The Constitution establishes sovereignty in the people, but in a republican structure, not a democracy. In keeping with the seventeenth century Enlightenment, the people as individuals have rights, and among them are to collectively establish a government and to specify its powers. The government thus formed would have had no other powers that preceded what the people gave up; we the people gave rights to the government, not the other way around. The American people demanded that the government have a written constitution, expressly enumerating the defined rights that made up the whole of the government’s powers, and none others! In exchange for what the government was to provide to all the people, the government also was made to promise to protect the liberties of the people – the Bill of Rights in the first ten amendments, and from time-to-time the Constitution has been further amended to establish additional rights, specifically in the Fourteenth Amendment making the Bill of Rights applicable to state governments. Liberty is individual and belongs to each and every person separately and equally. Finally, the most powerful means by which liberty is protected is the absence in the Constitution of police powers (public health and safety laws are police powers). All police powers are left to the states. Not stated, but underscored by liberty, each individual has freedom to do as he pleases so long as it does not interfere with anyone else’s freedom. This is explicitly expressed in the Amendments IX and X and the absence of police power:
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” (Amendment IX)
“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.” (Amendment X)
From time-to-time, the people have been concerned about whether the national government has lived up to its responsibilities to protect liberty. The Progressive Era and The Great Depression have each been problematic periods where liberties have been threatened, and many liberties lost. Those losses of liberty occurred when Justices have accepted laws passed by Congress that were viewed favorably by the people, but had no support in the Constitution for Congress to enact them. They should have been voided as unconstitutional. In other words, the Supreme Court acted as if the Constitution contained a democratic principle of law. It does not. Now, we are on the brink of more loss of liberty, and my concern is again substituting majority rule for constitutionality. A democratic constitution, if it existed, would view sovereignty as residing with the people, en mass; in other words majority rule. Majority rule has no place in the Constitution except, and only for, the election of those persons named as officers and legislators of the government and in actions specified in the Constitution for ratification by the people.
There is more. In our Constitutional Republic, the Constitution is higher law than any law passed by Congress, or any state. The Constitution is the first regard the Congress, the President, federal agencies, states and the entire judicial system of the United States should consider in the enactment of, administration and enforcement of, and adjudication of every law should have foremost in mind when considering such law. Is this law in violation of the Constitution in whole or in part? If yes, it should be brought to a dead stop! There is no other resort, even if 100% of the people wish the law to become enforceable. To go forward is violation of the oath of allegiance to the Constitution properly taken by every government official. If a law or regulation is unconstitutional, all oath-takers are violators of their oath.
We now come to the reason that I have so much truck with referrals to our democracy, such as when the Capitol building was violated by the mob and effectively taken control of by hoodlums. Equal to my pain about the mob of people that rioted was the insanity of politicians, media, et al, lamenting the violation of the people’s “Temple of Democracy.”
The Constitution is not a democratic document; it is a wholly republican document. When a woman asked Benjamin Franklin after the Constitutional Convention adjourned, “Dr. Franklin, what kind of government will we have?” He answered, “It is a republic madam; if you can keep it.” Today, we are confronted with the answer that Dr. Franklin must have had in mind. We are more and more boldly refusing to recognize our Constitutional Republic has been and is increasingly violated. The insurgency is our politicians, the media, and a few pundits who are bent upon sneaking into power to overthrow the government under cover of a democracy. Consider, democracy came from ancient Greece as the form of government of Athens, one of its city-states. It’s democracy literally turned into mob rule and then catastrophe. The Roman Republic failed from the military controlling mobs that overthrew the Senate and replaced it eventually by an emperor. France’s monarchy was overthrown in the French Revolution by the force of the mob and it too ended with an emperor. Marxism has gained power in communist countries by force of the mob. Notably, Marxism required mass murder as a means more powerful than mere doctrine for it to survive.
Publiustoo.com January 12, 2021