Walter Williams ..

Dr. Walter E. Williams, a professor of economics at George Mason University and a syndicated columnist, is one of America’s greatest living political philosophers.  This essay from his on going writings addresses our dilemma on how to check the tyranny emanating from our Federal government.  It is informative to our understanding of how to proceed.  I highly recommend that you partake of his wisdom.

Let’s Fight Tyranny        by Walter Williams

For more than a half-century, it has become abundantly clear that our nation faces increasing irreconcilable differences. At the root is the fact that there is one group of Americans who mostly want to be left alone and live according to the rule of law and the dictates of the U.S. Constitution while another group of Americans wants to control the lives of others and ignore both the rule of law and constitutional restraints on the federal government.

Should those Americans who favor the rule of law and constitutional government fight against or yield to those Americans who have contempt for the rule of law and constitutional government? Let’s look at a few of those irreconcilable differences.

Some Americans prefer to manage their own health care needs. Others wish to have the federal government dictate their health care. Some Americans want their earnings to be taxed only for the constitutionally mandated functions of the federal government, which are outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Others think American earnings should be taxed for anything on which Congress can muster a majority vote.

Though there is no constitutional authority for federal involvement in public education, some Americans want the federal government involved. The list of irreconcilable differences among the American people is nearly without end. These differences survive because of the timidity of those offended and the brute power of the federal government.

I think reconciliation is impossible; therefore, separation is the only long-term peaceful solution. Separation and independence do not require that liberty-loving Americans overthrow the federal government any more than they required Gen. George Washington to overthrow the British government in order to secede or required his successor secessionist, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, to overthrow the U.S. federal government.

You say, “All those government acts that you say violate the rule of law and the Constitution have been ruled constitutional by the courts!” That’s true. The courts have twisted the Constitution, but Thomas Jefferson warned, “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions (is) a very dangerous doctrine indeed and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

State governors and legislators ought to summon up the courage our Founding Fathers had in their response to the fifth Congress’ Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798. Written by Jefferson and James Madison, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and 1799 stated that those states’ legislatures considered the Alien and Sedition Acts unconstitutional.

They said, “Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government … and … whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.” The 10th Amendment to our Constitution holds, “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.”

The federal government should not be permitted to determine the scope of its own powers. Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist No. 28, said, “The State governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority.”

One response to federal encroachment is for state governments to declare federal laws that have no constitutional authority null and void and refuse to obey them. In other words, they should nullify federal laws that violate the Constitution. In good conscience, liberals could not object to nullification. There are hundreds of so-called sanctuary cities in the U.S. — liberal places that have chosen to nullify federal immigration laws and harbor immigrants who are here illegally.

Former slave Frederick Douglass advised: “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them. … The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” We Americans appear to have very limited endurance in the face of tyrannical oppression.

 

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John Marshall Harlan II ..

The reapportionment gerrymanders presently that designate the Legislative districts in the States of our Union are the result of an illegal, unconstitutional ruse that was invented for use by the minions of the New Deal to steal political power from the heart land of the United States; from what we now call “Red State America.”

The republic created by the founders was specifically set up to politically protect a large minority of Americans … those Americans who pioneered new land, braved the seas, cut the timber necessary for construction, advanced the railroads, mined the riches, broke the sod, pacified the Indians and grew the food that fed us all … the “red necks” of yore.  The founders understood that the human resources, on a population basis, in 1787 resided in the growing, increasingly urban society of their time.  They also understood that the real economic strength of our nation resided in the almost infinite treasures of the mines, forests and fields of the hinterlands whose use had to be exploited by pioneers, visionaries and adventurers.  The urbanites were absolutely dependent upon the bounty of the outlands to sustain them.  The outlanders in order to thrive had to have power enough to check the avarice of the urban majority which, with its great advantage in voting power, would, as in all previous democracies, tyrannize the rural minority.

The founders set up a Republic … representative government, a system of bottom up government.  The individual was recognized as king.  The law protected the individual.  Local problems were solved locally.  The Legislature, already existent and already much advanced, was convened in the States to consider problems of state wide concern brought to it by representatives of all the subdivisions of the polity.  Those representatives had been sent from the counties that had been created over many decades of dividing the State into communities of common interest.  The Federal government, was set up like the Legislatures to the counties, a place to consider the mutual problems of the States.  The Founders did not want the Federal Government to dictate to the States, so it was given only limited powers that were delineated in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution.  The Federal Congress had a Senate to which each State sent two ambassadors to represent the State as a whole, and a House of Representatives to give voice to the general population, each representative having an equal constituency mitigated only by the proviso that each State would have at least one member in the body.  In the States, the duly elected Legislature, being a body of local exemplars, selected the US Senators and the general population voted, district by district, for members of the House.  There were to be no general Federal taxes and the money was to be gold or silver.  This system worked until 1913, when the Socialists, now Progressives, began becoming ascendant.

The socialistic Progressives, considering themselves the intellectual and moral superiors to the “red neck” people in “fly over” country, were eager to centralize the government so that the utopia that they visualized could be realized.  With the adoption of the income tax (the 16th Amendment), the Federal Reserve Bank and the 17th Amendments, they were able to begin to seriously participate, contrary to the advice of George Washington, in world affairs.  Within 4 years after the adoption of the 16th Amendment, they had enough money to enable them to embroil the US in World War I on the side of Briton and France, even though America had a huge population of German descendants.  The effect of adopting the Federal Reserve Bank did not really manifest itself until Roosevelt’s the New Deal, when Roosevelt, in an executive order, made it illegal for Americans to own gold, the coin of the realm.  But those actions did not really address the real problem for the Progressives … how to make a behemoth of the central government that controlled all aspects of American life.

The Supreme Court was a real thorn in side of the “New Deal.”  Time after time, the Supreme struck down Roosevelt’s schemes to elevate the Federal government to the do all be all to all Americans.  Roosevelt became so impatient with this situation that he tried to pack the Court with enough Progressives so that they would rule for him.  Not even the heavily Democratic Congress would support this power grab.  But, bye and bye, all men grow old and die and by his third term in office there had been enough attrition that he had a majority.  One of the earliest decisions in increasing powers of the Federal government was the infamous “Wickard v. Filburn” decision that effectively gave the Federal government power over all commerce.  And what, may I ask is not, ultimately, in commerce?  This decision is the basis to justify our monstrous Federal bureaucracy.    But this did not solve the problem of the influence of the small county  “red neck” Senators in state Legislatures.  In order to solve this problem it was obviously necessary to eliminate them.  The Legislatures had to be apportioned not on a county basis but on a population basis alone.  A moment of reflection reveals that very soon, on that premise, the urban areas will totally dominate State Legislatures. (The feared tyranny of the majority)

There is no authority whatsoever in the Constitution for the US government to effect any change in the makeup or apportionment of State Legislatures.  So the Progressives dreamed up a new mechanism … the “Living Constitution.”  The concept is this: the Justices will read “between the lines” of the Constitution and find where the Founders “meant to say” or “forgot to say” or “mistakenly omitted” something in the Constitution.  Of course, if they are clairvoyant enough to do that, they read can read absolutely anything out of the document.  This idea is as old as the Republic … Thomas Jefferson supposedly quipped, “I have read between the lines of the Constitution and found nothing.”

After much searching, our socialistic friends found a partial sentence in the 14th Amendment that would suit their purposes:  “nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  The socialistic Justices (Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Associate Justices Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Tom C. Clark, William J. Brennan Jr., Potter Stewart, Byron White and Arthur Goldberg) of the Court read between the lines and found that the US Courts had the right to override state Constitutions and to reapportion state legislatures, that is all except one of them, a patriot, Justice John Marshall Harlan II.

Justice Harlan’s dissent lays bare the duplicity of the other Justices in co-opting their Constitutional powers to legislate illegal powers not given the Judicial Branch or even written in the Constitution.  If you want to understand how wrong this decision is, it is imperative that you read what he said.  Since it is somewhat lengthy, I have provided you a link to it below.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Reynolds_v._Sims/Dissent_Harlan

This terrible abuse of our Republic can be remedied by acting on the prescience of the Founders that foresaw the minions of treason to our republic and inserted the 10th Amendment of the “Bill of Rights” into the Constitution.   (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) All that is necessary is for the Legislature and People of our State to “Nullify” this horrible decision and to then stand up to the socialists trying to overthrow our Republic.

 

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Letter to a Lawyer ..

One of the greatest deterrents to adopting a reapportionment scheme at the State level in opposition to Supreme Court’s unconstitutional and illegal decision mandating that State Legislatures be constituted on a population basis only, is the belief of most attorneys that there is no Constitutional check on decisions of the Court.  Although in law school the attorneys were taught that this was the case, the truth is that the 10th Amendment, one of the “Bill of Rights”, was included as one of our fundamental Rights to address any overstepping of Constitutional powers by any part of the Federal government, be it coming from the executive, legislative or judicial branch.

I proposed that we remedy the SCOTUS decision by amending our State Constitution and then enact laws to realize our rights under both the US and State Constitutions.  I then ask for comments.  A prominent attorney responded.  He liked the idea, but expressed grave doubts about whether it could be done … the letter that I wrote back to him is below.  It should be instructive to understanding what could be done…

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Dear Sir:

I appreciate your response to my invitation.

The salient point in the Reynolds v. Sims decision that destroyed republican government in our State is the dissent by Justice John Marshall Harlan II.  The decision by the majority is a perfect example of modern justices finding “hidden meaning” in the Constitution.  Justice Harlan points out in the most emphatic manner how very wrong this decision is and I encourage that you read it.

In the first place we should review the antecedents of our republic.  Jefferson referred to “unalienable” Rights in the Declaration of Independence without being specific — he also goes into great detail (which most of us did not read) about the justifications for the revolution, among which are “Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and to eat out our Substance,” the imposition of unelected judges and the tinkering with the Legislatures and legislators as being among the most egregious causes, the very things that the Federal government of today is doing to the States.

Madison was probably the one most responsible for the Constitutional Convention.  He originally seemed to favor a pure democracy, although he did not speak for democracy.  I believe that he, like other founders, was well aware of the short comings of past democracies, such as their susceptibility to demagoguery and their tendency toward the “tyranny of the majority,” – their unfairness to minorities.  When the delegates from the small states pointed out their misgivings and concerns, he came to enthusiastically support the ideals of our Republic.  When he returned to Virginia and presented the work of the Convention to Patrick Henry, Henry was appalled.  Henry told him, “you have given us a tyranny greater than that which we have just defeated.”  Madison’s position was that the Federal government was only empowered to that which Article I Section 8 mandated and therefore its power was very limited.  Henry, correctly as it turns out, disagreed, opining that people in power tend to reach for more power.  Henry insisted that the Constitution contain a “Bill of Rights” that ostensibly contained many more of Jefferson’s “unalienable” Rights.  Henry and others fought for the “Bill” as the “Anti-Federalists” and finally, reluctantly ratified it after Madison promised to pass the “Bill” in the first Congress.  It was an interesting epiphany for me to realize that the “Bill of Rights” is not a grant to us by government, but a legal block to the new Federal government’s meddling with our pre-existing “unalienable” God given Rights.  Do you honestly believe that we would today have the right to bear arms if the Federal government had not been restrained?   Patrick Henry’s contribution to the “Bill of Rights” was the Tenth Amendment  – when the Federal Government oversteps, the states or the people are Constitutionally given the ability to set it right.

The Constitution is amendable, but the enemies of the Republic, most prominently the born again socialists, the statist Progressives, find the process far too cumbersome, uncertain and slow.  So the Progressives have found a new way to destroy our republican government.  The most vulnerable chink in the Federal Constitution is the judiciary.  If you can seat just five of the nine justices as acolytes of Statism and get them to find new, unwritten meaning in the text of the document, and then convince the People that their decisions are inviolable, then you can subvert the whole document.  And that is exactly what has happened.  I know of no check or balance on the decisions of the Supreme Court written into the Constitution other than impeachment, salaries and the Tenth Amendment.  But there are great impediments to any of these remedies.  One of the most vexing to me is the people that should be policing this system, the attorneys,  have been taught in law school and believe that a decision by the Supreme Court is final.  Both Madison and Jefferson disagreed with this.  They ardently fought the Alien and Sedition laws promulgated by the Adams administration in the States of Kentucky and Virginia by threatening nullification. (and won when the laws were repealed)  Their argument boils down to this – when the Federal government enacts a law or regulation or hands down a decision based upon a power not delegated in the Constitution, it is no law at all and has no effect.

Can Federal laws, regulations, rules, edicts and such be nullified?  Certainly!  Had the Adams administration not backed down, Madison and Jefferson would have prevailed.  Their fight most certainly helped propel Jefferson into the White House.  The northern state’s nullification of the fugitive slave laws and the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision certainly were a factors in the beginning of the Civil War.  In modern times, states are nullifying Federal marijuana laws and have killed national ID cards.  But that is not the problem – the problem is the concept of the “living Constitution”, that is the Federal court system pulling “hidden meaning” out of thin air and then upholding the illegal laws that result from their chicanery.   The most horrible of these decisions, and one of the first, was the unopposed incredible decision in Wickard v. Filburn that has given the Federal government carte blanche jurisdiction over all law, directly contradicting the intent and reason for the US Constitution.

But the decision that vexes us here is the continuing use of the 14th Amendment to perpetually interject sweeping new, but illegal law into the American experiment.  When the Supreme Court ruled in Reynolds v. Sims, they totally ignored Article IV Section 4 of the Constitution which guarantees the States Republican government and the well documented meanings of the clauses in the 14th Amendment during the Congressional debates for adoption as Justice Harlan so eloquently points out in his dissent.  The 14th Amendment was sold to the States as the instrument of enfranchisement for the former Negro slaves.  It would take a quantum leap in credulity to believe that that States would have ratified the amendment if they knew that it also meant that single Federal judges could reapportion state legislatures.  Nowhere in the Constitution is it written that the Federal government has that power.  Yes, the states not only have the power, but the patriotic duty to nullify actions such as these, that is if we want to keep our Republic.

I hope that this at least piques your interest in what I am doing and should you agree, I would very much entertain any help that you might give me.

Sincerely,

Lee

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