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Tuesday, August 11, 2015 9:14
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A recent article from USA Today reveals that former Justice Stevens of the US Supreme Court has joined the ranks of outspoken Supreme Court Justices who feel that the Constitution is outdated. Stevens unabashedly proclaims that “we should change the Constitution” in order to fix “the nation’s most intractable problems.” While it is disturbing that his first proposal is aimed at the Second Amendment, it is more troubling how he views the rights spelled out in the Constitution. 

According to the Article, Stevens claims that it should be made clear that only a “state’s militia” should have a “constitutional right to bear arms.” Therein lies the crux of the problem—THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS!! 

Our rights do NOT come from the Constitution. Our rights, as Jefferson so eloquently explained in the Declaration of Independence, are “unalienable Rights” with which we have been “endowed by [our] Creator.” 

The so-called Bill of Rights was not written as a dispensary of specific, limited privileges to be bestowed upon American citizens. The first ten amendments were actually written as a reminder to the national government that all rights belong to the People and NOT to the government. 

The Bill of Rights was also written to remind us that the government was created by the People who delegated a very small portion of their God-given rights to that government for the express purpose of creating a national government that would protect the People in their God-given rights from foreign invaders.

This truth is written so plainly into the Tenth Amendment that even a usurping Justice of the Supreme Court would be able to understand it: “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.” US CONST. X AMEND. In other words, the government only has the powers specifically delegated to it by the Constitution. Everything else belongs to the People. 

Stevens’ view on the matter supports the very reason Hamilton argued against including the Bill of Rights into the Constitution. Hamilton knew that “men disposed to usurp” would eventually come along and use the “Bill of Rights” as a “plausible pretense for claiming power” that did not exist. Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, Letter 84.

Hamilton and Madison both tried to underscore the all important truth that the Constitution was an itemized listing of “powers delegated” to the “federal government” that contained just a “few and defined” powers. Madison, The Federalist Papers, Letter 45. Hamilton went so far as to say that an inclusion of the Bill of Rights into the Constitution was not only “unnecessary” but “would even be dangerous.” Id. 

Under the Constitution, “the people surrender nothing”, Hamilton argued, “and as they retain every thing they have no need of particular reservations.” Id. According to Hamilton, the Preamble to the Constitution was “a better recognition of popular rights, than volumes of those aphorisms” listed in a “bill of rights.” Id. 

The Constitution, he continued, “is merely intended to regulate the general political interests of the nation.” It is NOT meant to be “a constitution which has the regulation of every species of personal and private concerns.” Id. This is very good instruction for judges like Stevens.

Sadly, we have strayed from this very basic tenet of the Constitution to the point where we now find ourselves looking to overseers like Stevens to tell us what we can and cannot do. The discerning individual will quickly realize the danger of this kind of thinking. The court, which sees itself as the self-appointed interpreter of the Constitution, therefore, becomes the dispenser of personal liberties and, if they can dispense, they can also take away.

Roe v. Wade serves as the prime example of this thinking. In that case, the Court declared that there was a “penumbra” of rights that only they could see in the Constitution. Stevens’ last statement in the USA Today article is proof of this fact as he makes the claim that “government surveillance programs” are “constitutional”. 

Therefore, according to Stevens, the grand dispensers of our individual rights are now able to even ignore the very specific language written into the Bill of Rights as with the Fourth Amendment, which clearly affirms our God-given right “to be secure” in our “persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” 

One has to wonder what Stevens and others like him think about the mandatory language in Article VI incumbent upon ALL “judicial officers” to “be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support the Constitution”?

Lincoln warned us of the problem with the Stevens’ brand of governing in his First Inaugural Address: “the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.”

It is time to WAKE UP and realize that our once God-given rights are now subject to the whims of nine, unelected judges on the Supreme Court and that whatever those nine people tell us is going to be enforced by an imperialist who sits in the White House. 

©May 2014 There Are No Such Things As Constitutional Rights, Madame Publius™

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