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Reply #67: The Constitution binds and restrains the government, not the people, or even corporations [View All]

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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-04-08 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #49
67. The Constitution binds and restrains the government, not the people, or even corporations
the one exception is when the People, in their collective capacity, act as Legislators which they do in initiatives and referendums.

It's a solid principle that in every political system some entity or person has to be the sovereign at least from time to time. In monarchy it's the king. The sovereign, when acting as sovereign can do no wrong. If they COULD DO WRONG, then they wouldn't be the sovereign, whoever could correct or overrule the one previously thought sovereign is in fact the true sovereign in that case. The people are sovereign in any republic or democracy, but they exercise their sovereignty only in voting. Thus, it's quite unlike all the rest of the year when we are the same as subjects, we must follow the law. I'm not making this up, much of it is quotes in this thread, and it's foundational -- even more foundational to our system than equal protection and due process.

Everything in the constitution has to be understand to effect a process of Self-Government, as in all republics, where the people are sovereign. If the aristocratic or "representative" class gets to overrule the people's choice in any but extraordinary cases analogous to "tie-breaking" or otherwise interfere in the process then we're not really a free people.

The bottom line is that in light of the overriding principle of self-goverment, the power of congress to re-decide the election in any way has to be narrowly construed. Some support for exactly that is below in the form of a few quotes.

It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is every where the parent of despotism: free government is founded in jealousy and not in confidence; it is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited Constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power: that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which and no further our confidence may go; Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolutions, Resolutions Adopted by the Kentucky General Assembly, paragraph IX, at 11/10/ 1798

" with manly firmness invasions on the rights of the people." Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, 1776. (*) Papers 1:338

"The Constitution is the origin and measure of legislative authority. It says to legislators, thus far ye shall go and no farther. Not a particle of it should be shaken; not a pebble of it should be removed ..." Justice William Patterson

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests. Patrick Henry

The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments, or musty records. The are written, as with a sun beam in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. Alexander Hamilton, 1775, Joint Committee on Printing, Pocket Version, 22nd edition, The Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence
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