Posts tagged ‘de facto’

Burns Chronicles No 54 – To Jury, or, Not To Jury

Burns Chronicles No 54
To Jury, or, Not To Jury

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
January 23, 2017

Though I have posted the Preamble to the Bill of Rights a number of times, people still ask if there really is a Preamble to the Bill of Rights.  A preamble sets forth the purpose of the document, as the Preamble to the Constitution sets forth its purpose.  It is not a part of the document, rather an explanation as to why the document was created.  When Congress approved, and sent the Bill of Rights to the States, as required by Article V of the Constitution, the first paragraph explained why the Joint Resolution was passed.  It states, “declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added” for the purpose of “extending the ground of public confidence in the Government.”  To wit:

The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

So, now, we must determine if, in fact, it has extended “the ground of public confidence in the Government“, in light of the current situation.  Our query must be directed to the Sixth Amendment:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

We must also look to the Seventh Amendment:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

So, between these two Amendments, we find that every judicial concept in the Constitution, with the exception of the House and Senate’s disciplinary procedures regarding their own members, requires a jury to make the determination of guilt or innocence.

The matter at hand is the additional charges brought against the lower level defendants in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.  Since the government did not get a conviction of the leaders of said occupation, they have stooped to a new low, perhaps just being poor losers.  They have brought a Misdemeanor Information, for Trespass and other crimes, against the second group of defendants.  These charges were not a part of the Superseding Indictment.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 54 – To Jury, or, Not To Jury’ »

Burns Chronicles No 21 – The Public’s Right to Know

Burns Chronicles No 21
The Public’s Right to Know

not news

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
May 16, 2016

 

We all know that when there is an alleged violation of one’s rights, the freedom of the accused, while somewhat curtailed, is usually respected, and this is known as part of due process. Absent due process, judicial behavior often falls into arbitrary decision-making, biased juries, and the rail-roading of political undesirables, straight into prison. Lack of judicial transparency is usually a clear sign that whatever vestiges of a republican form of government may still be there is waning, and quickly; should the public’s right to know not be reinvigorated, then posterity will likely never know true freedom.

A Person accused of a crime, according to the Sixth Amendment, has a right “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation” against him, “to be confronted with the witnesses against him“, and, “to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor“.

The government, of course, has the right to search with a warrant, and the subpoena power to compel witnesses. Clearly, they have a right to know.

The accused has the power of the subpoena, to compel witnesses on his behalf. He also has a right to discovery, to see what the plaintiff has, in the form of proof, and to introduce evidence on his behalf.

Historically, trials were public. Often crime scenes were photographed by news reporters/cameramen, often with victims still in place. Reporters were given all but the most critical investigative results, and all of this was to assure the public that there really was a crime in their community. Witnesses told what they saw, to investigators (public and private), other people, and the press. Those charged and arrested were able to talk to anybody and often did press interviews from jail. If they were released from custody, they could speak as freely as any other person. Thus, the public was always aware of the accused’s explanation of events.

When the matter went to trial the courtroom was open, so long as the observers behaved, and the press had every opportunity to report on all aspects of the case, including evidence and testimony. For the most part, all of the facts were laid out to the public, by one means or another, even before the trial began.

When the trial was over, regardless of the outcome, the community was fully aware of what had occurred, what the government did to bring justice, and whether the person that had been accused was vindicated of the charges, or convicted.

So, let’s look at what a trial really is. The first element is comprised of the facts of the matter. This includes evidence, recordings, writings, photographs, and the testimony of witnesses. However, that is just the beginning. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 21 – The Public’s Right to Know’ »

Administrative Agencies – The Fourth Branch of Government – Circumventing the Constitution

Administrative Agencies – The Fourth Branch of Government
Circumventing the Constitution
Constitution reversed

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
April 19, 2016

Suppose you lived in Washington state or Colorado.  Suppose, too, that consistent with state law, you grow, process, and use marijuana.  Now, state law says you can, but federal law says that you can’t.  What happens if the feds arrest you and charge you with a crime?

The Constitution/Bill of Rights says that the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed”.  Would a federal requirement that demands that you register your firearms be such an infringement, if your state did not require such registration?  Could you be successfully prosecuted by the federal government if charged with failing to register your firearms? Continue reading ‘Administrative Agencies – The Fourth Branch of Government – Circumventing the Constitution’ »

Rule of Law, or, Rule of Man – An Analysis of the Kim Davis Fiasco

Rule of Law, or, Rule of Man
An Analysis of the Kim Davis Fiasco

Davis Bunning

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 8, 2015

 

The Supreme Court and States’ Tenth Amendment Rights

The Constitution created a Union. That Union was of the several States, and the Constitution was written to join those States into a confederation, with a federal government that dealt only within the powers and authorities defined in the document. The autonomy of states was assured within the Constitution, though doubts arose as to whether the federal government might attempt to secure more power than was intended and granted to it.

The most significant clarification of that intent was laid out in the Preamble to the Bill of Rights. A preamble sets forth the purpose of a document, and that which was ascribed to the first ten Amendments reads, as follows:

The Preamble To The Bill Of Rights

Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

Articles in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

The last two amendments made even more obvious the limited role of the federal government:

Amendment IX

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

Amendment X

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.

After the Civil War, a Fourteenth Amendment was ratified (the lawfulness of that ratification may be questioned, though that is not the topic of this article). It stated that no State could “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.” However, it was not intended to, nor did early application of that provision even suggest that there was one set of laws that applied to all, and if the states were in agreement over an issue, or each State had addressed an issue, that the issue in question was not one that was subject to federal approval.

The rights protected by the Constitution would have to extend to all citizens, not all people, as was clear by the wording in the Amendment. Those rights, however, were deemed natural rights pertaining to “life, liberty, and property”. They were not rights which would take from one to give to another.

In 1973, a Supreme Court decision demonstrated that the rights of the States, so solidly secured by the Constitution, would no longer be exercised by the States, if the federal government decided that it wanted to bring any aspect of our lives under its wing. This is clearly demonstrated in the decision that expanded the government’s role in abortion, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). The decision defied previously held limitation of authority, was widely accepted by the public, perhaps not fully understood were the ramifications of the expansion of federal powers.

Justice Rehnquist explained the problem and the ramifications in his dissenting opinion, when he wrote:

“To reach its result [the majority opinion], the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment. As early as 1821, the first state law dealing directly with abortion was enacted by the Connecticut Legislature. By the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, there were at least 36 laws enacted by state or territorial legislatures limiting abortion. While many States have amended or updated their laws, 21 of the laws on the books in 1868 remain in effect today. Indeed, the Texas statute struck down today was, as the majority notes, first enacted in 1857 and has remained substantially unchanged to the present time.”

“There apparently was no question concerning the validity of this provision or of any of the other state statutes when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted. The only conclusion possible from this history is that the drafters did not intend to have the Fourteenth Amendment withdraw from the States the power to legislate with respect to this matter.”

So, we have seven out of nine justices expanding the power of the federal government; usurping from the States those rights that were retained by them. And, unfortunately, we had a naive public that applauded, or damned, the decision of the Court, not even considering the affect on our Constitution and the rights of the States.

Now, to get to where we are going, we must address another Supreme Court decision, this being made in June 2015, and bears heavily on the current situation regarding Rowan County, Kentucky, County Clerk Kim Davis, who, as of this writing, sits in Rowan County Detention Center (121 Lee Avenue, Morehead, Kentucky), under a Contempt of Court charge.

This charge stems from another Supreme Court decision, decided in June 2015. That case is Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et al., 576 US ___. It was filed “claiming that respondent state officials violate the Fourteenth Amendment by denying them the right to marry or to have marriages lawfully performed in another State given full recognition.” So, by the simple wording in the complaint, “the right to marry”, we have something that was never considered a right, it was always, at best, a religious or civil choice, converted and accepted by the Court to be deemed a right, having nothing to do with “equal protection of the laws.” There is no “protection” in marriage simply the notification that two people, of opposite sexes, are bound together in matrimony. Or, as Noah Webster described it the first American Dictionary (Webster’s 1828), marriage is “the legal union of a man and woman for life,” which served the purposes of “preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes . . . promoting domestic felicity, and . . . securing the maintenance and education of children.” So, is a legalized union to be considered, now, to be a “right”?

The conclusion to the decision reads:

“Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons. In turn, those who believe allowing same-sex marriage is proper or indeed essential, whether as a matter of religious conviction or secular belief, may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate. The Constitution, however, does not permit the State to bar same-sex couples from marriage on the same terms as accorded to couples of the opposite sex.”

So, Kim Davis is free “to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.” However, “[t]he Constitution… does not permit the State to bar same-sex couples from marriage on the same terms as accorded to couples of the opposite sex.” What kind of double-speak is that? The “right” is a part of the First Amendment. The abomination is the contradiction that the Constitution does not permit. Try as I might, I cannot find that, anywhere.

In an age where the enumerated rights are under fire, we have courts granting rights that were never considered rights, nor were they enumerated, and, if they were rights, the came strictly under the purview of the state.

By definition, this process of expansion of federal power and usurpation of state power is known as the “incorporation doctrine- a constitutional doctrine through which selected provisions of the Bill of Rights are made applicable to the states through the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” So, we must ask which provision of the Bill of Rights is made applicable to the states, or, if the description needs to be updated to “Incorporation Usurpation Doctrine”

To exemplify this overarching expansion of federal authority, we can look to Justice Roberts’s dissenting opinion in Obergefell, where he wrote:

“Petitioners make strong arguments rooted in social policy and considerations of fairness. They contend that same-sex couples should be allowed to affirm their love and commitment through marriage, just like opposite-sex couples. That position has undeniable appeal; over the past six years, voters and legislators in eleven States and the District of Columbia have revised their laws to allow marriage between two people of the same sex.

“But this Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified the Constitution authorized courts to exercise “neither force nor will but merely judgment.”

“Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition.

“This universal definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is no historical coincidence. Marriage did not come about as a result of a political movement, discovery, disease, war, religious doctrine, or any other moving force of world history–and certainly not as a result of a prehistoric decision to exclude gays and lesbians. It arose in the nature of things to meet a vital need: ensuring that children are conceived by a mother and father committed to raising them in the stable conditions of a lifelong relationship.

Though our very mobile and fast-paced society has had an effect on the “lifelong relationship”, it has done nothing to warrant an extension of that purpose to achieve marriage, for marriage sake, as a right, rather than the original indentation of providing security for the children (posterity).

Whether we are a Democracy, a Republic, or both, we are, without question, to be a self-governing people. At this time, there are over 300 million people in this country. Of that number, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported, in 2013, that only 1.6% of the population was queer (homosexual, both sexes). That is not a minority, it is an insignificant number. And, there is nothing that prohibits them from living as they choose. Those laws have slowly fallen to our modern world, where they are not prosecuted; rather, they are allowed to practice their life-style, without legal penalty. Isn’t it enough that the biblical punishment is no longer inflicted, or are we to allow this insignificant group hold sway over our lives, our morality, and our culture?

Of those 300 million plus, they are represented in their respective state legislatures by hundreds of senators and representatives, chosen by the citizens of those states to enact laws. In no state is the court given the right to enact laws, simply, the “power to say what the law is, not what it should be.” ONLY the representatives of the people, and in accordance with the respective State Constitution make the laws.

Likewise, in the federal government, there are 435 representatives and 100 senators, those, also, elected to represent the will of the people, and enact laws accordingly.

So, we have thousands of the representatives of the people who have enacted laws in accordance with the will of the people, and those laws no longer act unfavorably on the insignificant number. That is what was intended, and that is what should continue to be.

However, we find that a simple majority of nine Justices, yes, just five appointed individuals, not chosen by the people, themselves, have established an apparent right to enact laws contrary to the will of the people and their representatives. That is an oligarchy (rule by a small, select group), and, as you will not find “marriage” in the federal Constitution, you will neither find “oligarchy” as our form of government.

Unless, of course, the people will stand idly by as those robed “oligarchs” continue to expand their authority, destroying our whole concept of self-government.

 

The Road to Contempt of the People

Based upon the Supreme Court’s contradictory decision in Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et al, James Yates, April Miller, and others, filed complaints with the United States District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, Northern Division at Ashland, against Kim Davis, individually and as County Clerk of Rowan County.

The Complaint by Yates was brought under 42 USC §1983:

“Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.”

Now, “secured by the Constitution and laws” will be addressed, later on. However, we see that the “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 [Article I, § 8, clause 17].” comes in to play here, notwithstanding the fact that the Constitution and the laws are both supportive of the right of a State to make its own laws, and by the broadest stretch of imagination, does not include marriage, a civil bond.

The Complaint also incorporates a letter from the Governor, Steven L. Beshear, to the “Kentucky County Clerks, dated June 26, 2015. The letter reads, in part:

“As elected officials, each of us has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Kentucky. The Obergefell decision makes plain that the Constitution requires that Kentucky – and all states – must license and recognize the marriages of same-sex couples. Neither your oath nor the Supreme Court dictates what you must believe. But as elected officials, they do prescribe how we must act.”

“Effective today, Kentucky will recognize as valid all same sex marriages performed in other states and in Kentucky. In accordance with my instruction, all executive branch agencies are already working to make any operational changes that will be necessary to implement the Supreme Court decision. Now that same-sex couples are entitled to the issuance of a marriage license, the Department of Libraries and Archives will be sending a gender-neutral form to you today, along with instructions for its use.”

“You should consult with your county attorney on any particular aspects related to the implementation of the Supreme Court’s decision.”

So, the Governor first informs the recipients that they had “taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Kentucky.” Then, he provides his solution, whereby “same-sex couples are entitled to the issuance of a marriage license, the Department of Libraries and Archives will be sending a gender-neutral form to you today, along with instructions for its use.”

So, the oath is to the constitutions, and, presumably, the laws made in accordance thereof. And then, he talks about entitlements. What? I suppose he didn’t feel any more comfortable than I do in suggesting that they are “rights”, rather, that queers are “entitled” to a legal bond intended to assure that children are conceived and brought up in a healthy environment.

Finally, he wants to “implement” the Supreme Court decision. So, which constitution provides a directive, or even implies, that a decision must be implemented, if not an enacted law passed in accordance with those constitutions? Does the oath bind them to a Court decision?

The US Constitution provides the authority to enact laws in Article I, § 1, to wit:

“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

“All legislative Powers” means what it says, “All”. Nobody else in the federal government is empowered to make laws. The Court can only rule on the constitutionality of a law. Even without referring to the “Case Law Method”, which has moved the courts away from the Constitution, simply building upon previous decision, without regard to the Constitution, we can see that something is amiss — in violation of the Constitution.

Now, let’s look at the Kentucky Constitution, beginning with the Kentucky Bill of Rights:

Section 2. Absolute and arbitrary power denied. Absolute and arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority.

Section 4. Power inherent in the people – Right to alter, reform, or abolish government. All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety, happiness and the protection of property. For the advancement of these ends, they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may deem proper.

So, the Kentucky Constitution disallows “[a]bsolute and arbitrary power over the lives [and] liberty” of the people. So, just what about the decision regarding the current case (Yates, Miller, et al) and the charge of Contempt of Court (which will soon be discussed) is not “absolute and arbitrary”?

And, if “[a]ll power is inherent in the people” and “founded on their [people] authority”, how can a judge, at the lowest level of federal courts, make a decision, based upon a decision, though not enacted into law, be used to deprive Kim Davis of her liberty?

The Bill of Rights concludes with:

Section 26. General powers subordinate to Bill of Rights – Laws contrary thereto are void. To guard against transgression of the high powers which we have delegated, We Declare that every thing in this Bill of Rights is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and all laws contrary thereto, or contrary to this Constitution, shall be void.

Just consider what “inviolate” means.

Now, from the Kentucky Constitution, the Legislative Branch:

Section 29. Legislative power vested in General Assembly. The legislative power shall be vested in a House of Representatives and a Senate, which, together, shall be styled the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Section 55. When laws to take effect – Emergency legislation. No act, except general appropriation bills, shall become a law until ninety days after the adjournment of the session at which it was passed, except in cases of emergency, when, by the concurrence of a majority of the members elected to each House of the General Assembly, by a yea and nay vote entered upon their journals, an act may become a law when approved by the Governor; but the reasons for the emergency that justifies this action must be set out at length in the journal of each House.

Section 68. Civil officers liable to impeachment – Judgment – Criminal liability. The Governor and all civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanors in office; but judgment in such cases shall not extend further than removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit under this Commonwealth; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be subject and liable to indictment, trial and punishment by law.

So, as in the federal government, “legislative power [enacting laws]” is vested in the General Assembly. Nobody else can make laws.

The Kentucky Constitution makes provision for “emergency legislation”, which, under the circumstances, would have to be done to “implement” the decision, and to protect the County Clerk, who is bound to uphold the laws enacted in accordance with both constitutions. It would appear that Kim Davis suffered in jail because the legislative branch was remiss in their responsibility to the people and the officials of the state.

Finally, absent an impeachment, it would appear that no legal action could be taken against an official of the state. The qualifier, “but the convicted party” would require such impeachment prior to legal action.

However, what we are finding, in this current situation, is that the lowest level judge in the federal system, can, single-handedly, deny an elected official, under the authority of the state Constitution, her liberty.

On September 1, 2015, April Miller filed a Motion to Hold Defendant Kim Davis in Contempt of Court, stating:

“Plaintiffs do not seek to compel Davis’ compliance through incarceration. Since Defendant Davis continues to collect compensation from the Commonwealth for duties she fails to perform, Plaintiffs urge the the [sic] Court to impose financial penalties sufficiently serious and increasingly onerous to compel Davis’ immediate compliance without further delay.

However during a hearing on September 3, Judge David L. Bunning arbitrarily opted to incarcerate Kim Davis, in Contempt of Court. In that hearing, the minute notes show:

“Defendant Davis shall be remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending compliance of the Courts Order of August 12, 2015, or until such time as the Court vacates the contempt Order.”

It appears that the Judge opted for jail time in lieu if the requested monetary damages.

Kim Davis was released, on September 8, during the course of preparing this article. An understanding was made that the marriage licenses issued by the County will not bear her name or title, though the will simply say, “Rowan County, Kentucky” at the line for the Clerk/ Deputy Clerk signature.

 

Laws on the books

Many people are claiming that Kim Davis violated the law by not issuing marriage licenses to queers that wanted to be married to each other.

We have all been taught that we are a nation of laws, not a nation of men. So, let’s look at what the responsibility of an elected official is, if their job requires that they obey the law.

First source is the Kentucky Constitution, which, in Section 223A states:

Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

Next, we have Kentucky Statutes:

402.005 Definition of marriage. As used and recognized in the law of the Commonwealth, “marriage” refers only to the civil status, condition, or relation of one (1) man and one (1) woman united in law for life, for the discharge to each other and the community of the duties legally incumbent upon those whose association is founded on the distinction of sex.”

Well, Kim Davis has taken a position that requires that she uphold the laws. That pretty much settles it from the State side of the matter. But, since it was a federal judge, maybe we need to look at what the federal government has to say.

I find no reference to (marriage” in the Constitution, though I do find the specific reservation in the Tenth Amendment:

“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.”

So, we find that since there is no delegation to the federal government, or courts, regarding marriage, in the Constitution, then that authority must be one of those “reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

So, does the federal government have anything to say about marriage? Yes, they do; however, it pertains ONLY to “administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States”, and has nothing, at all, to do with licensing (legal permission) for marriage. Clearly, that “right” is reserved to the state.

1 U.S.C. § 7 : Definition of “marriage” and “spouse”

“In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”

So, let’s review the Kim Davis incident. Kim is an elected official, the County Clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky. When she took the position, she also took an oath to uphold the federal and state constitutions and the law of the land.

Both constitutions provide for the legislative bodies (Senate and House of Representatives) to have the sole authority to enact laws. If a judge rules an act unconstitutional, then the legislative body must enact a law consistent with the ruling. That is the only way that it can work. It is not up to the individual to determine what she can, or cannot, do. It is those who have taken the role in government to enact laws, well, to enact laws.

Kim Davis should not be held in contempt of court. If anyone is to be held in contempt of court, it should be those in the legislative bodies that leave on the LAW books laws that are unconstitutional. They are paid far better than Kim Davis is, and their job is to write the laws that she is to enforce. Every member of the state legislature should be willing to sit in jail, in lieu of Kim Davis, for she is the only one that is upholding the law. The same might be said of the Congress, as they, too, recognizing their limited role in the matter of marriage.

As a final thought, Kim Davis has stated that she refused to issue the licenses because of her religious beliefs. Had a law been lawfully enacted that allowed queers to marry, then Kim Davis would have to decide whether she wanted to continue in her job, or not, based upon a law that was properly enacted. To put that in more interesting terms, if any legislative body (not judicial) thinks that they have a right to change a definition this is thousands of year old, based upon the Bible, which defines marriage, then those in that legislative body have placed themselves above God.

 

Wolf Trap – Act I – Habeas Corpus – Scene 2 – Who is in Charge Now?

Wolf Trap – Act I – Habeas Corpus
Scene 2 – Who is in Charge Now?

Bureaucrats_at_work

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
May 23, 2015

Setting the Stage: Ten years after the Ashwander Decision, an Act of Congress established a far more authoritative agency structure, creating a Fourth Branch of Government. Though intended to affect less than 1% of the population, or so they said, it now affects nearly every one of us.

bu·reauc·ra·cy. noun

A system of government in which most of the important decisions are made by state officials rather than by elected representatives.

 

Administrative Agencies Rule Our Lives

The “Administrative Procedures Act of 1946” was submitted by Representative Pat McCarran, Democrat, Nevada, who gave us some insight into its purpose, when, in the Congressional Record, he said:

We have set up a fourth order in the tripartite plan of government which was initiated by the founding fathers of our democracy. They set up the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches; but since that time we have set up fourth dimension, if I may so term it, which is now popularly known as administrative in nature. So we have the legislative, the executive, the judicial, and the administrative.”

What? A fourth branch of government? My Constitution only has three. Wouldn’t an Amendment be required to create a fourth branch?

He then goes on to say:

“[This bill], the purpose of which is to improve the administration of justice by prescribing fair administrative procedure, is a bill of rights for the hundreds of thousands of Americans whose affairs are controlled or regulated in one way or another by agencies of the Federal government. It is designed to provide guarantees of due process in administrative procedure.

So, he says that there are hundreds of thousands of people “whose affairs are controlled or regulated in one way or another by agencies of the Federal government.” The population of the United States, in 1946, was 150 million people. So, the “hundreds of thousands”, he didn’t say anything about a million, would constitute well less than one percent of the population.

There is an old saying that if you give an inch, they will take a mile. This appears to be an understatement when you consider that the less than 1% has expanded, in these past 69 years, to incorporate probably 99.9% of the people in this country.

This is, most certainly, NOT the limited government that was given to us by the Founding Fathers. Though we find that their foresight provided a means by which we could challenge that expansion (let’s be honest, usurpation) of authority in the limitations imposed upon that government. However, before we do, we need to look at what those men of integrity also told us of the consequences of such usurpations.

The Founders on Constitutional Limitations

Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist No 78, made clear the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court (which is the only court proposed at the date of his writing) was “the citadel of the public justice and the public security“, and, that “No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid“.

Further, Justice Marshall, in Marbury v. Madison (5 U.S. 137), says that “an act of the legislature repugnant to the constitution is void“.

Prior to the ratification of the federal Constitution, the North Carolina Supreme Court, in 1787, first nullified an enacted statutes that was contrary to the North Carolina Constitution, in Bayard v Singleton (1 N.C. 42). They said that “if they could [enact legislation contrary to the constitution], they would at the same instant of time destroy their own existence as a legislature and dissolve the government thereby established“.

 

The next Scene will explain what the Founders did to protect us from such encroachments by the government that we created.

Wolf Trap – Act I – Habeas Corpus – Scene 1 – Limited Federal Jurisdiction

Wolf Trap – Act I – Habeas Corpus
Scene 1 – Limited Federal Jurisdiction

please-do-not-enter-without-Constitutional Authority

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
May 22, 2015

Setting the Scene: This Act is a series of scenes that will lead up to the events, the paper chase, that are going on in Montana, in an effort to persuade the Court to recognize that rights of William wolf and the limitations of federal authority, as conceived by the Founders. It will provide an understanding of what was, why it was, and what happened to deceive us into believing that it no longer existed. It will conclude with the ongoing effort to restore the proper relationship between the federal government and us.

* * *

From my early school years, I heard explanations pertaining to Habeas Corpus, the “Sacred Writ”. It could be used to remove you from unlawful detention; it could be written on a scrap of paper to be served; it could be served, on your behalf, by anyone who wanted to assist you in being removed from unlawful detention, and, perhaps even more. It was championed as fundamental to our liberty. However, little more was said of it, and it remained only as a mental symbol of something that, though not well explained, was one of the most important inclusions in the Constitution. So important that it was not included in the Bill of Rights, rather, it was part of that first venture into the creation of the new government that we have, today, the Constitution.

Understanding that circumstances might warrant the suspension of that “Sacred Writ”, the power to do so was left solely to the Legislative Branch of the government, and only “in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”

Interestingly, this fits nicely within that portion of the Fourth Amendment that states that you have a right “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation” against you. But, what do “nature” and “cause” mean? So, we will visit the language of the Founders; from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, we find that “nature” is a noun, and that the appropriate definition is, ” The essence, essential qualities or attributes of a thing, which constitute it; what it is”. So, nature is the element (essence) from which the charges are brought. The “cause” is, quite simply, that which brings it about — the act.

So, the “cause” is the act that brings about the charges, and the nature is the source from which the law acquires its authority. And, in any act, for which a “cause” is brought by the federal government, it must also have a source of authority, that being only, and limited to, the Constitution. The Constitution provides for both authority of enactment of laws and limitations upon the jurisdiction within which it can apply those laws and impose penalties, if convicted of the act.

After all, we know that the Constitution was written to set limits upon the government that was created by that document. They granted to that government so created, both powers and authorities, and they imposed limitations upon it.

Most cases that go to the United States Supreme Court are based upon certiorari; that is to see if there were irregularities, or errors, at trial in the inferior court. These writs deal solely with whether the applicable laws, or standards of justice (due process), were properly applied. The decisions in such cases often have the appearance of creating not only detailed instruction as to interpretation of a law, rule, or regulation, but also often they go beyond that written law, serving to extend the authority of such law beyond that was intended by the Congress, when it was enacted. This, however, is based upon the presumption that it if a law is enacted by, or under the authority (rules and regulations), of Congress, it must be constitutional in its enactment.

What is does not do, at least in recent years, is question whether the law, even if constitutionally enacted, is imposed where the constitutional limitations preclude its applicability, i.e. jurisdiction.

Before we proceed further, perhaps understanding what a “writ” is, and what it is not, is necessary for perspective. It is not a court case, nor a lawsuit, nor a criminal prosecution against a person. Quite simply, it is “a form of written command in the name of a court or other legal authority to act, or abstain from acting, in some way.”

Limited federal Jurisdiction

Under Article I, § 8, clause 17, Congress has “exclusive legislative jurisdiction”. Under Article IV, § 3, clause 2, Congress may “make all needed Rules and Regulations”, with the caveat, “respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States.” So, under these authorities, many ‘laws” are enacted that apply only to the extent that jurisdiction also applies. A good example of this is a law enacted in 1825 that gave the government the authority to punish “certain crimes against the United States”. We’ll let the act speak for itself:

“That if any person or persons, within any fort, dock-yard, navy-yard, arsenal, armory, or magazine, the site whereof is ceded to, and under the jurisdiction of the United States, or on a site of any lighthouse, or other needful building belonging to the United States, the sight whereof is ceded to them [United States], and under their jurisdiction, as aforesaid, shall, willfully…”

Take note that this does not apply to government property outside of that limited jurisdiction. The property must be to be on lands that are ceded and jurisdiction also ceded, within the authority granted by the Constitution.

For those interested, there are a number of Supreme Court decisions that support the requirement for a Constitutional nexus for an enactment of Congress to be valid and applicable, outside of that limited jurisdiction. These can be found in the article, “Habeas Corpus – The Guardian of Liberty“.

Now, what we have been taught and have been inclined to believe for our entire lives, is eviscerated, if we heed a decision of the Supreme Court, In Re Lane (135 U.S. 443), ruled on in 1890, in which a man was charged with rape, under federal law. The rape took place in the Oklahoma (Indian) Territory (unorganized), though the case was tried in Kansas (statehood in 1861). Lane was convicted and imprisoned in Kansas. Kansas punishment being less harsh, Lane attempted to challenge federal jurisdiction, opting to be punished under Kansas law.

The law under which he was charged and convicted of, had the jurisdictional, “in the District of Columbia or other place, except the territories, over which the United States has exclusive jurisdiction,” in its wording. Now, that wording, “other place, except the territories, over which the United States has exclusive jurisdiction” can appear to be misleading. However, the Court clarified that rather confusing statement by explaining that “except territories”, was not in the context of Article IV, § 3, clause 2 (needful rules and regulations), but rather, as those organized territories, seeking statehood — those which had been granted, by Congress, the authority to propose a constitution and to create Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches, and were authorized to enact laws, administer them, and the judicial branch to provide a forum for justice. These same grants of authority were endowed upon the states, within the limits of the state constitution, by adoption of the state constitution and the granting of statehood. The extent of federal jurisdiction, the laws, rules, and regulations, was limited solely to the unorganized territories.

Supreme Court (and Inferior Courts) Don’t Want to Rule on Constitutionality

In 1936, the Supreme Court ruled on a case known as Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority (297 U.S. 288). The details of the case are not something that we need concern ourselves with, though we must heed the words of Justice Brandeis, as he explained the seven rules that the Court had adopted in applying their judicial authority. The applicable rules are:

1.  The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of legislation in a friendly, nonadversary, proceeding, declining because to decide such questions ‘is legitimate only in the last resort

4.  The Court will not pass upon a constitutional question although properly presented by the record, if there is also present some other ground upon which the case may be disposed of… Thus, if a case can be decided on either of two grounds, one involving a constitutional question, the other a question of statutory construction or general law, the Court will decide only the latter

5.  The Court will not pass upon the validity of a statute upon complaint of one who fails to show that he is injured by its operation.

6.  The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of a statute at the instance of one who has availed himself of its benefits.

7.  ‘When the validity of an act of the Congress is drawn in question, and even if a serious doubt of constitutionality is raised, it is a cardinal principle that this Court will first ascertain whether a construction of the statute is fairly possible by which the question may be avoided.

As we can see, Rules 1, 4 and 7, are means by which the Court can avoid ruling on the constitutionality of a matter before them.

Rule 5 provides for a condition upon which one must have been injured to even challenge a statute, even as to constitutionality and jurisdiction. And, Rule 6 provides a bar against challenge, if a person “has availed himself of its benefits”.

So, we can see how extremely difficult it is to question constitutionality, jurisdiction, or to even find that you are in a position to challenge the lawfulness, of any act of Congress. But, we also have to understand the “nature” of those “statutes” referred to in the Rules.

In the Ashwander decision, it was pointed out that the Rules had been adopted over the past few decades, so this was really nothing new. Administrative agencies, though few at the time (Tennessee Valley Authority was one such agency), were relatively new. However, in an effort to expand constitutional authority beyond the limits imposed by the Constitution, and based upon the adoption of those Rules, Congress took another step, in 1946, to expand their authority beyond those limits. That will be the subject of Scene 2.

“No bended knee for me” – the Charge against Robert Beecher

“No bended knee for me” – the Charge against Robert Beecher

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
August 30, 2014

The charge against Robert Beecher is not based upon the malicious allegations made by FBI Special Agent Stanley H. Slater that Robert Beecher was involved in an operation, known as “Operation Mutual Aid”, to kidnap and torture a DHS agent. In fact, it seems that the threat implied by Agent Slater has, well, just disappeared. The only charge is “Felon in Possession of a Firearm”.

Now, before I proceed with discussing the charge, I want to establish a bit of background on the government and their US Code. Harvey A. Silverglate is an attorney. His book “Three Felonies a Day” is instrumental in beginning to understand the nature of that beast (government), when it targets someone for persecution (resulting in prosecution). It is suggested reading for anyone interested in the complexities, and chicanery of the federal legal system.

The Forward, by Alan M. Dershowitz, to Sliverglate’s book begins,

The very possibility that citizens who believe they are law-abiding may, in the eyes of federal prosecutors, be committing three federal felonies each day… But when the executive branch, through its politically appointed prosecutors, has the power to criminalize ordinary conduct through accordion-like criminal statutes, the system of checks and balances breaks down.” He continues, “These prosecutors threaten to indict underlings for conduct that is even further away from the core of criminality unless they cooperate against the real targets. Because federal criminal law carries outrageously high sentences — often with mandatory minimums — these prosecutorial threats are anything but illusory. They turn friends into enemies, family members into government witnesses and employees into stool pigeons. Silverglate believes that we are in danger of becoming a society in which prosecutors alone become judges, juries and executioners because the threat of high sentences makes it too costly for even innocent people to resist the prosecutorial pressure. That is why nearly all criminal defendants today plead guilty to “reduced” charges rather than risk a trial with draconian sentences in the event of a conviction.

On to Silverglate’s Introduction, where we find reference to a 1952 Supreme Court decision, Morissette v. United States, [342 U.S. 246, 250-251]. This is interesting because it states that there must be intent to be a criminal act, to wit:

The contention that an injury can amount to a crime only when inflicted by intention is no provincial or transient notion. It is as universal and persistent in mature systems of law as belief in freedom of the human will and a consequent ability and duty of the normal individual to choose between good and evil. A relation between some mental element and punishment for a harmful act is almost as instinctive as the child’s familiar exculpatory “But I didn’t mean to,” and has afforded the rational basis for a tardy and unfinished substitution of deterrence and reformation in place of retaliation and vengeance as the motivation for public prosecution.

Finally, Silverglate refers to an anecdote told by Tim Wu in a 2007 article titled “American Lawbreaking,” published in the online magazine Slate:

At the federal prosecutor’s office in the Southern District of New York, the staff, over beer and pretzels, used to play a darkly humorous game. Junior and senior prosecutors would sit around, and someone would name a random celebrity — say, Mother Theresa or John Lennon. It would then be up to the junior prosecutors to figure out a plausible crime for which to indict him or her. The crimes were not usually rape, murder, or other crimes you’d see on Law & Order but rather the incredibly broad yet obscure crimes that populate the U.S. Code like a kind of jurisprudential minefield: Crimes like “false statements” (a felony, up to five years), “obstructing the mails” (five years), or “false pretenses on the high seas” (also five years). The trick and the skill lay in finding the more obscure offenses that fit the character of the celebrity and carried the toughest sentences. The result, however, was inevitable: “prison time,” as one former prosecutor told me.

Hence the title, “Three Felonies a Day”.

The only charge against Robert, now, is a violation of 18 USC §922(g)(1) (the full text of §922(g) can be found at 18 USC 922). The pertinent part is as follows:

(g) It shall be unlawful for any person –

(1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

So, let’s look at the obvious intent of the law. First, “It shall be unlawful“, well, no problem with that.

Next, if that person “has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.” Let’s assume for the sake of discussion, that that criterion has been met — that Robert has such a criminal record. So, now we move on to the third portion of the Statute.

It is unlawful “to ship or transport in interstate… commerce“. Now, this next phrase is rather interesting. “Possess” means “To occupy in person; to have in one’s actual and physical control“. So this must mean that you have in your control the firearm or you affect the commerce. The possession must be done while participating or affecting that commerce. Finally, “to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate commerce.” Well, that last one surely must be the direct recipient, the addressee – to “receive”, as opposed to “possess”. For if that were the case, it would read, “to possess any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate commerce.” Otherwise, there would be an inequitable application of the law. The construction, if mistaken, would mean that you could possess the firearm, if it were made in your state, though you could not take it with you, if you moved. It would also mean that if the ammunition were not made in your state, then you could have the firearm, but could never use it. So, the only logical construction would be that you could not be the direct recipient – could not receive a firearm or ammunition shipped from another state. Otherwise, only those who live in a state that has a plant that manufactures firearms could possess one, and could use it only if the requisite ammunition were also manufactured within that state. If that were the case, then the federal law would only apply to those people who happen to live in certain states, which would fly in the face of the concept of equal justice for all. Further, it would defy the concept of Article IV, § 2, which states, “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all of the Privileges and Immunities of the Citizens of the several States.”

Finally, we need to look at what was intended by the Framers, as the prepared they plan for the creation of the federal government in devising the Constitution (Federalist Papers #62 – James Madison).

It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

The manipulation of the intent of a law to serve the purpose of persecution and an effort to convert decent people into informants, or, at least, force them into a submissive condition, thereby removing that spirit that made US America.

 

“No bended knee for me” – the Persecution of Robert Beecher

“No bended knee for me” – the Demonization of Robert Beecher

“No bended knee for me” – No Speedy Trial – Just Punishment

Liberty or Laws? “Felon in Possession of a Firearm” is Not Legal or Lawful

National Parks Held Hostage

National Parks Held Hostage

Just what is a “public” park?

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
October 12, 2013

Recent events have demonstrated that the US government is more than willing to create any inconvenience, whether lawful, or not, in an effort to achieve their ends. This has become abundantly apparent in the closure of portions of National Parks, without regard to the cost, or the inconvenience and private costs, as a consequence thereof.  Concessions within the parks and nearby communities dependant on the tourism brought by the parks have been financially devastated, while government revenues from leases and fees have disappeared, though cost of enforcement of shutdowns has brought upon the government additional costs. This, however, is information readily available, even in Mainstream Media.

To understand just what has happened with these parks, and just how the government has taken upon themselves the ‘responsibility’ of, as their mission states, “Protecting America’s Great Outdoors and Powering Our Future”, and at the same time, denying us, the Public, access to those parks, can best be explained by a review of the creation of these monuments to the heritage of America.

These parks are “Public Lands”. To understand just what “Public Land” are, perhaps we need to understand what “Public” means, or, at least, what it meant to the Framers of the Constitution , and, at the time that the parks and public lands came into being. To really understand this, we must look at what “public” meant to them, not as we are conditioned to believe, now, that if it is “public”, then it belongs to the government.

From Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

Public n. : The general body of mankind or of a nation, state or community; the people, indefinitely.

Public a. :
1.  Pertaining to a nation, state or community; extending to a whole people; as a public law, which binds the people of a nation or state as opposed to a private statute or resolve which respects individuals or a corporation only.
3.  Open; notorious; exposed to all persons without restriction.
4.  Regarding a community; directed to the interests of a nation, state or community.
6.  Open to common use; as a public road.
7.  In general public expresses something common to mankind at large, to a nation, state, city or town, and is opposed to private, which denotes what belongs to an individual, to a family, to a company or corporation.

So, in the noun form, it means the general body of a nation. That is not the government, that is us. When used as an adjective (preceding “land”), it is “extending to a whole people”, not the government; “exposed to all persons without restriction”; “open to common use”; or, “something common to mankind” and “is opposed to private” in any form that is not all inclusive. It does not mean “government”, which job is strictly to manage the business of government.

So, with that understood, let’s look at the creation of the first two great parks created in this country, Yosemite and Yellowstone.

Yosemite was first given to the State of California, since a National Park system had yet to be established, though the land had to be set aside to protect it from commercial usage. On June 30, 1864, the Congress approved “An Act authorizing a Grant to the State of California of the ‘Yo-Semite Valley,’ and the Land embracing the ‘Mariposa Big Tree Grove.’” That Act provides “[t]hat there shall be, and is hereby, granted to the State of California” and “that the said State shall accept this grant upon the express conditions that the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation; shall be inalienable for all time”. It further provided that “All incomes derived from leases of privileges to be expended in the preservation and improvement of the property, or the roads leading thereto.” Later, Yosemite was incorporated into the National Park system, though the intent of the creation of the park, “that the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation; shall be inalienable for all time,” is clearly stated, and the that income from the park will provide  for the “preservation and improvement”.

Clearly, the preservation of the park was outside of government and was to be paid for by those monies collected from fees, lease, and any other source, making the park a self-sustaining entity.

Just 6 years later, the first “national park” was created by “An Act To set apart a certain tract of land lying near the head-waters of the Yellowstone River as a public park,” signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant, on March 1, 1872.  This Act states that the land “is hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale under the laws of the United States, and dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Though not in the Act, funding was to be similar to that approved for Yosemite — it was to be self-sustaining. Not that “public” and “people” have become interchangeable, and do not mean “government.”

Both acts provided for protection of the land, vegetation, and animals, and to remove people who attempted to settle on those lands. However, with the exceptions provided, nothing allowed the removal of the public, for the purposes stated; as a public park, resort, recreation, and pleasuring-ground.

So, the parks were established from the public lands to specific purposes, for our (the public) benefit and enjoyment. They were self-sustaining, and unalienable.  How came they, then, to be utilized as a political tool, denying access, prohibiting parking, denial of use to leases with the respective loss of revenue, and, subject to the funding of the general government, rather than the resources that were provide at their establishment?

The intent, at their inception, was, without a doubt, well thought out and of nothing but good intentions. Subsequently, bureaucrats with small minds have promulgated rules, in defiance with the enactments of Congress, converting the parks into ‘private’ entities, owned by the government. Further, the government,. by the means of “general funding”, have taken from the parks their intended source of finance and incorporated it into the general fund budget, thereby removing the self-sustaining aspect initiated by the Congress. The government, especially the Executive Branch, has seized the “public lands” and “public parks” for their own private purposes, to be used to reward, or punish, as they see fit, that which is, by right, ours, and not to be used in the manner that has now removed them from their intended purpose.

With that in mind, what are we, the PUBLIC, going to do about it?

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
February 23, 2012

A while back, I wrote an article, The Three Boxes, about the loss of both ballot and jury boxes, tools intended by the Framers, which allowed the people a degree of protection and redress against usurpation of un-granted (unconstitutional) powers by the government.  A comment I received regarding that article was the proclamation, “We still have Freedom of Speech”.  Well, that struck me as not quite so, which has led to this article.

To properly evaluate whether we still do have, intact, Freedom of Speech, we must go to the beginning or we find ourselves simply jumping to a conclusion based upon what we have been told.  So, if we are to start at the beginning, it behooves us to think about Speech, and exactly what it is.

Now, the first reaction to this question often elicits the response, “the words that I say, I can say anything I want”.  Well, there is no doubt that Speech is the utterance of words.  However, we must consider that words uttered, absent conscious thought, are more aptly described as gibberish.

It appears, then, that we can likely agree that Speech, that protection afforded in the First Amendment, must surely be intended to also protect the Freedom of Thought.  Otherwise, it would be best described as “Freedom of Gibberish”.

So, now that we have expanded the concept of Freedom of Speech to the point that thought has to be the conscious source for the words to be uttered, we can proceed.

Well, we know that we can go stand on the street corner and speak, all that we want.  At first glance, that would seem to imply that we do have Freedom of Speech.  However, what if we said something that was, well, not really an advocacy of a crime, a threat, or some other expression that would, under the Constitution, be unlawful?  Of course, yelling “fire” in a theatre, which might result in injury as people flee a perceived peril, is prevented by virtue of reason and common sense.  Also, slander and libel, directed at a specific individual, are, likewise, subject to judicial scrutiny as civil matters.  However, at what point must we “restrict” what we say?  And, what if we do find that we have, by law, or other means, been prohibited from expressing our thoughts, whatever they may be?  I think that we can, rightfully, construe Freedom of Speech, as suggested earlier, to be, in actuality, the Freedom of Expression of Thought — so long as that expression does not result in an unlawful act.

To fully investigate the theory as to what Freedom of Speech really entails, perhaps it would serve us to pick a topic and evaluate whether, as a consequence of other factors, we are, in fact, denied Freedom of Speech.  Since most states, at some point in time, had moral laws regarding the subject, it is probably safe to look at homosexuality to begin to delve into the consequences of the social engineering, and if, in fact, it has had the effect of suppressing Freedom of Speech.

Let’s go back about fifty years.  The commonly used term for a homosexual, accepted even in academic circles, was “queer” or “homo”, or, the more offensive “faggot” or “fag”.

Queer (all definitions from Webster’s 1828 dictionary): “At variance with what is usual or normal; differing in some odd way from what is ordinary; odd; singular; strange; whimsical; as, a queer story or act”.  Well, there can be little doubt that homosexuality is “at variance with what is usual or normal”.

Fagot: “A bundle of sticks, twigs or small branches of trees…”  The term was applied to the wood bundles used to kindle the fires with which witches and queers were burned, during the Inquisition, and “fag”, the abbreviated form.

Back then, there was nothing wrong with calling a homosexual a queer.  Even if you called him a fag, there were no social consequences, unless, of course, you were in a queer bar.  That was the accepted — the norm — at the time.  After all, Freedom of Speech (and the inherent ability to express thoughts that led to the Speech) was still intact, as they had been since the ratification of the Constitution and long before.

Social engineering, however, provides us a different twist.  Social Engineering is the art of manipulating people with the purpose of having greater effect on the social structure of society.  The very act of manipulating is contrary to the Constitution; however, the much more subtle social engineering is nothing less than offensive to a free people.  However, we must understand that once exposed, the ability to manipulate is negated by virtue of knowing that an effort is being made to cause one to think differently than he would, without such manipulation.

So, to continue our understanding of Freedom of Speech, we need to understand that Freedom of Thought is based upon our free will, or, as the Framers would have described it, natural law and natural rights.

When a concerted effort is made, regardless of who is making the effort, to intrude upon those fundamental rights, we have social engineering with the intention to sway common opinion into acceptance of what might, otherwise, be unacceptable.

So, suppose we take a word that has a very positive definition and substitute that word for the word that was, before, commonly acceptable.  Of course, we would pick a word that could otherwise also be associated with the word being replaced, so, let’s choose “gay” as the word to be used for the purpose of social engineering.

Gay: “Merry; airy; jovial; sportive; frolicksome.  It denotes more life and animation than cheerful”

The connotation of gay, even four decades ago, was quite different from what many would expect.  If you were going to a party, it could be a poker party, a bridge party, birthday party, or, perhaps, a gay party.  The last being a party where, most often, drinks were served and jokes and humorous stories told — everybody had a gay time.  Surely, a positive word, even in a morally sensitive world.

That morality, however, whether Biblical, or simply a moral judgment that sex was for procreation, left homosexuality on the fringes — “at variance with what is usual or normal”.

So, a concerted effort was made by the homosexual community to replace the traditionally, morally judgmental, phrases then used with the now stolen word, “gay”.  Wait just a minute, did I say stolen?  Well, if I have something, or the use of something, and someone takes it away from me so that I can no longer use it for the intended purpose, is it not “stolen”?  At the same time, they have taken a word that had an acceptable connotation and applied it to a practice that was not deemed acceptable.  The effect is to add an air of legitimacy to what was once outlawed.

So, what affect does this have on us, especially with regard to Freedom of Speech?  Well, let’s just think (Freedom of Thought) about it.  We know that it is politically correct to use the current attribute to the sexual activity, so our minds tells us, “You can’t say queer, anymore.  You have to refer to them as “gay” (or the even more recent “same sex”).  Subtle, but, heck, through these past few decades, we have slowly begun to accept this subtle inference — and, in the process, have rejected that which was common in favor of the socially engineered word.  We have, essentially, conditioned our mind to reject that which was and replace it with that that is — even to the point of correcting someone who uses the now archaic term, queer and wondering why they would use such a vulgar term to describe an acceptable activity or condition.  Now, instead of rejecting what was once immoral activity, we tend to reject those who have not succumbed to the engineering, as if they were worse than the gay people, who have every right not to have any aspersions cast upon them.  The good have become the bad, and, the bad have become the good — the world, truly, turned upside down.

So, in a mere fifty years, we have seen that Freedom of Speech has not only been suppressed, rather, it has also developed into suppression of thought — by such subtle and manipulative means.

We must question our willingness to be socially engineered, however subtle and long term that effort might be, or we will find that we have, by Orwellian means, allowed ourselves to remove our once assured rights.

“We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part IV

“We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part IV

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 21, 2011

 

In Part I, we established what the Supreme Court determined to be “We the People”, or, “citizens of the United States”, prior to the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In Part II, we saw that the Fourteenth Amendment conferred to those not of “We the People”, regardless of prior status, a new class of people who are granted “privileges and immunities”, though not the rights inherent with “We the People”.

In Part III, we see that within a few years of ratification of the 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court confirms that “rights” were not conveyed by the Amendment.

This must lead us to question whether there is any substance to these very significant acts and decision. Is there any long-lasting affect, as a result of them?  If so, has anything changed them? If there have been no changes, are there still two distinct classes of people in this country?

Do answer these questions, we need only jump forward another 34 years, to 1908.  This Supreme Court decision will clearly lay out that there are, indeed, two classes of people, and that one is subject to federal jurisdiction and protection, while the other is not.

The case is Twining v. State of New Jersey – 211 U.S. 78 (1908). It has two elements, at least pertinent to this discussion.  First was whether there was jurisdiction, under the Fourteenth Amendment, to a state citizen; and, what did the Fourteenth Amendment extend to a “citizen of the United States”.

Albert C. Twining and David C. Cornell were indicted by a Grand Jury, and, convicted of providing “false papers” to a state banking examiner.  They were sentenced to prison terms, and Twining appealed the action of the New Jersey Court.  He held that the requirement to turn over papers to the examiner, absent a court order, denied him “due process” under the Fourteenth Amendment.  He lost that case and pursued a remedy in the Supreme Court.

Justice Moody provided the decision of the Supreme Court.  In summing up the case, he posed the following:

“. . .  whether such a law [state law] violates the 14th Amendment, either by abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, or by depriving persons of their life, liberty, or property without due process of law.  In order to bring themselves within the protection of the Constitution it is incumbent on the defendants to prove two propositions: First, that the exemption from compulsory self- incrimination is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution against impairment by the states; and, second, if it be so guaranteed, that the exemption was in fact impaired in the case at bar.  The first proposition naturally presents itself for earlier consideration.  If the right here asserted is not a Federal right, that is the end of the case.  We have no authority to go further and determine whether the state court has erred in the interpretation and enforcement of its own laws.

Well, that last point, “If the right here asserted is not a Federal right, that is the end of the case.”, will lead to the final decision of the Court, though we must first look at why they denied Twining the protection, under the Fourteenth Amendment, that he sought.

The Court brought out that two states, Iowa and New Jersey, had provisions that did not allow compulsory testimony against one’s self, and, that those two did have limits on compulsory testimony, though not as broad as the other states.  This was felt to satisfy the intent, since it was a state decision based upon their view of the intention of the Fifth Amendment (“No person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”), that established the right of the state to enact a law requiring the turning over of the papers to the examiner.

So, the question resolved itself to whether the federal interpretation of the Fifth Amendment was superior to the state law, and, if so, under what circumstances.

Since Twining and Cornel were both citizens of New Jersey, and the case was not between parties of different states, or any other qualifiers for federal intervention, they retained their status as state citizens, dealing with the laws of that state, without “Federal right[s]” being conferred to them.

Let’s separate the points of significance in this case:

  1. Is there a difference between state citizens and “citizens of the United States”, as established by the Fourteenth Amendment?
  2. If so, to what extent does the Fourteenth Amendment confer rights to those who are protected thereby?

The Court goes on to give us some insight into the second point.

“It is obvious . . . that it has been supposed by the states that, so far as the state courts are concerned, the privilege had its origin in the Constitutions and laws of the states, and that persons appealing to it must look to the state for their protection.  Indeed, since, by the unvarying decisions of this court, the first ten Amendments of the Federal Constitution are restrictive only of national action, there was nowhere else to look up to the time of the adoption of the 14th Amendment, and the state, at least until then, might give, modify, or withhold the privilege at its will.”

So, the states were within their rights, as they existed prior to the Fourteenth Amendment, and that those rights did not, until the Fourteenth was ratified, include the restrictive first ten amendments.  Prior to the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court recognized that the Constitution did not apply to the states, so long as they were not in conflict with the Constitution.  Essentially, they are conferring all privileges of those first ten amendments, to those who so qualify, for the protections afforded by the Fourteenth.

The Court continues:

The 14th Amendment withdrew from the states powers theretofore enjoyed by them to an extent not yet fully ascertained, or rather, to speak more accurately, limited those powers and restrained their exercise.  There is no doubt of the duty of this court to enforce the limitations and restraints whenever they exist, and there has been no hesitation in the performance of the duty.  But, whenever a new limitation or restriction is declared, it is a matter of grave import, since, to that extent, it diminishes the authority of the state, so necessary to the perpetuity of our dual form of government, and changes its relation to its people and to the Union.”

So, the Court recognizes an obligation to “enforce the limitations and restraints whenever they exist”.  This implies that they are addressing both points, mentioned above.  First, to determine the extent of the authority (jurisdiction of the state) imposed by the Fourteenth; and, Second, to determine to what extent the first ten amendments convey obligations to the state.

The Court continues:

“The defendants contend, in the first place, that the exemption from self incrimination is one of the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States which the 14th Amendment forbids the states to abridge.  It is not argued that the defendants are protected by that part of the 5th Amendment which provides that ‘no person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,’ for it is recognized by counsel that, by a long line of decisions, the first ten Amendments are not operative on the states.”

Twining has asserted that he is of the nature of a “citizen of the United States”, and, therefore, the state may not abridge those “privileges and immunities”.  He has declared a status as a “citizen of the United States”.

The Court then, referring to a previous case (subsequent to the Fourteenth Amendment), In Re Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. 36 (1872), and citing with the decision of that case, given by Justice Miller, in affirming that there were two classes of citizen.

“The 14th Amendment, it is observed by Mr. Justice Miller, delivering the opinion of the court, removed the doubt whether there could be a citizenship of the United States independent of citizenship of the state, by recognizing or creating and defining the former. ‘  It is quite clear, then,’ he proceeds to say, ‘that there is a citizenship of the United States and a citizenship of a state, which are distinct from each other and which depend upon different characteristics or circumstances in the individual.

So, this Court is affirming what the Court decided 34 years prior, in that there are distinct differences between the “citizenship of the United States and a citizenship of a State”.  One case, shortly after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, and another, three decades later, that affirm the conclusion of just who are “We the People”.  Can there be any doubt as to the existence of a distinction between the two classes?

The Court, after a lengthy discussion of “due process”, concludes:

The decisions of this court, though they are silent on the precise question before us [due process], ought to be searched to discover if they present any analogies which are helpful in its decision.  The essential elements of due process of law, already established by them, are singularly few, though of wide application and deep significance.  We are not here concerned with the effect of due process in restraining substantive laws, as, for example, that which forbids the taking of private property for public use without compensation.  We need notice now only those cases which deal with the principles which must be observed in the trial of criminal and civil causes.  Due process requires that the court which assumes to determine the rights of parties shall have jurisdiction.

And, they conclude that the court that has jurisdiction over the parties will prevail in a conflict of interpretation.  Since they leave the interpretation to the state court, there must be an absence of federal jurisdiction in the current case.  The Court sees Twining and Cornell to be state citizens, therefore, not afforded the” privileges and immunities”, meaning that federal jurisdiction fails to include them — an absence of federal jurisdiction.

In affirming that view, the Court said:

“Much might be said in favor of the view that the privilege was guaranteed against state impairment as a privilege and immunity of national citizenship, but, as has been shown, the decisions of this court have foreclosed that view.”

They tighten up on that conclusion, to wit:

We do not pass upon the conflict, because, for the reasons given, we think that the exemption from compulsory self-incrimination in the courts of the states is not secured by any part of the Federal Constitution.

Now, this would not be true if the case involved a party of one state against a party from another state, nor would it be true in the extension of “privileges and immunities” conferred by the Fourteenth Amendment, to “citizens of the United States”.

So, we can conclude that the “citizen of the United States” is a separate and distinct entity than the citizen of a state.  That the jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court extends only to those who have been brought into jurisdiction by the Constitution (parties of different states, etc.) or by virtue of they being the subjects brought into that jurisdiction by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Now, some will say that this case is over one hundred years old, and things have changed, since then.  But, have they?  And, if so, how have they been changed?  I can find no amendment that changes what is presented here, and must suppose that nothing has been changed.

So, in the next Part, we will see if this decision, from 1908, still has merit over half a century later.

* * * * *

Part I can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part I

Part II can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part II

Part III can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part III

Part V can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part V