the directive, but he gave the pathway as well.

“Instead, we determine, first, that §1396c is unconstitutional when applied to withdraw existing Medicaid funds from States that decline to comply with the expansion… As a practical matter, that means States may now choose to reject the expansion; that is the whole point.”-Justice Roberts

Anytime an addict withdraws from a drug, especially with long term use, it will be a painful withdrawal.It is time the people of this nation withdraw from the federal funding drug and discover once again how to function as a normal and healthy republic.The states must have the courage, the strength, and the resolve to lead their people through this process.If they fail to do so, the death of Liberty and enslavement of our children will be on their hands.Press your governors and state legislators to stand against this tyranny. Demand that they do as Justice Roberts has said – DO NOT COMPLY.

Finally, we must do everything necessary to replace our members of the House and the Senate with true Constitutionally-minded patriots that will repeal this law.We must especially fight for the seats in the Senate and then hit the streets like we did in 2010 to pressure them to vote the right way.I am begging; do not to put all faith in one man.Do not lay the burden of repealing this law on the President.He does not have the power to overturn or set aside ANY law.We will be giving permission to the President to set aside the Constitution to achieve an end that we desire.This “ends justify the means” style of government is what got us in this mess.No man can resist the temptation of ultimate power.It is time that we limit the executive branch of government once and for all.The ONLY way we will do that is to have a properly functioning Congress.That does NOT mean a Congress full of men and women who bare the sacred “R”.That means, whatever their letter designation, they are sold out, 100% dedicated to the Constitution and the principle of LIBERTY FIRST!

We must require them to become proficiently trained in the principles of the Constitution and then hold them immediately accountable when they fail to protect it.We cannot “like” a politician so much that we give them a pass.Many will say that Thomas Jefferson was a great patriot.If he were here today, he assuredly would have a sizeable “cult” following.Yet Jefferson himself warned that the people have a duty to ALWAYS keep their politicians in check and accountable.

“If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, judges and governors shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions;”

No more cult following of politicians.No more passes for personality or past employment or service.Our hired representatives must do their job, the one they took an oath to or they will be fired!No more trading Liberty for Security.No more compromising of Constitutional principles.No more legislation born out of fear or the dreaded “necessity”.We will allow only laws that limit the government and comply with the original intent of our founders.And if they do not know what that means, they are NOT QUALIFIED to do their job.

These Supreme Court rulings are absolutely unconstitutional.There is NO victory within in them.The Constitution and Liberty may have been dealt a nearly fatal blow this week, but Liberty is not dead.This God-given gift burns within our very souls and we must revive it.To whom much is given, much is required.WE must right this ship.WE must rebuild on a firm foundation.WE must take the steps necessary to overcome the consequences of our own negligence…even if it is to the point where we have to exert that ultimate Right of the people, to alter or to abolish a government destructive to those ends, and to institute new one.Independence is our right and our heritage!

This will take courage, this will take resolve, but we are guaranteed by history and experience that if we stand for this noble cause, we will win.Do not falter.Do not retreat.We will not wake up one day and apologize to our children for not doing everything we could humanly and superhumanly do to avoid their chains and slavery.Look these young people in the eye TODAY and Stand.Stand strong.Stand with courage and resolve.Stand together for the holy cause of Liberty for the sake of our posterity.In the immortal words of Daniel Webster, “Hold onto the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands…for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”

SCOTUS: Arizona Immigration~Direct Assault on State Sovereignty

Never has an opinion by the Supreme Court been more aptly titled as an “Opinion,” because that is exactly what Justice Kennedy and his cohorts have delivered in Arizona v. United States.  It is nothing more than an open display of judicial activism.  The majority opinion is not a legal explanation on the Constitutionality of Arizona’s laws, but is an ideological dissertation on this current administration’s view of immigration.

Not only is this opinion devoid of any appeal to the Constitution, it is very dangerous.  It is an aberration of fundamental Constitutional principles and a brazen assault on state sovereignty!  Chiefly, Kennedy takes the Supremacy clause of the Constitution, which declares that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and translates that principle into the supremacy of the Federal government over the states.  There couldn’t be anything more contrary to our founders’ intent.   Let me repeat: this opinion is a monumental assault on the sovereignty of the states.

Article I section 8 clause 4 of the Constitution states that Congress has the power [t]o establish an uniform rule of naturalization.  The purpose of the federal government in the case of immigration, as Justice Kennedy appropriately acknowledges is “to be a single voice of the nation for foreign relations.”

This external focus is in line with James Madison’s directive that:   “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace negotiation, and foreign commerce…”

Indeed, we must have a single rule of law regarding immigration, else foreign nations will never know what to expect from state to state.  However, this is where Kennedy’s constitutional understanding ends.  He continually remarks throughout this opinion, that the states are not only not allowed, but not capable of enforcing the laws that the federal government codifies.  What is his authority for this opinion?  Not the Constitution itself and certainly not the founders.

Kennedy does not appeal to the Constitution as the standard, but rather the “broad discretion of immigration officers” as the determining factor of how immigration policy should be devised and carried out.  He says, “Removal is a civil matter, and one of its principal features is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials, who must decide whether to pursue removal at all.”   The standard for deportation of an illegal immigrant is NOT the law, according to Kennedy, but an arbitrary determination of the Department of Homeland Security, which we all know will reflect Obama’s recent declaration.

Kennedy suggests that the states must submit to lawlessness based upon the whim of federal officials, declaring,“Were §3 to come into force, the State would have the power to bring criminal charges against individuals for violating a federal law even in circumstances where federal officials in charge of the comprehensive scheme determine that prosecution would frustrate federal policies.”

How does Kennedy justify this arbitrary determination?  “This state authority could be exercised without any input from the Federal Government about whether an arrest is warranted in a particular case. This would allow the State to achieve its own immigration policy. The result could be unnecessary harassment of some aliens (for instance, a veteran, college student, or someone assisting with a criminal investigation) whom federal officials determine should not be removed.”

According to Kennedy, enforcement of immigration laws are nothing more than a tool to harass illegal aliens.  This is a direct reflection of the policies of the President and not the law established by Congress through the powers delegated by the Constitution.  Simply put, the states must accept violations of the law if the whim of the sovereign decides it is not in their comprehensive scheme to enforce the law.  It is the whim of the sovereign to decide who gets the privilege of citizenship, not the supreme law of the land.

Kennedy further opines that the states are apparently not smart enough to know when to deport and not to deport: “There are significant complexities involved in enforcing federal immigration law, including the determination whether a person is removable…By authorizing state officers to decide whether an alien should be detained for being removable, §6 violates the principle that the removal process is entrusted to the discretion of the Federal Government.”

It should be apparent by the Federal Government’s refusal to enforce the law, that it is, in fact, the states that have better sense about immigration laws.  The federal government is not interested in following the law of the land, they are only interested in circumventing it to achieve their ideology and now the Supreme Court is aiding and abetting this lawless assault upon Liberty.  I will repeat it, if you have to circumvent the Constitution to do your job, YOU are the criminal.

In true judicial activist form, Kennedy couldn’t resist giving the liberal agenda for immigration as justification for arbitrary enforcement of federal law.  Nearly quoting the president’s position on this law, Kennedy states:

“Immigration policy shapes the destiny of the Nation.  These naturalization ceremonies bring together men and women of different origins who now share a common destiny. They swear a common oath to renounce fidelity to foreign princes, to defend the Constitution, and to bear arms on behalf of the country when required by law.  The history of the United States is in part made of the stories, talents, and lasting contributions of those who crossed oceans and deserts to come here.”

I ask you, what does this have to do with the Constitutionality of these laws?  I believe the key to understanding this opinion lies in knowing the President’s recent determination that DHS will not be enforcing immigration laws and for the court to opine otherwise would allow the states themselves to nullify the president’s order.  Here it is, in Kennedy’s own words:  “If §3 of the Arizona statute were valid, every State could give itself independent authority to prosecute federal registration violations, “diminish[ing] the [Federal Government]’s control over enforcement”

Ignoring nearly two centuries of the individual state’s role in making these decisions (as outlined cogently in Scalia’s dissent), Kennedy cuts through one of the pillars of the Republic, state sovereignty, like a buzzsaw.   He tramples the separation of powers and wholeheartedly supports just one more example of the executive branch stealing power from Congress.  Any hopes that Congress will do anything about it?

In a statement that can only be classified as patronizing, Kennedy throws the final salt in the wound, by declaring, in spite of the states “frustrations” with enforcement, the federal government is the King, and the states must subject themselves to its authority.  “Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the State may not pursue policies that undermine federal law.”

The “victory” claimed by some is no victory at all.   The Supreme Court did uphold the ability of law enforcement officers to contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when they have pulled over someone to verify whether that person is an illegal alien.  Big deal!  Justice Kennedy has informed us:

“As a general rule, it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States. See INS v. Lopez­ Mendoza, 468 U. S. 1032, 1038 (1984).” It’s not illegal to be illegal.  Really?

Since being here illegally is not a crime according to the federal government, even if law enforcement is informed that a person is illegally present, that officer will still have to let them go.  The Supreme Court has said any other action by the state is an infringement upon the federal government’s power.  According to Kennedy, state officers are not even allowed to detain illegal aliens: “By authorizing state officers to decide whether an alien should be detained for being removable, §6 violates the principle that the removal process is entrusted to the discretion of the Federal Government.”

According to Kennedy, the sole authority to determine whether an illegal alien is to be detained or deported rests in the Attorney General:  “[T]he Attorney General can exercise discretion to issue a warrant for an alien’s arrest and detention “pending a decision on whether the alien is to be removed from the United States…the Attorney General will issue a warrant.” Kennedy then reminds everyone that all who are enforcing these laws are “subject to the Attorney General’s direction and supervision.”  In what version of the Constitution did he find this?

Once again, it is NOT about the law, it’s about the discretion of the Federal Government and the Federal Government is King. This court has not only taken the precedent and placed it above the founders’ understanding of the Constitution, but now regulation applied by arbitrary discretion is also elevated above our foundational principles.  This supports the hopes of this current administration to further create a totalitarian government led by King Barry I.

In one decision, the Supreme Court has told every state, they do not have the authority to protect themselves; they must submit to the supervisory authority of the Federal Government and the Supreme Court supports the president’s recent directive to DHS.

Let’s be clear. The Constitution says the federal government is supposed to establish standards so that foreign nations will not have to deal with 50 different rules.  Yes, the states are bound by these standards pursuant to the supremacy clause. However, the power to create standards does not infer the ability to be the sole enforcer.  Once the standards are set, then the states are bound to enforce those laws pursuant to those standards.  The only time the federal government is allowed to be involved is when the states are not following those standards!  This power has now been expanded from the power to create regulations to the power of sole enforcer, and Justice Kennedy has now declared that the sovereign states have no ability to enforce these laws, and therefore have no right to protect their own territories.  It’s as if the US government, via the Supreme Court, has practically expelled Arizona from the Union – since, if the Federal government will not enforce the law and Arizona is NOT ALLOWED to enforce the law – then Arizona is bare and unprotected.

One need only read Justice Scalia’s dissent to discover the correct interpretation.

“ The most important point is that, as we have discussed, Arizona is entitled to have “its own immigration policy”—including a more rigorous enforcement policy—so long as that does not conflict with federal law. Today’s opinion, approving virtually all of the Ninth Circuit’s injunction against enforcement of the four challenged provisions of Arizona’s law, deprives States of what most would consider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there. Neither the Constitution itself nor even any law passed by Congress supports this result. I dissent.”

As do I, Justice Scalia.  As do I.

The First Amendment; The Future of Liberty

The following is an excerpt from KrisAnne Hall’s new book, Liberty First: The Pathway to Reclaiming America, set to be released in the next month.

The path to reclaim America has many avenues. One in particular is embodied within our First Amendment. Freedom of press, freedom of speech, the freedom to assemble…gave our founders the foundation to rise up and restore the Liberty that had been established by over 700 years of battle and blood. Writing as Silence Dogood, Benjamin Franklin made this observation:

“Without Freedom of Thought there can be no such thing as Wisdom; and no such thing as Public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.” No. 8, July 9, 1772

Our founders saw the power of communication and the effect that it had on the people. Case in point: Patrick Henry’s speech in the St. John’s church, March 23, 1775. Even Thomas Jefferson, after hearing this speech said many could not recall exactly what was said, Henry’s speech was so passionate and so poignant that it “had produced a great effect” and Jefferson himself “had been highly delighted and moved.”

We cannot forget the writers of that day. Thomas Paine, was just a tailor turned journalist, perhaps a revolutionary version of the modern day blogger. His pamphlet “Common Sense” has been reported to have sold 120,000 copies in the first 3 months and half-million in the first year. John Adams reportedly said, “Without the pen of the author of “Common Sense,” the sword of Washington would have been drawn in vain.”

The women were not silent either. Mercy Otis Warren was just one of our amazing founding mothers. She was a prolific writer of newspaper articles and anti-British propaganda plays. Hannah Winthrop, wife of Dr. Winthrop, describes Mercy in January 1773 as “That noble patriotic spirit which sparkles must warm the heart that has the least sensibilities, especially must it invigorate a mind of a like fellow feeling for this once happy country.”

Through the freedoms of expression, these dear Patriots sparked a revival of Liberty throughout a land that would be soon known as the United States of America. Today is no different. We have Americans with “like fellow feeling for this once happy country” who have picked up the mantle that has been left before us – those that understand that the security of all Liberty rests upon the back of our freedom of expression.

One of the most influential forces in this present restoration effort has been “New Media.” New Media includes the internet, the blogosphere, Facebook, Twitter, talk radio and the like. Probably the biggest pioneers of the New Media have been Rush Limbaugh in the talk radio world and Andrew Breitbart in the blogosphere and grass roots journalism.

Rush has been a thorn in the liberals’ side for decades. Since his talk radio debut in 1984, his pioneering efforts have spawned thousands of talk jocks and laid the foundation for the modern day talk radio juggernaut. Why talk radio works and why it is conservative is simple: it includes the people. There is no public voice or input in the mainstream media. There is no feedback from the people on the nightly news. There is no immediate public voice in newspapers or magazines. There is no input or challenge to what is being disseminated in the mainstream media; therefore, it remains decidedly slanted toward leftist, statist ideology – matching the worldview of it owners and editors. In contrast, when the people are involved, the stance will tend toward conservatism – first, because conservatism is supported by the truth; secondly, because most Americas are truly conservative. That is why liberal talk radio cannot survive unless it is supported by taxpayer dollars. That is also why mainstream media is losing its viewership left and right and has been taken to the woodshed by conservative, new media. It is no wonder that those who cannot stand on the truth hate the free expression of it. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. remarked in the Supreme Court decision in Abrams v. United States , 250 U.S. 616 (1919):

“If you have no doubt of your premises or your power, and want a certain result with all your heart, you naturally express your wishes in law, and sweep away all opposition. To allow opposition by speech seems to indicate that you think the speech impotent…or that you doubt either your power or your premises. But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas — that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.”

The internet blogosphere provides a response to the monolithic, leftist voice in the echo chamber known as the mainstream media. The late Andrew Breitbart was one of the most impactful figures in this area of new media. Starting as an editor of the Drudge report (another foundational block in New Media) and then helping Arianna Huffington launch her site, Breitbart launched his own empire. With all his BIG sites and his internet journalism, he sparked the ire of seemingly every liberal in the known universe. I once heard Andrew tell a crowd that the key to making the biggest impact is “be petty.” Andrew was funny, brilliant and a tireless and fearless warrior and we must follow on in his footsteps. Every patriot should have a video camera and be a citizen journalist. Andrew used citizen journalism as well as anyone to expose the hypocrisy and nastiness of the left. He believed this was a battle “between good and evil” and he used new media to “shine light on the darkness.” The great thing about video is even if you have no talent to write, you can hold a camera.

Something Andrew Breitbart loved, along millions of other activists, is Social Media. Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, allows super-fast dissemination of information that is not filtered or controlled by some editorial board or other “overseer.” One of the difficulties in the late conservative awakening is that a large portion of the engaged citizens are older and less adept at some of the technologies like Facebook. We must continue to expand our social media networks. It may sound silly, but the more “likes” a page has the more influence and reach it has (same principle with Twitter). We need to get as many conservatives as possible connected on social media. We also need conservatives in the field of Journalism, citizen journalism and professional journalism (it’d be nice if there were a prominent Journalism school somewhere that wasn’t liberal). If you feel yourself a techno misfit, I encourage you to attend a Right Online conference held by American’s for Prosperity. There is no better grassroots techno training available. I have AFP to thank for much of what I know and understand about these new media outlets. It was at the Right Online conference that I got hooked on Twitter. It’s also where I became friends with Andrew Breitbart and Katy Abrams. I met Michelle Malkin and scores of other great patriot activists. AFP does fantastic work at keeping the citizen network connected, motivated and engaged.

We need more tweeters, more Facebookers, more talk show hosts, more bloggers. Keep writing the op-eds. Keep publishing books, newsletters, magazines, and pamphlets. Information is power and we must dislodge the liberal stranglehold on the media. I dream of a day when New York is not the media hub in America. This is the expression of our First Amendment. This God given right can be lost without active participation-we will use it or lose it. At least one of our founders felt it was the most important right protected in the Bill of Rights. Daniel Webster said:

“If all my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of communication, for by it I would soon regain all the rest.”

Show Christmas

UN Treaty, Sea Treaty, Gun Treaty…What Are We to Do?

Power to create treaties is established in Article 2 Section 2 Clause 2 of the Constitution. The power to create a treaty is delegated by the people to the President with approval of a two thirds vote of the Senate. The Supremacy Clause then 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, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

There is so much misunderstanding regarding treaties, the doctrines of the necessary and proper clause, and the general welfare clause, that when you aggregate this misunderstanding our government is able to reach magnificent proportions of corruption and unconstitutional activity. Our founders were very clear and its time we listen to them instead of Congressmen and Judges who have had no training on the true meaning of the Constitution.

The power to create treaties was vested in the President AND the Senate after the failure of the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation created a federal government so small that it could not successfully complete the tasks it was delegated to accomplish. James Madison explains in Federalist #45 that the power delegated to the federal government was one of very limited proportions:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined… (and) will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.”

Our federal government was designed to be our national representative to the foreign world; a representative of the country in foreign relations. Because we lived in a world where nations where led by Kings, Czars, and Emperors, we needed to have a way that all the states could have a unified voice for negotiations and commerce. During the Articles of Confederation, our federal government could not collect taxes or even compel the delegates to show up to work and do their job. The federal government was attempting to make agreements with foreign nations and was defaulting on these agreements because they had no authority to enforce them equally throughout the states and the states themselves were suffering the greatest consequences. As reported in The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania to their Constituents, written December 12, 1787, this very point was addressed.

“It was found that our national character was sinking in the opinion of foreign nations. The Congress could make treaties of commerce, but could not enforce the observance of them. We were suffering from the restrictions of foreign nations, who had shackled our commerce, while we were unable to retaliate: and all now agreed that it would be advantageous to the union to enlarge the powers of Congress; that they should be enabled in the amplest manner to regulate commerce, and to lay and collect duties on the imports throughout the United States.”

So, why were treaties given “supremacy”? The collective decision was made to not only delegate the power of treaties to the President and Senate but to also classify its relevance in enforcement to the states. There was great debate over this issue, as many were concerned that by designating this power, it would elevate the treaties above the very Constitution itself. Fortunate for us, this argument was made, because the rebuttal to this argument is vital in understanding the limitations and scope of treaties. Without these explanations, treaties created by the federal government might justifiably supersede the Constitution. Good thing for us that these treaties, although they may attempt to supplant the Constitution, they are plainly not justified in doing so.

Our founders repeatedly stated that treaties were, for every purpose and application, CONTRACTS, agreements with foreign nations to accomplish the duties obligated in those four delegated powers Madison identified.

“The power of making treaties is, plainly, neither the one nor the other. It relates neither to the execution of the subsisting laws, nor to the enaction of new ones; and still less to an exertion of the common strength. Its objects are CONTRACTS with foreign nations, which have the force of law, but derive it from the obligations of good faith. They are not rules prescribed by the sovereign to the subject, but agreements between sovereign and sovereign.” Federalist #75

Although these Contracts were not considered to be a subdivision of laws or even new laws altogether, it was necessary that they were binding upon the states to prevent the failures seen by our founders in the Articles of Confederation.

“These gentlemen would do well to reflect that a treaty is only another name for a bargain, and that it would be impossible to find a nation who would make any bargain with us, which should be binding on them ABSOLUTELY, but on us only so long and so far as we may think proper to be bound by it.” Federalist #64

These treaties were not designed to be untouchable. They were subject to the very same checks and balances of every act of the federal government. They could fail if they didn’t meet the proper standards. One way they could fail is if they attempted to infringe upon or utilize a power that had not been granted to them through the Constitution. They were to be bound and fettered by all the limitations of power inherent in the Constitution through the specific delegated powers and the necessary and proper and general welfare clauses. To us, that statement must sound like an oxymoron; to think that the necessary and proper and general welfare clauses were meant to bind Congress. Because we have become so detached from the founders intent, we have allowed these clauses to become an expansion of power, a consequence that our founders thought an abomination. [The explanation of these clauses are a whole other analysis, but for a complete explanation of the intent of the General Welfare Clause, please read my previously written analysis. I promise you will be shocked at the clarity of our founders’ intent.] So, if a treaty attempted to assume a power that was not previously delegated, for instance to bind upon the states agreement for an object outside of the realm of war, peace, or foreign commerce, it would be deemed unconstitutional.

“–I insisted that in givg to the Prest. & Senate a power to make treaties, the constn meant only to authorize them to carry into effect by way of treaty any powers they might constitutionally exercise.” (sic) –Thomas Jefferson: The Anas, 1793.

“By the general power to make treaties, the constitution must have intended to comprehend only those subjects which are usually regulated by treaty, and cannot be otherwise regulated… It must have meant to except out of these the rights reserved to the states; for surely the President and Senate cannot do by treaty what the whole government is interdicted from doing in any way.” –Thomas Jefferson: Parliamentary Manual, 1800.

Another limitation imposed by our founders on treaties is that they MUST NOT be in conflict with the Constitution. If a treaty is in direct conflict with, let’s say the Second Amendment, that treaty would be considered unconstitutional. Treaties were established as a supreme law to maintain the credibility and honor of an agreement with a foreign nation, but it was NEVER supposed to be superior to the Constitution. There is no law superior to the Constitution.

“No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid. “ Federalist #78

But what are we to do when these treaties fail the tests of Constitutional limitations? I have heard it mentioned that we are stuck with these treaties short of another treaty supplanting them or a Constitutional Amendment. This perspective is not consistent with our founders’ explanations. As a matter of fact, our founders wanted us to know that if a treaty was in opposition to the Constitution, there were significant consequences.

“if they [the President & Senate] act corruptly, they can be punished; and if they make disadvantageous treaties, how are we to get rid of those treaties?…As to corruption, the case is not supposable. He must either have been very unfortunate in his intercourse with the world, or possess a heart very susceptible of such impressions, who can think it probable that the President and two thirds of the Senate will ever be capable of such unworthy conduct. The idea is too gross and too invidious to be entertained. But in such a case, if it should ever happen, the treaty so obtained from us would, like all other fraudulent contracts, be null and void by the law of nations.” Federalist #64

There is no qualification in that statement that this treaty be replaced or a Constitutional Amendment be written. The simple fact of the matter is this treaty would be a “fraudulent contract” and would be of no effect. At this point, the states would be justified Constitutionally to tell the federal government that they will not honor or enforce the treaty. We do not live in a Kingdom and the power of our government is not derived from a King. We do live in a republic and the power of our government is derived from the people. It is always the responsibility of the PEOPLE to be the ultimate check and balance. I think that Alexander Hamilton made this point abundantly clear in Federalist #33:

“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify. The propriety of a law, in a constitutional light, must always be determined by the nature of the powers upon which it is founded. .. would not be the supreme law of the land, but a usurpation of power not granted by the Constitution.” Federalist #33

Every day our federal government seems to operate more and more under the assumption that their power is derived in the manner of a Kingdom, it is essential that the people, from which its true power is derived, stand against this tyranny and restore the balance of power. We cannot do this unless we first understand the exceptional principles under which this nation was established. We cannot do this unless we REQUIRE our representatives to operate under these principles.

Standing Strong Means Standing Together

As a Christian and student of the Bible, I can tell you that the Scriptures have no shortage of teachings on the importance of fellowship and mutual support and encouragement. Hebrews 10:25 says Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. I am once again reminded of the importance of fellowship here at the Right Online Conference being held by American’s for Prosperity (AFP). I had the opportunity to speak to Tim Phillips, president of AFP about this issue.

Conservatives do not believe in collectivism, we are individualists by nature. I, for one, have to work hard at being “social”. We are often entrepreneurs, self-motivators, and believe strongly in personal responsibility. So, it is easy for us to forget that we were created to fellowship with one another. That is a dangerous position to be in. When we become isolated, we can become weakened and discouraged.

Anyone who knows even a little about American’s for Prosperity knows that they are a group dedicated to the economic health of our nation. Who hasn’t heard or seen the slogan, “It’s the Spending Stupid?” But for me, the most valuable aspect of these conferences is the networking and bonding that occurs between like-minded activists. I was surprised to discover that particular benefit was not an unintended consequence. Mr. Phillips explained that the initial goal of AFP in having these conferences was to connect activists together and in turn connect them to the movement as a whole. Mr. Phillips explained:

“People perform better when they discover they are working for something bigger than themselves. Teams make people stronger. Even though we are individualists, we need to bond together.”

The scripture I quoted also gives a timely directive, it says “so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” We are bonding together for a reason, for a bigger purpose and that purpose is approaching. We are not happy with the path this nation is on and we are angry at the destruction of Liberty perpetrated by our own government. As the days of destruction are upon us, we must not become isolated and discouraged. As the days become overwhelming the natural instinct is to run away and go “Galt”. Believe me, I know, I have fought those feelings to just stop fighting and search for that “blue pill” and reinsert into the Matrix! But we literally cannot afford to become overwhelmed – our children will suffer the worst. Sam Adams wrote in the Boston Gazette in 1771:

“Let us remember that “if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom!” It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers in the event!”

We refuse to suffer tamely these assaults upon our Liberty and to succeed we must remain encouraged. Interestingly enough, that word encouraged literally means “to infuse with courage.” The fellowship of like minds works to infuse the patriot in the home and the soldier on the field with a courage that cannot be maintained when isolated and alone. As proof of this principle, AFP tracks the activists who come to their training events. They found that activists who have bonded through the Right Online experience are three times as likely to take action locally.

We have to be a team, an army of activists with the focus of our founders had – putting Liberty First to secure its “Blessings for our posterity.” Mercy Otis Warren said,

“I have my fears. Yet, notwithstanding the complicated difficulties that rise before us, there is no receding…May nothing ever check that glorious spirit of freedom which inspires the patriot in the cabinet, and the hero in the field, with courage to maintain their righteous cause, and to endeavor to transmit the claim to posterity…”

We are building an army of patriots in the cabinet and heroes in the field. Anyone who has attended military basic training knows that the most important aspect of any military corps is the loyalty to your brother in arms. Let us not be discouraged or isolated. Let us learn from each other and build each other up in mind and spirit. We are in this foxhole together, if you become discouraged and retreat, I will be left to defend this hill alone. We need to spend just as much time “infusing each other with courage” as we do battling with the enemy.

In spite of our disappointments and frustrations, we must remain resolute. Let’s stay connected with one another, so that we can be infused with the courage to go forward each day. Let’s stand together a strong and formidable force in the name of Liberty, for the sake of our children.