A Strict Construction of the U.S. Constitution
- A Strict Constructionof the U.S. ConstitutionA Response to Dan Manville From Ron Branson - National J.A.I.L. CICFrom: Dan Manville [mailto:dmanville197474@...]
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2007 4:59 AM
Subject: Re: ***The Final Authority in America***From reading your reports, it seems that you believe in a strict construction of the constitution. This would then mean that the words of the constitution as they were understood in its creation would control. This would mean that the constitution is not a living document and when you bring an eighth amendment claim that chaining inmates in their cell could not be held unconstitutional because at the time of the creation of the constitution this is what was allowed. It seems that you attack without fully thinking how your words can be used against those who are most in need of a living constitution.Response by Ron BransonDear Mr. Daniel Manville:One of our late U.S. Supreme Court Justices appropriately touched on your concern, concluding that the best way to repeal bad laws is to give them strict enforcement. This is not to be interpreted to mean that I believe that the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is bad law.The entire purpose of law, including the supreme law of this land, the Constitution, is so that all People may know exactly and precisely the standard by which issues are measured. The Word of God addresses this issue in I Cor.14:8, "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"When one approaches a STOP sign, is it feasible for one to have to pause and interpret what "STOP" means? Of course not. Any law that is subject to multiple interpretations by common people is void for vagueness. God said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," "Thou shalt not steal," "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." These are clear and unequivocal commands from God. But what if we were to adopt a "living" interpretation of these commands, could we adopt the interpretation of "Thou shall not commit adultery except under dire circumstances of last resort"? or "Thou shalt not steal, except in dire need,"? or "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor unless truth is just too embarrassing"? Exodus 20.What good is a yardstick if it is a "living" yardstick adaptable to circumstances? or a measuring cup that renders false readings? If the U.S. Constitution is lacking in its wording, the proper method of curing the problem is set forth in the Constitution itself - amendments. If we are going to entertain "living" interpretations of the Constitution, then why not "living" laws, and "living" regulations subject to anyone's interpretations. Is this not the ingredient for anarchy and revolution?Thomas Jefferson stated, "Let more be heard of confidence in men, but rather bind them down by the chains of the Constitution." We all understand what a chain is. This does not refer to a "living" chain. We could imagine what would happen if the timing-chain in our automobile engine was a "living" timing chain, or our watches rendered "living" time, or we bought and sold property with big and small acres. "... thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." Deuteronomy 25:15.Truth is absolute and fixed, not nebulous or fuzzy! Man deals in generalities and relevance, truth in narrowness and absolutes! Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life:" John 14:6. What is there left to discuss?We must stick to a literal interpretation of the Constitution, and not a pliable one designed after the U.S. Supreme Court, and this is precisely what J.A.I.L. will accomplish!-Ron Branson
J.A.I.L. News Journal
Judicial Accountability Initiative Law______________________________________________________Los Angeles, California July 1, 2007______________________________________________________The Battle Lines are Drawn: J.A.I.L. versus The Foreign PowerA Power Foreign to Our Constitution
The Final Authority in AmericaThe Constitution or Supreme Court Precedent?By: Barbie, ACIC, National J.A.I.L.This message is a sequel to our J.A.I.L. News Journal (JNJ) of 5/16/07 titled "The Right to Redress --not Petition" http://www.jail4judges.org/JNJ_Library/2007/2007-05-16.html wherein we discussed the decision by the Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, decided May 8, 2007, in the We The People Foundation (WTP) "Right to Petition" lawsuit which may be found atIn analyzing that appellate decision, we stated as our second point:"2. The court fails to rely on the Constitution as its supreme authority.The final full paragraph of the decision states:We need not resolve this debate, however, because we mustfollow the binding Supreme Court precedent. See Tenet v. Doe,544 U.S. 1, 10-11 (2005). And under that precedent, Executiveand Legislative responses to and consideration of petitions areentrusted to the discretion of those Branches. (Pg.9)"We concluded: "As the guardian of petitioners' rights, the federal court had the responsibility of overruling that 'precedent' as violative of the Constitution. Court precedent is not binding if it violates the Constitution." We then pointed out what the concurring judge had said in the opinion:"The concurring judge even stated:Even where the plain text yields a clear interpretation, the SupremeCourt has rejected a pure textualist approach in favor of an analysisthat accords weight to the historical context and the underlying purposeof the clause at issue. (Concurring Opinion, Pg.1)"And we concluded on that statement: "The 'weight to the historical context' can mean whatever the judges want it to mean--that's a very vague and subjective standard not deserving of the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson said: 'Let no more be heard of confidence in men, but rather bind them down by the chains of the Constitution.' ... [The Constitution] does not require any crutch, such as an 'historical context' in the subjective opinion of judges, upon which to maintain its integrity. Indeed, all judges are bound by their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. They do not take an oath to uphold and defend 'Supreme Court precedent.' "Our final conclusion stated: "Relying on anything other than the Constitution, and going beyond the limitations of the Constitution in making this decision renders it null and void."
That JNJ brought us a reference to Robert Bork who said in his 1996 book Slouching Toward Gomorrah about the need for the American people to essentially declare political independence from the unconstitutional rulings of the Supreme Court:
“There appears to be only one means by which the Federal courts, including the Supreme Court, can be brought back to constitutional legitimacy. That would be a Constitutional amendment making any federal or state court decision subject to being overruled by a majority vote of each house of Congress. The mere suggestion of such a remedy would bring down cries that this would endanger our freedoms. To the contrary, as already noted, it is the courts that are not merely endangering our freedom, but actually depriving us of them, particularly our most precious freedom, the freedom to govern ourselves democratically . . . .”
The Constitution v. Supreme Court PrecedentAlso, as a result of that JNJ, we were referred to a lecture titled:“THE INTEREST OF THE MAN”: JAMES MADISON, POPULARCONSTITUTIONALISM, AND THE THEORY OF DELIBERATIVEDEMOCRACY - Larry D. Kramer, NYU School of Law, Legal History Colloquium
March 21, 2007 (p.2) http://www.law.nyu.edu/tlhc/spring07/Kramer.pdfKramer's Biography : http://www.law.stanford.edu/directory/profile/37/
The Kramer lecture analyzes "popular constitutionalism" versus "legal constitutionalism" sometimes referred to as "judicial supremacy."The stakes are indeed high once we accept that the Justices have the power to decide for us what the Constitution means, and that their decisions determine, finally, what constitutional law “is.” ¶ Constitutionalism in the Founding era was different. Then, power to interpret (and not just the power to make) constitutional law was thought to reside with the people. And not theoretically or in the abstract, but in an active, ongoing sense. It was the community at large—not the judiciary, not any branch of the government—that controlled the meaning of the Constitution and was responsible for ensuring its proper implementation in the day-to-day process of governing. This is the notion I labeled “popular constitutionalism”—to distinguish it from “legal constitutionalism” or the idea that constitutional interpretation has been turned over to the judiciary and, in particular, to the Supreme Court. (Kramer, p.2)
It stands to reason that the People (the community at large) would "control[ ] the meaning of the Constitution and [be] responsible for ensuring its proper implementation in the day-to-day process of governing" since the Constitution itself is the "consent of the governed" from which government, which includes the judiciary, derives its just powers. See JNJ 1/30/07 "The Consent of the Governed is The U.S. Constitution" http://www.jail4judges.org/JNJ_Library/2007/2007-01-30B.html.
"Constitutionalism in the Founding era" remains the same today, despite developments since then that have eroded the consent of the governed and turned constitutional authority over to the judiciary, "and, in particular, to the Supreme Court" creating the doctrine of "Judicial Supremacy."
The J.A.I.L. Initiative specifically sets forth in ¶15 Procedures ". . . The Jurors shall keep in mind, when making their determination, that they are entrusted by the People of this State with the duty of restoring judicial accountability and a perception of justice. The standard of authority by which the Jurors shall be guided in making their determinations shall not be opinions of courts, but shall be the Constitutions of [State] and of the United States and laws made in pursuance thereof. . . ."
As pointed out in The Claremont Institute Constitution Day By Ronald J. Pestritto, Ph.D Posted September 15, 2000: http://www.claremont.org/publications/precepts/id.123/precept_detail.asp, American government, which includes the judiciary, is based on the fact of "Constitutional Supremacy":
" ...[C]onstitutional government means that our governing institutions — legislatures, executives and executive agencies, and courts — are bound by a higher authority. These institutions can only exercise powers that are first granted to them by the Constitution. As Alexander Hamilton put it in The Federalist Papers, which were written to explain and defend the American Constitution by those who framed it, the Constitution is the "superior" authority and the government is the "inferior"; the Constitution is the "original" power and the government is the "derivative"; the Constitution is the "principal" and the government is the "deputy." This notion of limited, constitutional government means that any exercise of power not authorized by the Constitution is illegitimate." Indeed, this raises the question: Why have a Constitution at all, if opinions of the Supreme Court supersede it? Law students are taught that the law is not what the law says, but what the judges say the law says.
"Judicial Supremacy" implies that the judiciary has inherent power; but to the contrary, we know that the Judicial is one branch of government which functions with delegated power, loaned from the People (the governed), by their consent, who do have by nature inherent, sovereign power endowed by their Creator which the judiciary does not have. The judiciary in America has not been knighted with "the divine right of kings" --we have separated, and claimed our independence, from kingship rule, and have established the rule of law by the Constitution. "This theory of 'consent' is historically contrasted to the divine right of kings ..." Consent of the Governed http://www.answers.com/topic/consent-of-the-governed.
Quite ironically, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second highest Court in this Land, has done something with the WTP lawsuit that it cannot do-- it has effectively overruled its own source of power, i.e., the consent of the governed via the Constitution, and fraudulently bestowed it upon its senior brethren, the Supreme Court, which is but a higher level of the same receptacle of delegated power via the Constitution! "Because consent is the only legitimate source of political power, government must rule according to the rule of law. In other words, government cannot simply exercise power as it wishes, but must instead exercise power according to rules and laws authorized by the consent of the people." Constitution Day (supra).
Question: Would the People have consented to "the right of the People to petition government for a redress of grievances" to mean petitioning WITHOUT obtaining a redress of grievances?
What would be the point? "Redress of grievances" is part of the Clause itself! Just who is the Supreme Court to overrule the People in determining that "Executive and Legislative responses to and consideration of petitions are entrusted to the discretion of those Branches"? Did the People consent to that disposition of their petitions FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES, the specific purpose stated in the Constitution?
Too many people have pushed the door wide open for the counterfeit power of "Judicial Supremacy" to march in, by claiming that "There is no Constitution." The Constitution has not been repealed as a matter of law. The fact that the powers-that-be don't recognize nor respect the Constitution doesn't, ipso facto, mean that it doesn't exist! It only means that America has been taken over by a power that fraudulently exercises a power that is foreign to the Constitution, i.e., a foreign power is sitting at the controls and is not legitimate in this country. It's time people quit being apologists for this foreign power and stand up for America and our Constitution! Let's especially remember that, this coming Independence Day, the Fourth of July.
J.A.I.L. (Judicial Accountability Initiative Law) www.jail4judges. org
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