Excellent, refreshing review of the enactment and enforcement of legislation under the Constitution; your blog entry should be taught in grammar schools across the country.
I graduated Columbia Law school and have been practicing for 30 years. No exaggeration, your straightforward exegeses of the plain wording of the Constitution beats hands down what one reads in Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal and US District Court opinions, and what you read and hear in prestigious law journals and in Constitutional Law class. It seems that these writers and speakers always selectively interpret this magnificent document with one eye on maintaining the power structure of which they are a part — and which reserves the right to itself to kill, steal and lie (contrary to the Ten Commandments, as you have noted) — oh, and to squash anyone who points out that they kill, steal and lie.
Keep up the great work Martin. I swear people will be writing folk songs about you one day!
REPLY:Thank you. I probably studied Constitutional law more intensely than any school would dare to teach. I traced the reasoning back for each element. You have to take something back to the seed from which it sprouts in order to understand what it really means. Those who write about law often have an agenda interpreted through the lens in which they see the world.
A classic example of this bias is the gun issue. Even the whole Second Amendment about the right to bear arms was not just to protect the people; it was also intended to eliminate standing armies toPREVENTwar, which was seen as evil. Kings were paying for armies, so why not get your money’s worth.
The Second Amendment comes about from a meeting in Vienna. Charles-Louis de Secondat Montesquieu, baron de La Brede et de (1689–1755) met the political leader and soldier, the Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736), whose political discussions helped spark ideas within Montesquieu expanding his understanding of government. It was this encounter between Montesquieu and the Prince of Savoy that shaped the right to bear arms. Prince of Savoy explained that having standing armies led to an easier declaration of war than having to raise an army. In this light, nuclear weapons have helped to deter war because the devastation would be too great. The U.S. only invades nations who do not have nukes, which actually creates an incentive to get them.
Taxes were never a right of the king. Taxes required consent by the people and the reason was for war. Create a war that never ends, like the 100 year war, and you create the incentive to tax.
Just follow the money and you will arrive at the proper interpretation more often than not.