Delegated Authority — Part 5

Delegated Authority — Part 5 — Usurpation

Usurpation is mutiny against the sovereignty of the people.

Reinterpreting the words of the Constitution is dangerous. George Washington called it a Weapon that will destroy free governments. (quoted in Part 3)

“When they exceed the limits which the constitution prescribes to their powers it is an act of usurpation.”
— Bertrand Russell, essay titled “Freedom and Government” 1940

Original quote is from 1803:

“In like manner, if in a limited government the public functionaries exceed the limits which the constitution prescribes to their powers, every such act is an act of usurpation in the government, and, as such, treason against the sovereignty of the people, which is thus endeavored to be subverted, and transferred to the usurpers.
… Inseparably connected with this distinction between limited and unlimited governments, is the responsibility of the public functionaries, and the want of such responsibility. Every delegated authority implies a trust; responsibility follows as the shadow does its substance. But where there is no responsibility, authority is no longer a trust, but an act of usurpation. And every act of usurpation is either an act of treason, or an act of warfare.”
… A written constitution has moreover the peculiar advantage of serving as a beacon to apprise the people when their rights and liberties are invaded, or in danger.”
— St. George Tucker, View of the Constitution of the United States, 1803

Hamilton on the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause:

“It will not, I presume, have escaped observation that it expressly confines the supremacy to laws made pursuant to the constitution” … If not, then states are constitutionally bound to nullify any law that is not pursuant to the Constitution.”
— (Alexander Hamilton, Elliot’s Debates, p. 4:187-88 and The Federalist Papers, #33)

Government Overreach
“We The People” now means nothing to the civil servants who swore oaths to obey our Constitution