Saturday, July 31, 2010

Commentary on the Roman Influence on America Exhibit at the Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia hosted the world premiere of an exhibit, together with the cultural ministry of Italy, called “Ancient Rome and America.” The exhibit was focused on the influence of Ancient Rome on the American Revolution and the founding of the United States. It featured hundreds of Ancient Roman and American artifacts.

Although it is often thought that the democracy of Ancient Greece was the primary inspiration for the American form of government, Americans were clearly influenced by the example of the Roman Republic, founded in 509 B.C., which was nearly contemporaneous to Greek democracy. The U.S. and each of the states of the Union have republican forms of government, not democracies, as the Founding Fathers recognized the dangers to liberty of direct popular rule. The Founders, for example, adopted the Roman Republican model of two legislative assemblies: a lower body that was popularly elected and an upper one, the “Senate,” that was comprised of aristocrats. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution established a similar model of a popularly-elected lower chamber, the “House of Representatives,” and an upper one, also called a “Senate,” that was appointed by state legislators. The Senate would serve as a check on the House.

The Americans also adopted the Roman model of divided government, with separate executive and legislative branches. Roman law, which was promulgated in writing, of which there were several examples in the exhibit, also influenced the Founding Fathers. One Roman practice in particular they adopted was the census. The Roman concept of citizenship, which they expanded during the Imperial age to all the male inhabitants of the Empire, also inspired the American ideal of equality.

That the American Founding Fathers were heavily influenced by ancient Rome is not surprising, considering that they had received the typical education of the time (the Medieval trivium and quadrivium), which included reading Ancient Greek and Roman classics, several Eighteenth-Century copies of which were exhibited. The Americans especially admired those Romans who favored the republican form of government, such as Livy and Cicero, or who esteemed virtue.

The model of duty and humility provided by the Roman Republican General Cincinnatus inspired George Washington, for example. Cincinnatus, a farmer, was called from his field to fight the enemy, but after defeating it, instead of becoming the dictator, he returned to farming. The exhibit included depictions of Washington as Cincinnatus and artifacts from the Society of the Cincinnati, the association of retired American Revolutionary War officers. A bust of Washington in a Roman toga portrayed him as the Roman general Fabius, known for “Fabian” tactics during the Second Punic War with Hannibal. Fabian tactics refer to the avoidance of a direct confrontation with a superior force and the conduct of hit-and-run attacks against smaller units of the enemy, a strategy which General Washington successfully used during the War of American Independence to harass the British.

Busts of several other Founding Fathers in togas also appeared throughout the exhibit. The exhibit demonstrated in many ways how some of the leading early Americans and even their spouses saw themselves as modern Romans. The Grand Tours of Europe they would take or the books about Roman ruins influenced American architectural and artistic styles. The Romans invented the arch, for example, which is symbolic of Ancient Rome and seen in American architecture in its basic form, as most notably in the from of the dome, such as the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.

There were numerous examples of American symbols in the exhibit that were inspired by Roman symbols, with which they were juxtaposed for comparison. Indeed, the Roman symbols of the eagle (adopted by the Roman army as a symbol of strength), the Goddess Liberty, and the fasces (a symbol of power; a fasces called the “mace” symbolizes authority in the House of Representatives) were featured in numerous Roman artifacts beside American examples. For example, the Roman depictions of the Goddess Liberty were compared with American depictions of the allegorical figure of Liberty on coinage.

I hope the exhibit and my post about it will inspire Americans to learn more about the influence of the Roman Republic on America. On a personal note, I was pleased also to participate in a Tea Party that was being held today on Independence Mall near the Constitution Center with the same spirit of independence and liberty that inspired the American Patriots during the Revolution and the Federal Period. I recall the words of Benjamin Franklin, buried a few yards away, who, when asked what the delegates to the Constitutional Convention at Independence Hall had created, replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” May we keep the Republic! May God Bless America!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Arizona Border Control Law Update: A Federal Judge Violates States’ Rights

A Clinton-appointed federal district judge has imposed an injunction on the most significant parts of Arizona’s law that enables its police to enforce federal border control law regulating the entry of foreign visitors. The judge based her opinion on the Obama Administration’s argument that federal law pre-empts state law. The Administration was the plaintiff. However, there is nothing in the United States Constitution that pre-empts state border control laws.

Passing border control laws is a pre-existing sovereign right of the states. Indeed, before the 1880s, there was no federal immigration law. The only relevant section of the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, addresses naturalization, not the entry or exit of foreign visitors. Furthermore, nothing in that founding document prohibits states from controlling their own borders. Rights not prohibited to the states by the Constitution are retained by them under the Tenth Amendment.

Moreover, the Arizona law in question does not conflict with federal law. It only enforces federal law. As I noted in a previous post, the Obama Administration is being sued in federal court by many states that object to being forced to enforce federal law they oppose (the federal mandate for citizens of the states to purchase health insurance as a condition of residence in the U.S.), while the Administration is suing Arizona for enforcing federal law it supports.

The Framers of the Constitution established a system of limited government, known as federalism, in order to prevent the concentration of power. The Arizona border control ruling, which certainly will be appealed, represents an example of the Obama Administration’s general policy of violating states' rights in order to centralize power in the federal government.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Four Obama Policies that Have Increased Unemployment

There are at least four major specific ways United States President Barak Obama has increased unemployment in the United States:

1) Obama increased the minimum wage. Increasing the cost of labor makes it more expensive to employ workers, especially younger workers. Naturally, the unemployment rate has risen among young workers, especially minorities.

2) He closed thousands of automobile dealerships when the federal government took over much of General Motors and Chrysler corporations, which caused a loss of tens of thousands of jobs. A recent study concluded that the closings unnecessarily harmed the economy.

3) Obama has extended unemployment compensation. The surest way to increase something, including unemployment, is to subsidize it. Some unemployed workers wait until their unemployment benefits are about to expire in order to search seriously for work, while others eschew temporary work for fear of losing their benefits or part-time work because it is more worthwhile to earn the unemployment compensation instead.

4) His moratorium on offshore oil drilling is causing oil companies to move rigs overseas, at the loss of American jobs.

The ripple effect of these job losses is that these unemployed workers have less disposable income in order to consume (i.e. purchase goods or services), which leads to more unemployment. These Obama policies are in addition to the uncertainty and pessimism his fiscal and regulatory policies are causing. He has already significantly increased government regulation, both of health insurance and banks, for example, the full effects of which will be unknown for years, while proposing costly energy regulation and higher taxes. Additionally, Obama is causing economic pessimism because of his massive increase in the debt from his spending spree. Indeed, the only major area where he has increased employment is in government. The prospect of these significant changes causes a climate of uncertainty and fear. Fear and pessimism discourage investors to invest, lenders to lend and employers to hire.

I invite you to suggest other major Obama policies that are significantly increasing unemployment.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Conservative Federalist Commentary on the Right to Bear Arms Ruling

When the United States Supreme Court ruled in June that the right to keep and bear arms applies to the states, I had mixed feelings. Although I agreed that this right is a “fundamental” liberty, I objected on federalist grounds that the Second Amendment to the Constitution is binding on the states by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Then I read Justice Clarence Thomas’ remarkable concurring opinion, to which Justice Antonin Scalia expressed some support in a separate concurring opinion.

The Bill of Rights (the First Ten Amendments to the United States Constitution) originally limited only the federal government from abridging liberty. Part of it was made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, which declares that no one could be denied liberty “without due process of law.” At first, the Supreme Court held that the Due Process Clause referred only to procedural rights of the accused, (e.g. to trial by jury, to compel witnesses, etc.), not substantive rights (e.g. freedom of speech or assembly). Such application of the Bill of Rights to the states is called “incorporation,” meaning that the Bill of Rights are thus made a part of the body of the Fourteenth Amendment because they define the “liberty” referred to in the Due Process Clause.

An argument was advanced that the entire Bill of Rights was made applicable to the states by the Due Process Clause, including even the substantive rights, but the Court rejected this idea and has never held that the Bill of Rights was incorporated in toto, not even all the procedural rights (for example, the right to a grand jury). Gradually, however, the Court has selectively incorporated most of the Bill of Rights, but only those that are judged “fundamental” to liberty, as opposed to those not essential to liberty.

In Heller v. District of Columbia in 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment of the Constitution was an individual liberty that may not be abridged by the United States, but this case was only applicable to federal territory, as it was not necessary for the Court to rule whether the Second Amendment was a fundamental liberty, binding on the states through its incorporation by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, a question that remained unsettled law until it ruled in McDonald v. Chicago last month.

In striking down Chicago’s ban on handguns, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in McDonald that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental liberty, binding on the states through the Due Process Clause. In its opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, the plurality cited the intent of the Framers of the Constitution, who recognized the right to keep and bear arms as a pre-existing right fundamental to liberty. They also cited the history of the post-Civil War period and the denial of this right to freed blacks by some of the states that necessitated the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Justice Thomas, however, suggests a broader, easier and more federalist method of determining what freedoms and rights are binding on the states. His original intent approach would also better prevent liberal justices from continuing their practice of making up rights as “fundamental” that were never contemplated as such at the time of the ratification, while denying those rights they dislike by judging them non-essential. In his concurring opinion, he states the issue of what liberty is protected by the Constitution does not depend upon “process” or whether it is judged a “fundamental” liberty incorporated into the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but whether it is protected by the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States”). Privileges and immunities mean “freedoms” and “rights.” The issue, then, is which freedoms and rights were understood at the ratification of the state constitutions as inalienable (i.e. Natural law, meaning granted to man by the Creator).

These privileges and immunities, freedoms and rights are not based upon the Bill of Rights, which was intended only to limit the federal government. Indeed, even under the federal Constitution, Natural law is not limited to those rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, but includes rights that were not enumerated, which the Ninth Amendment declares are retained by the people. The rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights are examples of privileges and immunities that represent the minimum standard of liberty. The source of freedoms and rights is not the Bill of Rights, but Natural law as recognized as inalienable at the time of ratification. Thus, the Privileges and Immunities Clause prohibits states from denying liberty, not the Due Process Clause by incorporating the Bill of Rights. The Privileges and Immunities Clause not only prevents a state from abridging the rights and freedoms of some citizens while protecting those rights of others, but requires the states to guarantee liberty, much as the Bill of Rights requires the federal government.

Thomas cited legislative history and early Supreme Court precedent that suggests the original intent of the Fourteenth Amendment was to protect liberty through the Privileges and Immunities Clause, including specifically the right to keep and bear arms. This right is a pre-existing, inalienable Natural law right. Therefore, all such pre-existing rights are protected through the Privileges and Immunities Clause, not by the Due Process Clause.

In conclusion, in both Thomas’ and the plurality’s interpretation, the right to keep and bear arms is a “fundamental” liberty that pre-existed the Constitution. Unlike the plurality, however, Thomas does not find it necessary to determine whether a freedom or right is “fundamental” in order for it to be constitutionally binding on the states by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but whether it is recognized as inalienable by each of the states themselves in their own constitutions, which the Amendment’s Privileges and Immunities Clause requires them to uphold. Therefore, the Amendment does not violate the principle of federalism, but is dependent upon the states' own recognition of Natural law.

Friday, July 16, 2010

July Follow-Ups and Updates

Obama's Clintonian Deceptions

In my post last month, The Clintonian Cynicism and Deception of Obama and His Supporters, I observed how United States President Barak Obama follows the example of his predecessor, Bill Clinton, in making statements into which either conservative or liberal listeners might read whatever they wish, which is a misleading tactic. I cited a number of examples and have since thought of another worth exposing. Obama has said that President George W. Bush “didn’t pay for” his prescription drug program, a statement that allows his listeners to read into it what they want. Conservatives think he means that Bush failed to make spending cuts in order to pay for the program while liberals think Obama means Bush failed to increase taxes. The liberals were right, but Obama succeeded in fooling people without having to say what he truly believed.

States' Rights/The Federalization of Health Insurance/Border Control

The states are rebelling against federal violations of states’ rights committed by the Obama Administration. The Administration is being sued by 20 states for its federal mandate to purchase health insurance, and nine states over its lawsuit against Arizona’s decision to exercise its pre-existing power to control its border, as well as to enforce federal law. In other words, the Obama Administration is contradicting itself by ordering states to do something in order to enforce federal law on the one hand and suing one of them for enforcing federal law on the other hand.

It has been reported that already new regulations written by the Obama Administration under the federalization of health insurance will require taxpayers to pay for insurance polices that pay for abortions, despite Obama’s executive order prohibiting abortion funding. Regardless, executive orders do not have the constitutional force of law that legislation does, as Article I of the Constitution vests all legislative power in Congress, which means that a federal court would rule that Obama’s order is superseded by the legislation that permits federal funding of abortion.

Italian Crucifixes in the Schools

The Italian news agency ANSA reported that Italy has appealed the European court’s ruling that it must remove crucifixes from its schools and that many other European states joined the Italian Republic in support.

Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction

Former presidential advisor Karl Rove admitted that his biggest mistake was not defending United States President George W. Bush against the false accusations from liberal Democrats that Bush had lied about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq, a point I have been making since shortly before I launched this blog a few weeks after the 2008 election. The failure to adequately defend the record of the Republican Congressional majority contributed to its defeat in the 2006 elections and the failure to adequately defend the Bush Administration, especially in regard to the issue of WMDs in Iraq, contributed to the Republican defeat in the 2008 presidential election. Rove observed that the repeated Democratic accusation that Bush had lied succeeded in gradually changing people’s perceptions of the honesty of the 43rd President.

Although Rove did not point out that hundreds of WMDs, in fact, have been found in the form of artillery shells with chemical warheads (the same ones that United Nations inspectors knew existed and which Saddam Hussein failed to prove after the inspectors left Iraq that he had destroyed), as well as missiles of a longer range than permitted under U.N. resolutions, he did quote leading Democrats who insisted before the Liberation of Iraq that its Baathist regime had WMDs and cited the findings of various investigations that established the lack of any deception on the part of the Bush Administration even if not all of the intelligence reports that it sincerely believed turned out to be inaccurate. He also hailed the results of the U.S.-led war: the removal of an enemy in Hussein’s regime and its replacement with an ally, the defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq, as well as the liberation of the Iraqi people and the justice of the war crimes trials for Hussein and his henchmen. Rove observed that the liberal Democrat’s false accusations tarnished their own reputations.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

War on Terrorism Update: Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea


General David Petraeus was confirmed by the United States Senate to be the new commander of the Afghan War. During his confirmation hearings, he made a number of noteworthy statements. General Petraeus acknowledged that the July of 2011 deadline to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan that was announced by U.S. President Barak Obama at the same time he announced he would implement the troop surge strategy for the Afghan front in the War on Terrorism that the idea was not one that was proposed by the military. It was a policy based upon the political ideology of the civilian leadership of the Obama Administration, not an example of sound military doctrine. Obama’s arbitrary deadline has damaged the morale of American troops in the Afghan theater of operations, caused U.S. allies there to doubt American resolve to remain as long as necessary to win this critical battle in the War on Terrorism and encouraged the Taliban and al-Qaeda enemy that they could wait until the U.S. withdrawal to return to power and reestablish a safe haven for terrorism in Afghanistan.

Gen. Petraeus also declared that the withdrawal of American troops will not be immediate, but phased. Most importantly, it will be based on the conditions on the Afghan front, not political expedience. He also indicated that the rules of engagement would be revised in a way that better allows N.A.T.O. troops to defeat the enemy while avoiding innocent civilian casualties, which, like his other statements, should improve morale for U.S. troops. In short, Gen. Petraeus is correcting the mistakes of the Obama Administration, which is increasing the chance for victory in Afghanistan and the War on Terrorism.

See also my post from last month, Two Recent Obama Contradictions, in which I explain the contradiction of nominating Gen. Petraeus, the architect of the Iraqi troop surge, after Obama predicted its failure and after its implementation insisted that it was failing, despite the evidence supplied by the General and long after it became obvious the surge was succeedinga strategy Obama has since adopted for Afghanistan, as the Bush Administration had proposed. Ironically, the turn of events in Iraq and Afghanistan has allowed Gen. Petraeus to become the only man in which both the Administration and the Democrats and Republics in Congress had confidence in could successfully implement the Obama strategy by making the proper changes in order to win the Afghan War.

Obama recently called the battle of Afghanistan the “longest war” in American history, a statement that is at odds with the U.S. government’s official position, is that the Vietnamese War lasted from 1964-1973, but includes the Mayaguez Incident in 1975, a period which alone (not including U.S. combat in the Vietnamese War from 1961-1963) would make it longer than the Afghan War, which began in 2001. See also my post last month, Afghanistan Is Not the Longest Ever U.S. War.


Obama signed a new set of U.S. sanctions on Iran into law in response to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The sanctions were imposed unilaterally because he failed to obtain United Nations Security Council approval of another round of multilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Both Obama and his predecessor implemented several previous rounds of sanctions on Iran without successfully halting the Iranian development of a nuclear weapon.

North Korea

North Korea was removed by the United States State Department under President George W. Bush from the list of terrorist-sponsoring states. The consequences for being on the list are comprehensive and harsh. Removal from the list was a North Korean precondition to returning to the Six-Party talks aimed at eliminating its nuclear weapons. The Bush Administration cited the fact that North Korea state had not committed any acts of terrorism since 1987. Although it has not sponsored any such acts in decades, the Communist state continues to harbor members of the Japanese Red Army, a terrorist organization.

Recently, a debate has emerged over whether North Korea should be relisted as a state sponsor of terrorism. Some have labeled the sinking of the South Korean ship, the Chenoan, was an act of terrorism, but an attack on a military target does not constitute terrorism, as would an attack on innocent civilians, for terrorism is a violent attack on innocent civilians in order to intimidate the populace to give into the demands of the terrorists. The two Koreas remain in a state of war, having signed an armistice in 1953, but no peace treaty. Others have cited the North Korean assassination of a high-ranking government official who defected to the South as an act of terrorism, but, again, although an act of war, it did not represent an attack on innocent civilians.

Communist North Korean aid to terrorist organizations and other state sponsors of terrorism, however, clearly represents an act of terrorism which would justify relisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Obama’s Comment on Anti-Immigrant Discrimination Is Misleading

In his recent speech promoting his goal of comprehensive immigration reform, United States President Barak Obama said, “A century ago,” Irish, Italian and Polish immigrants were “subject to rank discrimination” and were the object of negative stereotypes.

Although this statement is true, and the acknowledgement of such behavior by the President is appreciated, it is nonetheless misleading. It is true that these immigrants were subject to discrimination and negative stereotypes a century ago, but Obama’s remark implies that these European immigrants are no longer subject to them, as if it were only true “a century ago.” However, public opinion surveys suggest that a disturbingly large number of Americans hold negative stereotypes about Italian immigrants and Americans of Italian descent, for example. Typically, the entertainment industry portrays Italian-Americans either as criminals or buffoons. Even commercial advertisements often play on such negative stereotypes. As a result, despite historically having one of the lowest crime rates of any ethnic group, a majority of Americans falsely believe that most Italian-Americans are involved with organized crime.

Furthermore, Obama’s statement seems to contradict a federal law signed by President Bill Clinton in which the United States admitted that it interred Italian immigrants, as well as immigrants from other Axis Powers during World War II, in addition to the more well-known internment of Japanese immigrants. Even some U.S. citizens of Italian origin were among the internees. Immigrants from these foreign states were also subject to a variety of other discriminatory practices by the federal government itself. See also my post from May of this year, Proposed Textbooks Debunk a Liberal Myth of American Racism, in which I discuss this matter in more detail and note how recent history, as written in proposed new textbooks, debunks the liberal opinion that only Japanese-Americans suffered discrimination from the U.S. because of American racism.

Obama’s minimization of discrimination against European immigrants reflects the liberal view that America is racist, which fails to recognize a more general anti-immigrant populist strain of American opinion that is not necessarily based upon racial discrimination. It also reflects the liberals’ simplistic tendency in regard to the issue of race to lump all European ethnic groups into the monolithic group of “whites,” regardless of their level of culpability in or victimization from racial discrimination in American history, as well as liberal favoritism toward certain groups they regard as political constituencies. But in order for all prejudice to be eliminated, it is first necessary to acknowledge prejudice in every form it takes without minimizing it and to better understand its origins.

Elena Kagan's Unconstitutional Views Disqualify Her from the U.S. Supreme Court

United States President Barak Obama has nominated Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. The constitutional duty of a justice of the Supreme Court is to interpret the Constitution and federal laws as intended by their authors. Kagan’s statements in her confirmation hearing before the Senate reveal that she would not fulfill her duty because she believes that a federal judge may impose her own view instead. Therefore, has disqualified herself from Senate confirmation.

In my last post, I discussed Elena Kagan’s refusal to accept the concept of natural law as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration affirms that the rights of man come from the Creator, not from the state. She insists that she would only rule on the rights as enumerated in the Constitution, even though the Constitution presupposes these rights and freedoms (i.e. it does not establish any freedoms and rights, but prohibits the United States from abridging those rights it enumerates) and, through the Ninth Amendment, it reserves to the people the rights that it does not enumerate. Kagan’s view suggests that rights come from government, which not only allows government to limit the enumerated freedoms and rights in whatever way it wants, but also to choose not to acknowledge or protect the rights and freedoms that are not expressed in the Constitution. Her opinion is thus contrary to the intent of the Framers of the Constitution, which ought to disqualify her from being confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.

An additional disqualifying view held by Kagan is that the interpretation of the Constitution changes over time, which would substitute the whim of liberal judges for the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution and each of its Amendments. The Constitution and each of its Amendments were approved democratically by the representatives of the people through the deliberative, legislative process established by the Constitution itself. Whenever they are confronted with the legislative history that is contrary to their opinion, liberals like Kagan conveniently prefer to change the meaning of the words of the Constitution to match their preferences and to insist that their own interpretation is acceptable under the theory that the Constitution is a “living document.” Treating the law as changeable by judicial activism is another way of saying that liberals may change the law and the Constitution undemocratically through unelected judges whenever they are politically unable to change the Constitution through its amendment process or change legislation through Congress.

The combination of Kagan’s two unconstitutional views means that she would interpret natural law freedoms and rights in whatever way she wanted, despite the original intent of the Framers, even to the extent of not even acknowledging a right or freedom that is expressed in the Constitution, let alone those that are not. For example, she has expressed her opposition to the right to keep and bear arms expressed in the Constitution, which the Supreme Court ruled the Framers intended as a personal right. The Court was closely-divided in that case, which means that it could deny that right if only one vote on the Court changes. The recent closely-divided Citizens United case suggests that the liberal minority of four of the nine Justices which Kagan would join if confirmed by the Senate would even limit the freedom of speech or of the press.

On the other hand, liberal judges create new “fundamental” rights never intended by the Framers, even if it is necessary to limit basic freedoms like the right to life as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, such as the right to an abortion, even though the denial of the right to life without due process of law is prohibited by the Constitution. Indeed, when she worked in the Clinton Administration, Kagan reworded a medical association’s statement regarding partial birth abortion that suggested the procedure might be medically necessary, contrary to the association’s opinion – a change which was erroneously relied upon by the Supreme Court in overturning a state ban on partial birth abortion as if it were scientific fact and not political expedience masqueraded as science.

Kagan, as dean of Harvard University also infamously banned the military from recruitment on campus she was dean of that school, despite federal law requiring schools that accept federal funding to allow equal access to the military as private recruiters. The nominee for federal court continued her ban even after a federal court ruled it was illegal.

Although Kagan’s views of abortion and her record on discrimination against the military are troubling, her overall radical judicial activist philosophy of rejecting natural law and interpreting the Constitution any way she prefers, despite the intent of its Framers, suggest she would threaten liberty through the tyranny of judicial activism instead of protecting liberty by fulfilling her duty of interpreting the Constitution and the law as its authors intended. Therefore, her opinions disqualify her from confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. Conservatives must demand that the Senate reject the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2: The True Independence Day and Birthday of the States

The Continental Congress approved Richard Henry Lee’s resolution to declare the independence of the Thirteen American Colonies as States on this day in 1776; July 2 is thus the true date of American Independence. Indeed, it is the date that Founding Father John Adams recommended by commemorated annually by celebrations, including parades and fireworks. Two days later, the Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. The prominent July 4 date on that great document probably contributed to the popular belief that the Fourth of July marked the beginning of American Independence, although this date, too, is worthy of celebration.

The independence of the states that was approved on July 2 and eloquently declared on the July 4, 1776 represents the birthday of each of the Thirteen States in particular and American Independence in general. But it is not the birthday of the “United States of America,” which was only founded upon the implementation of the U.S. Constitution.

The Declaration of Independence acknowledges the equality of all men and that the rights of man come not from government, but from our Creator, which is “the American Creed.” It also states that government exists to protect these rights and that it derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. The Framers of the Constitution, who accepted the American Creed, presupposed the concept of natural law rights, which is why they did not consider it necessary to enumerate them in the Constitution, as if to imply that government grants rights instead of God. They only agreed to adopt a Bill of Rights as a safeguard of liberty in order to win the ratification of the Constitution. Indeed, the Bill of Rights, the First Ten Amendments to the Constitution, does not grant any freedoms or rights, but prohibits the United States from abridging the enumerated freedoms and rights that every person has by birthright. The Ninth Amendment even acknowledges the presupposition of natural law rights by reserving any additional rights of man that were not expressly listed in the Constitution.

The American Creed, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, has long been accepted as the basis for the Constitution. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and American civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously reminded their fellow Americans that the equality and rights of the people come from God, not men, and that the Constitution must by interpreted only in the context of the Declaration of Independence.

President Barak Obama has nominated someone for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, who shockingly refused this week during her confirmation hearing to acknowledge the principle of natural law. Instead, she insisted that only those rights enumerated in the Constitution could be interpreted by a federal judge to exist, in contradiction of the Framers of the Constitution and the Ninth Amendment. There are several major grounds for the Senate to oppose the confirmation of this Obama Administration radical, which will be the subject of a future post, but Kagan's rejection of natural law is enough to disqualify her from serving as a justice entrusted to safeguard liberty, a concept she does not believe exists by nature, but only by the whim of judges.

Let us reflect on American Independence and the great document that declared it and acknowledged God as the source of our life and liberty. Let us also remember and be grateful to those who sacrificed in order for their posterity to enjoy freedom. May we continue remain ever vigilant in defending our independence and freedom from all enemies foreign and domestic. May God bless America! Happy Independence Day!