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How We Lost the Constitution

Let’s talk for a bit about the so-called “narrow” and “common sense” compromise being put forward by Democrats — and a few Republicans, notably Susan Collins (R-ME), to block people from buying guns if they’re “on a terror watch list.”

Sounds reasonable, right?

Well, it’s not.

And the reason it’s not has nothing to do with letting terrorists have guns. Nobody in their right mind wants to have someone who is an actual terrorist walk into a gun store and buy a firearm — or 10.

Rather, we blew it when we allowed the creation of “watch lists” that are (1) secret, (2) constrain people (e.g. “no-fly” lists) and (3) have no due process protections of any sort associated with them.

These are all unconstitutional, I remind you, to the extent they apply to American citizens.

Now it happens to be completely constitutional for The President (via the State Department) to bar anyone that is not a US Citizen from entering the country — whether by air, train, boat, car, walking or teleportation. Not only is there no Constitutional problem with doing so it is explicitly authorized by statute and no less than Jimmy Carter did exactly that during the Iranian Hostage Crisis (I’ll bet you know what group of people he banned too, right?)

Today politicians on both sides of the aisle — including Obama — like to claim that this is not “who we are.” Did they forget Carter?

It sure sounds like it.

The problem with “Secret Lists” is that there is no way to know if you’re on one up front and, if you discover you are (while trying to board a plane or buy a gun, for example) your liberties are infringed without due process of law and, often, without any means of challenge.

The government claims that disclosing this information means that their investigations may be “thwarted.” And? The issue isn’t that they have a list of people they’re watching — that’s called investigation and is part and parcel of any legitimate law enforcement agency. No, it’s the disability they impose without due process, without trial and without, in many cases, anything that would be regarded as actionable evidence of a crime.

If the government wishes to conduct investigations before getting warrants, that’s part of police work.

But imposing disabilities, including barring people from getting on a plane or buying a gun when you cannot make the case that a crime is in the process of being committed is unconstitutional, impermissible in a free society and must be stopped in its entirety.

Those who argue otherwise are IMHO not Americans and to the extent they’re in positions of political power they are not only not American they’re violating long-standing law (18 USC 242 and 42 USC 1983) and must be both civilly sued and criminally prosecuted for their crimes. (For more from the author of “How We Lost the Constitution” please click HERE)

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Watch: What Does ‘We the People’ Really Mean? A Constitutional Scholar Explains

Do you know the difference between a democracy and a constitutional republic? Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett wants to clear up any confusion.

Barnett, director of Georgetown’s Center for the Constitution, wrote the book “Our Republican Constitution” to explain what the founders really meant by “We the People” in the U.S. Constitution.

During a recent visit to The Heritage Foundation, we caught up with Barnett to talk about the book and why he’s pessimistic about the outlook of the U.S. Supreme Court following Antonin Scalia’s death and President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland.

“There’s a lot at stake with the next Supreme Court justice, but I can already tell you, I believe that fight has been lost,” Barnett said. “We have to decide how we’re going to survive under a court that is hostile to how we think.” (For more from the author of “What Does ‘We the People’ Really Mean? A Constitutional Scholar Explains” please click HERE)

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Park Ranger Tour Guide Puts Progressive Spin on Constitution, Founders

Guidon_of_the_United_States_National_Park_Service.svgA “chief of operations” at the National Park Service in Philadelphia who offers guided tours of Independence Hall stunned a group of tourists this week by declaring that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were the product of “class elites who were just out to protect their privileged status.”

PJ Media reports that Mary “Missy” Hogan, a federal employee earning at least $95,000 annually in salary and benefits, raised some eyebrows among the visitors in her tour group Monday afternoon at Independence Hall, with factual inaccuracies and disparaging comments about the Founders and the Constitution.

Several visitors in that group reported that Hogan explained to them that “the Founders knew that when they left this room, what they had written wouldn’t matter very much.” Hogan also told them that the “most important part of the Constitution written at Independence Hall was the ability to change it.”

And therein is the dead giveaway that Hogan is a progressive activist: the leftist insistence that the Constitution is a living document designed to be changed with the times according to the whims of the progressive agenda.

Hogan also got her facts wrong when she told the tour group that “King George III paid more attention to Parliament” than the colonists “because they were right there and could remove him from office.” Wrong. As J. Christian Adams of PJ Media points out, Parliament did not possess the power to remove the king from office then, and does not now. (Read more from “Park Ranger Tour Guide Puts Progressive Spin on Constitution, Founders” HERE)

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University Officials Agree to Rip up Constitution in Undercover Video

Conservatives have long accused academics of shredding the Constitution, figuratively speaking, but a Project Veritas sting operation recently caught them doing it literally.

Undercover video released last week showed administrators at Yale, Cornell, Syracuse, Vassar and Oberlin agreeing to rip up copies of the Constitution handed out off campus after an investigator posing as a student described the document as “triggering” and “oppressive.”

“Well, I think that the Constitution means things to different people; like you said it is a flawed document and the people who wrote it are certainly flawed individuals in my mind,” Cornell lead Title IX investigator Elizabeth McGrath says on the video.

Ms. McGrath agrees to rip up the hand-held copy of the Constitution and run it through a shredder after the female “student” asks, “Is there any way that maybe like we can get rid of it somehow or I can just see that like maybe it will be like therapy for me, like if you can like shred it or something?”

Project Veritas president James O’Keefe, known for his undercover video operations against ACORN and the National Public Radio, said the videos showed that the willingness to cut up the Constitution was “not an isolated incident.” (Read more from “University Officials Agree to Rip up Constitution in Undercover Video” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Oklahoma Governor Rejects Supreme Court’s Ten Commandments Ruling [+video]

Gov. Mary Fallin on Tuesday said the Ten Commandments monument will stay at the Capitol despite a court ruling that said it violated the state Constitution and must be removed.

Fallin said Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to reconsider its 7-2 decision, which was handed down last week after a challenge by the ACLU of Oklahoma on behalf of three plaintiffs.

In addition, lawmakers have filed legislation to let people vote on whether to remove a portion of the state Constitution cited in the ruling. Article II, Section 5 of the constitution reads:

“No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such,” according to the Oklahoma Constitution.

The court said the monument was obviously religious in nature and an integral part of the Jewish and Christian faiths. The constitution bans the state from using public money or property for the benefit of any religious purpose, according to the opinion. (Read more from “Gov. Mary Fallin, Monument Unmoved by Supreme Court’s Ten Commandments Ruling” HERE)

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Dignity, the Constitution, and the Bible

As noted in this writer’s most recent article, the Supreme Court decisions of the last fifty years which have declared social conservative positions related to sexuality to be unconstitutional in law have their ultimate source in the court’s own moral intuition (and that of a like-minded academic world), not the text of the Constitution. Like the court’s separation of church and state decisions from the mid-twentieth century on, which are less concerned with impartiality between religions and more concerned with striking a balance between religion and irreligion, they were simply imposed by the court on an unwilling nation, and maintained against popular protest by a cultural elite on the strength of its own conviction.

As noted in the previous article, the “right of privacy” which lies at the heart of the court’s decisions on sexual relations was cast in personal terms, as a right to sexual choice in the intimacies of marriage, and this was soon expanded, although not by good logic, to a general right of privacy held by individuals. In the crucial Eisenstadt decision (1972), it appears to have been claimed that equality demands that the rights of married persons be held by all persons (which would really abolish marriage if consistently applied, as indeed, many years later, seems to be happening). All of the concern for personal feelings and dignity in the most intimate matters of life of the original Griswold decision (1965) was carried over in later decisions from an argument about the private nature of marriage into arguments about personal freedom and dignity for all persons in making choices about sexual behavior.

It is from this viewpoint that we now are confronted with the claim that the demands of the sexual revolution override the classic freedoms of the First Amendment. Freedom of religion is disregarded where SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) laws apply; freedom of association is threatened by campus non-discrimination requirements and barely survived in the Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale decision of a decade and a half ago; freedom of speech and of the press are in much better shape in this country, with hate speech laws not allowed by the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the hate speech doctrine, in which truth is no defense, is a doctrine used by the cultural left in advancing the sexual revolution, and has been enacted into law in other countries. In an appallingly perverse twist, the right of privacy, which is the legal weapon of sexual license, and was supposed to guarantee personal dignity, is now the ultimate justification for denying privacy and dignity to most persons in public rest rooms, lest a tiny minority be subjected to indignity (in their own minds).

The Supreme Court’s edicts, which have the effect of constitutional amendments, have substantially brought this deplorable loss of freedom and democracy to pass. While it is sometimes possible to enact laws that defend religious freedom, liberty of conscience, and unborn children into law, they can only be very modest, even when passed by Congress, and even then are faced with legal challenges in an environment in which protecting conscience and life is held to be aggressive, irrational, and a personal attack. To repeat, the Supreme Court’s decisions on sexuality have no basis in the text of the Constitution, which does not mention marriage, the family, or sexual behavior, and which was enacted by people who considered that traditional Judeo-Christian sexual morality was correct for all mankind for all time. The court’s contrary reasoning is that freedom and equality are constitutional ideals, and now we know better about sexuality than the framers of the Constitution (although a large part of the public disagrees, including many very well informed people).

The court’s real claim to power rests on “substantive review” of laws, which is based on the claim that the Fifth Amendment (guaranteeing liberty), and the Fourteenth Amendment (guaranteeing the equal protection of the laws) mandate not only the equal application of laws to all citizens, but also fair law. Used by the court in the era of laissez-faire capitalism to invalidate laws aimed at restraining that view of economics, it was repudiated by the court appointed by Franklin Roosevelt in order to protect the New Deal, only to be practically revived in the second half of the twentieth century to protect the sexual revolution. While Justice William O. Douglas, the author of the Griswold decision, “declined” the “invitation” to revive substantive review generally, he effectively did so on sexual issues. The only other Roosevelt appointed justice remaining on the court, Hugo Black, commonly regarded as a liberal, delivered a devastating rebuke in his dissent:

“I repeat so as not to be misunderstood that this Court does have the power, which it should exercise, to hold laws unconstitutional where they are forbidden by the Federal Constitution. My point is that there is no provision of the Constitution which either expressly or impliedly vests power in this Court to sit as a supervisory agency over acts of duly constituted legislative bodies and set aside their laws because of the Court’s belief that the legislative policies adopted are unreasonable, unwise, arbitrary, capricious or irrational. The adoption of such a loose, flexible, uncontrolled standard for holding laws unconstitutional, if ever it is finally achieved, will amount to a great unconstitutional shift of power to the courts which I believe and am constrained to say will be bad for the courts and worse for the country. Subjecting federal and state laws to such an unrestrained and unrestrainable judicial control as to the wisdom of legislative enactments would, I fear, jeopardize the separation of governmental powers that the Framers set up and at the same time threaten to take away much of the power of the States to govern themselves which the Constitution plainly intended them to have.”

Doesn’t the Ninth Amendment say that there are rights not mentioned in the Constitution? It has to be kept in mind that this amendment was enacted shortly before judicial review made its very modest appearance in the Marbury vs. Madison decision (1803; in which the Court actually declared unconstitutional a law expanding its own authority), and certainly well before the doctrine developed into its monstrous form of today. The Founders certainly did not intend for the Supreme Court or other courts to invalidate state laws they thought violated rights not mentioned in the Constitution. Justice Black explained in his dissent that the framers were warning that the Constitution was not to be understood as saying that:

“those rights which were not singled out [by the Bill of Rights] were intended to be assigned into the hands of the General Government [the United States], and were consequently insecure.”

The Tenth Amendment speaks of powers (saying that the federal government has only the powers explicitly granted it), while the Ninth Amendment speaks of rights (saying that there are rights held against the federal government, enumerated in the Bill of Rights, but these do not mean that any power unaffected by the Bill of Rights is held by the federal government).

One may ask where the Supreme Court finds the audacity to impose its own moral intuition on the country. The real power held by the court is that of an authority with a sacred power to discern moral truth. That is the way in which its decisions are treated by much of our society, and yet everyone, including the court, would deny that it has any sacred power. Chief Justice Earl Warren, the author much of the liberal judicial activism imposed on the country, said quite honestly in an interview with the reporter Harry Reasoner after his retirement that the Supreme Court had “only its conscience” to appeal to. This sounds noble, but why is the conscience of the Supreme Court justices superior to the very different consciences of other people, some of them very well informed?

Christians do believe that there is an authority with a sacred power to declare moral truth, namely God, and that He has spoken in the Bible. There was a time when the nation sufficiently shared this view that it was not unreasonable to enact Biblical precepts into law without further justification, but today, one can understand that people want to know why certain Biblical precepts make good laws for the state. Social conservatives endeavor to give good reasons as to why traditional morality is the best basis for society, and is a reasonable basis for law. Yet on sexual issues, the court’s finding of a right to sexual choice which is fundamental to personhood really means that Biblical doctrine cannot be enacted into law, because it would violate a right to personal dignity the court has found by its own moral intuition.

The morality of personal autonomy the Supreme Court mandates is inimical to the Biblical morality of sin and salvation, indeed, the first move in either evangelism or the religious instruction of children is to say that people are sinners who should feel ashamed and be punished. Only then is there “good news.” But it is precisely this morality and message of personal responsibility, judgment and punishment which the court’s morality of autonomy holds to be oppressive. And since it is the Supreme Court and lower courts that are decreeing a morality of personal autonomy, the wider society is now being organized around a principle of self-law (which is finally lawlessness) inimical to God’s revelation in the Bible.

This stark conflict of moralities, between the Biblical condemnation of sin and the liberationist condemnation of Biblical morality as oppressive, explains the intensity of the culture war over Biblical morality. The Supreme Court’s decisions advancing homosexual liberation, Romer vs. Evans (1996), Lawrence vs. Texas (2003), and Windsor vs. United States (2013) are all intensely hostile to Biblical morality, attacking it as hateful, demeaning, and an attack on personal dignity. While the court found it necessary to refer to such constitutional doctrines as liberty and equality, it is obvious that the real controlling consideration is the claim of personal pain. That being the object of moral condemnation is painful is certainly true, but that it is therefore wrong requires the further demonstration that the condemnation is unjust. And any examination of the justice of the claims of Biblical sexual morality, one widely held from time immemorial and reinforced by the devastation wrought by promiscuity in our day, are precluded by the claim of moral autonomy.

American Christians who are serious about obeying God now have a very difficult future. Not only will they be penalized in business and the professions by the requirement that they contribute to sinful behavior in the provision of goods and services, consideration of employment, and housing, but the Christian subculture itself, established to enable Christians to obey God in the world and provide a refuge from secularization, will be attacked as contrary to the public good and impaired or destroyed through such devices as the loss of tax exemption, loss of accreditation, and the instituting of requirements that a Biblically faithful organization cannot meet. This ominous prospect, already in some measure occurring, was outlined in a recent article discussing Senator Mike Lee’s proposed legislation to protect religious organizations.

The first and overriding consideration of disciples of Christ is to obey God, regardless of the consequences. That may mean the loss of business and professional opportunity, the loss of laudable Christian achievement already existing in these areas (as witness Catholic adoption services), and the destruction of the much of the Christian subculture. But we need to stress to the larger society when and if it does happen, that the reason is not to be found in any false analogy to racism, which rested on superficial differences between people with no firm basis in Christian doctrine, or any threat of a religion dominating society (not a serious possibility in the contemporary West), and certainly not on the text of the Constitution, but on the sensibilities of the secular left, which managed over several decades to convert its desire for sexual license into constitutional law on the basis of the moral intuition a Supreme Court receptive to its wishes. We know that the future belongs to God, and will be to His glory, but we may reasonably hope that future generations will not see sensibilities as a worthy justification of the judicially enforced sexual revolution. (“Dignity, the Constitution, and the Bible”, originally posted HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

800 Years of the Magna Carta Prove the Constitution is NOT Irrelevant [+video]

The Constitution is NOT irrelevant and out dated as the progressives demand. But WE need to know WHY that is a lie.

Happy Birthday Magna Carta and enter in the perfect reason to talk and teach about the history of our Constitution and its relevance today!

THIS VIDEO WILL SET THE STAGE!

This is a brief history as told in detail by the above video:

In 1100 the people of England came together to force King Henry to sign the 1100 Charter of Liberties promising (among other things), that: 1) Government would no longer be evil and oppressive, 2) That the men making and enforcing the laws cannot hold themselves above the law and 3) People would not be forced to buy their inheritance from the government.

In 1215 the people took Liberty into their own hands. They got fed up with King John and his violations of the 1100 Charter of Liberties and they came together to create the Magna Carta of 1215. The Magna Carta provided instructions to the government about how to live up to the 1100 Charter of Liberties. The Magna Carta created a representative style government that put the people over the King. Our 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th Amendments of our Bill of Rights all come from clauses 38-40 of the Magna Carta. “The Right to Petition the Government For a Redress Of Our Grievances,” the last Liberty identified in our 1st Amendment was first codified in the Magna Carta.

SEE A MODERN DAY MAGNA CARTA: http://goo.gl/wuB9H5

This Magna Carta, put the people in direct control of the government and set the stage for three more advances in Liberty.

1) The Petition of Right of 1628, declaring that Liberty is the inherent possession of men and not the gift of government.

2) The Grand Remonstrance of 1641, recognizing that oppressive government always operates under the same M.O.: Corruption of the Courts, Infiltration of Foreign Law, Government diminishing the property Rights of the people, Government creation of fiat to control the monetary system, and Government disarming the people while keeping the Government armed.

3) The English Bill of Rights of 1689, reinforcing that maintaining Separation of Powers is essential in preserving Liberty. In 1688 they declared that it will be the complete destruction of Liberty when the Executive Branch is allowed to write law, set aside law, and over turn law, when those are powers reserved to the Legislative Branch alone.

These five documents (Charter of Liberties, Magna Carta, Petition of Right of 1628, Grand Remonstrance of 1641, and the English Bill of Rights of 1689) make the Constitution of our Founders. These five documents form the foundation of our Constitution and are the reason why John Adams said in 1765,

“Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.”

Without the Magna Carta of 1215, there would be no Declaration of Independence, no Constitution, and no Bill of Rights. We have this history to thank for our Liberty today. So let’s celebrate it and teach the truth that can defeat the progressive lies.

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

National Constitution Center to Display Rare Founding Document

Photo Credit: Scott Olson / GettyThe National Constitution Center in Philadelphia previewed the new George H.W. Bush Gallery last week and displayed its hallmark exhibition, “Constituting Liberty: From the Declaration to the Bill of Rights.”

The gallery features a first-edition copy of the Declaration of Independence and a copy of the U.S. Constitution from its first public printing.

But its star attraction—thanks to an historic agreement between the state of Pennsylvania and the New York Public Library—is an exhibition of one of the 12 remaining original copies of the Bill of Rights. This exhibition marks the first public display of the document in Pennsylvania.

The preview of the gallery opening later this year brought rare public remarks from Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. He spoke of how fitting it was for the cities of New York and Philadelphia to work in tandem to display the document, as both are former capitals of the United States.

The “Bill of Rights codifies the rights in the Declaration of Independence,” Alito said. “The Bill of Rights is needed to keep the federal government and the state governments in check, that they do not violate precious individual rights. … The precious freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights are always fragile, are always under threat.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Citizens Jailed on Trumped Up Charges a Foretaste of Coming Woes?

Photo Credit: abardwellSeveral trusted friends with significant contacts in the federal government have reported that they personally know of many citizens who are sitting in jail on trumped up charges, all the result of retaliatory actions on the part of the federal government. The reason? The only reasonable explanation is that the current administration and its enablers in Congress seem determined to punish those who run afoul of what the Washington elitists deem to be the politically correct manner of speaking and behaving in the new world order.

While many of these citizens are being held in prison on trumped up charges, others are “guilty” of obscure laws that are rarely enforced. But federal attorneys with an agenda can use these laws to put away an unsuspecting citizen who is not only unaware that they committed a crime(s) but unaware that such laws exist at all.

A report was issued last year in a book which indicated that the average citizen in the United States commits an average of three crimes per day, most if not all of which are felonies. These citizens are unaware of problems with their actions due to the fact that so many laws are on the books that it is impossible to keep up with them all. It is even difficult for lawyers to keep up with them. But in this day and age under an oppressive government such as the Obama regime, woe be unto you if you show up on their radar screen as a troublemaker for the political goals and ideology of the Administration. You could find yourself in trouble with the law, even federal prosecutors, the most dishonest of which will find a rationale, any rationale, using obscure laws, to create a legal nightmare for the unsuspecting citizen.

Once a citizen demonstrates to the Washington political elitists that he may be a significant threat to the goals of the current government and thus shows up on the radar screens of the Obama Administration, the elitist leadership in Congress, and the Justice Department in particular, it is easy enough for that citizen to become a target. The purpose is to silence their voices and discredit them. How better to do that than to bring false charges against these citizens, many of whom lack the funds, time, and resources to mount a successful defense? So, it’s off to prison they go for crimes they did not commit.

Read more from this story HERE.

Sen. Ted Cruz Plans Constitutional Amendment to Protect State Marriage Laws

Photo Credit: American Life LeagueIn the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s refusal to review five court cases in which lower courts overturned individual states’ marriage protection laws, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, slammed the court for “abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution” and announced his plan to introduce a Constitutional amendment preventing federal legislators and judges from interfering with state-level laws defining marriage.

“The fact that the Supreme Court Justices, without providing any explanation whatsoever, have permitted lower courts to strike down so many state marriage laws is astonishing,” he said.

“This is judicial activism at its worst,” Cruz added. “The Constitution entrusts state legislatures, elected by the People, to define marriage consistent with the values and mores of their citizens. Unelected judges should not be imposing their policy preferences to subvert the considered judgments of democratically elected legislatures.”

In the absence of a Supreme Court ruling about the legality of marriage protection laws, which generally define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, the nation has rapidly become a patchwork landscape of differing definitions of what it means to be “married.”

Read more from this story HERE.