Thursday, December 15, 2016

Celebrating Bill of Rights Day

Today, 15 December 2016, marks the 225th Anniversary of the passing of the Bill of Rights, December 15, 1791.  To commemorate that event, the American Thinker has an article, by Craig Seibert entitled Reclaiming the Bill of Rights.. The Bill of Rights were thought not to be needed, that the Constitutions enumeration of powers clearly prevented the Federal Government from exercising any power that was not enumerated. But some States insisted, and would not ratify without a Bill of Rights. So Madison's first task in the new Congress was to compose such a bill. Seibert writes:
The states submitted 189 ideas. James Madison took those ideas and distilled them into 17. Congress reviewed these 17 and approved 12 of them to be sent to the States for ratification. Ultimately, the States ratified 10 of them. These became the first 10 amendments to the Constitution and you will find them in any copy of the Constitution you download or find in print.
Over time, just as Congress and the President have managed to turn the General Welfare clause into, as one Congressman called it the "good and plenty clause" to be able to do whatever they wanted, so the Bill of Rights has been so twisted it is no longer recognizable.
We can see these huge restrictions on power expressed in both the 1st Amendment and the 10th Amendment.
The 1st Amendment states –

“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.”
This first five words of this amendment, “Congress shall make no law”, basically removes everything that follows from the field of federal jurisdiction. If Congress can make “no law” then there is “no law” for the president to enforce and there is “no law” for the Supreme Court or federal courts to rule upon.
As originally designed, freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition were completely left to the realm of the states and could not be prevented, molested, or controlled by the federal government in anyway. Talk about freedom!
If you are sick and tired of opening up your paper and finding that some federal judge or federal court is bullying some school or community about a prayer at a football game, a scripture verse in a graduation speech, a Christmas play’s spiritual reference, or a display of the Ten Commandments in a public venue, you would be highly aligned with the founding fathers and their fear of what the federal government would become -- a national bully to the people’s freedom of self-government.
In the same way, the Second Amendment has been attacked, and the courts have generally upheld that attack. The Second Amendment states-
"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."
Congress has a little more freedom with this amendment, as they can regulate the guns we may possess, as long as those guns have military utility. The States of course, may enact laws infringing on weapons, but not Congress. Thus, New York's Sullivan Act, despicable as it was, was perfectly legal. But, if you are now going to interpret the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment as applying to States in the case of other rights, then you must for Second Amendment rights as well.

Under a properly operating Second Amendment, each State would enroll every able bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45 into the State militia, and each member of such militia would be required to train with his current version of the Army's infantry rifle.  He would be required to maintain that rifle and whatever ammunition in good shape, and be ready at a moments notice to activate in defense of his State.

While I welcome the sanity that the McDonald decision represents, under a proper interpretation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, it should not have been needed.  Seibert again:

They (the courts-ed) have achieved this huge usurpation of power beginning in the 1920s with an expansive interpretation of the 14th Amendment which they insist gives them the right to dictate to the States and to the people what their 1st Amendment rights are. Rather than being inalienable and protected, they are dictated by our federal overlords.
So on this Anniversary Day, “what are we to do?” Well, to begin with, get and read a full copy of the Bill of Rights. Read and understand its original intent. Share these ideas with others. Suggest that the federal courts and federal government are out of control and have usurped power that is not theirs to take. And when the fight comes to your door in your local school or local community, get together with others and take the shield of the Bill of Rights and take a stand.

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