Delegated Authority — Part 3 — The Constitution does not change

Delegated Authority — Part 3

The Constitution does not change

Reinterpreting the words of the Constitution is dangerous. George Washington called reinterpreting a Weapon that will destroy free governments.

The founding generation gave us a consistent legal meaning that doesn’t change over time.

Samuel Adams summed it up “in all free states the Constitution is fixed”
— Samuel Adams, 1768, Massachusetts Circular Letter

George Washington described it this way, “But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”
— George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

George Washington was the only Commander In Chief to lead his troops into battle.

Endless Excuses socialists use to avoid cognitive dissonance:

  • A two hundred year old document has nothing at all to do with how we live our lives today.
  • The Constitution is a living document.
  • Of course we can change the meaning of the Constitution, after all, congress represents us and we can make any changes we want. Majority rules.
  • Just because welfare is not mentioned in the Constitution, does not mean it is unconstitutional. Government exists to help us.
  • The Federalist papers are meaningless editorial opinion over two hundred years old.
  • The words of dead Presidents mean nothing on how we live our lives today.
  • We have socialism. Everyone must pay their fair share. Madison’s term ‘charity’ only refers to private charity. Of course, private charity is not a government function.
  • Everything you say is meaningless gibberish. Blather. You keep finding specks of history minutia that are meaningless.
  • If “We The People” can write the Constitution, then We The People can interpret it to mean anything we want. Majority rules.
  • Someone even told me “You are worthless. You would let the whales die.”

Strict construction is the law of the land.

Mealy mouthed politicians CANNOT change definitions.

  • Verba debent intelligi cum effectu ut res magis valeat quam pereat. Words ought to be understood with effect, that a thing may rather be preserved than destroyed.
  • Non accipi debent verba in demonstrationem falsam, quae competunt in limitationem veram. Words ought not to be accepted to import a false description when they are consistent with a true definition.
  • Ad recte docendum oportet primum inquirere nomina, quia rerum cognition an nominibus rerum dependet. In order to rightly comprehend a thing, it is first necessary to inquire into the names, for a right knowledge of things depends upon their names.
  • Expressum facit cessare tacitum. “That which is expressed makes that which is implied to cease… Where a law sets down plainly its whole meaning the court is prevented from making it mean what the court pleases…” (quote from Black’s Law Dictionary)

Strict construction is necessary, or we destroy our own legitimacy

When we were still British Colonies, in 1768, the Massachusetts Circular Letter written by James Otis Jr. and Samuel Adams, argued that when Parliament acts outside of its constitutional bounds, it destroys its own foundation.

“The House have humbly represented to the ministry their own sentiments, that his Majesty’s high court of Parliament is the supreme legislative power over the whole empire; that in all free states the constitution is fixed, and as the supreme legislative derives its power and authority from the constitution, it cannot overleap the bounds of it without destroying its own foundation; that the constitution ascertains and limits both sovereignty and allegiance, and, therefore, his Majesty’s American subjects, who acknowledge themselves bound by the ties of allegiance, have an equitable claim to the full enjoyment of the fundamental rules of the British constitution.”
— source:

The authors of the U.S. Constitution knew  that constitutions need to be written in order to make the limits on government power absolutely clear.

“We The People” required each public servent (they are not masters) to swear oaths to obey the duties of their office.

“We The People” DID NOT AUTHORIZE MUTINY. And everyone knew it.

St. George Tucker, 1803, Commentaries on the “necessary and proper” clause.

“This clause, I apprehend, cannot be construed to enlarge any power before specifically granted; nor to grant any new power, not before specifically enumerated; or granted in some other part of the constitution. On the contrary it seems calculated to restrain the federal government from the exercise of any power, not necessarily an appendage to, and consequence of some power particularly enumerated. Acts of congress to be binding, must be made pursuant to the constitution; otherwise they are not laws, but a mere nullity; or what is worse, acts of usurpation. The people are not only not bound by them, but the several departments and officers of the governments, both federal, and state, are bound by oath to oppose them; for, being bound by oath to support the constitution, they must violate that oath, whenever they give their sanction, by obedience, or otherwise, to any unconstitutional act of any department of the government.
If the reader can discover in any of the powers before enumerated, that which contains a grant of general jurisdiction in common law cases to the federal government, our enquiry is at an end. And he will render an incomparable act of service to his country, by laying his finger upon that clause, and pointing it out to his fellow-citizens, that they may no longer puzzle themselves, or their agents, about a question of such importance. . . . But, if he can not do this, and is not yet convinced that no such grant is contained in the constitution, I must request him patiently to attend me, whilst we hunt for it in some other part of that instrument.”

Meanings of words cannot change

“How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words”
— Samuel Adams, January 21, 1776, letter to John Pitts

“If the meaning of the text be sought in the changeable meaning of the words composing it, it is evident that the shape and attributes of the Government must partake of the changes to which the words and phrases of all living languages are constantly subject. What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense. And that the language of our Constitution is already undergoing interpretations unknown to its founders, will I believe appear to all unbiased Enquirers into the history of its origin and adoption. Not to look further for an example, take the word “consolidate” in the address of the Convention prefixed to the Constitution, It then and there meant to give strength and solidity to the Union of the states. In its current & controversial application it means a destruction of the states, by transfusing their powers into the government of the Union.”
— James Madison letter to Henry Lee, June 25, 1824

“On every question of construction, [let us] carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was [passed].”
— Thomas Jefferson letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823.

“Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, — of party, faction, and division of society…”
— John Adams letter to J. H. Tiffany, March 31, 1819

Authorities cited

The Supreme Court, quoted below, thinks the Federalist papers are the exact record of the intent of the Constitution.

Congressmen swear oaths to uphold the Constitution. Congress cannot commit mutiny. Parlimentary procedure cannot legalize mutiny.

US Supreme Court in Julliard v. Greenman: 110 US 421:
“there is no such thing as a power of inherent sovereignty in the government of the United States. It is a government of delegated powers, supreme within its prescribed sphere, but powerless outside of it. In this country, sovereignty resides in the people, and congress can exercise no power which they have not, by their constitution, intrusted to it; all else is withheld.”

In a 2014 speech entitled “Interpreting the Constitution: A View From the High Court,” Justice Scalia said this: “The Constitution is not a living organism. It’s a legal document, and it says what it says and doesn’t say what it doesn’t say.”
— Justice Scalia: ‘Constitution Is Not a Living Organism’, (March 15, 2014),

Thomas Jefferson letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823, (The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 7, Cambridge Library Collection, page 296):
“On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

The 1905 U.S. Supreme Court, South Carolina v. U.S., 199 US 437:
“The Constitution is a written instrument. As such, its meaning does not alter. That which it meant when it was adopted, it means now…”

In the 1966 famous case of Miranda v. Arizona the Supreme Court said of our rights:
“And in the words of Chief Justice Marshall, they were secured “for ages to come, and . . . designed to approach immortality as nearly as human institutions can approach it,” (quoting Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 264, 387 in 1821).

The 1901 Supreme Court in Downes v. Bidwill, 182 U.S. 244, ruled:
“It will be an evil day for American liberty if the theory of a government outside of the supreme law of the land finds lodgment in our constitutional jurisprudence. No higher duty rests upon this court than to exert its full authority to prevent all violation of the principles of the Constitution.”

U.S. Supreme Court in Cohens v. Virginia 19 U.S. (6 Wheat.) 264 at page 418:
“The opinion of the Federalist has always been considered as of great authority. It is a complete commentary on our constitution; and is appealed to by all parties in the questions to which that instrument has given birth. Its intrinsic merit entitles it to this high rank; and the part two of its authors performed in framing the constitution, put it very much in their power to explain the views with which it was framed. These essays having been published while the constitution was before the nation for adoption or rejection, and having been written in answer to objections founded entirely on the extent of its powers, and on its diminution of State sovereignty, are entitled to the more consideration where they frankly avow that the power objected to is given, and defend it.”

The U.S. Supreme Court, Byars v. U.S., 273 US 28 (1927) repeating their earlier decision in Boyd:
“…and it is the duty of the courts to be watchful for the constitutional rights of the citizen, and against any stealthy encroachments thereon.”

The U.S. Supreme Court Reporter, Headliner note to Cohens v. Virginia, 19 U.S. 264:
“The Supreme Court will construe provisions of Constitution which appear to be repugnant, so as to preserve the true intent and meaning of the Constitution…”

The U.S. Supreme Court, Boyd v. United States, 116 US 616, Page 635
“illegitimate and unconstitutional practices get their first footing in that way, namely, by silent approaches and slight deviations from legal modes of procedure. It is the duty of courts to be watchful for the constitutional rights of the citizen, and against any stealthy encroachment thereon.”

The U.S. Supreme Court, Norton vs. Shelby County 118 US 425 page 442
“An Unconstitutional Act is not law; it confers no rights: it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.”

The U.S. Supreme Court, Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436 page 491:
“Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.”

The U.S. Supreme Court, Marbury vs. Madison. 5 US 137: All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void

U.S. Supreme Court in Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 469-471:
“In a government of laws, the existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”


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