Skip to comments.Do you know your constitution? Part 2
Posted on 01/04/2014 9:16:27 AM PST by Conservative Beacon
Dr. Larry Arnn, constitutional scholar and president of Hillsdale College, has instituted a series of public interest programs aired on conservative talk radio called Constitution Minute. So far there have been nine episodes. Here are parts 5-9:
1. What is bureaucratic despotism?
DR. ARNN: One of the chief sponsors of the Dodd Frank Finance Reform bill called that legislation, about as important as it gets, because it deals with every single aspect of our lives. And how does this legislation deal with every aspect of our lives? In the most unconstitutional way: It sets up a board called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has the power to regulate our economic transactions independently of both the president and Congressin other words, permanent government employees are placed in charge of us beyond the control of those we elect, the control of we the people. This is a violation of the representative form of government, without which there can be no Constitutional government.
Historically, the Progressive Revolution under the auspices of the Democrat Socialist Party has shown nothing but utter contempt towards the constitution, natural law, Americas sacred traditions, and in this case the separation of powers doctrine that the Framers borrowed from the writings of French philosopher Charles de Montesquieus The Spirit of Laws (1748). All the political left is concerned about is deconstructing the constitution to amass more political powers unto itself. Excessive regulations since the Theodore Roosevelts decreeing millions of acres of private land as federal land during his conservation revolution of the early 1900s and FDRs New Deal welfare programs of the 1930s and 40s has been an effective way to achieve power over the masses while entrenching liberal fascism into every aspect of our lives. Socialism in America was deceptively simplecontrol the economics and the courts you control the people and the laws, control the people and the laws and you have absolute power.
2. Is the Constitution relevant today?
DR. ARNN: Many argue today that the Constitution is outdated because it addresses problems peculiar to the eighteenth century, so long ago. Consider the injunction against titles of nobility in article nine section one of the Constitution. But is that outdated? The purpose of that injunction is to prevent the partisan bestowal of special privileges by the government, which privileges strike at the heart of a free society, which is based on the rule of law. Look at crony capitalism today, so common, whereby the government bestows favors and tax dollars on some businesses and it gives them a leg up over others. This is a striking example of what the Constitution was meant to prohibit and a striking illustration of why the Constitution is not outdated at all.
Laissez-faire or conservative economists oppose crony capitalism equating governmental favors as a perversion of true free market capitalism. Laissez-faire supporters criticize crony capitalism as an ideologically motivated attempt to cast what is in their view the fundamental problem of government intervention or investments as an avoidable aberration; free-market advocates refer to governmental favoritism as crony socialism, venture socialism or corporatism, a modern form of mercantilism to emphasize that the only way to run a profitable business in such systems is to have help from corrupt government officials who are open to bribery. Armies of D.C. lobbyists lauder hundreds of billions annually to control government legislation in their favor.
3. What is the relationship of the three Branches of Government under the Constitution?
DR. ARNN: Theres a lot of confusion these days about the relationship of the three branches of governmentespecially among many who are in government. Some think the judiciary sits atop the other two branchesthe legislative and the executive. Others think the president sits above Congress and the courts. In fact, all three branches are equally accountable to the Constitution, and therefore to the people who made the Constitution. The president, members of Congress, and federal judges all take an oath to the Constitution. In making the laws, Congress must adhere to the Constitution. In executing the laws, the president must abide by the Constitution. In interpreting the laws, judges are bound by the Constitution. All the peoples representatives are accountable to the Constitution, and therein lies our liberty.
Constitutionally speaking it is both misleading and wrong to ask the question: Which is the most powerful branch of government? Because the original intent of the constitutional Framers placed enumerated powers in each branch that were in their sole domain and from which the other two branches held no power or sovereignty outside the blackletter text of the constitution. However, an existential constitutional crises is precipitated when one branch of government bleeds over into the others domain. The most infamous example of this is Chief Justice John Marshalls majority opinion in Marbury v. Madison (1803) which created a new doctrine called judicial review whereby the Supreme Court out of whole cloth claimed for itself the province and the duty to say what the law is and made the judiciary, originally the weakest of the three branches of government, into what Jefferson called, the despotism of an oligarchy [of five]. This judicial tyranny to a large degree caused the collapse of our federalist system of government.
4. Why is Federalism crucial to free government?
DR. ARNN: Many in Washington today have grown so accustomed to centralized bureaucracy that they think of Federalism as old-fashioned, kind of like fife and drum music. Those who wrote the Constitution saw Federalism as a vital principle of free government in a large republic. The division of power between the Federal government, state governments, and local governments, which serves an important protection against tyranny. The Founders also understood that while the Federal Government is essential for national matters like foreign policy and defense, the governments closer to the people were far better suited to oversee local matters. As we see in the problems that resolve from centralized bureaucracy today, theres nothing out-of-date about the Founders argument for Federalism.
Conservatives must return to doctrines of our political forefathers; we must re-embrace federalism, judicial restraint, and states rights. The party of Lincoln should protect core civil rights, but beyond that, states and localities should be given as much freedom as they can handle. If California wants to become a socialist hellhole then let it. If Texas wants to become Hong Kong on the Rio Grande, more power to them. And the same principle goes for cities and towns within those states. People will vote with their feet and move to the best states which is why Florida is quickly approaching New York as the most populous state in AmericaFlorida is an island of low taxes and free market dynamism while New York has devolved into a socialist hellhole of collectivist misery.
5. Is the Presidential Oath of Office still relevant?
DR. ARNN: Members of Congress and federal judges take an oath to the Constitution, but the Constitution prescribes the exact words of the oath only for the President. The American Presidency was a new and powerful office created at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Nothing like it existed in any other Constitution in history. It was designed to allow certain virtues, decision, activity, secrecy, dispatch, things like that. And they were thought to be essential to executive power especially in a crisis. But despite this immense power, the power is not so powerful as the Constitution itself, that is why Presidents must pledge to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, and why it is the duty of the people to make sure they do so.
Every president, member of Congress, judge and Supreme Court Justice has vowed at pains of impeachment to protect and defend the constitution against all enemiesforeign and domestic. When was the last time a sitting member of any branch of government was impeached?Nixon resigned before he was impeached in 1974, Clinton was impeached in 1999 but stayed in office and Florida Federal judge Alcee Hastings was impeached and removed from his judgeship in1989, yet in 1994 launched a successful career as the most impoverished and purveyor of cronyism than any member of Congress. Despite the rampant political corruption in Washington, D.C., there have only been eight  federal officials in American history to be impeached and removed from office. Impeachment must become commonplace if we are to save the Republic.
In Federalist No. 46, James Madison asserted that the states and national government are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers. Alexander Hamilton, writing in Federalist No. 28, suggested that both levels of government would exercise authority to the citizens benefit: If their [the peoples] rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress. I dont believe the states are the servants of the federal government. I believe in dual federalism which holds that the federal government and the state governments are co-equals, each sovereign.
In conclusion, it is the deception, duplicity and tyranny of the Democrat Socialist Party with their willing lackeys, the RINO, establishment Republicans, who have done great harm to lowering our education level and perverting our understanding of the constitution by dividing and conquering We the People, rather than standing on principle like the Tea Party is attempting to do following the original intent of the constitutional Framers.
>>The division of power between the Federal government, state governments, and local governments<<
Not that I am one to gainsay someone who is pretty clear, this is an inaccurate statement.
The USC Recognizes 3 entities: The Federal Government, the States and the People. There is no provisions for nor any reference to local governments (below the state level and excluding that most bizarre of birds, DC).
That is why the 17th Amendment was so damaging — mortally so.
If you need to point to the moment that America as designed and envisioned began its Death Spiral, the outer bands of which we are now riding, it was April 8, 1913 — the 17th’s passage.
But, of course. That's what leftists do- spread the seeds of doubt and confusion while they come through the back door and consolidate power.
Truly, the 17th Amendment was the start of the decline. The removal of a voice for the States at the FedGov level certainly tilted the chessboard to a slippery slope from which we have never recovered.
the mainstream press allows Democrats to read the “Preamble” as a mission statement FOR GOVERNMENT, when in fact it is the mission statement for the Constitution—which is the law which enumerates federal power & restrains the government. So now we have ex post facto laws, bills of attainder, public monies used for private purposes, property taken without “just compensation” for private and public use...and Libertarians care more about privacy than about property & liberty the Bill of Rights really was meant to protect.
we even the the press telling us its our “duty” to serve jury duty without just compensation for our work. $12 per day hardly is just compensation for being conscripted into jury work—facing big fines if you don’t do slave labor.
One way to shrink government overnight is to insist that jurors get paid $100 per day for their work.......then let’s see the number of laws shrink & tort reform in a hurry!
Filling out a tax return is the biggest invasion of privacy-—and combined with the Obamacare decision—it’s hard to argue we have any “right to privacy” anymore.
But listen to Obama quote the Preamble about “create a more perfect union”...& he says it in front of factory workers he wants to unionize & clearly misreads the Constitution as giving him carte blanche power to do whatever he wants as long as he claims to be trying to make the country more “perfect” according to Marxist standards—when in fact, what the Preamble does is state the reason WHY the Constitution was written to replace the Articles of the Confederation...ie “to create a more perfect union” of states than the Articles did-—structurally....not some vague Utopian mandate given to Obama!
And what about “jury duty”? The mainstream media thinks government has a right to conscript people into doing jury slave labor for $12 per day! If you really want to shrink government & get tort reform—the first thing you do is fight for juries to get fair compensation for their work....maybe about $100 per day—& watch tort reform happen & the number of laws shrink in a hurry!
I've lost track of how many columnists recognize the central problem with our republic, yet fail to offer a solution.
Any reform, state initiated or not, that ignores repeal of the 17th, will fail to arrest our slide into tyranny.
At the federal level:
Federal Judge Thomas Porteus was impeached in March 2010 and removed from office in December 2010.
Federal Judge Samuel Kent was impeached in 2009 but resigned before he could be removed from office.