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by C/O Diogenes
Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 2:54 PM
The Constitution is the actual founding document of our Nation. It is important for every Citizen to have a basic understanding of it. It is a covenant between the People and their government which was meant to LIMIT the scope and authority of the Central Government in order to protect our freedom.
WHAT IS YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL IQ?
THE FOUNDING DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN EVISCERATED
The Internet citizenship quiz that recently floated around resulted in several friends being embarrassed with less than perfect scores. Some inquired about the correct answers, since the memories of their Constitutionally enumerated rights and proper governmental structure had been lost. Now those individual rights, republican structure and the rule of law for American citizens are lost as well.
If you haven’t taken that quiz it is included immediately, then please follow on for the answers. Understanding one’s rights, what is lawful and what is the proper institution of Constitutional government is every bit as important today as it was 200 plus years ago, maybe even more so.
1. Who elects the president of the United States?
-House of Representatives
2. How many changes or amendments are there to the U.S. Constitution?
3. How long is each term for a U.S. senator?
4. What are the duties of the Supreme Court?
-Interpret and explain laws
-Oversee Congress and the President
5. Who becomes president if both the president and vice president die?
-Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
-President Pro-Tem of the Senate
-Speaker of the House
-Secretary of State
6. Which is NOT a requirement to be president?
-Be elected by the American people
-Be a natural-born citizen
-Have lived in the United States for at least 14 years
-Be at least 35 years old.
7. Who nominates judges to serve as Supreme Court justices?
-Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
-Speaker of the House
-Majority leaders of the two political parties
8. How many Supreme Court justices are there?
9. Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?
10. Who has the power to declare war?
-Both president and Congress must declare war
11. In what year was the U.S. Constitution written?
12. What kind of government does the United States have?
Answer #1 is the Electoral College.
In the 2000 presidential election G. W. Bush did not receive a majority of the nation wide voters. He received a majority of the Electoral College votes from those states in which he received a majority of those statewide voters. He was the proper, constitutionally elected President and not the "selected" president, as many Democrats say. The founders of the country chose this feature to balance the rights of individual states versus the simple majority of people concentrated in cities. The famous red versus blue 2000 national election map proved that the Constitution did not malfunction but worked as proscribed. However, the hubris and hypocrisy of Bush-43 is boundless. After asserting the legitimacy of his election based on what some would call an antique and obsolete Constitutional detail, he proceeds to disembowel the whole of it via Executive Orders, the USA PATRIOT Act, an undeclared war of aggression and others actions. These extra/un-Constitutional acts by Bush-43 are irrefutable grounds for impeachment.
Answer #2 is 27.
Several issues are raised when you read the Constitution with its 27 Amendments. Article V specifies the required criteria for amending any part of the Constitution. For example, Amendment 18 was passed establishing Prohibition and Amendment 21 was passed to repeal Amendment 18, both done as per Article V. If it was necessary to amend the Constitution with respect to alcohol, then why hasn't it been necessary to amend the Constitution to render certain personal use drugs "illegal" and prohibited? If the mandatory conditions under Article V for modifying the Constitution are no longer in force, when and how was Article V eliminated?
Answer #3 is 6 years.
The original method for Senators being elected was through the bi-cameral legislatures of each state. The method of electing was changed by the 17th Amendment not the 6-year term in office. This was a pivotal mistake that greatly diminished the power of the States to effect legislation in Washington, D.C. The current Senator functions as a "Super-Representative" while previous to the passage of the Amendment 17 Senators functioned as a "Legislative Ambassador". They could be recalled instantly when the Senator’s actions were out of line with the interests of the state or when the federal government was out of line. This immediate and direct influence on the federal legislative process by the individual states has been lost. Recently the Montana Congress took up a bill calling for the repeal of the 17th Amendment and returning to the earlier method of sending Senators to Washington, D. C. Unfortunately this effort did not succeed on its first pass, though that legislature but be bringing it up again.
Answer #4 is to interpret and explain laws.
During the 2000 election of Bush-43 the Supreme Court accurately interpreted and explained the Constitution with the Electoral College electing the President, not the nation wide national majority. Liberal Democrats have wrongly castigated this "Gang of Five" for "selecting and not electing" Bush-43 as President. This example in affirming the States’ authority via the Electoral College to elect the President is arguably the solitary example of the Supreme Court following the strict intent of the Constitution for decades. The real problem of the Supremes and the judiciary in general is judicial legislation. Case in point would be Roe versus Wade. Suspending momentarily whether one views abortion as a right of the mother to remove an unviable tissue mass based on her solitary whim or as the murder of an innocent, the question of interpreting and explaining the law that legalized abortion is worth considering. Is there a federal law passed by the Congress and signed by a President legalizing abortion? There has been no positive law passed legalizing abortion. The dependence upon case law has resulted in a multi-headed-hydra-of-Constitutional-confusion. The separation of powers between all three branches is a complete muddle. Congress writes overly broad law and then waits for the Supremes to sort out what they think is Constitutional. The recent McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance ruling is an example. Oft times the Congress does not update previously passed law reflecting the Supremes’ opinions, resulting in no new Bill/Act - "positive law" being passed into force. Judicial rulings are not necessarily law. The term case law is largely oxymoronic.
A state example of this judicially legislated tyranny is found in Article 1, Section 18 of the current Texas State Constitution from 1876, which simply says, "No person shall ever be imprisoned for debt." One would think that this particular eight-word sentence, identifying a Texas Citizen’s right, was clearly understandable. The Texas Supreme Court modified this Constitutional Right with a case ruling that adds…."unless that person has the ability to pay". The Texas Constitution was never modified to bring about this change. Texas is a state with debtor’s prisons.
Answer #5 is the Speaker of the House.
The Speaker of the House is Denny Hastert from the state of Illinois. He is next in the line of succession after the Vice-President and the most powerful man in the Congress. His decision alone allows or rejects any bill on to the floor for consideration. I would like to ask him a few questions such as:
-Why and/or how did you subjugate the Congressional authority to Declare War, Article 1 Section 8, to the President without any Constitutional grounds?
-How does a Congressional Resolution supposedly authorize the President under the War Powers Act? When was the War Powers Act passed as a modification to the Constitution?
-Since UN Resolution 1441 was used as the primary authority for the Iraq attack, is the foreign policy of united States of America subordinated to the authority of the UN? If so how, when and why did the Constitution get modified allowing that surrender of national sovereignty?
-How and why do Executive Orders supersede the authority of valid Bills and/or the Constitution?
Answer #6 is elected by the people.
Like it or not the President is chosen by the states and NOT elected by the American people. The current federal government tramples the states’ rights. The 9th and 10th Amendments identify the limited power of the federal government. There is no indication that these two Amendments are being followed? Have any Article V qualified modifications to the Constitution been passed that renders these two vital Amendments null and void? No.
Amendment IX -The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment X - The powers not delegated to the united States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Answer # 7 is the President.
The power of the Executive Branch cannot be underestimated. A President’s judicial nominations and appointments are "political finger prints" that last for decades. If the opportunity to ask a Supreme Court Justice certain questions came about, the same ones posed to Hastert in #5 above would be asked plus the following:
-If supposed Constitutional Amendments have been irrefutably shown to not have passed the Article V criteria (as is the case with the 14th and 16th Amendments) and these Amendments are being fraudulently declared as valid, then what is needed for a citizen to declare this truth and remove himself from these fictions? Doesn't the perpetration of fraud vitiate all contracts and laws?
Answer #8 is 9.
An historical question comes to mind...."Which President, issued arrest warrants for the whole Supreme Court because they did not agree that the President had the ability to suspend the habeas corpus rights of the citizens?" The answer is Abraham Lincoln during the early stages of the War of Northern Aggression. But wait a minute.... doesn’t the USA PATRIOT Act passed by the Congress in late 2001 give the right to suspend habeas corpus to the President and the Justice Department? The USA PATRIOT Act vaporizes the Fourth Amendment, which enumerated your habeas corpus rights among others. Why hasn’t any one of the current 9 Supreme Court Justices, either conservative or liberal, said anything about USA PATRIOT Act being un-Constitutional?
Answer #9 is Thomas Jefferson.
Some argue that the Constitutional Convention was intentionally scheduled when Thomas Jefferson, the great champion of states rights and main writer of the Declaration of Independence, was away in Europe on diplomatic missions. Jefferson's writings are very apropos for the current political train wreck. See one of the many below:
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Charles Hammond  - "When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated."
Ben Franklin spoke clearly to the heart of liberty as well. ‘‘They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Answer #10 is Congress only.
Name any war in which the United States has fought since WWII that was Constitutionally declared? There are none. Since the Afghanistan and Iraq attacks are not declared wars, do the protections of the Geneva Convention necessarily apply to our nation's soldiers who have been fighting abroad and captured? Are our captured soldiers illegal combatants and subject to local law only or are they prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention?
The question has been raised before, "How can a President decide to go to war if Article 1, Section 8 states that the Congress only has the power to declare war?" Any undeclared war is an unlawful and is un-Constitutional. The Congress does not have the right or the privilege to cede that responsibility to the President. If anyone says that the War Powers Act gives the President the authority to go to war then ask..."Where and when was the Constitution properly modified instituting the War Powers Act (a simple Bill passed by Congress) as an Amendment to the Constitution?"
Answer #11 is 1787.
Likely the most easily missed of all the questions but 1787 is the birth date of the republic and not 1776. The nation is a republic and not a democracy. Revisit the words to the Pledge of Allegiance. The difference between these two is the most misunderstood issue in the body politic today.
Answer # 12 is Republic.
What type of government do you hear Bush-43 say that our nation has? Democracy is his answer. Bush-43 is either right or wrong? The Founding Fathers chose a Republic intentionally at the exclusion of a democracy. Bush-43 is wrong. Therefore, he is ignorant to the point of gross negligence or he is defrauding the nation? Either condition should automatically disqualify him from continuing as President? A Republic is limited government where citizens are the sovereigns and not the state or government. In our Republic citizens have inherent rights that cannot be lawfully stripped away by the rule making of governmental goons. Democracy is the rule of a simple majority (mob rule) either granting or taking away privileges without explanation or cause.
Our Constitution is a contract between the states with the federal government acting as the agent between those states. The states are signatories to commonly agreed and contractually binding conditions. It is not a smorgasbord of political offerings for selective application or the fiat creation of new conditions by the federal government/agent.
If you have not read the Constitution at all or lately please do so. It is a mind-expanding experience. If we are ever to regain our lost rights then many more people must become conversant with those lost rights and demand their return.
Upon leaving the Constitutional Convention, Ben Franklin was asked by a woman, "What sort of government have we, Mr. Franklin," He replied, "A Republic Madame, if you can keep it." His comments contained no small measure of prophecy.
"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."
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Nathanael lives in Dallas, Texas where he is an engineer. He is a life long registered Republican and self employed. It would jeopardize his career if his real name was used, hence the pseudonym of Nathanael. He is a new columnist for Ether Zone.
Nathanael can be reached at email@example.com
Published in the May 20, 2003 issue of Ether Zone.
Copyright © 1997 - 2003 Ether Zone.
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