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Kelo and the 14th Amendment: Exploring a Constitutional Koan
Vanity | 8/21/05 | Mark Edward Vande Pol

Posted on 08/21/2005 7:00:15 AM PDT by Carry_Okie

In the practice of Zen Buddhism, a koan is a statement that is intentionally insoluble to the rational mind, a tool by which to master life’s seemingly paradoxical events. Yet the Japanese Zen masters have nothing on us red-blooded Americans, who for over a century have become unconsciously adept at sustaining such conflicts, easily accepting contradictory interpretations of Constitutional Law, between the original scope of the Bill of Rights and that since the Fourteenth Amendment.

As Madison elaborated in Federalist 45, the Constitution for the United States of America was sold as a list of strictly limited powers; leaving the bulk of governance up to the several States. The reason for the extent of this preference is that the Anti-Federalists largely represented States that so feared centralized power that they would never have ratified the Constitution had it not so carefully proscribed the national government.

During the ratification process, the Constitution’s detractors insisted that it be further amended; else ratification would fail. Madison (a Federalist), in an attempt to broker a deal, authored most of the proposed articles, designed to further restrain the Federal government. As an example of this tension between States rights and Federal guarantees for individual rights, he made an early attempt to incorporate elements of the Bill of Rights against the States in an original Fourteenth Article:

No State shall infringe the right of trial by Jury in criminal cases, nor the rights of conscience, nor the freedom of speech, or of the press.

That Article passed in the House but then failed in the Senate (then consisting of the appointees of State legislatures). The Anti-Federalists had got their way.

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights stated the purpose of those Amendments with an appropriate tone of warning, “in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added.”

Further restrictive clauses, for an already limited government, to prevent abuse of power.

Among these restrictive clauses was the Tenth Amendment, which reserved all powers, not enumerated in the Constitution, either to the States or to the people. It was a simple one-liner. Nothing could be clearer.

The Tenth Amendment was the key to Federalism. Its constraints empowered a hierarchy of representative governments with accountability kept local to the people, which effectively kept injustices confined to the smallest possible scope, albeit with little recourse. The Tenth also permitted wide differences in State laws. If the people of a State wanted a government religion, the Tenth Amendment permitted that. If a State wanted to regulate speech, or to socialize private property, the Constitution was mute. None of the rights articulated in the Bill of Rights could be enforced by the national government in Federal Court. If the people didn’t like the government of a particular State and couldn’t change it, their principal recourse was the freedom to move and apply their energies in another State.

The States exercised the latitude in their powers routinely, particularly in numerous eminent domain cases throughout the nation’s first eighty years. Many involved takings on behalf of private consortia to help finance construction of everything from canals to railroads. In fact, Abraham Lincoln largely made his living as a lawyer advocating for precisely such public takings on behalf of private interests. There was nothing the Federal government could do about it.

After the Civil War, depending upon whom you choose believe, the Fourteenth Amendment was meant either to change that relationship between the Federal government and the States; or it was only meant to address the inequities of slavery.

The nexus of that Constitutional change was in Section 1, which made the scope of Federal power less clear that it was originally:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 1 clearly showed the potential to make the will of the people as expressed through their legislators of far less importance, because the power to determine the manner in which laws “abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens” could easily be interpreted as equivalent to prescriptive veto power over all State and local legislation. Still, the Tenth Amendment remained on the books. So, to what degree would States retain their powers, versus the degree the Courts would determine how “equal protection” applied?

There are those who argue that concern about that potential is misplaced, contending that the current activist interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment is at odds with its original intent, which was merely to incorporate black slaves into American life with the rights of full citizenship and no more. Such was indeed the first Supreme Court interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment in the Slaughterhouse Cases (83 U.S. 36 (1872)), which held for almost fifty years.

Others contend that the original intent of the Fourteenth Amendment was not to be constrained to matters of race, but that it was meant to incorporate the entire Bill of Rights from its inception.

Still a third group holds that the Fourteenth Amendment was a Trojan Horse aimed at paying off European bondholders after the Civil War by empowering investors in corporations with the legal tools by which to gain gradual control the Federal government and therewith the States.

That such enormous ambiguity should exist in an amendment to the Constitution, speaks volumes to its secret construction, hasty passage, and coerced ratification. Such gives one cause to reconsider the intent behind the Constitutional mischief we have seen over the last hundred-twenty years.

At the time of its adoption, there were competing factions within the controlling Republican Party: conservatives, who believed in the narrow interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, with no conflict with the Tenth, and so-called radical Republicans who advocated full incorporation of the Bill of Rights under Federal jurisdiction. There was also an overlay of lawyers representing industrial interests among both groups, particularly railroads. From what I can tell, without having read the Congressional Record, given the urgency of post-war Reconstruction, these factions simply agreed to the Fourteenth Amendment, each believing that they could later control what it meant according to their preferences. The radicals got the language they wanted while the conservatives (then in control of the Presidency and the Supreme Court) retained the power to control it by interpretation (hence the full elaboration of the Amendment in the Slaughterhouse Cases, including elements having nothing to do with the case). Those factions, conservative and radical (now including the Democratic left), have fought over the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment ever since, with the integrity of the Constitution being the clear victim.

As evidence of the intrigue involved in that fight, consider the seemingly innocuous Citizenship Clause.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

Two railroad lawyers then in Congress, Roscoe Conkling and John A. Bingham, had taken the trouble to omit the word “natural” from the usual legal term “natural persons.” Both of them later admitted that their purpose in the omission was to confer the rights of citizenship to corporations (this link is to a book chapter that contains a fascinating history, the source of these few paragraphs). The railroads managed to get that interpretation out of the Supreme Court via the COURT CLERK, John Chandler Bancroft Davis (a railroad lawyer, former Assistant Secretary of State, a socialist, and quite possibly a Marxist). When he published the ruling in the case, County of Santa Clara (California) v. the Southern Pacific Railroad (118 U.S. 394 (1886)) Mr. Davis inserted his own headnotes (supposedly) quoting Chief Justice Waite prior to issuing his ruling. The note states that the Court was of the unanimous opinion that corporate persons were equivalent to Fourteenth Amendment citizens. That headnote wasn’t a ruling and therefore carried no force of law, nor is there any other record of whether a Court majority (that included several former railroad lawyers) supported such a conclusion. Chief Justice Waite was so sickly that it was unlikely he would have even known of the publication. Worse, there is evidence on the historical record of Mr. Davis having distorted for political effect his reports of a Marxist confab in Europe. In other words, Mr. Davis was not a reliable reporter of fact.

Legitimate or not, the dam had broken. Attorneys began citing Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific as if it was established precedent. Of the 307 subsequent Fourteenth Amendment cases brought before the Supreme Court, only 19 were about equal rights for human beings, while 288 were suits brought by corporations seeking the rights of natural persons. “Equal protection” had become available only for those who could afford it: corporations who had become, for the first time, “citizens” under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Corporations have limited liability, pooled risk, immortality, and can more easily concentrate capital in the hands of a few than can individuals. They can lavish executive perquisites equivalent to personal income and not a dime of tax need be paid by either. They don’t have to contend with raising children, sickness, old age, inheritance taxes, or plan for retirement. Equal protection of corporations had thus become an unequal playing field intended to benefit the investor class at the expense of small business and private land ownership, something the Founders had rightly feared, being only too familiar with the excesses of the corporations of European royalty.

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ­­— Thomas Jefferson

That’s but one problem with the Fourteenth Amendment, and by far not the least.

Over the fifty years following the Slaughterhouse Cases, various attempts were made to invoke the radical interpretation of Fourteenth Amendment privileges and immunities. The conservative interpretation was first diluted in Gitlow v. New York (268 U.S. 652 (1925)). In that case, Mr. Benjamin Gitlow successfully invoked First Amendment protection of free speech via Fourteenth Amendment privileges and immunities against a State law prohibiting the crime of anarchy, in this case, his publication of the Communist Manifesto!

You can’t make this stuff up. Either the communists have better lawyers, or Satan has a sense of humor.

Over several ensuing decades, bits and pieces of the Bill of Rights were brought under Fourteenth Amendment protection under a doctrine known by the Orwellian name of, “selective incorporation.” The modern Court has been ruling selectively ever since.

Under this new (some say original) interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment , a constitutional orginalist now has a very tricky problem applying the original Tenth Amendment:

  1. Either invoke the original conservative intent of the original Constitution and Bill of Rights to constrain only the Federal government and therefore defer to State law,

OR

  1. Apply the radical understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment to over-ride local, State, or Federal Law, citing the Bill of Rights selectively as the court majority sees fit.

The Court could now have it both ways: If the emperors in black robes prefer the States have the option to decide that “public use” includes increased tax revenues from taking private property and turning it over to another private party (ala Kelo), have at it! Deny Federal jurisdiction to determine what constitutes “public use” in the spirit of Federalism. On the other hand, if State representatives pass legislation to squelch pornography or outlaw sodomy as a risk to public health, easy stuff! Just call pornography or sodomy free expression, cite the First Amendment via Fourteenth Amendment privileges and immunities, and deny the will of the voters expressed by their State representatives.

It is a koan so simple and elegantly twisted as to mystify any self-respecting Zen Master.

It was the Fourteenth Amendment selective incorporation doctrine that made the Supreme Court political, because it allowed unelected courts to usurp powers otherwise held by elected representatives. The mere existence of such judicial primacy inhibits self-government. People rightly don’t pay as much attention to discovering, promoting, and electing outstanding state and local representatives when they know that every law is subject to the very slow, expensive, remote, and seemingly indomitable powers exerted by Federal courts. Everybody’s hands are tied, nobody can make a decision, and your vote doesn’t matter much anyway because some judge can toss out the law.

But, but, but… there had been the injustice of slavery under the old system and afterward with Jim Crow laws in the reconstructed South! So, what was so bad about equal protection? Well, it goes back to that the tension that existed at the very founding of this country: Powers sufficient to reverse historic injustices can have their perverse consequences when directed to unjust purposes…

Or in other words: There’s nothing quite so malleable as a complicated web of partially contradictory precedent acknowledging countervailing truths, the construction of which the Fourteenth Amendment has transformed into a judicial entitlement.

After eighty years of selective incorporation, people have become so accustomed to an intrusive Supreme Court protecting individual rights at the expense of the majority, that it is natural that property rights activists would assume that in Kelo v. New London (No. 04—108 (2005) the Court would constrain individual protection against eminent domain takings to a uniform Federal standard. But what was particularly fascinating in the case of Kelo is that it was the Court liberals who uncharacteristically took the Federalist route: permitting any local government to define what constitutes “public use” and call THAT “equal protection.” This includes the latitude to find that “public use” includes increased tax revenues resulting from taking land from one owner and give it to another private interest (usually corporate). One need only notice how many local governments are dominated by Democrats to understand why the “liberals” on the Court ruled in such a classically conservative fashion: they were “conserving” political power sufficient to be power for sale.

Nobody should really be surprised. The majority opinion in Kelo is consistent with the selective incorporation doctrine as applied to the Fifth Amendment over the last eighty years (not to mention the corporate intent behind the drafting of the Fourteenth Amendment). Kelo merely cemented in place a status quo ante particularly common here in California, what is effectively government corruption in speculative land use. “Just compensation” is then at a price suppressed by the mere threat of such action, with much of the land’s former speculative value taken from its owner and handed to the developer as a purchase discount. The most common application is forced “redevelopment” of large blocks within cities to be replaced with high-density complexes of commercial and residential housing. Some call it Sustainable Development. This author calls it “Sustained Developers,” a system too often resembling highly organized crime.

Although anyone who believes in the sanctity of private property rights should be unhappy about how Kelo will work out for small landowners in Connecticut, one must be cautious where desirable ends are pursued by dubious means. We already have too much Federal power expressed through the courts and need to make local elections more meaningful to voters; else they will keep asking for (usually totally uncompensated) regulatory takings of uses of other people’s land, expecting that there won’t be any adverse consequences when it comes to their houses. Now, with Kelo, more people surely will focus on confining the scope of legitimate takings through their State representatives, as we have already seen in several instances (notably Utah). So, in that respect, Kelo may work out eventually to have increased property rights protections at the State level, especially when people in States without them retaliate against their more craven representatives.

Such is the beauty of representative Federalism, but it comes at an often heavy price: one has to tolerate confined injustices; else one falls to the siren song of centralized control architecture. Just as we bewail reckless borrowing in California, or democratic brutality in Venezuela, any system capable of enforcing a uniform “justice” among governments is also capable of forcing uniform tyranny without any alternatives. Just as central planning and a top-down bureaucratic global police state is inherently unaccountable because it lacks recourse, on the other hand, when a small country is left alone to develop nuclear weapons…

It’s that tension again, between distributed power and centralized control. It’s bad enough when left to representatives, but it’s worse when it is the province of judges, unaccountable to the people, and armed with laws that allow situational interpretation. Either way, unless the people are educated, mature, vigilant, and virtuous, laws will reflect narrow and temporal interests.

The lesson of selective incorporation is not constrained to the Fifth Amendment. Consider the Second Amendment, the original intent of which clearly restrains the Federal government from passing gun control laws. Although the Framers of the Constitution indisputably regarded the natural right to self-defense as individual, it is doubtful that they intended the Second Amendment to violate State power to regulate their militias in any manner they chose. Now, with the Fourteenth Amendment, if the Court wants gun control, too bad! They’ll just say that the original intent was to leave gun control up to the States and then lean on State governments to exert more gun controls using the inducement of Federal funds. If, on the other hand, the Court wants to end gun control, molon labe! Extend Federal protection under the Second Amendment to individuals via the Fourteenth. Either way, judges have the latitude to decide upon our laws.

Finally, let’s consider one of the most important natural rights of a people, that of free association. It goes without saying that for free association to exist it is just as important for a group to be able to exclude an individual as it is for an individual to be able to join that group. For example, if a group chooses to get together as a church, they rightly have the option to exclude those who express the intent to corrupt the principals and practices of that faith; else what is the point in having a church?

Now, let’s assume these folks want to do more together than just worship, but as part of the free exercise of their religion, specifically protected under the First Amendment, they also want to live with each other in a full blown city and exclude those who disagree. When the Constitution was written, such was perfectly legal. Maryland was Catholic, Pennsylvania was Quaker, New England was Protestant; now… well, that would be illegal. The ACLU would sue!

Thus, in the name of protecting the liberty of a few to live wherever they will, what we have allowed is slow destruction of free association among the many to set their own rules for common conduct. It doesn’t matter if the issue is religion, sexual orientation, or simply a common interest in rational precaution (such as keeping male homosexuals away from boys in large organized groups), free association is under attack through the courts, with far reaching consequences when it comes to developing tightly knit communities reflecting the combined will of individual people. Liberty has been tightly circumscribed in the name of “freedom” and “equality.”

This is a Constitutional koan approaching Orwellian doublethink.

On the other hand, let’s assume those folks want to do more together than just worship, but as part of the free exercise of their religion, specifically protected under the First Amendment, they also advocate a fully blown city, if it refuses to subjugate to Sharia Law. Obviously, free exercise has limits when it includes sedition, so, why is Islam seemingly off-limits? The ACLU would sue!

It is a koan in the hands of lawyers that could cost you your life.

It is the expediency with which elites and interest groups view Court action, and the high cost of access to anybody else that have led us to this state of affairs. It is government by the few, unrepresentative, inconsistent, tyrannical, and now getting dangerous.

These fundamental changes in our laws were brought about by means of Congressional perfidy and have been executed through the courts, without representation, accountability, or recourse. If the people had really wanted these changes, their elected representatives should have amended the Constitution LEGITIMATELY. While some would argue that racism is an offense so onerous as to deserve exception, one could also reasonably argue that the moral force exerted by the black leadership of the early civil rights movement had more to do with improvements in racial equality than did orders from Federal judges.

The point is: the several States and local representatives used to have the option of deciding how such things were managed by consent of the people, with the natural law of competition among communities as a the principal mediating force. Just as slavery might have become economically untenable without a horrendously expensive and destructive Civil War, now market competition among States is far less likely to exert its discipline over real estate racketeering as it normally would. As a consequence to this enforced uniformity via creeping mandates from the Federal bench, a nation in foolish lockstep wanders ever farther down the path to legal perdition, heedless of the evil foisted upon it.


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: billofrightslist; carryokie; constitution; constitutionlist; corruption; eminentdomain; govwatch; incorporation; kelo; koan; libertarians; proertyrights; roberts; scotus; supremecourt
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I wrote this in order to evoke the serious questions that need to be asked of John Roberts, as well as to bring into discussion what I have seen to be conservative hypocrisy as regards Kelo.

Please consider the links, as several are of historical import.

1 posted on 08/21/2005 7:00:17 AM PDT by Carry_Okie
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To: Artist; lepton; Buckhead; RadioAstronomer; Kevin Curry; NittanyLion; goldstategop; Roscoe; ...
I think it important that FReepers start composing legitimate questions to be asked of Judge Roberts:


2 posted on 08/21/2005 7:02:30 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Jim Robinson; CounterCounterCulture
This is the article I mentioned in at the Young Republican event Saratoga.
3 posted on 08/21/2005 7:03:36 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Carry_Okie

Extremely interesting. I have to get to church, but I'll be back for another look. Many very nice points.


4 posted on 08/21/2005 7:18:31 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Carry_Okie

bump for reading later


5 posted on 08/21/2005 7:22:24 AM PDT by MACVSOG68
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To: Carry_Okie
"They’ll just say that the original intent was to leave gun control up to the States "

They have already said it in two USSC cases --- Cruikshank and Presser.

Congress uses Interstate Commerce for gun control.

6 posted on 08/21/2005 7:22:39 AM PDT by gatex (NRA, JPFO and Gun Owners of America)
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To: gatex
Thanks for the references, but it doesn't change the point of the article.

The point is that selective incorporation has produced a choice between federalism and federal power at the discretion of SCOTUS. It is an unjust system of law because of the power of that discretion.

That those looking for SCOTUS to incorporate the Second Amendment are likely to go disappointed is merely an illustration.

7 posted on 08/21/2005 7:27:25 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: freepatriot32; gubamyster; HiJinx; Spiff
FYI
8 posted on 08/21/2005 7:37:30 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Carry_Okie
Does he think that a headnote should carry the force of precedent if it has long been cited as such?

That one should provoke a very interesting response.

9 posted on 08/21/2005 7:52:51 AM PDT by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: inquest
No kidding. Hence the article.

I'd just love for a few congressional staffers to chew on this one.

10 posted on 08/21/2005 7:57:17 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Carry_Okie; Issaquahking

Ping for later read...


11 posted on 08/21/2005 7:57:38 AM PDT by Issaquahking
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To: Carry_Okie

May I reprint your essay on a few web sites? (They are not commercial)

It would look like this one:

http://www.gohotsprings.com/usa/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=951

I made sure to add your website link and plug for your book also.


12 posted on 08/21/2005 8:11:41 AM PDT by hombre_sincero
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To: hombre_sincero
Sure. That's why it's here.
13 posted on 08/21/2005 8:14:43 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Carry_Okie

If I could talk our local "AP / NYT affiliate" newspaper her to print this essay in their editorial section, would you give it a release for reprint?

Sometimes the editor here will "stomp the toes" of her MSM masters and print an opposing (to liberals) viewpoint - but ONLY in the editorials section.


14 posted on 08/21/2005 8:18:12 AM PDT by hombre_sincero
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To: Carry_Okie

Great article! I hope every FReeper will thoroughly digest this article and question any prospective political office seekers as to their thoughts about the 14th. In my opinion, it should be repealed (it wasn't properly ratified anyway).
We need to repeal it because of the anchor baby fiasco also. If necessary it could be rewritten so as to be in concert with the 10th.


15 posted on 08/21/2005 8:24:00 AM PDT by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: hombre_sincero
If I could talk our local "AP / NYT affiliate" newspaper her to print this essay in their editorial section, would you give it a release for reprint?

Yes, but the links are critical, so references to the URLs would have to be added for a print edition.

You will note that this article should cross the divide between liberal and conservative. Frankly, it quite deliberately doesn't take a position on how much federalism is best; i.e., whether to enforce federal guarantees in the BOR or allow local tyranny to progress. Personally, I wanted to engender some reflection on the topic, particularly in the light of continuing globalization.

Personally, I do think it is easier to replace a county board of supervisors or move than it is to replace the SCOTUS backed up with Federal bureaucracy.

16 posted on 08/21/2005 8:24:44 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: antisocial
We need to repeal it because of the anchor baby fiasco also.

That one isn't what you think it is. Consider this excerpt from the Slaughterhouse Cases.

17 posted on 08/21/2005 8:26:27 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Carry_Okie
Janice Rogers Brown is that you? LOL, really though excellent article, have read this argument, or at least discussion of both sides, several times from more learned conservatives (non-Republicans) since the Kelo decision

It's clear, to me at least, the 14th Amendment's incorporation theory is false and the Bill of Rights is separate only to apply to the federal government

18 posted on 08/21/2005 8:31:09 AM PDT by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: antisocial

The 14th amendment was and still is a complete disaster. I'm not exactly sure what "equal protection" meant in the 1860s, but I very much doubt it was meant to be expanded to mean just about anything that it means today.


19 posted on 08/21/2005 8:36:28 AM PDT by zendari
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To: billbears
Janice Rogers Brown is that you?

She should read it. It would make her more pissed off than she is already. When she's done with that, I've got a book for her. :-)

s clear, to me at least, the 14th Amendment's incorporation theory is false and the Bill of Rights is separate only to apply to the federal government.

That's my take.

20 posted on 08/21/2005 8:38:09 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Carry_Okie

I'm aware of that, but it has since been interpreted to allow citizenship for illegal aliens.


21 posted on 08/21/2005 8:47:21 AM PDT by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: zendari

I don't know why it hasn't been repealed, but no republican I know of will even consider it except Ron Paul.


22 posted on 08/21/2005 8:50:02 AM PDT by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: Carry_Okie
For example, if a group chooses to get together as a church, they rightly have the option to exclude those who express the intent to corrupt the principals and practices of that faith;

You did mean principles, didn't you?

23 posted on 08/21/2005 8:50:38 AM PDT by Old Professer (As darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of good; innocence is blind.)
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To: Old Professer
You did mean principles, didn't you?

Yep. I typo that one from time to time and spell check doesn't pick it up.

24 posted on 08/21/2005 8:51:53 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: zendari
I'm not exactly sure what "equal protection" meant in the 1860s

The entire first section of the 14th amendment was basically copied and condensed from the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The equal-protection clause is basically a rewriting of the requirement from the Act saying that all citizens, black or white, shall have the same right "to full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens".

That's all "equal protection" means. Judges nowadays have just focused on the first word of that phrase and glossed over the second. Many of them have read it as a virtual mandate for Marxism.

25 posted on 08/21/2005 8:52:35 AM PDT by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: Old Professer
On second thought, considering what we've seen of priestly behavior recently, it does carry a certain double entendre, n'est ce pas?
26 posted on 08/21/2005 8:53:41 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: abbi_normal_2; adam_az; Alamo-Girl; Alas; alfons; alphadog; AMDG&BVMH; amom; AndreaZingg; ...
Rights, farms, environment ping.
Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.

List of Ping lists

27 posted on 08/21/2005 8:55:15 AM PDT by freepatriot32 (Deep within every dilemma is a solution that involves explosives)
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To: Allosaurs_r_us; Abram; AlexandriaDuke; Annie03; Baby Bear; bassmaner; Bernard; BJClinton; ...
Libertarian ping.To be added or removed from my ping list freepmail me or post a message here
28 posted on 08/21/2005 8:55:53 AM PDT by freepatriot32 (Deep within every dilemma is a solution that involves explosives)
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To: freepatriot32

BTTT!!!!!


29 posted on 08/21/2005 9:00:04 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: Squantos; Joe Brower; Travis McGee; Dan from Michigan; xzins
Second Amendment rights ping.
30 posted on 08/21/2005 9:09:38 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Carry_Okie
Click Here

31 posted on 08/21/2005 9:14:59 AM PDT by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: inquest
The entire first section of the 14th amendment was basically copied and condensed from the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The equal-protection clause is basically a rewriting of the requirement from the Act saying that all citizens, black or white, shall have the same right "to full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens".

So basically "protection" had to do with, well protection. I suppose that makes too much sense in today's day and age, where anyone who isn't an abortionist is branded as a right winged radical.

32 posted on 08/21/2005 9:19:10 AM PDT by zendari
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To: zendari
I suppose that makes too much sense in today's day and age

Yup, obviously we're not qualified to sit on the high court, if all we do is read the document without inventing new meanings. Buncha yahoos we are. ;-)

33 posted on 08/21/2005 9:25:22 AM PDT by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: Carry_Okie
Thanks for posting this. I've read it through once and will hang on to it for future reference. The questions you posed should be food for thought and discussion for all of us here.

One question you asked was:

"Given that Islam specifically mandates imposition of Sharia law in conflict with the Constitution, what are the limits to the free exercise clause?"

I've posted a similar thought in various threads on Islam and its compatibility with democracy/freedom in the past few months. You are correct. Islam IS its own state with its own sharia law, therefore, it is my contention that American Muslims are riding a very fine line indeed in this country, as per the Constitution, no state can be formed or exist within a state. (exceptions being Native Americans and Alaskans and of course, this is what native Hawaiians are clamoring for). However, no similar claim can be made by Islamists and sharia law courts in this country would be unconstitutional.

34 posted on 08/21/2005 9:25:59 AM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: Carry_Okie

That same thought is what stopped my speed-racer reading machine dead in its tracks.


35 posted on 08/21/2005 9:29:03 AM PDT by Old Professer (As darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of good; innocence is blind.)
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To: Carry_Okie
IMHO, the fourteenth Amendment is nothing more than a bogus legal illusion....

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

There are actually THREE reasons this Amendment is a legal AND lawful impossibility:

__________________________________________________________

1. As you said, the words 'person' and 'natural person' are two totally different things. A 'natural person' is a human being, and a 'person' is an artificial person, or corporation.

Black's Law Dictionary ;
"natural person" : A human being, as distinguished from an artificial person created by law.
"artificial person" : An entity, such as a corporation, created by law and given certain legal rights and duties of a human being.

Government does NOT have the ability to attempt to blend the two disparate types of *law* (natural law / positive law) that comprise our Republic. It is ultra vires, or beyond governments legal scope of power and authority.

__________________________________________________________

2. The 'jurisdiction' of the United States government is given in the Constitution in Article 1, section 8, paragraph 17:

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;

So no one is subject to the legal 'jurisdiction' of the federal government OUTSIDE of Washington D.C., or any military base or port.

__________________________________________________________

3. There is a HUGE legal difference between the terms 'citizen of the United States' and a United States citizen.

The First term was originally 'a citizen of one of these united States', meaning they were a State Citizen.

Today, everyone answers yes when asked "Are you a US citizen?" on those pesky government forms. What hardly anyone realizes is that a US Citizen is, by *law*, a fictitious artificial creation that places you in the ASSUMED jurisdiction of the United States government....a jurisdiction that IS legally binding UNLESS you refute it for lacking knowledge, consent and full disclosure..

-----------------------------------------------

"A citizen of the United States is a citizen of the federal government ..."
(Kitchens v. Steele 112 F.Supp 383).

______________________________________________________________________

"... a construction is to be avoided, if possible, that would render the law unconstitutional, or raise grave doubts thereabout. In view of these rules it is held that `citizen' means `citizen of the United States,' and not a person generally, nor citizen of a State ..."
U.S. Supreme Court in US v. Cruikshank, 92 US 542:

______________________________________________________________________

In 1887 the Supreme Court in Baldwin v. Franks 7 SCt 656, 662; 120 US 678, 690 found that:
"In the constitution and laws of the United States the word `citizen' is generally, if not always, used in a political sense ... It is so used in section 1 of article 14 of the amendments of the constitution ..."

______________________________________________________________________

The US Supreme Court in Logan v. US, 12 SCt 617, 626:
"In Baldwin v. Franks ... it was decided that the word `citizen' .... was used in its political sense, and not as synonymous with `resident', `inhabitant', or `person' ..."

______________________________________________________________________

14 CJS section 4 quotes State v. Manuel 20 NC 122:
"... the term `citizen' in the United States, is analogous to the term `subject' in the common law; the change of phrase has resulted from the change in government."

______________________________________________________________________

U.S. v. Rhodes, 27 Federal Cases 785, 794:
"The amendment [fourteenth] reversed and annulled the original policy of the constitution"

______________________________________________________________________

Hague v. CIO, 307 US 496, 520:
"... the first eight amendments have uniformly been held not be protected from state action by the privileges and immunities clause" [of the fourteenth amendment]

__________________________________________________________

So you see, Fourteenth Amendment citizens are NOT protected by the Bill of Rights. The Amendment was written NOT to 'free the slaves' but so that our government could skirt the 'Congress shall make no law' parts of the Constitution and, consequently, enslave us all.

36 posted on 08/21/2005 9:31:10 AM PDT by MamaTexan ( I am not a *legal entity*, nor am I a ~person~ as created by law.)
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To: MamaTexan
I was aware of most of what you wrote here, particularly as regards property rights and the need to sue in the correct court for Federal takings.

You do have a nice collection of references there, thank you.

37 posted on 08/21/2005 9:35:37 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: inquest

Hmph. Well, I'm only 19, young, a strict constitutionalist, and VP of College Republicans, maybe I should send my resume to Bush to be Rehnquist's successor.


38 posted on 08/21/2005 9:38:10 AM PDT by zendari
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To: Carry_Okie
I figured you probably were aware of it all, but it's great to discuss this sort of thing with someone who understands it!

SO many people (including most FReepers) just don't have a clue!

:)

39 posted on 08/21/2005 9:46:57 AM PDT by MamaTexan ( I am not a *legal entity*, nor am I a ~person~ as created by law.)
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To: Carry_Okie

Excellent article!


40 posted on 08/21/2005 10:10:03 AM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: Carry_Okie
You wrote:

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights stated the purpose of those Amendments with an appropriate tone of warning, "in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added." Further restrictive clauses, for an already limited government, to prevent abuse of power.

Article VI is one of the restrictive clauses in the original document. It clearly says that all "Officers, both of the United States and the several States, --" shall be "-- bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary, notwithstanding."

Among these restrictive clauses was the Tenth Amendment, which reserved all powers, not enumerated in the Constitution, either to the States or to the people. It was a simple one-liner. Nothing could be clearer.

Clear indeed. It says, boldly:
" --- The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. -- "

Note that prohibitions are placed on States, not only in the original document, but in its Amendments, as enumerated.

The Tenth Amendment was the key to Federalism. Its constraints empowered a hierarchy of representative governments with accountability kept local to the people, which effectively kept injustices confined to the smallest possible scope, albeit with little recourse.

Recourse is enumerated in Article III, whereby the USSC has jurisdiction to try all cases " -- arising under this Constitution, -- ".

The Tenth also permitted wide differences in State laws. If the people of a State wanted a government religion, the Tenth Amendment permitted that.

Not true. Congress was stopped from making laws " -- respecting an establishment of religion, -- "; -- but Article VI said that " -- no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States -- ". Government religions are a de facto religious test.

If a State wanted to regulate speech, or to socialize private property, the Constitution was mute.

Not true. Abridging of speech is prohibited to States under the 1st, as per Article VI.

None of the rights articulated in the Bill of Rights could be enforced by the national government in Federal Court.

So claimed the States rightists. In reality violations of all of the rights articulated in the Bill of Rights could be brought before the Supreme Court, if they found cause under the Constitution to hear them.

If the people didn't like the government of a particular State and couldn't change it, their principal recourse was the freedom to move and apply their energies in another State.

No, -- their "principle recourse" against a rogue state was the "Law of the Land". If that recourse failed, the right to rebel came into play. - We had just fought a revolution against a tyrant that said 'love English law or leave'. -- It is amazing for you to claim we gave our State governments that same tyrannical power, enshrined in our Constitution.

41 posted on 08/21/2005 10:41:15 AM PDT by musanon
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To: musanon
The Tenth also permitted wide differences in State laws. If the people of a State wanted a government religion, the Tenth Amendment permitted that.

Not true. Congress was stopped from making laws " -- respecting an establishment of religion, -- "; -- but Article VI said that " -- no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States -- ". Government religions are a de facto religious test.

That law only applies to the national government. If you look at a number of early State constitutions, there are direct references to a Christian God therein.

42 posted on 08/21/2005 10:44:42 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: musanon
Article VI is one of the restrictive clauses in the original document. It clearly says that all "Officers, both of the United States and the several States, --" shall be "-- bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary, notwithstanding."

Only to the degree that the Constitution allowed. If a law exceeded the authority granted to the national government, it was void.

Clear indeed. It says, boldly: " --- The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. -- "

Only to the degree that the Constitution allowed. If a law exceeded the authority granted to the national government, it was void. The Federal government, at that time was prohibited from applying the powers you describe in this post as pursuant to Article VI.

Recourse is enumerated in Article III, whereby the USSC has jurisdiction to try all cases " -- arising under this Constitution, -- ".

Only pursuant to the powers granted to the Feds in that Constitution.

The Tenth also permitted wide differences in State laws. If the people of a State wanted a government religion, the Tenth Amendment permitted that.

Not true. Congress was stopped from making laws " -- respecting an establishment of religion, -- "; -- but Article VI said that " -- no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States -- ". Government religions are a de facto religious test.

Only for officers of the national government. As evidence, I posit to you the numerous State Constitutions that specifically endorse a Christian God.

If a State wanted to regulate speech, or to socialize private property, the Constitution was mute.

Not true. Abridging of speech is prohibited to States under the 1st, as per Article VI.

We disagree. It only prohibited Congress. The 14th Amendment extended First Amendment protection to the States.

None of the rights articulated in the Bill of Rights could be enforced by the national government in Federal Court.

So claimed the States rightists. In reality violations of all of the rights articulated in the Bill of Rights could be brought before the Supreme Court, if they found cause under the Constitution to hear them.

Not until the 14th Amendment unless the case involved Federal jurisdiction.

If the people didn't like the government of a particular State and couldn't change it, their principal recourse was the freedom to move and apply their energies in another State.

No, -- their "principle recourse" against a rogue state was the "Law of the Land". If that recourse failed, the right to rebel came into play. - We had just fought a revolution against a tyrant that said 'love English law or leave'. -- It is amazing for you to claim we gave our State governments that same tyrannical power, enshrined in our Constitution.

Most people moved before they would hire a lawyer.

43 posted on 08/21/2005 11:05:15 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: musanon; Admin Moderator; Jim Robinson
Sorry, tpaine, you're not going to disrupt this thread with your rambling idiocies. It's too important a subject.

Gentlemen, clean-up in Aisle 41, please. You know who it is. He's back yet again.

44 posted on 08/21/2005 11:05:19 AM PDT by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: gatex
"They’ll just say that the original intent was to leave gun control up to the States "

A clearer interpretation would be that it is the states responsibility to work out the standards of the training, composition of the militia, and funding; but that whatever they do, they may not so limit it that they deprive the Federal government of a pool to draw from which is capable of actually competently fulfilling the role. Further, the militia is defined as the whole of the people of suitable age so as to be physically capable.

45 posted on 08/21/2005 11:16:48 AM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: Carry_Okie
Carry_Okie wrote:

That law only applies to the national government.

Article VI "only applies to the national government?" The text clearly says otherwise. -- Do you make that flat unsupported claim for every clause in the Constitution that prohibits state powers, or infringements on individual rights?

If you look at a number of early State constitutions, there are direct references to a Christian God therein.

Yep quite a few of the original States had state supported religions, relics of the colonial era. They soon died away. - And the experience of the Mormons in Utah finished the idea of having State supported religions in the USA.

46 posted on 08/21/2005 11:24:09 AM PDT by musanon
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To: MamaTexan
So no one is subject to the legal 'jurisdiction' of the federal government OUTSIDE of Washington D.C., or any military base or port.

Ummm. No. Only the additional powers granted in Article 1, section 8, paragraph 17 where the federal government is granted the powers normally reserved for State and local governments.

47 posted on 08/21/2005 11:28:09 AM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: inquest
Thank you for proving that you do not welcome a free discussion of Constitutional principles.
48 posted on 08/21/2005 11:29:52 AM PDT by musanon
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To: Carry_Okie

BUMP


49 posted on 08/21/2005 11:31:33 AM PDT by nickcarraway (I'm Only Alive, Because a Judge Hasn't Ruled I Should Die...)
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To: Carry_Okie
Article VI is one of the restrictive clauses in the original document. It clearly says that all "Officers, both of the United States and the several States, --" shall be "-- bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary, notwithstanding."

The 10th is clear indeed. It says, boldly: " --- The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. -- "

Only to the degree that the Constitution allowed. If a law exceeded the authority granted to the national government, it was void.<.I>

The exact same argument applies to State laws that exceeded US Constitutional authority. See the 10th as to powers prohibited to States.

The Federal government, at that time was prohibited from applying the powers you describe in this post as pursuant to Article VI.

Where does it say that in the Constitution?

50 posted on 08/21/2005 11:41:19 AM PDT by musanon
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