Posts Tagged “Republic”
The recent release of illegal criminal immigrants from prison because of a supposed lack of funds caused by sequestration, which has not taken place, is preposterous. This despicable act by the president of the United States demonstrates complete lack of moral integrity, unswerving belief in the ignorance of the American populous to accept blatant untruths, an arrogance unprecedented by any previous holder of this office.
You as an elected representative or senator are complacent in the propagation of untruths when you do not use every tool at your disposal to spread the truth of what is occurring. “We the People” elected you in the hope you would pursue truth, sustain conservative ideas, and adhere to the constitution of the United States not waver in the face of adversity.
Where are you newscast, emails, letters informing your constituents of the truth? That this sequestration is a farce, which may well affect federal bureaucracy, but will not affect first responders in each state, nor local support of schools in each state. Every liberal media outlet as well as every democrat in government is vilifying the fact that this x amount of billions of dollars is in fact an effective rate of 1 and ½ cents of every federal dollar. Please do what we elected you to do, serve the people of this great Republic and not your own pride and personal wealth.
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Posted by admin in Provoking, tags: Democratic, dictatorship, history, leftist, Marxist, Obama, Republic, Socialist, taxes, uneducated, unintelligent
April 11, 2012
Travesty in Leadership at the Top!
By Morris Clopton
Never before, in the history of our Republic has so few destroyed so much. Today we face the destruction of our beloved Republic by the very ones supposedly elected to protect it. Barrack Obama and the Democratic left are hell bent on raping and pillaging this country damming us to life under a socialist/Marxist dictatorship headed by the leftist of today.
Barrack Obama spreads his spread the wealth propaganda and the uneducated, unintelligent are swallowing the Kool-Aid. When the fact is that, the wealthiest one percent already pays fifteen percent of all taxes paid. Thirty seven percent of the population pays seventy five percent of all taxes paid. Forty eight percent of the population pays zero federal income tax. Barrack Obama purports to tax the rich to reduce the deficit, knowing this will only raise about five billion in additional taxes. If each federal agency reduced, their budget by only one percent the government would raise thirty plus billion and really reduce the deficit.
Please become informed, contact your representative, and your senators. Demand that they act in the behalf of “we the people” not the established government.
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Posted by admin in Insightful, tags: Aids, America, animals, ballot, Chief Justice, Constitution faith, God, Jesus, John Adams, Law, politics, Press, Republic, Roe and Wade, Rosa Parks, Supreme Court
SCRATCH THE POLITICAL ITCH
By Morris Clopton
First let me state that I borrowed most of these ideas from a visiting preacher, Guy Jolin. The expounding on each thought is mine.
God – What has the Supreme Court said about God during its history? There are at least 136 oral arguments concerning God viewable on the Supreme Court website.
Constitution- How does the constitution fare on the Supreme Court?
“The republic endures and this is the symbol of its faith.”
CHIEF JUSTICE CHARLES EVANS HUGHES
“EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW”-These words, written above the main entrance to the Supreme Court Building, express the ultimate responsibility of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court is the highest tribunal in the Nation for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States. As the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law and, thereby, also functions as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court is “distinctly American in concept and function,” as Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes observed. Few other courts in the world have the same authority of constitutional interpretation and none have exercised it for as long or with as much influence. A century and a half ago, the French political observer Alexis de Tocqueville noted the unique position of the Supreme Court in the history of nations and of jurisprudence. “The representative system of government has been adopted in several states of Europe,” he remarked, “but I am unaware that any nation of the globe has hitherto organized a judicial power in the same manner as the Americans. . . . A more imposing judicial power was never constituted by any people.”
The unique position of the Supreme Court stems, in large part, from the deep commitment of the American people to the Rule of Law and to constitutional government. The United States has demonstrated an unprecedented determination to preserve and protect its written Constitution, thereby providing the American “experiment in democracy” with the oldest written Constitution still in force…
Cornerstone Address – Supreme Court Building
The People of God failing to stand up for the teaching of Jesus cause undeniable damage to the moral consistency of our great nation. If Christ followers fail to stand for the teaching of Jesus are they really Christ followers.
John Adams stated that the Bible is a law book, which would advance a perfect world if followed.
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
― John Adams
“The happiness of society is the end of government.”
― John Adams
Roe and Wade – 70’s, there are over 300 references to Roe and Wade on the Supreme Court website. How did Christ followers sit by and pretend that politics is dirty and we are the silent majority we cannot get involved. What is the church doing to help young mothers with their problems of sexual promiscuity and child bearing?
San Francisco’s Homosexuals and their detestable practices causing an ever-increasing AIDS problem. Yet honest God-fearing people bombarded with, force-fed practices among humans that animals do not practiced in the animal kingdom as being an acceptable alternate life style. Stand for what is Right!
Jesus is tough on sin but tender toward sinners in every situation that occurs during His ministry on earth.
Welfare-Societal problem generational, whole societies are on the “dole” and know nothing of self-worth, pride in accomplishment, unable to produce, waiting for the next Government hand out.
The church must stand for right
National day of prayer- George Washington instituted a special day to give thanks to God for saving our great Nation. Today our government ignores God and the morally correct ideas that built this country, substituting instead foreign ideas that are destroying the very moral fiber of America.
Voice of the church must be heard, Talk the talk and walk the walk.
Rosa Parks – remember the individual who had the strength of her convictions and refused to waver in standing up for what she knew to be right.
Malignant press – when a problem is recognized by a few that few must take action to change. The press must be questioned, do not idly stand by when you know the facts and the media blatantly misrepresents the truth. Do the necessary research on your own find the facts and expend all the energy you can to spread the TRUTH about misrepresentation by the media.
Christians must vote. Let our voices be heard through the ballot box
John preached a simple sermon repent and be baptized.
Christians should not only be Christian activist but political activist as well. God used heathen rulers through out history to punish His people. “We the People” elect our rulers hold them accountable.
Take America back one heart at a time.
We are a long distance from 1776 to the moral sewer of 2011.
Founding Fathers were God centered people they had everything to lose. Signed with ink paid with blood, families in hiding, property lost. The price they paid for liberty and freedom is beyond understanding.
What are you doing today while the state takes children from Christians?
How far will we be pushed before we respond- Stand up for Right!
Benjamin Franklin – called on Continental Congress to fall on their knees to seek guidance.
Edward Gibbons – Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Five reasons for the fall of the great dynasty.
• First: Rapid increase of divorce, with the undermining of the sanctity of the home, which is the basis of society.
• Second: Higher and higher taxes; the spending of money for bread and celebrations.
• Third: The mad craze for pleasure, sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal.
• Fourth: The building of gigantic armaments, when the real enemy was within; the decadence of the people.
• Fifth: The decay of religion; faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life, and becoming impotent to guide it.
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” (Psalms 33:12)
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)
Two hundred years average life of a nation through history.
Get involved – Spend time in prayer, seek God’s guidance.
America today is like Sodom and Gomorrah.
God seeks only our repentance and service.
2 Chronicles 7:14 says:
2 Chronicles 7:14(ASV)
14if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Are you an Ostrich sticking your head in the sand, or an Eagle high in the sky seeing everything?
Use the power of the ballot box to express your wishes and concerns.
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Posted by admin in Thoughtful, tags: Declaration of Independence, government, IPAB, medicare, Morris Clopton, Obama, Republic, stimulus, union, US Constitution, wealth, welfare, work
7 June 2011
Do you really want four more years of the present Obama policies?
By Morris Clopton
Do you want to continue paying union thugs and welfare recipients stimulus funds, which are your tax dollars? Is buying votes with your tax dollars what you want from your government? Are you supportive of redistribution of the wealth that you worked to earn to those who refuse to work but rather depend upon government handouts?
Are you comfortable with a president and government that trash the very documents that this formed this Republic? Does the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States form the basis of your understanding of what our great Republic is? Do you agree with a president that disregards the Constitution of the United States in his policymaking? Are you comfortable with a president misusing the war powers and not complying with the constitution? Will you enjoy control by a presidential group larger than the US Army?
Do your personal liberties mean anything to you? All you have to do is research history and see the comments of our ancestors stating that once you take personal liberty away you never get it back. Will the Individual Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) aka. “Death panel” set in place by Obama Care meet your personal health needs as you age and theoretically become more dependant upon medical care. The IPAP, fifteen members appointed by the president are already in place.
Obama’s IPAB Board Will Control Medicare Decisions
Friday, 27 May 2011 02:10 PM
By Betsy McCaughey
Read more on Newsmax.com: Obama’s IPAB Board Will Control Medicare Decisions
On April 13, the president reiterated that the board would decide what care is “unnecessary” for seniors, and that he would like to see IPAB’s unprecedented powers increased.
Do you really think you will continue to have personal health care options?
Did you agree with the president going outside the bounds of the constitution and the executive office in firing the CEO of GM and giving control of GM to the Labor Unions? Are you comfortable with the Chrysler corporation sellout to Fiat? Do you believe that GM has paid the buyout money back to the government?
How do you like the $534,000.00 per US family owed to support the $63 trillion unsupported debt that the president and his party have saddled on the working populous? I personally do not like the tax on every penny earned for the government to give away to those who will not work.
Are you overwhelmed with the openness of the president and the government in the policy making process as promised by candidate Obama? Makes “we the people” seem very much a part of the process does not it.
When personal liberty cases come before the US Supreme Court, are you concerned about the recent appointment of two extreme liberal justices? The retirement of one more justice gives president Obama an opportunity to change the course of justice for decades.
Do you want to continue to enjoy the rights under the first amendment to the constitution? Is your freedom of speech important to you? Do you enjoy the right to keep and bear arms granted by the second amendment? Please be aware of the sad situation in Europe and Australia where the government insidiously took away personal gun rights. Check out the plight of the Europeans and Australians pertaining to gun ownership. Do you want the government dictating which firearm and how many firearms you can own? Remember when second’s count the police are only minutes away.
The question you must personally answer is “Do you really want four more years of president Obama’s policies?”
Telephone, write, email, or personally contact your representative and senators, keep them informed of your concerns and hold them accountable for their votes.
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Posted by admin in Insightful, tags: city, county, Democratic, government, liberty, lions, media, Obama, politics, representative, Republic, senator, state, thugs, town, unions
April 1, 2011
Why are “We the People” so passive and cowed by a destructive government?
By Morris Clopton
Everyone who listens to radio, watches TV, or reads newsprint online or printed is aware of the destruction of our great Republic that the Obama administration is forcing on us. Yet we set idly by while the democrats run amuck. It is inconceivable that even the parasites among us that voted for Obama are unable to see the rape and pillage that is taking place everyday in politics. Is there no pride anymore? Liberty once given away is extremely difficult if not impossible to regain.
The democratic party can fuel destruction of lives and property and the state run media print the news with glee as indicated below:
Democrat Congressman Michael Capuano (who is considering a run against Republican Senator Scott Brown) whipped up a crowd of union hacks into a frenzy yesterday declaring: “Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary.”
Union thugs are organized in intimidating gangs and delivered to every political gathering that speaks truth, honesty and seeks integrity in our government. Again, the state run media poses no questions, does not seek answers to why the ruling body of our government can commit unlawful acts and not be answerable to the law.
During a pro-union rally at Colorado’s State Capitol yesterday, some alleged SEIU union supporters got into a shouting match with a black Tea Partier. However, the conversation was not just a loud, heated exchange. It got very personal when two union supporters ganged up on the conservative, one of them calling him “uneducated” and another asking him if he has any children “that he claims”:
We continue to allow a miniscule minority of alternate lifestyle individuals dam our nation with their ungodly acts while gaining sanction of our government with no intestinal fortitude. Example:
Eric Holder DOJ no longer defend ban on homosexual marriages
WASHINGTON — In a major policy reversal, the Obama administration said Wednesday that it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.
Attorney General Eric Holder said President Obama has concluded that the administration cannot defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. He noted that the congressional debate during passage of the Defense of Marriage Act “contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships — precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (Constitution’s) Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against.”
How can a group of billionaires follow their leader George Soros into subjecting our great Republic into the disaster called Obamacare? This group is obviously intelligent enough to acquire their billions through whatever means, but rest assured they are not looking out for the interest of “We the People” they are looking out for themselves. George Soros supposedly instructed Obama on when and how much to offer in the failed stimulus bill. Every intelligent individual can see how well that worked, yet the parasites of our nation continue to fawn after government handouts.
While Obamacare is rightly notorious as a fiscal nightmare, less well known is just how massively it transferred power from Congress to the executive branch. In fact, the full scope of Congress’s abdication is still unknown. What is now known, however, is that deeply buried within Obamacare was a $105 billion slush fund that assures its implementation into the future, no matter what future voters think or want.
This makes then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comment to the Legislative Conference for National Association of Counties about Obamacare, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” made a year ago tomorrow, ironically prescient. Just this past month, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) updated an October 2010 report titled “Appropriations and Fund Transfers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).” The new report found that, unbeknownst to almost every Member of Congress, Obamacare contains $105 billion in direct implementation spending that bypasses Congress’s normal appropriations process.
The representatives and senators “We the People” elected in November 2010 need to stand up for honesty, integrity, and transparency in our government. Do what we elected them to do stop spending, get rid of all the excessive unnecessary laws hampering our US corporations from increasing employment via producing products with good “ole” USA quality? Repeal taxes that cripple corporations, institute the Fair Tax and move our nation out of the red into the black economically. There are so many common sense ideas that would drastically increase employment, remove our dependency on foreign oil, reduce taxes on the populous and still meet the needs of our government. Get rid of the handouts to non-producing individuals. Yet our elected officials appear to be concerned only with their own well being not the resurrection of our great nation. How can we be so blind as to continue to allow this to take place?
How I wish to provoke, agitate, aggravate you enough that you will rise up and storm the halls of congress with your letters, emails, and telephone calls. Hold your representatives and senators to their responsibility to do what we elected them to do.
If you are young enough, go to work today in your community, city, town, and state gather like minded individuals rise up get elected to school boards, county, city and state offices make solid changes to resurrect our Republic and sustain it.
If you are already involved in politics find out what constitutes are concerned about and make it happen. If you are too old to begin a new profession, become more aware of what is going on in our nation, share with the young lions, sponsor them, encourage them, stay in constant contact with your elected officials at every level and let them know your concerns and what you think of their performance.
May God give us all the wisdom and strength to take every necessary action to resurrect and sustain our weak and feeble nation?
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Posted by admin in Provoking, tags: ancestors, cabinet, college, constitution, Czars, economics, entrepreneurs, freshmen, Harry Reid, money, Nancy Pelosi, president, products, Republic, rich, school, union
9 September 2010
Dear Mr. President,
It is evident that you must have failed high school economics and if you did go to college, you failed economics there. Freshmen in high school learn that you cannot borrow your way out of debt nor can you spend your way out of debt. Cotton candy economics does not create jobs, lowering taxes does.
It is obvious that you have no moral integrity demonstrated by raping future generations of our nation of their potential earnings. Your recent vomiting of 50 Billion dollars of our future generation’s money for your union cronies with the promise of useless projects that will create jobs is revolting to Americans. Are there any of your cabinet, Czars and other parasites working for you that passed economics? The coupling of you, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid demonstrate abysmal failure in working to improve the lifestyle of the American people.
It is strange to me that you spew rhetoric about the bad rich people while you enjoy the millions you make. You are part of the rich you want to destroy. Where are you going to get your money when you destroy those hard working entrepreneurs who are creating products and providing jobs for millions? Do you plan to live in America after you destroy the very fabric of our society by demeaning our ancestors and the documents they created to form this Republic? Are you only going to take from others to give to the homeless, the unemployed, and the hungry and desperate will you give of your personal millions with them?
Surely, you are aware that our ancestors left England because of oppression and denial of personal freedoms. Government is not the answer personal initiative is the answer. Open your eyes Mr. President and look at reality your programs and policies are destroying the greatest country in the world.
Mr. President please perform your job, according to the oath you took: Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:
Article I, Section 1, US Constitution
-”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Nothing implied allows you to destroy or abolish the constitution.
Morris L. Clopton
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September 16, 2009
The Meaning Of The Constitution
by Edwin Meese III
An excerpt from The Heritage Guide to the Constitution
The Constitution of the United States has endured for over two centuries. It remains the object of reverence for nearly all Americans and an object of admiration by peoples around the world. William Gladstone was right in 1878 when he described the U.S. Constitution as “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.”
Part of the reason for the Constitution’s enduring strength is that it is the complement of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration provided the philosophical basis for a government that exercises legitimate power by “the consent of the governed,” and it defined the conditions of a free people, whose rights and liberty are derived from their Creator. The Constitution delineated the structure of government and the rules for its operation, consistent with the creed of human liberty proclaimed in the Declaration.
Justice Joseph Story, in his Familiar Exposition of the Constitution (1840), described our Founding document in these terms:
We shall treat [our Constitution], not as a mere compact, or league, or confederacy, existing at the mere will of any one or more of the States, during their good pleasure; but, (as it purports on its face to be) as a Constitution of Government, framed and adopted by the people of the United States, and obligatory upon all the States, until it is altered, amended, or abolished by the people, in the manner pointed out in the instrument itself.
By the diffusion of power–horizontally among the three separate branches of the federal government, and vertically in the allocation of power between the central government and the states–the Constitution’s Framers devised a structure of government strong enough to ensure the nation’s future strength and prosperity but without sufficient power to threaten the liberty of the people.
The Constitution and the government it establishes “has a just claim to [our] confidence and respect,” George Washington wrote in his Farewell Address (1796), because it is “the offspring of our choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers uniting security with energy, and containing, within itself, a provision for its own amendment.”
The Constitution was born in crisis, when the very existence of the new United States was in jeopardy. The Framers understood the gravity of their task. As Alexander Hamilton noted in the general introduction to The Federalist,
[A]fter an unequivocal experience of the inefficacy of the subsisting federal government, [the people] are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the Union, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world.
Several important themes permeated the completed draft of the Constitution. The first, reflecting the mandate of the Declaration of Independence, was the recognition that the ultimate authority of a legitimate government depends on the consent of a free people. Thomas Jefferson had set forth the basic principle in his famous formulation:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
That “all men are created equal” means that they are equally endowed with unalienable rights. Nature does not single out who is to govern and who is to be governed; there is no divine right of kings. Nor are rights a matter of legal privilege or the benevolence of some ruling class. Fundamental rights exist by nature, prior to government and conventional laws. It is because these individual rights are left unsecured that governments are instituted among men.
Consent is the means by which equality is made politically operable and whereby arbitrary power is thwarted. The natural standard for judging if a government is legitimate is whether that government rests on the consent of the governed. Any political powers not derived from the consent of the governed are, by the laws of nature, illegitimate and hence unjust.
The “consent of the governed” stands in contrast to “the will of the majority,” a view more current in European democracies. The “consent of the governed” describes a situation where the people are self-governing in their communities, religions, and social institutions, and into which the government may intrude only with the people’s consent. There exists between the people and limited government a vast social space in which men and women, in their individual and corporate capacities, may exercise their self-governing liberty. In Europe, the “will of the majority” signals an idea that all decisions are ultimately political and are routed through the government. Thus, limited government is not just a desirable objective; it is the essential bedrock of the American polity.
A second fundamental element of the Constitution is the concept of checks and balances. As James Madison famously wrote in The Federalist No. 51,
In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to controul the governed; and in the next place oblige it to controul itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary controul on the government; but experience has taught mankind necessity of auxiliary precautions.
These “auxiliary precautions” constitute the improved science of politics offered by the Framers and form the basis of their “Republican remedy for the diseases most incident to Republican Government” (The Federalist No. 10).
The “diseases most incident to Republican Government” were basically two: democratic tyranny and democratic ineptitude The first was the problem of majority faction, the abuse of minority or individual rights by an “interested and overbearing” majority. The second was the problem of making a democratic form of government efficient and effective. The goal was limited but energetic government. The constitutional object was, as the late constitutional scholar Herbert Storing said, “a design of government with the powers to act and a structure to make it act wisely and responsibly.”
The particulars of the Framers’ political science were catalogued by Madison’s celebrated collaborator in The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton. Those particulars included such devices as representation, bicameralism, independent courts of law, and the “regular distribution of powers into distinct departments;’ as Hamilton put it in The Federalist No. 9; these were “means, and powerful means, by which the excellencies of republican government may be retained and its imperfections lessened or avoided.”
Central to their institutional scheme was the principle of separation of powers. As Madison bluntly put it in The Federalist No. 47, the “preservation of liberty requires that the three great departments of power should be separate and distinct,” for, as he also wrote, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
Madison described in The Federalist No. 51 how structure and human nature could be marshaled to protect liberty:
[T]he great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department, the necessary constitutional means, and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others.
Thus, the separation of powers frustrates designs for power and at the same time creates an incentive to collaborate and cooperate, lessening conflict and concretizing a practical community of interest among political leaders.
Equally important to the constitutional design was the concept of federalism. At the Constitutional Convention there was great concern that an overreaction to the inadequacies of the Articles of Confederation might produce a tendency toward a single centralized and all-powerful national government. The resolution to such fears was, as Madison described it in The Federalist, a government that was neither wholly federal nor wholly national but a composite of the two. A half-century later, Alexis de Tocqueville would celebrate democracy in America as precisely the result of the political vitality spawned by this “incomplete” national government.
The institutional design was to divide sovereignty between two different levels of political entities, the nation and the states. This would prevent an unhealthy concentration of power in a single government. It would provide, as Madison said in The Federalist No. 51, a “double security. .. to the rights of the people.” Federalism, along with separation of powers, the Framers thought, would be the basic principled matrix of American constitutional liberty. “The different governments;’ Madison concluded, “will controul each other; at the same time that each will be controulled by itself.”
But institutional restraints on power were not all that federalism was about. There was also a deeper understanding–in fact, a far richer understanding–of why federalism mattered. When the delegates at Philadelphia convened in May 1787 to revise the ineffective Articles of Confederation, it was a foregone conclusion that the basic debate would concern the proper role of the states. Those who favored a diminution of state power, the Nationalists, saw unfettered state sovereignty under the Articles as the problem; not only did it allow the states to undermine congressional efforts to govern, it also rendered individual rights insecure in the hands of “interested and overbearing majorities.” Indeed, Madison, defending the Nationalists’ constitutional handiwork, went so far as to suggest in The Federalist No. 51 that only by way of a “judicious modification” of the federal principle was the new Constitution able to remedy the defects of popular, republican government.
The view of those who doubted the political efficacy of the new Constitution was that good popular government depended quite as much on a political community that would promote civic or public virtue as on a set of institutional devices designed to check the selfish impulses of the majority As Herbert Storing has shown, this concern for community and civic virtue tempered and tamed somewhat the Nationalists’ tendency toward simply a large nation. Their reservations, as Storing put it, echo still through our political history.
It is this understanding, that federalism can contribute to a sense of political community and hence to a kind of public spirit, that is too often ignored in our public discussions about federalism. But in a sense, it is this understanding that makes the American experiment in popular government truly the novel undertaking the Framers thought it to be.
At bottom, in the space left by a limited central government, the people could rule themselves by their own moral and social values, and call on local political institutions to assist them. Where the people, through the Constitution, did consent for the central government to have a role, that role would similarly be guided by the people’s sense of what was valuable and good as articulated through the political institutions of the central government. Thus, at its deepest level popular government means a structure of government that rests not only on the consent of the governed, but also on a structure of government wherein the views of the people and their civic associations can be expressed and translated into public law and public policy, subject, of course, to the limits established by the Constitution. Through deliberation, debate, and compromise, a public consensus is formed about what constitutes the public good. It is this consensus on fundamental principles that knits individuals into a community of citizens. And it is the liberty to determine the morality of a community that is an important part of our liberty protected by the Constitution.
The Constitution is our most fundamental law. It is, in its own words, “the supreme Law of the Land.” Its translation into the legal rules under which we live occurs through the actions of all government entities, federal and state. The entity we know as “constitutional law” is the creation not only of the decisions of the Supreme Court, but also of the various Congresses and of the President.
Yet it is the court system, particularly the decisions of the Supreme Court, that most observers identify as providing the basic corpus of “constitutional law.” This body of law, this judicial handiwork, is, in a fundamental way, unique in our scheme, for the Court is charged routinely, day in and day out, with the awesome task of addressing some of the most basic and most enduring political questions that face our nation. The answers the Court gives are very important to the stability of the law so necessary for good government. But as constitutional historian Charles Warren once noted, what is most important to remember is that “however the Court may interpret the provisions of the Constitution, it is still the Constitution which is the law, not the decisions of the Court.”
By this, of course, Warren did not mean that a constitutional decision by the Supreme Court lacks the character of binding law. He meant that the Constitution remains the Constitution and that observers of the Court may fairly consider whether a particular Supreme Court decision was right or wrong. There remains in the country a vibrant and healthy debate among the members of the Supreme Court, as articulated in its opinions, and between the Court and academics, politicians, columnists and commentators, and the people generally, on whether the Court has correctly understood and applied the fundamental law of the Constitution. We have seen throughout our history that when the Supreme Court greatly misconstrues the Constitution, generations of mischief may follow. The result is that, of its own accord or through the mechanism of the appointment process, the Supreme Court may come to revisit some of its doctrines and try, once again, to adjust its pronouncements to the commands of the Constitution.
This recognition of the distinction between constitutional law and the Constitution itself produces the conclusion that constitutional decisions, including those of the Supreme Court, need not be seen as the last words in constitutional construction. A correlative point is that constitutional interpretation is not the business of courts alone but is also, and properly, the business of all branches of government. Each of the three coordinate branches of government created and empowered by the Constitution–the executive and legislative no less than the judicial–has a duty to interpret the Constitution in the performance of its official functions. In fact, every official takes a solemn oath precisely to that effect. Chief Justice John Marshall, in Marbury v. Madison (1803), noted that the Constitution is a limitation on judicial power as well as on that of the executive and legislative branches. He reiterated that view in McCullough v. Maryland (1819) when he cautioned judges never to forget it is a constitution they are expounding.
The Constitution–the original document of 1787 plus its amendments–is and must be understood to be the standard against which all laws, policies, and interpretations should be measured. It is our fundamental law because it represents the settled and deliberate will of the people, against which the actions of government officials must be squared. In the end, the continued success and viability of our democratic Republic depends on our fidelity to, and the faithful exposition and interpretation of, this Constitution, our great charter of liberty.
Edwin Meese III is Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow in Public Policy and Chairman of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. This essay is excerpted from The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, a line-by-line analysis of the original meaning of each clause of the United States Constitution, edited by David Forte and Matthew Spalding.
Herbert J. Storing, “The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.” in Joseph M. Bessette, ed., Toward a More Perfect Union: Writings of Herbert J. Storing (Washington, D.C.: The AEI Press, 1995).
Charles Warren, The Supreme Court in United States History (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1922-1924), 3 vols., 470-471.
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