Every year the American people sit with baited breath, awaiting the rulings handed down by the Supreme Court as if they were gods come down from on high to bestow upon us a portion of their almighty wisdom. The esteem which is given the Supreme Court is also evidenced in presidential elections, when one of the arguments either for or against a presidential candidate is the fact that they may get to choose a new Justice to the court; shifting the balance further to the left or to the right.
Excuse me for not buying into this idolatry but to hell with the Supreme Court and their ‘rulings’; especially as it pertains to what government can and cannot do, or the extent to which we are allowed to exercise our unalienable rights. I hate to come across as insulting, but it almost seems as if people are saying, “Gee, I’m too stupid to understand what the Constitution and Bill of Rights say, so I’m going to let the Supreme Court, (which is part of the government), tell me what they think they say.”
It is truly a sad statement about the people themselves, and the educations they have received at the hands of the public fool, (school), system, that they know so little about the Constitution; especially Article III which outlines the Judicial Branch. People seem to think that, “Well, we have judges, and they know the law better than we do, so whatever they say must be true and we are bound to abide by their decisions.”
If that statement reflects your attitude, aren’t you admitting that you are ignorant of the law? If that is true, then why do you remain ignorant when to remedy your ignorance all you have to do is undertake a study of the origin of laws? Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot; to study would mean you must put aside all your preconceived notions, turn off your TV’s, your smartphones, and your social media and actually use your brain for its intended purpose. My bad; I shouldn’t expect so much out of people.
Do you know what judicial review is? Judicial review is a courts ability to determine the validity of a law under the Constitution; either being in accordance with, or in opposition to the powers delegated to legislatures by a constitution. What this does is it gives to judges the power to ‘interpret’ a constitution according to their understanding, or bias; meaning they get to decide what a constitution says, or means.
How many of you have ever sat down and read a decision handed down by the Supreme Court; especially a more recent one, or how many of you have watched one of those crime drama shows such as Law & Order when the attorneys quote this ruling or that ruling in support of their arguments? In almost every instance what you’ll find is that the decisions are based upon precedential law. What that means is that, often, a court will base their decision upon the decisions of past courts; or precedents.
So if a judge in the 1800’s said this is what the law means, then a court in the 1900’s might refer to that decision, and a court in the 2000’s might refer to both decisions; firmly fixing the fact that, ‘well these other judges said this is what the law means, so that much be what the law actually means!’
Precedent does not always mean that something is correct, or right. Let’s say you’re doing something and someone tries to correct you; to show you how to do it properly. If you tell them that you are doing it the way your father taught you, and how his father taught him, you are basing your actions upon precedents established before you were born; but it does not necessarily mean that those before you were doing it correctly. So, just because past judges have ruled this way, or that way, upon the law doesn’t necessarily make their decisions correct.
Let me ask you another question. If the law is the law; firm and inflexible, then why should it matter if a Republican or Democratic president gets to pick a Justice to the Supreme Court? Allow me to rephrase that; if the Constitution says what it says, and means what it means, then how can a panel of 9 Justices alternate between this interpretation of its meaning and that interpretation of its meaning?
What that implies is that the Constitution is not a law, in and of itself; that it is a, (and God how I hate this term), living document open to the interpretation, (or construction as our founders called it), of whoever is given the authority to make decisions based upon it. More often than not a court’s decision upon the law is based upon previous decisions by other courts; or precedents long established as judicial fact.
Please, for a moment can you put your thinking caps on and pay close attention to what I’m about to say? The courts uphold the law, do they not? They make sure that justice is served in their courtrooms, correct? The police enforce the law, right; meaning they make sure that people obey the law; often based upon the decisions handed down by courts based upon THEIR interpretation of the law. Then we have our lawmakers who write the laws; laws that are written based upon THEIR understanding, or interpretation of the powers delegated to them to write law.
So where did all these people; these judges, these police, and these legislators, get their power to decide for us what we can and cannot do; what the law is, and what it means? After all, they are just men and women like you and I; what makes them so special that they get to decide how we must live our lives? Didn’t we, as individuals, consent to establishing governments, courts, and police departments, grant them the authority to do these things on our behalf? If that is true, then WE, as sovereign individuals, are the source of the law; for without our consent, none of these entities would even exist.
Therefore, shouldn’t we, as individuals, at least have a working knowledge of what the law governing our government’s actions says? Shouldn’t we, as individuals, be capable of determining for ourselves when our government, our courts, and our police departments are violating the law, and our rights, and act upon the premise that an unconstitutional law is no law at all; and therefore need not be obeyed?
But Neal, we can’t be expected to understand such lofty principles; to understand the law. Speak for yourselves; that is if you want to be a slave to those who you allow to do so in your stead. If a people refuse to become informed as to the intent, meaning, and origin of the law, then they become slaves to those who get to determine what the law says for them. It’s that simple. When that happens, the law becomes something pliant, or as Jefferson said, “…a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”
In recent years the courts have upheld decisions banning prayer, or a discussion of the Bible in public schools; basing their decisions upon the premise that it violates the wall of separation between church and state. Sounds logical at first, but just hold on a second there Sparky, I’ve got more to say on it. Did you know that in 1844 the Supreme Court held that schools could teach the principles found within the Bible? In the case of Vidal v. Girard’s Executors the court held, “Why may not the Bible and especially the New Testament be read and taught as a divine revelation in school? Where else can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?”
So if the Supreme Court, in 1844, said that the Bible could be taught in school, and the Supreme Court, in recent years, has held that the Bible isn’t even allowed in schools, which decision is correct? The same thing goes for any of the Court’s decisions; such as their decision in Roe v. Wade; how can one court overturn the opinion of a previous court; unless they do so based upon a constitutional amendment that modifies, or alters the powers delegated to government?
Please, could someone answer that for me; I love watching people perform mental gymnastics while trying to justify an illogical premise.
It all boils down to the fact that people believe that the Justices of the Supreme Court, or any judge for that matter, should have the power and authority to determine for them what the law says; what it means. But, as the source from which the law comes, that simply is not true.
Have you ever heard of jury nullification? Of course you haven’t; not if you’re a product of the public school system. Jury nullification is the principle that, regardless of the instructions given by a judge on the law, the jury has the right to acquit if they believe the law itself is unjust, or a violation of the rights of the individual.
So wait a minute Neal, you’re saying that 12 common men and women, like you and I, get to decide what the law means, or whether it violates someone’s rights? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying; and why the hell not if we are, in fact, the source of all laws. Why should we allow some clown in a gown to tell us what the law means when we are fully capable of determining, (if we have spent the time educating ourselves that is) what the law means.
The very first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, stated this as fact when he declared, “The Jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” So, we may sit as jurors, hear evidence proving that someone violated the law, then render an innocent verdict simply because we have determined that the law itself is a violation of the Supreme Law of the land, or that it violates our rights as individuals.
That is the power that we, as individuals, have. And if we can exercise that power in a court of law, then why can’t we exercise it in our daily lives by refusing to obey laws that overstep the duly delegated powers of government, or laws that violate our rights?
When discussing what powers the government is allowed to exercise on our behalf most people today base their opinions upon what they hear on TV or read in the papers. Yet in determining the intent, or meaning of the document that established our system of government there is hardly any mention; let alone the thoughts of those who argued both for and against the adoption of the proposed constitution.
Yet it is in those debates that we will find the true intent of the document, not from what people living 230 some odd years later think it means. Just 34 short years after the Constitution was ratified Thomas Jefferson told William Johnson that to determine what the Constitution meant he must go back to the period in which it was written and ratified. Jefferson’s exact wording was, “On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit of the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
So, in determining what laws are just, what powers government can exercise on our behalf, are we going to take the word of a bunch of politicians seeking power; a bunch of cops who only care about ‘ENFORCING’ the law, or a bunch of judges who twist and mold the law based upon their interpretations of it; or are we going to pull our heads out of our asses and learn what those who actually wrote and ratified the Constitution said it means?
I know; it’s a rhetorical question; most people will just go on taking the word of those who seek to control and enslave them. It is simply too much of me to ask that people actually try learn something that might lessen government’s control over their lives.
Almost immediately after the Constitution was adopted the government it established sought to expand its powers beyond those outlined by the document that had created it, and the powers those who ratified it were promised it would exercise on behalf of its creators. To paraphrase an argument between Thomas Jefferson, (who sought to retain a strict interpretation of the powers given government) and Alexander Hamilton, (who sought to expand the powers of government beyond those specifically enumerated), Hamilton told Jefferson that he must read between the lines to see the hidden, or implied, powers. Jefferson told Hamilton that he had read between the lines, and that all he found was empty space; meaning nothing.
Yet America, the people; the courts, and our elected representatives have sided with Hamilton; meaning the Constitution is not a law, fixed in stone, that sets firm limits as to the powers given government; and especially as it pertains to restrictions upon governments ability to legislate away, or infringe upon our unalienable rights. Furthermore, as the Supreme Court is the final arbiter in all things constitutional, the people must adhere to their interpretation of the Constitution.
Or do they? Can we not, as individuals, or at least as States, decide for ourselves whether the government is acting within its delegated authority, or whether it has crossed beyond is authorized power and usurped powers it was never intended it possess?
From 1798, once again quoting Jefferson, we read, “Resolved, That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government . . . . and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force. . . . that the government created by this compact [the Constitution for the United States] was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers.” (Source: Kentucky Resolutions)
The problem is that the judiciary, as final judge in all matters of a constitutional nature, has been allowed to decide for us what the Constitution says and what it means. Now that might not have been as large a problem as it is now had the judiciary been confined to the Supreme Court itself. However, one of the very first laws passed by Congress was the Judiciary Act of 1789 which basically rewrote Article III of the Constitution and established a system of federal courts within the States.
These District and Circuit Courts are all staffed with Justices who render decisions based upon their interpretation, or construction, of the meaning and intent of the Constitution. It is accurate to say that the decisions handed down by these courts can vary from State to State, making understanding what the Constitution actually means next to impossible; unless you have a firm understanding of what was said during the debates both for and against its adoption.
As much as I’ve grown to despise James Madison, he did say this, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives.” I can guarantee you that government run, i.e. public schools, are not going to provide you with the knowledge that allows you to limit their powers, or retain your rights; you are going to have to get off your butt and learn these things for yourselves; as I have done.
Will you have trouble understanding some of these principles? Yes, at first; while your mind once again becomes accustomed to actually thinking instead of reciting the talking points spoon fed to you in school. But once you get the hang of it, things become much easier to understand, and your thirst for knowledge will become almost unquenchable.
One of the most comprehensive books I have in my possession regarding the relationship between the State and federal governments, and the nature of the federal government was written by a Supreme Court Justice in 1840 as a rebuttal to Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution. There is one passage in this book, written by Justice Abel Upshur, that is germane to my discussion on the judiciary being the ultimate decider in all matters of a constitutional nature. Justice Upshur writes, “It is admitted on all hands, that when the federal government transcends its constitutional power, and when of course it is not acting within its obligations, the parties to that government, whoever they may be, are no longer under any duty or respect to obey it.”
Whether we the people created our system of government, or whether the States, acting as sovereign political entities, created our system of government, we get to decide what it can and cannot do; and we get to decide for ourselves if the laws it enacts are in the true spirit and intent of the purpose for which all governments should exist-the preservation of the liberty of the people.
We get to decide that fact for ourselves, not 9 clowns in black robes calling themselves a SUPREME COURT.
Once you learn that ideal, the rest becomes easy…
January 17, 2020
About Br’er Rabbit
He’s just one person out of millions of others. The only thing different about him is that he doesn’t walk around with his head up his ass. ~ But we suspect the he also may go by the name of…
~ The Author ~
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: email@example.com.
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.