Constitution: Strict Construction, etc.

The U.S. Constitution: Strict Constructionism, Originalism, Living Document, etc.
The U.S. Constitution is in the same category as the Mayflower Compact, the Magna Carta, your home mortgage, etc. It is a contract. It is a contract between the States which created it on behalf of their people. Constitutions, compacts and charters are all contracts between two or more parties. They are not ambiguous, floating, living documents, but exactly specific agreements precisely written with ink on paper that cannot change until renegotiated and replaced or amended by consent of the principle parties.

The idea that a contract’s meaning is fuzzy is bound to be contested by one or more of those parties.

The sacred oath of a Supreme Court justice states that “I faithfully swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States.” It is implicit that this oath means that the principles exhibited by the Constitution at the time of its writing will never be changed. That is because technology changes continually, but principles never change. The principles came from the time-tested Judeo-Christian culture and agreed upon by a wide swath of sectarians from the religiously conservative to deists, agnostics and even atheists, who agreed it was the best.

When technology changes over time new subjects are addressed. The contract may be amended to deal with those subjects. The amendment must still uphold the same principles. Since amending is a change in the highest law of the land, it is inherently dangerous. This is why only the States (who authored the document) may amend it, and only by a 3/4 majority. This is a slow process which takes much time in order to take care.

The Constitution must never be “interpreted”. It is the court case which is to be interpreted in light of the Constitution. This is because the Constitution is so simple and clear that it was written for uneducated, non-reading 18th century farmers to understand. It doesn’t need interpreting. It needs applying.

A liberal interpretation of the Constitution is based on either ignorance or deceit. Since an ignoramus has no place on the bench, the default is to assume deceit. Deceivers have come up with various terms to perpetuate their deceit. “Strict construction” is a term used to describe an honest application as if it were paleolithic. “Originalism” implies that there is honor in non-originalism. “A living document” speaks to the thought that maybe day-is-really-night and maybe on-is-really-off.

How long do you think you would keep your house if you claimed to have a living mortgage contract when the loan company is about to foreclose? The Constitution doesn’t live when it is cheated, it dies. It changes only when amended without violating its principles.

The Constitution is supposed to be applied to the cases heard by the court. All courts, including the Supreme Court, merely issue their opinions. They have no such power to make laws or enforce laws. That is up to Congress and the President using or ignoring those court opinions to justify their actions.

Justice depends on each branch of the federal government knowing its duties and performing its duties. This results in a proper balance of powers to achieve the best possible results. All branches, but especially the courts, must be rooted in honesty not deceit.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” -John Adams

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” -Ben Franklin


Jefferson: What You May Not Have Known

For Founding Father of the Month

What you may not have known.
Tom’s dad Peter Jefferson, was a preeminent surveyor and had been the first to survey western Virginia, Kentucky and all the way over to the Ohio River. This was wilderness and very rugged, dangerous country at that time.
Tom’s dad died when Tom was only 14 years old. So, as eldest son, he had to take over as head of household, despite the fact he was a young teenager. He had six sisters and one younger brother plus his mother to take care of. Not to mention running several plantations at the same time, and getting himself educated.
His father left enough money for him to send himself to the law school at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. He studied under George Wythe, who became a lifelong friend, mentor and who also served in the founding of the USA.
Tom ran for office for the first time in his 20s to be a burgess (representative) in the Virginia House of Burgesses. The first bill he submitted was to end slavery! It was soundly defeated, teaching him a lifelong lesson in politics vs logic.
Despite owning plantations, Tom was tormented by financial difficulties his whole life. His lands were not the best for growing and the weather often failed as well. The best cash crop was tobacco, but Tom despised it for moral reasons. He also tried to get his fellow Americans to quit hard liquor in favor of low alcohol wines but Virginia was not able to produce wines well. 
There is a popular myth among authors that he was a spendthrift by purchasing extravagantly on books, wines and furniture. The facts though show up in his voluminous records. His crops failed often. He took on his father-in-law’s debts upon his death. He was also extremely generous. His house was continuously full of extended family, friends and guests. When family or friends were in deep debt he would help them by taking on all or part of their debt.
He was burgess, representative, ambassador, governor, president and university chancellor, but his fondest projects were in educating his fellow citizens to the responsibility to defend liberty.
He would not appreciate being called a rebel. To him the English king and parliament had been the rebels by defying their contractual obligations to America.
Tom spent his last five years designing and building the University of Virginia. To this day you can stand at his grave at Monticello and look down and see the university in Charlottesville. He wrote his own epitaph which does not mention his being governor or president: “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of American Independence, Of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom & Father of the University of Virginia.”
Of the lands his father left him, his favorite was the mountain he named Monticello. He and his friend Dabney Carr played under a tree there. They both agreed whoever died first would be buried under that tree by the other. Dabney died young. Tom kept his promise. Tom and his wife are also there today. Tom’s sister Martha married Dabney. Their children made the friends become family.
Jefferson was not a great speaker, but his written words changed human history for most of three centuries, especially this phrase from the Declaration: ” …Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed.”… a thought that had been alien to most of human history.