17 July 2012

Constitutionalism

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

That is the oath of office for Congresscritters.

Once upon a time, it was nice and simple, like this: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States." That was the original. You can see that an attempt has been made to enhance its enforceability—a couple of times, actually. The one we have today was put into play in 1884.

The Oath of Office of every other sworn public official in the United States is similar, particularly in holding the official to the U.S. Constitution. This includes state and local officials as well as federal ones. It varies considerably in wording, but it always first swears them to the Constitution, then to the laws and then sometimes to other officials (as in the case with the military Oath of Office). But it’s always the Constitution first—because, folks, it’s the law of the land, above all other laws under civil authority (i.e., not getting into natural and eternal law).

The Federal Government was created using the Constitution. The Federal Government is therefore not above those who thus created it and delegated authority to it. Notice that: the Federal Government has its authority ON LOAN from you and me and our states. It even exists at our pleasure; the states and the people could abolish it if we decided that was a good goal and undertook it effectively. If your boss creates a position and delegates authority to you, you do not become his boss and he does not lose the authority to run things in the area in which he’s delegated the authority to you; and he can remove the authority—and fire you, too. The states and the people built the Constitution, and the Federal Government is not above them. Not legally or morally, anyway. By firepower, it definitely is. The Framers even tried to protect against this latter: that is known as the Second Amendment.

BTW, in case anyone wonders, the google-ads thing I'm seeing in support of Hillary and her support of a global gun ban, if continued, will cause me to get rid of google ads! I am not in support of that draconian, totalitarian, tyrannical type of legislation.

Demagoguery indeed!

Abortion


Laurence,

Clearly, I don’t expect, especially after two articles on the matter, to change your opinion. I hope you would address my points, however. And you gave me fodder for a blogpost (http://reasonaction.blogspot.com/), so I thought to use you as my addressee, so to speak.

Where you and I differ is on 1. the application of the non-aggression principle to this matter, and 2. The problem of enforcement.