“Constitutional Rights”? Not Really

I frequently hear people talk about how many “constitutional rights” we have lost under (fill in whichever President’s name). This brings up a very interesting misunderstanding about the origin of our rights… For one thing, our rights don’t come from the Constitution; the Constitution merely recognizes that our rights preexist it.

For instance, in the 2nd Amendment it goes like this:

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

It says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” ..not “the people shall have the right to keep and bear arms” – this is a very important difference in syntax! This is true throughout the document, and the document even recognizes in the 9th Amendment that we have all the rights not specifically mentioned.

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

If the Constitution gave rights, then the syntax of the 9th would say something like “that the people shall enjoy” or “that the people shall have” instead of retained by the people.”

The meaning of the subtle difference here is profound, and has vast implications!

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To Intervene or Not to Intervene?

Turkey has a fighter plane shot down by a Syrian missile defense battery. Do you think that they will respond with military force? Do you wonder if anyone in our central government said that they wished it was one of our F4 Phantoms that was fired upon?

Syria, much like Libya before it, is in a civil war. There is a large group of people tired of the oppression of their ruling government and they are killing each other.

We had a President once who thought he knew better and went to war to prevent a bunch of states from withdrawing from the union of states that they had previously sought to join as members.

No country decided who was right and who was wrong and sent troops over here to fight on a side; did they? Is it our place to decide who is right and who is wrong in Libya, or Syria?

Let us say our country arrives at a point where we find ourselves in a civil war.

Say the people of a number of states tire of the tyranny of the central government. They refuse to be threatened with indefinite detention without trial or evidence.

They refuse to live with drones able to conduct 24 hour surveillance without any warrant. No more will they submit to bodily searches by uniformed thugs before they travel or having their mail, phone calls and Internet activities monitored.

A number of states decide that they cannot realistically expect their citizens to be able to pay their state, property and sales taxes needed to maintain the state as well as pay federal taxes for the central govt. to fund programs that support the schooling, food, housing and utility assistance of those who pay no taxes.

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Food Freedom for New Hampshire?

The mood of  New Hampshire’s  legislature concerning an overstepping federal government is clearly illustrated in NH HB1650. In no uncertain terms, the representatives of the people of New Hampshire have made clear their thoughts on the role of the United States Government,  declaring that Uncle Sam is bounded by the U.S. Constitution, and that when it decides to step outside these limits, it is unlawful  and of no effect. The bill has provisions which would make it a criminal act for its violation:

439-A:5 Penalty.

I. Any public servant of the state of New Hampshire as defined by RSA 640:2 that enforces or attempts to enforce a federal act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation upon a foodstuff labeled “Made in New Hampshire,” that is produced commercially or privately in New Hampshire, and that remains within the state of New Hampshire shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

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Oklahoma governor puts taxpayers’ money where her mouth is

Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin just set an important precedent. By rejecting $54.6 million in federal money to begin implementation of ObamaCare, the governor has firmly set herself against the unconstitutional law and with the citizens of her state. From Fox News: To make it clear Oklahoma will develop its own plan, the state will not accept a $54.6 million…

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New England Nullification Tradition Marches On

Though many living in New England today might be loathe to admit it, there is a long history of nullification being used in the region to defy unconstitutional federal edicts. This week, the town of Sedgwick, Maine voted to carry on that proud tradition by nullifying certain federal agricultural regulations.

They did so through what might be the most legitimate form of democratic expression left in America: the New England town meeting. (Which have been held in the Sedgwick town hall since 1794.)

According to one report, the residents of Sedgwick voted to enact a law that not only permits

“Sedgwick citizens…to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing,”

but declares that

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South Carolina reps see the light on Commerce Clause

Two state representatives in South Carolina are pushing back against a federal ban of incandescent light bulbs set to begin in January of 2012. There is no constitutional authority for Congress to impose such a ban on the citizens of the several states, and it’s nice that South Carolina noticed. From NetRightDaily: “State Representatives Sandifer and Loftis are taking the lead…

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Dan Casey Betrays His Ignorance While Ranting About Tenthers’ “Flawed” Arguments

Casey’s central argument against what he views as our misreading of the Constitution, betrays both his ignorance of the history surronding the Constitution and the rules of legal interpretation that were understood very well by the those who framed and ratified it.

Both James Madison (the author of the amendment Casey uses to make his case), and Alexander Hamilton, had serious reservations about a Bill of Rights. Why? Because they argued what Tenthers today understand — that the Constitution created a federal government of strictly limited powers. That’s the reason pro-ratification founders, like Hamilton, expressed concern that the Bill of Rights:

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VA Senate Kills Intrastate Commerce Act Without a Vote

Another year, another trip to the Senate Death Star for the Intrastate Commerce Act (HB1438). Without even recording a vote, the elected “representatives” on the Senate Commerce and Labor Sub-Committee #1 left Virginia residents and businesses exposed to the economic and regulatory ravages of every federal agency from the EPA to the FDA to the BATF. When will…

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