The following essay was written by Robert Palmer (R), Candidate for State Senate, Michigan 31st District.
While it is commonly taught that the ‘United States Constitution’ is the founding National document nothing could be farther from the truth. The “Contract between the States” that binds them together is the Declaration of Independence. The ‘Law that comes from that contract’ is the United States Constitution. Why is this important? The Declaration of Independence is concerned with the concept of ‘personal’ liberty which is to be monitored by the States for the sake of the individual. The States “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”3 then advise and control the Federal Government. At least that is the way it was until recent history.
Between the 1820-40’s a man began to have a great deal of influence based on his written commentaries on ‘absolutes’ such as absolute rights, absolute wrongs, even the concept of an absolute static legal document or Bible. His name was Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and two of his most ardent supporters where C.C. Langdell and Roscoe Pound. Pound was a student of Langdell and both at one time sat as the Dean of the Harvard School of Law. And, they created and implemented a plan to change the United States Legal System which was created by the ‘Contract between the States’ from common law to case law.
Why is this important? The plan that they implemented resulted in a complete understanding of the original meaning of the ‘Law of the Land’ or ‘Rule of Law”, the United States Constitution. Based upon their plan, and in direct contradiction to all of the writers or and students of the framers of the Constitution they determined to indoctrinate every United States citizen into the ideology of a ‘living Constitution’. Since they saw no moral absolutes and because Pound, a botanist rather than a lawyer, believed in absolute evolution it was a direct jump to an ‘evolving’ Constitution. Every school child for the last 80 years has learned that common law is ‘too strict and unbending’ while case law allows for the courts to interpret and change the law to meet growing societal needs.
John Doe saves a thousand drowning people and is declared a hero. Later it is found that John Doe is a child molester and has murdered a child for his perversion. Under common law the fact that he was a hero is not an extenuation of who he is or what he has done. The case is simple; he has murdered a child for his perversion and is subject to the strict sense of the law. However, under the newer case law concept the courts have decided to take in to account not only his heroic salvation of the thousand, but also his terrible childhood and self-proclaimed molestation by his father. Under case law these extenuating circumstances allow a ‘less stringent’ application of the law.
The natural mind understands the extra circumstances do not alleviate the fact that John Doe is a child molesting murderer. But, the Hegelian mind says that the whole of society is ‘responsible’ for the action of John Doe. After all, society ‘allowed’ the alleged molestation of John Doe. And, the whole of society must hold Johns heroism up as a mitigating factor. We have become slaves to the law, rather than having the law save us from slavery. This story is hypothetical, but we see stories like it in the news each year.
To make matters even worse this type of thinking is taken from the Federal level backwards through our system to the State and then local Governments. Remember, our system is one that moves from the people to the State to the National Government, or at least it was. We are now held slaves to the actions of others by the will of the Federal Government. The same Government that derives its power from the permission of the people through the governance of the State. This is only one instance of the overthrow of the concept of liberty in our society. However, these two small changes; the change from common law to case law and then the application of case law from the Federal level to the State and local level is enough to remove our liberty at every level.
The only natural conclusion to such a change in the law is as stated above a complete failure of the original concept of a ‘United States’. From liberty to slavery in one fell swoop brought about by the changing of minds, not the changing of laws, or circumstance. Under the current ‘case law’ schema the courts legislate from the bench and we are betrayed. We lose our right to control the passage of power from the people, to the State to the National Government. This ‘natural’ order once destroyed allowed the legislature to do almost anything they wished in writing and distributing laws.
The legislature which under our constitution is the only one with the right to ‘spend’ simply writes a loosely worded bill and lets the courts determine what the bill means and who can or can’t be paid, who can or can’t print money and what can or can not be used in place of legal tender. The end result is that the liberty each of us once had is now enslaved to an economic system that is neither free-market nor socialism, a system that is more banter than barter, more binding than liberating. Of course that leads us to how do we change this travesty?
The answer is to restore the stolen State Sovereignty that has always been the wall of separation between the people and the National Government. Today many States are in the process of establishing in their Constitutions amendments that will make it much more difficult for the Federal Governmental system to intrude upon the individual’s liberty. The end truth is that we will have to start with that one process and go even farther. We must get the Federal Government out of our decision making process at the State level in every instance. Our educational systems must come first, teaching once again what the founders knew must always be taught.
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of Masters”4 “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other”5 “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports”6 There is the answer to whether we will continue to live in both criminal and economic slavery instituted by lawyers and courts or regain our liberty by setting aside the Courts constant prattle about a non-existent separation of Church and State. We must set aside the false premise that we can not legalize morality, all laws have a moral basis, and once again teach the truth of our Nations founding; speak again about the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”7
We must once again open our history books to the biblical beginnings of our Country and the moral basis of not only our United States Constitution and the now trampled Bill of Rights.
1. The Law, Frederic Bastiat
2. Declaration of Independence, paragraph 2
4. Benjamin Franklin
5. John Adams
6. George Washington, the Farwell Address
7. Declaration of Independence, paragraph 1