Attorney Rees Lloyd
December 30, 2010
The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution were ratified on December 15, 1791. The Bill of Rights began in the First Amendment with five of the most important words ever writ to protect personal liberty and to expressly limit the power and scope of government: "Congress shall make no law…."
Those five words of the First Amendment are but the first of the commands of the Bill of Rights to evidence that each amendment was intended by the Founding Fathers to expressly limit the central government's powers, and to expressly protect the rights of individual citizens, and the States.
The question facing Americans of this generation is whether we will fight an expanding federal government, including the federal judiciary as well as Congress and the Executive Branch, to preserve and protect the rights of the Bill of Rights which are being eroded.
The First Amendment, after commanding that "Congress shall make no law," expressly prohibit the federal government from adopting laws infringing on freedom of religion -- through a prohibition against establishment of a national religion as had happened in England and European nations, and through an express guarantee of "free exercise" of religion; freedom of speech; freedom of the press, freedom to peacefully assemble and to petition for redress of grievances.
In regard to freedom of religion, it must be noted that nowhere in the Bill of Rights, or the Constitution, did the Founding Fathers include "separation of church and state," although modern-day Liberals have convinced many Americans such a doctrine appears in the Constitution. (It doesn't. Period.).
The Founding Fathers, most of whom fought in the War of Independence to secure liberty, expressly provided in the Second Amendment that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." And in the Third, they protected Americans from having soldiers in their homes without consent in peace time, as had happened when English troops were quartered in American homes before independence.
The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments guaranteed rights to Americans protecting them when their liberty is threatened in criminal law matters, and the Seventh guaranteed a right to jury trial in civil actions.
The Ninth Amendment made clear that because certain powers of the federal government were enumerated, that enumeration "shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
The Tenth Amendment expressly further provides: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." (The ten amendments of the Bill of Rights are appended below).
The Bill of Rights has now stood for some 219 years, and has made Americans the envy of the world, in which the protected rights expressed in the Bill of Rights are only dreamed about by most of the world's people.
However, perhaps never before have the freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights been as threatened as they are today by an ever-expanding Congress, ever-expanding Executive Branch, and, perhaps the most pernicious of all, an ever-expanding Judicial Branch, in which only one class of citizens may serve, lawyers.
Those unelected, unaccountable, life-tenured lawyers sitting as federal judges, ruling in robes like feudal Lords or Old Testament High Priests, and sitting high above citizens on raised "benches" in marbled and palatial federal courts intended to awe and intimidate mere mortals, have made themselves the supreme power of the nation.
They have grasped onto themselves the power to veto acts of Congress, and the Executive Branch -- and laws and constitutional provisions established by citizens through ballot measures, like Prop 9 on homosexual marriage in California -- under the doctrine of "judicial review." They arrogantly create rights that are not in fact in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. For one notorious instance, lawyers ruling from the raised bench of the Supreme Court found a constitutional "right of privacy" not written in the Bill of Rights but existing "in the penumbra of the emanations of the express rights." This is witch-doctor talk, perceiving rights in "emanations." (And I am not making it up, see Griswald vs. Connecticut, and Roe vs. Wade, in which the right to abortion is found in the "penumbra…of the emanatiions" that these peculiarly gifted lawyers can perceive, shamen-like, in the Constitution. Does anyone seriously believe that the Constitution written by such as Gen. George Washington, James Madison, John Adams, etc. et. al., was meant to provide a constitutional right to abortion?)
At the same time, these same lawyers nullify rights that are expressly written, i.e., including in the particular ,the Ninth and Tenth Amendments in their entirety, which appear to expressly protect the rights of the people and the States from usurpation by the federal government, but which modern lawyer-judges view contemptuously as out-dated, simply not worthy of respect or enforcement.
Thomas Jefferson, perhaps America's greatest genius of liberty, author of the Declaration of Independence whose personal motto was "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God," prophetically warned us: "It is a dangerous doctrine, indeed, to consider the judges to be the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions. It will lead to a despotic oligarchy." He was right; it has.
Jefferson further observed: "It has long been my opinion, and I have never shrunk for its expression…that the germ of dissolution of our fedeeral government is in the constitution of our federal judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare crow), working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing in its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one."
In agreement with Jefferson modernly is one of America's greatest living military heroes, Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady (USA, ret.), Medal of Honor recipient (Vietnam). Gen. Brady, in peace is an author and patriot who, among other things, served for ten years as Chairman of the Citizens Flag Alliance of The American Legion and others, which has led the effort for an amendment to the Constitution to authorize Congress to pass legislation protecting the Flag from desecration. That effort has been made necessary by judicial decisions of lawyers on the Supreme Court (see, Johnson vs. Texas) that burning the Flag, or "defecating on it," constitute "speech" that the Founding Fathers, including Gen. George Washington, intended to protect under the First Amendment.
Pardon me, but I believe that anyone, even lawyers on the Supreme Court, who believes that "defecating" is an act "speech," is talking out of the wrong orifice. Such a judicial opinion, or such a judicial officer, doesn't deserve to be respected or obeyed by free American citizens.
Gen. Brady, who believes that the Supreme Court's "defecation is speech" doctrine confounds common sense as well as constitutional sense, states succinctly as to the modern judiciary: "The greatest threat to American freedom today is not Al Queda or Muslim terrorists. We can defeat them. The greatest threat to American freedom today is the American judiciary."
Indeed, today, we Americans face a federal government so expansive (and expensive) that a Democrat Congress and Democrat President have for the first time in history imposed upon citizens a system of socialized medicine in which Americans are commanded by a law of Congress to buy a product, health insurance as specified by Congress and President Obama, whether we want or need it or not. For instance, Congress legislates and the Obama Executive Branch enforces an Act of Congress that commands that Americans in their twenties must buy insurance providing for fertility treatments, and young males must be insured for pre-natal care. At the same time, we cannot buy insurance that we do need or want, e.g., catastrophic insurance only, if that is what we want, or policies for senior citizens neither desiring nor needing insurance for fertility treatments, pre-natal care, alcohol or drug abuse, or sex-change surgery.
There are no express words in the U.S. Constitution giving the federal government power to order Americans to buy any particular product. Even auto insurance, which may be mandated by States in connection with the exercise of the "privilege" of driving, doesn't compel that every driver buy every coverage available. But, the expanded and expanding Congress and Executive Branch are counting on an expanded and expanding Judicial Branch to find such authority in the Commerce Clause, no matter that clause was written by Founding Fathers who expressly sought to limit the federal government, not expand the central government at the expense of the States and "the people."
Therefore, this major cultural shaping issue, which will transform the U.S. as President Obama threatened he would, from a nation of limited government based on individual freedom and personal and governmental responsibility, into a European-style neo-socialist state, is now in the hands of lawyers sitting as judges.
It is a judiciary so blatantly contemptuous of "the people" and the States that, for instance, a homosexual judge has nullified, under the U.S. Constitution, a state constitutional amendment established by millions of voters in California declaring that "marriage" is to be defined as it has for thousands of years, i.e., as a union of "a male and female" (both human, any distress to the ACLU notwithstanding). And a female judge in Riverside, CA, who never served a day in the military, has declared the "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" policy re open homosexuality in the armed forces to be "unconstitutional" and enjoined its enforcement for the entire military.
Now, that's power. One single, unelected, unaccountable homosexual judge in the Prop 8 homosexual marriage case nullifies the will of millions of voters, and another federal judge with no military experience nullifies a policy affecting millions in the military – while we are at war againstt terrorism. It brings to mind Sharespeare's line in Julius Caesar: "Upon what meat has this our Caesar fed that he is grown so great?"
Americans must ask and answer a fundamental question: If the Judiciary has the power to check the power of Congress, and of the Executive Branch, then who and what checks the power of the Courts? Famed former Supreme Court Justice Harlan answered that question: "No one. We must check ourselves."
There is a better answer: "We, the People," must check the power of the judiciary, as the the people are ultimate sovereigns of this free republic.
Can it be done:? "Yes, we, the People, can and should check the judiciary. There is nothing in the Constitution which commands that the American people must kow tow to any branch of the federal government," states Medal of Honor recipient Gen. Brady. "We can check what is fast becoming judicial tyranny. First, we have to take them out of those robes. Put them in business suits or other clothing that citizens wear to court. And bring them down from those raised benches. Put them at the level of the citizens they are ruling over. Let them know that We, the People, are still the sovereign in America."
219 years ago, our American Founding Fathers created the Bill of Rights
to protect the American people, and the States, from infringement of
their rights by the federal government.
Today, those rights are in peril, and, if they are to be preserved, it will have to be by ordinary Americans willing to walk in the footsteps of the Founders, and fight to preserve and protect the freedom the Founding Fathers bequeathed to us from infringement by an expanding Congress, expanding Executive Branch, and unelected, unaccountable lawyers ruling us as judges-for-life in the ever-expanding Judicial Branch.
THE BILL OF RIGHTS
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
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.
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.
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Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
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.
© 2010 Rees Lloyd - All Rights Reserved
REES LLOYD is a longtime civil rights attorney and veterans activist whose work has been honored by, among others, the California Senate and Assembly, and numerous civil rights, workers rights, and veterans rights organizations. He has testified as a constitutional expert at hearings before the U.S. House and Senate representing The American Legion.
He has been profiled, and his work featured, by such varied print media as the Los Angeles Times and American Legion Magazine, and such broadcast media as ABC's Nightline and 20/20, Fox News In The Morning, and, among others, by Hannity. His writings have appeared in a variety of national, regional, and local newspaper, magazine, and other publications. He is a frequent radio commentator, and a sought after speaker.*
[*For identification only. The views expressed here are solely Rees Lloyd's and not necessarily any person, entity or organization he may otherwise represent. ]