Do “We the People” still have rights?

March 19, 2017

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

You know the words, you know the document.  If you don’t, then shame on you.

History may record James Madison as the “Father of the Constitution” but how many know that same history also records one Gourverneur Morris, delegate from Pennsylvania, as the “Penman of the Constitution”?

While the final draft of the U.S. Constitution is officially credited to the “Committee of Style”, Madison, in his letter to Jared Sparks, of April 8th 1831, made clear that the “finish given to the style and arrangement of the Constitution, fairly belongs to the pen of Mr. Morris.”

So, how does such an obscure bit of 18th century history come to matter this day in the 21st?  Because Morris was far more than just a scribe, he was, as Madison relayed in that same letter, “it may be justly said that he was an able, an eloquent, and an active member, and shared largely in the discussions.”

And because it was that same, able, eloquent and active, Gourveneur Morris who on August 9, 1787 while debating the number of years of citizenship needed to be eligible for a seat in the United States Senate put one of our major political flashpoints of today in context when he stated: “ The lesson we are taught is that we should be governed as much by our reason, and as little by our feelings as possible. What is the language of Reason on this subject? That we should not be polite at the expense of prudence.” and continued  “as every Society from a great nation down to a club had the right of declaring the conditions on which new members should be admitted, there could be no room for complaint.”

Enter U.S. District Judges Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii and Theodore Chuang in Maryland who this past week issued temporary restraining orders against President Trump’s revised travel ban and halt to refugee settlement.  Two orders that are the very essence of Jefferson’s fear of the Constitution becoming a “mere thing of wax” in the hands of an out of control “subtle corps of sappers and miners” judiciary.

In his ruling, Judge Watson cites that “According to Plaintiffs, the Executive order also results in “their having to live in a country and in a State where there is perception that the Government has established a disfavored religion.” and Judge Chuang hops on a legal merry go round by writing on one hand that he “should not, and will not, second-guess the conclusion that national security interests would be served by the travel ban.” but then circles back to “the record provides strong indications that the national security purpose is not the primary purpose for the travel ban.”

The commonality between both rulings being in essence “well, Trump and crew have said things we don’t like and therefore we can adjudicate this case on what we feel rather than what duly passed law and historical precedent actually says he can do”.

Toss in the fact that the reasoning of these two mental midgets also puts us on a path to extending Constitutional rights to non-citizen foreign nationals and you’ve got a serious threat to the very essence of the founding principles of what is supposed to be a Constitutional Republic.

A nation built upon the rule of law, cannot long survive when judges are allowed to replace what the law actually is, with what they “feel” it should be instead.

This summer will mark the 230th anniversary of the Constitutional Convention and the debates that set forth the Republic we have today.

We would all do well to remember that Gourverneur Morris’s thoughts that reason should overrule feelings, that prudence precede politeness, and that the right of immigration into America should rest with actual Americans hold just as true today as it did when Madison was recording them with a quill pen on parchment.

Some things are just right no matter what year it is.

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