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.