“Where’s the justice, where’s the law? Raise your healthy voice.” ~ Ted Nugent, Stormtroopin’ (1975)
The U.S. Department of Justice, commonly referred to as simply the Justice Department, is a subdivision of the Executive Branch of the government under the control and authority of the United States Attorney General. Their primary function is to ensure that the laws are upheld and that justice is served. (So what went wrong? ~ Ed.)
The Constitution, as ratified in 1789, created neither the office of the Attorney General, nor the Department of Justice; both were established after the Constitution was ratified. The position of U.S. Attorney General was established shortly after the Constitution went into effect when Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789; which in my opinion was a horrendous mistake as it laid the foundation for a system in which federal courts and prosecutors could usurp the power and authority of the systems of justice of the individual States.
The office of U.S. Attorney General, at first, was a part time position, and its function was to advise the government as to the law. However, as government bureaucracy grew the position became full time and required a much larger staff of lawyers and legal experts to perform its functions.
The Department of Justice, or DOJ, was established in 1870 by an act of Congress which was subsequently signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant. The Attorney General is the top lawyer in the U.S. and the DOJ is the controlling body for the law enforcement branch of our government and includes agencies such as the FBI, the BATF, and the DEA. While the DOJ is headquartered in Washington D.C. they maintain field offices throughout the country where they can impose the law upon the subjects in America. Ooops, I meant to say provide justice equally throughout the land; sorry, my sarcasm got the best of me.
Although we take it for granted that federal authority extends beyond the boundaries that separate the States from the federal government, it wasn’t always so; there was a time when the people believed the federal authority stopped at the border of the individual States.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution states that one of the powers given Congress was, “To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings.”
The reason I bring that up is because it brings up the question of whether we have a federal or a national form of government. Under a federal form of government the authority and jurisdiction of the central government affects the States as political entities; leaving the States free to govern their own internal policing and the passing of laws that affect the people. However, under a national form of government the boundary that once stood between the central government and the people is erased and federal jurisdiction extends to each and every person living in this country.
With that thought in mind, go back and closely re-read that passage from Article 1, Section 8; I think you’ll find that since the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government ONLY extended to the 10 square mile area established for our nation’s capital, and whatever forts, arsenals, and other federal buildings, that we were, at one time, a federal system of government.
In fact, that is the form of government James Madison promised in Federalist 45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.
The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” (My emphasis)
So how is it that the federal authority now extends into the States, and affects us directly? How many laws has the federal government enacted that we, as private citizens, must obey or face fines, imprisonment, and even death should we resist the authority of the jack booted thugs who we call LAW ENFORCERS; both federal and local.
For instance, the federal assault weapons ban allows for agents of the BATF to come into a State and arrest those who own weapons the government has categorized as illegal; when that is a clear violation of the restrictions imposed upon government by the 2nd Amendment.
The 2nd Amendment only states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; it does not define what is meant by the word arms. Arms could be swords, bows and arrows, or a fully automatic rifle or pistol. The 2nd Amendment does not, as some mistakenly believe it does, protect our right to keep and bear arms, it simply tells government that it cannot enact a law which restricts that right. It is up to each and every one of us to do the protecting by choosing to ignore any law that violates that right. Unfortunately, when the government can, and routinely does, send in its jack booted thugs to harass, arrest, and sometimes kill those who resist its authority, the law is, as Jefferson said, often but the tyrants will.
Another example is federal drug laws. By which clause of the Constitution does the government have the authority to pass laws saying what substances we can put into our bodies; especially if those substances are naturally occurring, such as is the case with marijuana, peyote, and psilocybin? Yet they have made the use of these naturally occurring substances a crime, and the Drug Enforcement Agency, (another subdivision of the DOJ) will come in and harass and arrest those who violate federal drug laws.
Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence, the entire thing? One of the grievances leveled against King George was, “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.” Golly gee, that sounds just like what our government does today, and nobody bats an eye over it. Patrick Henry railed over the abuses of power by, what he called, federal sheriffs; which is what today we call federal agents.
Yet for all this, laws are merely words written upon a piece of paper; they need force to be upheld, or imposed upon those they apply to. That force is the Department of Justice; it is the law enforcement branch of the federal government; the jack booted thugs who enforce the law regardless of whether it has any foundation or justification in the Constitution. They are the modern day SS that imposes the will of tyrants; with a little help and cooperation from local law enforcement as well.
Trust me, all of this is leading somewhere and if you bear with me that will become clear.
All these federal agents, and those who work in cooperation with them, are acting under the authority vested in them by the Department of Justice; which, being a cabinet level position gets its authority from the President. What it all boils down to is that the DOJ, and all its component parts, are responsible for enforcing whatever laws the government enacts.
What about justice; where does that fit into the picture? One of the definitions of the word justice is: the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity. Have you ever seen a photo or image of Lady Justice? If you haven’t, this is what it looks like:
There are three distinct characteristics explained by that image. The first is that justice is blind; that is it pays no regard for status or position in life. Both the rich and the poor, the high bred and the common man are all equally entitled to equal justice under the law. The second is that Lady Justice is shown holding a pair of scales; which means that in all questions of justice both sides of the argument are weighed against each other and the one that has the preponderance of evidence is what determines whether an action is criminal or not. Finally, Lady Justice is shown brandishing a sword. The sword signifies the enforcement power of a system of justice; the ability to impose penalties and punishment upon those who violate the law.
How can there be justice in this country when our lawmakers not only violate the law, but they impose laws upon us that restrict our rights and liberty? The federal government has an entire section devoted to the enforcing of their laws upon us, as well as a system of courts where the penalties for violating the law are enforced. Yet show me where we have any system, or even means, to bring charges against our lawmakers for violating the law; let alone imposing penalties upon them if they do.
Stop your arguing, show me which law enforcement branch will, on behalf of the people, arrest a lawmaker for violating their oath to support and defend the Constitution. Show me which Attorney General will bring charges against them if they do. Show me which judge, or what court, would hear such a case if it were presented to them.
Now tell me again how there is any kind of justice in America…
It has been written by numerous legal scholars that the average American commits at least 3 felonies a day going about their daily affairs. There are so many laws on the books that people have no way of knowing whether what they are doing is legal or if it violates the law.
For the most part government will leave you alone and you’ll hardly notice it’s all encompassing authority. As long as you work, pay your taxes, and don’t do anything horrific that violates the life or liberty of another, you will be free to live your live as you please. That’s what passes for freedom in America today.
But, should you choose to say, “You know, this law violates my rights, so I’m simply going to ignore it and do what it says I’m not supposed to do anyway.” If you begin asserting the rights that have been taken from you; if you get too close to that thing called liberty, that system of IN-justice will become something you are intimately familiar with it, as it will come down upon you like a ton of bricks.
Most people don’t care that justice no longer exists in America; for they are content to live in a restrictive society where the rights of others can be violated with impunity if it serves the overall public good. Yet Thomas Jefferson said something once that people ought to keep in mind, “It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others; or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.”
What Jefferson means by that is that you should not sit by idly while the rights of others are being violated, for one day your rights might be violated as well and you’ll wish there was someone there to defend them for you.
The entire system of justice in America is broken and corrupt; from the highest court in the land all the way down to the beat cop who’s just doing his job. The government enacts laws it isn’t supposed to and the Supreme Court validates and gives credence to its usurpations and abuses of authority. The DOJ, as well as local LEO, enforces those laws without any regard to whether they are constitutional, or violate the rights of the individual citizens. The Courts are a means by which penalties can be assigned for violating the laws enacted by government; justice is only an empty shell of its former self; having lost its meaning in a society where anything the government says is gospel.
There is an old saying that goes, “You can’t fight city hall.” What that means is you can’t fight the machine, it is too big, too powerful to resist openly. If you try to fight city hall, or government, they have the means and resources to squash you like a beetle under the heel of their boot.
It becomes even harder to restore justice when the average person living in this country is blindly loyal to the system that denies them the justice it was supposed to secure for them. Give the people promises of goodies and benefits and they will readily submit to all manner of tyranny and oppression. Provide them with an endless stream of entertainment and they won’t even realize justice has left the building; that they are a nation of slaves with no rights at all – only a few paltry privileges.
The only way in which we can obtain justice is if enough people are informed and decide to use their power as jurors to nullify unconstitutional laws by rendering a NOT GUILTY verdict regardless of the instructions given them by the judge. A jurors vote is final; it can’t be questioned or overturned by a judge; so if one juror out of twelve exercises the right of jury nullification then that law goes unenforced and the person accused of violating it goes free.
But the system will work hard to ensure that never happens; that informed citizens never serve on juries. Why would they; it would not be in their best interest to do so. The prosecuting attorney’s job is to provide evidence that a defendant has violated some law. The job of the defense attorney is to provide evidence that their client is innocent. In both cases, these attorneys need the system as it is their means of employment. What would they do if there truly was justice and liberty in America; what laws would they argue over in court? If liberty existed in America a good percentage of the criminal lawyers in this country would find themselves out of work.
I know what I’ve just explained isn’t going to change anything; especially overnight. All I can hope for is that what I’ve said has gotten you to think; that maybe a seed has been planted and that someday you will awaken to the fact that justice died in America a very long time ago, and that we are ruled and governed by a system designed to restrict our liberty, while at the same time keeping us dependent upon that system for our security.
As long as you believe you can dial 911 and have an agent of the government come to your rescue; as long as you believe you can have your day in court and the innocent will be vindicated, you are trapped within a system that cares nothing about providing justice; it only cares about its continued survival.
As long as the people continue to argue and bicker over this law and that law, or who gets elected, there will be no justice and no liberty in this country. The system both allows and encourages such behavior, as it keeps people from realizing the extent to which they are slaves to the system itself.
Try convincing people of this and they will, more often than not, ignore you; if not attack you openly or call you a danger to society; to the established order. Those who are the most enslaved to a system will fight hardest to defend the system that enslaves them. Which is why I love this quote from the film the Matrix so much; because it describes the vast majority of people in this country, “The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”
Liberty is dead in America, has been for quite some time. Justice is also a word that has lost its meaning, as justice today is whatever the government says it is, and if your rights are violated in the process, then so be it; it’s all for the public good – the general welfare.
Our country was founded by rebels, lawbreakers, tax protesters, and other assorted hooligans and criminals. We call them patriots, we celebrate July 4 every year in honor of what they did, but we live our lives in fear of violating the law and have the swift arm of justice come down upon us.
We should be ashamed of ourselves; but we’re so busy keeping ourselves entertained that we don’t even have time to feel guilt over our own cowardice and bondage to a system that we, if we would just unite, would be powerless over us.
Morpheus was right, it’s all about control. They control, we obey and we think that we have freedom because they occasionally throw us a few scraps from the table. There can be no freedom, no liberty, when the people bow down to their servants. Freedom will only return to America when the people rise up and remind government of who is in charge; and as long as there’s something interesting on the television, that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.
That’s okay; you’ll quickly forget everything that I’ve just said. Besides, there’s another game this weekend, and that’s of much greater concern than the fact that you’re a slave, right?
November 1, 2019
June 15, 2019
~ The Author ~
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you liked Neal’s latest column, maybe you’ll like his latest booklet: The Civil War: (The Truth You Have Not Been Told). Life continues to expand for this prolific writer and guardian of TRUE American history.