The Constitutional Renaissance Call

It is up to the states to fix it.

Constitutional Renaissance: A Plan to Shore Up the US Constitution Against Statism

Our Founding Fathers had it right.  With much wisdom and foresight, they created a republic that has enabled freedom to reign for over 235 years.  Not only have the citizens of this nation been blessed, but so also have the citizens of the world.  No nation has ever done so much for the world as has the United States of America.  We are the largest nation of charity in the world.  We have invented, through the freedom of thought that each citizen has, more inventions to assist and preserve life.  Yet in 1787, when a woman outside Independence Hall asked what form of government they had created, Benjamin Franklin stated, “A republic, if you can keep it.” 

The Founding Fathers knew two things about the government that they had created: First, no republic in history had ever been successfully maintained.  The self-interest of people’s sinful nature eventually led to collapse (chaos) and then tyranny.  Second, they knew that they could not see the future events that the United States would have to face and the changes in society brought about by these events. Thus, they attempted to design two things into the Constitution – checks and balances, and a not-too-easy process of amending the Constitution.  

It is with this in mind, that I now propose Constitutional Renaissance.  It is a time to look back at the original writings of the founders in order to relearn their wisdom and intent.  Second, it is time to fill in the holes in the checks and balances in such a way as to fix where the nation has strayed from their intent, through the process of amendments.  I am not naïve as to believe that this is an easy task.  The Founding Fathers deliberately made it hard.  Yet, we must not grow faint at the prospect before us.  There are forces in this world, both internal and external to the United States, which will bring this legacy of freedom to an end in a relatively short period, unless action is taken and taken IMMEDIATELY.  Sinful mankind, with the boastful pride of life and the desire for what is pleasing to themselves at the expenses of others, has eroded the principles of a free republic from within.  Hostile forces external to the United States, which desires to enslave the world under their power, are also pressuring the balance of power in the leadership of this nation.  America must be made strong, again.  Yet, the self-interested political parties in power will not do this.  It is up to The People of the United States “to keep it.”

Having studied American History for the last ten years, not from classroom textbooks but from other sources and with much prayer, I believe I have a plan to start us on the right path to strengthen the gaps in the Constitution. I am not so arrogant to believe that my way is the only way or that it cannot be improved upon.  However, I do not see others moving forth with a plan, other than to elect everyday American conservatives into power.  But, what are they to do when they get there?  So far, it has only been gridlock and an unsuccessful attempt to undo the latest damage.  How do we prevent socialism from taking over, now and in the next generation? That’s what happened the last time Americans woke up to stop a move towards socialism.  The Progressive Movement went underground and dug another tunnel while we slept.  We must shore the Constitution up so that it cannot happen, again.

In future articles, I plan to propose several amendments to the US Constitution.  I will endeavor to word them as best I can, but recognize that the wording could probably be improved by a well-meaning conservative attorney or other citizens. Thus, I will include with each amendment a discussion on why I feel they are essential to the reestablishment of the American Dream. In general, they attempt to clarify the rights of Americans, which have been reinterpreted into eroded mush. They will shore up the checks and balances to keep the Founder’s original designs for this nation.  They will reestablish the fact that ours is a government where those in power are not in a different class than other Americans.  The subjects of these amendments are (in no order of importance):

  1. Repealing the 17th Amendment in a form so as to provide for no gaps in Senators assigned to Congress.
  2. Limiting the powers of the President’s executive orders and regulations.
  3. Limiting the powers of the Judiciary, such that they cannot legislate rights that are not granted through the Constitution, nor can they cite laws of other countries as justification for rulings.  In addition, it establishes a vote of confidence of all appointed judges every 10 years by election of the people.
  4. Term limits on most positions of power in the US Government.
  5. Pay for members in power capped at a level no higher than 2 standard deviations of the national average, with modest housing allowances for residing in Washington while serving in Congress.
  6. Defining in the Constitution the process of Senate confirmation of judiciary appointments.
  7. All legislation in Congress shall have a preamble defining a scope, focused on the minimum necessary to define the action of the bill.  No part of the bill or amendment to the bill may be outside the scope of the preamble. (Anti-pork Amendment)
  8. Balanced Budget Amendment with caps in spending.
  9. Defining the right to life beginning at conception.
  10. Defining the rights of parents to determine the manner of their children’s religious and moral teaching.
  11. No property belonging to citizens of the United States shall be seized by the government without a warrant.  All property held as evidence in order to rightly judge a criminal act, shall require written affirmation from a judge as to its appropriateness within 30 days or otherwise returned to the owner.

I am not so naïve as to believe that Congress will change their power structure; they reap too many benefits.  Once these amendments are written into a “final” form, it is my hope that local grassroots upwelling will push these amendments to their state legislatures.  Article V of the Constitution provides for a constitutional convention of states. It has never happened before, the states are the biggest victims of our federal government.  I believe the states will have the political courage to do this.  We must petition our states to create a convention of states.  As we proceed, petition forms will be developed and distributed to local leaders who will get groups to stand in front of grocery stores and convenience stores throughout the nation to get signatures for these amendments.  They will be offered under the banner of Constitutional Renaissance.  It will also require educational material be established for distribution to educate Americans as to the need.  An idea can start with one.  A movement takes many.  Anyone willing to join me?

Your thoughts?

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A Must Listen to Podcast Series

Folks,

I just got through listening to these 5 podcasts.  If you are a believer of the Convention of the States initiative, these are a MUST Listen To Series.  Krisanne Hall is a noted constitutional attorney.  Although this may be difficult to hear, you MUST Listen.  She doesn’t say, “It isn’t going to work.”  Although you might think she is in the beginning.  But she is saying that it isn’t going to be a walk in the park.  Congress is counting on your ignorance.

http://krisannehall.com/article-v-convention-series-parts-1-5/

This was always a concern of mine.

RE: Liberty Amendments and a Proposed Article V Convention – Are We Saving the Republic or Chasing Vain Hope

I must admit that even when I started this site (pre-Liberty Amendment book), this was a concern that I had. I’d actually had a concern that people in power would weasle their way in and take such a conference to change America for the worse, towards further progressivism. Couple this the fact that the Trophy for Every Kid Generation is alive and well and of voting age, I’m not sure the population is as “informed” of our heritage and liberty as it was 240 years ago.

I felt God was calling me to write what I did. I still feel that this is what He desires. But this comes with the knowledge that a country, like the United States, is not mentioned in end-time prophecy. Everything else is lining up. Thus, the end of the US as we know it may be His devine will.

Who am I to say.

New Life?

Thanks to Mr. Levin’s recent book, hits on my blog site have soared (1000 for October 2013), even though I stopped posting a year ago.  Sometimes an idea needs time to take hold.  I still fully support the idea of a convention of states to fix our country’s constitution.  My fear is that it is too late.

Change of Direction

I’ve been praying much in the past week or so. Although I firmly believe that a path through the states is the only way that a Constitutional Revival will occur, it is clear that there is not a critical mass that would be inclined to pursue such. Too many are hooked on entitlements from Uncle Sam, the pusher.

Thus, I am changing my focus. We must first address heart issues and our focus in the world. Thus, I will cease posting to this site for the time being. Expect a new Blog, Enjoy Him for Ever in the coming days.

Anti-oink Amendment

Nancy Pelosi summed up one of the most infuriating aspects of our current statist government when she said, “We have to pass this bill in order to understand what is in it.” In this one sentence, she expressed just how our large complex bills have become out of control.  It seems that in order to pass any bill of significance in our current Congress, votes must be bought by placing special interest provisions into the bills to sweeten the bill for the congressman’s vote.  In addition, many of the bills are actually written by the special interests groups before they are submitted.  The Healthcare bill of which Nancy Pelosi spoke was one of these.  Often many of the items being placed into these omnibus bills have nothing to do with the subject of the main bill. It has become an excepted form of extortion of all Congressmen and Senators.  In fact, it is impossible to have any affect in Congress without taking part in this practice.

In writing this, I originally thought that I was going to need to site case example after case example to prove my point. However, I quickly realized that the problem is so blatant of a problem that if one cannot see it already, then nothing I say will change it.  So large is the problem that it will be impossible to reign in big government unless the Constitutional Convention addresses it head on.  But if we are not careful, the pendulum can swing too far to the other direction.  Compromise (on process, not principles) is at the heart of any collaborative problem solving effort.  If we choke off collaborative compromise completely, the government will become ineffective in what it is supposed to do as well.  We will not be much better off than the Article of Confederations, which required 2/3 majority for anything and unanimous consent to amend.  No one will budge and it will become too hard to pass anything.

After much thought, I feel that an amendment should be written to limit bills to a scope of a single subject.  The subject can be narrow (e.g., build a highway from Mexico to Mississippi) or broad (e.g., National Highway Transportation Bill).  However, the elements of the bill and amendments to the bill must fit into the scope of the bill.  Nothing outside the scope of the bill should be placed into it.  If someone desires to study the effects on social behavior of feces throwing among primates (a real pork earmark), then they need to write a bill where it stands by itself, or attach it to an animal research bill.

I recognize that what I am proposing runs counter to Article 1, Section 5, Paragraph 2, which says:

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.

The Founding Father, believers in liberty, did not desire to be too prescriptive in how Congress conducts their business.  I recognize and agree with their desire.  However, they also warned in Federalist Paper #62 against what has now become commonplace in Congress.

It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

Hello?!  Does this sound familiar.  Nancy Pelosi sure didn’t read Federalist Paper #62, prior to her statement.  This also explains why it cannot be left to a House and/or Senate rule to solve the pork issue.  Self-imposed measures have been attempted in the past only to have the rules waived without objection when necessary to pass a particular bill.  Many representatives in the Congress pleaded for more time to read to read the Healthcare bill.  But the controlling party pushed it down the throats of the conservatives and the American people.  But this could not have happened if there were not such an over-whelming precedence already existing for such acts.  The rules no longer apply to the elites in power. That is why the States and the People must take control back with the convention and then let those who have sworn allegiance to support and defend the Constitution enforce it.

We the People?

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/report-dems-to-reinstate-jerusalem-language-in-dnc-platform/#ooid=RwdzV0NTpt5g-PpO52L6PkdaPMh4vWph

Put aside for a momemnt whether the platform should or should not contain the amendment. Put aside whether it is DNC or GOP. Watch the dynamics of what is happening with respect to the Will of the Political Party vs. the Will of the People. Do you think 2/3 were in favor of the amendment? Is this still a country where the people have a say in their government? My view is if the people of the Democratic party don’t want God in their platform, so be it. It makes the differences clearer. It is their choice. But it is no longer “We the People” on both sides of the isle. This might be a year where you might want to vote “other” at least for Congress and send a message. But please vote. It does matter.

The Congressional Fairness Amendment

Many have recently seen the viral emails crying out for the “28th Amendment.”  The claim behind this viral email is that Congress routinely exempts itself from laws that it passes.  The cry is for passage of the following amendment:

“Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States “.

There are three problems with the viral email.  First, many of the claims cited (not all) are false or out of date after the passing of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.  Secondly, the proposed amendment, which I call “The Congressional Fairness Amendment,” is egalitarian in nature and a republican form of government is not.  Those in power should have tighter controls and restrictions placed upon them than those who are not in power.  The second part of the proposed amendment prevents this.  Third, the proposed Congressional Fairness Amendment, runs counter to an important part of the US Constitution, written by for a good reason our Founding Fathers.  In Article 1, Section 6 we find:

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

I understand this to be placed there for a couple of reasons.  First, in order to prevent the legislators from being bullied or threatened by the executive branch, the branch yielding the power of enforcement, the legislators required a degree of immunity.  Otherwise, they could be detained from important votes by arrests over trivial matters.  I would not put it beyond any administration in the past 100 years to resort to such an act if it could turn a vote. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that this use of the section was for Congressional protection, not privilege.  The cries for an amendment to make Congress subject to all laws come from the perception that Congress is taking privilege of this.  For example, until a recent outcry Congress was exempt from insider trading laws allowing Congressmen and Senators to invest based upon information learned through congressional briefings.  This leaves people with a “what else are they doing” feeling.  After all, many Congressmen and Senators have become multi-millionaires after being voted into office.  The elitism is evident to all.

Charles de Montesquieu, a French philosopher who lived from 1689 to 1755, had great influence on the Founding Fathers.  Much of what is written in the US Constitution can be traces back to Montesquieu and John Locke (1632 to 1704).  The founders tried to strike a balance between too little equality between the leaders and the people and too much.  As de Montesquieu wrote,

“The principle of democracy is corrupted not only when the spirit of equality is lost, but also when the spirit of extreme equality is taken up and each one wants to be the equal of those chosen to command.  So the people, finding intolerable even the power they entrust to the others, want to do everything themselves: to deliberate for the senate, to execute for the magistrates and to cast aside all judges.” 

He argued that in both cases, despotism was the result.  Though most understand how too little equality results in tyranny, few understand how too much equality does.  The result is a loss of republicanism for total democracy and eventually anarchy.  Anarchy never returns to liberty; it results in a dictator coming into power.  This has been repeated continuously throughout history.

So to sum it up, where I once use to subscribe to the call for Congressional equality, I am now cool on the idea.  I fear that the current outcries are leading us to the opposite extreme of too much equality being desired in the hearts of the people.  I believe that if a term limit amendment, pay limit amendment, anti-pork amendment and the repealing of the 17th Amendment are in place, the checks upon Congress will be sufficient to prevent elitism.  If the proposed Constitutional Convention feels that there must be something done with respect to excesses being taken by Congress, then I propose the following sentence be added to Article 1, Section 6:

Privilege from arrest shall not be construed to exempt Congress from laws they pass, neither shall time served in Congress be applied to any statute of limitations for any law.

Thus, Congress cannot exempt themselves and they can be arrested for abuses upon termination of their service.  Congress must be accountable to the People or the system falls into tyranny.

Your thoughts?

Objects in this Mirror Should be Closer than They Appear

As it is essential to liberty that the government in general should have a common interest with the people, so it is particularly essential that the branch of it under consideration should have an immediate dependence on, and an intimate sympathy with, the people. – Federalist Paper #52

I shall here, perhaps, be reminded of a current observation, “that where annual elections end, tyranny begins. ” – Federalist Paper #53

It is clear from the writings of the Founding Fathers that the part of the federal government, which was to represent the people, should closely mirror the people for which they are governing.  Yet today, this is clearly not the case in at least two respects.  First, it was not fully envisioned by the founders that current election rules would be adopted whereby the incumbents have such a great advantage.  The argument throughout Federalist Paper #53 was for a biannual period of election, because people of that century were calling for a shorter term of office for the House of Representatives.  The argument in FP #53 was that a shorter term would not afford the elected representative enough time to get acquainted with his new position before being removed from office.  Think about this what this is saying.  The Founders truly envisioned that the scales in election would be more equally balanced between challenger and incumbent and that there would be more turnover.  Otherwise, having shorter terms would not be an issue.  Second, the Founders envisioned that the House of Representatives would have elected representatives who were of the same walk of life as the people electing them.  If the elected were to become disassociated with the people, they would begin to rule over them and liberty would erode.  This was the crux of Federalist Paper #52. 

Today, we find neither of the envisioned principles to be true.  Current election rules enable special interest groups to fill the coffers of the incumbents to the point where a challenger, unless he secures money from the main party, has little chance of toppling an incumbent.  Even then, the main political party doles out money only to those who have “paid their dues” to the political process and think like the elitists in their party.  This has created a situation whereby congressmen have been in office for decades and have little in common with the common people who have elected them.  (Please read my posting on the 17th Amendment as to how this affected special interest.)  After decades of having their “skids greased” by special interest groups, the legislators’ pockets have become full.  Take a gander at data contained on the website OpenSecrets.org.  They surveyed the net worth of members in both the House and the Senate through disclosures in 2004 and 2010.  The figures are astounding.  The average House member’s net worth in 2010 was 6.8 million dollars.  But even more astonishing was the annual growth in net worth, while they were in office.  The average annual growth was approximately $491,000 per year.  That is far more than their annual pay increases.  So, if you want to be set for life, get elected to Congress and toe the party line.

This is definitely not what our Founders envisioned.  Thus, two amendments need to written to limit the term of congress to a relatively short period and the compensation to Congressmen.  How long should term limits be?  That is the issue of debate.   Based on the arguments by the early founders, I believe anything over a decade is too long for a House member.  My personal belief is that both the House and the Senate need to be limited to 3 terms. However if the 17th Amendment is repealed, the Senate should not be limited in terms because the political process within a State Legislator will limit their term, naturally.  In addition, the Senators represent the states.  If the state legislatures approve of their work, so be it.

Pay for members in power capped at a level no higher than 2 standard deviations of the national average, with modest travel and housing allowances for residing in Washington while serving in Congress.  This will keep representation within reasonable limits to the majority of Americans.  It is low enough that those elected are reminded that they are in a service role.  It is high enough that Americans are not having to choose from the bottom of the barrel in whom they elect.  The allowance should only be paid if their home of residence is outside reasonable commuting range.  It should be modest such that representatives can be comfortable and secure in their Washington dwelling, but not luxurious; 1-2 bedroom condo with adequate security.  A representative can live at a higher standard, if the amount above or beyond the allowance comes out of their own pocket.

At the Constitutional Convention, there will be an argument that the Constitution should not be as prescriptive as to set pay rates and allowances.  I disagree and believe that it our Forefathers had foresight into the future. They would agree with the measure.  After all, Congress submitted the text of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment to the States as part of the proposed Bill of Rights on September 25, 1789. This amendment provided that no Congress could vote itself a pay raise.  So they knew the heart of man was naturally corrupt.  The amendment was not ratified along with the first ten Amendments, which became effective on December 15, 1791. It took 200 years for the needed states to “have enough” of watching the fat cats.  The Twenty-Seventh Amendment was ratified on May 7, 1992, by the vote of Michigan.  Judging by the wealth of congress today, I’d say it is still not enough.  The issue of pay and term limits must be a top priority on the convention.

Repealing the 17th Amendment

You have been lied to by your high school civics teachers.  If you are like me, you were taught that the Founding Fathers formed the Constitution as a balance of power between the three branches of government.  This is wrong.  Our current form of government is a balance of power between the three branches.  The original version, prior to the 17th Amendment, was a balance of power between four branches of government: Executive, Legislative, Judicial and State Governments.  The United States was a union of individual states. The original purpose of the US Senate was to provide the state governments a direct representation at the federal level.  This is evident in various ways, not the least of which is the fact that the Senate ratifies all treaties.  In my most humble opinion, the topmost issue in shoring up the Constitution is repealing the 17th Amendment.  For this amendment severed the bonds between state governments and the federal government.  The amendment made Senators directly chosen by the people.  Where this may sound well and good, it made Senators campaign for votes and thus needing to appease special interests in order have the money to do so.  Prior to the amendment, the only people a Senator had to “campaign” to were the members of their respective legislatures; this requires little money.  The 17th amendment states the following:

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

The original language is still found in Article 1, Section 3 (*bracketed portions were replaced):

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, [chosen by the Legislature thereof,]* for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

And

The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; [and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.]*

Why the change?  That is a hard question to research.  There were a few cases where seats were left vacant.  However, these situations were not devastating to the operation of the federal government.  There was no failure to meet a quorum.  Rather these examples were used by early 20th century progressives to capitalize on a “crisis” with a fix “needing to be made.”  But was there really a crisis.  Funny, when I tried researching the reason for the 17th amendment, it is very hard to find the reason, anywhere.  Must have been some crisis, huh?!

The amendment was supposed to be an improvement for democracy; Senators now directly elected by the people.  In fact, it was just the opposite.  Senators have become more distance from the people.  When they had to be held accountable to legislatures, the people could correspond to their state representative, a person elected every two years, to do something about the Senator.  After the 17th Amendment, the Senators needed only to tickle the ears of the groundlings once every 6 years to be reelected.  The state governments had no voice.

Thus, started the entitlement programs.  Not only that, but states had to pay up for federal programs, like Medicaid. In a sense, this has become a loose form of taxation without representation for the states.  Since the state governments earn no money, all cost get past to the taxpayer.  In addition, after the passage of the 17th Amendment, abuses of the 10th Amendment, started to ramp up.

My solution is for the following amendment to be submitted and passed:

The 17th Amendment is immediately repealed.  All legislatures shall vote whether to retain or replace their Senators prior to the next federal election with each Senator’s term remaining unchanged.

Any Senatorial vacancies shall immediately be filled by a temporary appointment of the executive for that state until the state legislature can elect a replacement.  All disputes between state legislative bodies regarding replacement of a senator, which cannot be resolved within 45 days, shall be resolved by the State Executive.

State Legislatures may recall any sitting US Senator by a two-thirds vote.  Only one Senator from the state may be recalled every two years.  A recalled Senator vacancy shall be treated the same as any other.

This amendment restores the founding fathers’ original intent of the state government electing the US Senate.  It resolves the issues coming from legislatures being unable to sit a Senator.  It also provide a method to remove a Senator who goes to Washington and then abandons the will of the state governments, while at the same time maintaining stability of the Senate by preventing both Senators for a State being replaced in the same term. 

Though the precise verbiage is flexible, the new amendment should maintain the same intent.

Folks, this is the rallying cry!!  This amendment is what gives the states the motivation to call a convention of states to amend the constitution.  Please start crying out.  Send people to this website.  Enough tyranny.

Un-Tipping the Scales Part II: The Judicial Powers Checks and Balances Amendment

One Founding Father saw it coming:

“But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional, and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislature and executive also, in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch.” — Letter to Mrs. John Adams, Nov. 1804


“You seem to consider the judges the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges … and their power [are] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and are not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves …  When the legislative or executive functionaries act unconstitutionally, they are responsible to the people in their elective capacity. The exemption of the judges from that is quite dangerous enough. I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves.”  — Letter to Mr. Jarvis, Sept, 1820

What Thomas Jefferson warned of has become a reality, today.  Just look at recent Health Care and Immigration ruling.  Today’s courts have become a mockery of their original design.  The Supreme Court has ruled on the Constitutionality of US laws based upon laws of foreign countries.  In addition, courts are throwing out laws which were placed into effect by direct vote of the people.  The Court has also recently expanded the powers of government in immanent domain to the point where the government can take your property if it will increase their taxes.  No one can truthfully say that the courts are still for the rights of individuals; they are for large statist government.

In addition, the selection of permanent judges affords no process other than impeachment for the removal of bad judges.  What recourse is there when a judge consistently shows disdain for the will of the people and implementing their own agenda or a foreign ideology?  Yet, at the same time, justice and the protection of natural rights should be stable and not ebbing and flowing with the political tide.  What can be done to repair the courts from their tragic state?  Jefferson had it right when he said, “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves.”  But in order to properly perform this role, the people need to be well-informed as to the conduct and rulings of the judges, something that is not widely disseminated today.

To balance out the judicial powers, I propose the following amendment:

The following shall be added to Article III, Section 1:

During every tenth year of a federal judge’s confirmation, their appointment to their position shall be renewed through a vote of affirmation by the people within their jurisdiction.  The conduct and ruling record of the judge who is subject to renewal shall be published to all voters no later than 3 months prior to the vote of affirmation.  A judge failing the vote of affirmation shall be assigned no additional cases and vacate their post upon completion of all active trials under their jurisdiction and without undue delay.  A replacement shall be appointed by normal processes within 90 days of the vote. The Supreme Court Judges shall have their affirmation vote at the next federal election cycle with the incoming officials appointing and confirming their replacement if they fail confirmation. 

Section 4 shall be added:

The United States is sovereign in its courts.  Only laws, writings and evidence originating within the United States shall be used in the determination of the constitutionality of any law.  No foreign laws, unsigned treaties or other foreign documents may be used as justification in a case ruling.  A decision in the constitutionality of a law has no impact other than to declare that particular law constitutional or not.  Opinions of judges serve only as guidance for future legislation.

These amendments will better define the authority of the courts and restrict the courts to only rule on the legitimacy of a law.  Congress is the sole creator of laws, not the judicial system.  Neither should the judicial system be the place of import of foreign laws into our system.  This is critical at a time when human liberty is being trampled by governments and Islamic sharia law in attempting to force it way into our judicial system.  If the citizens of the United States desire such laws, then they have Congress to write them and the President to approve them.  In addition, judicial tyranny is alive and well in this country because the judges are appointed for life and the process of impeachment is too difficult to implement.  To put it back in the hand of the people, the true holders of liberty, they must have a say in who are judges.  But rather than elect judges directly, which leads to fickleness if too often, we should allow the current system to appoint judges and the people renew.  If a judge trod upon rights of the people, their tenure can be limited.  But again, this will become arbitrary and subject to deceitfulness if the people do not have knowledge of the judge’s record.  The Bible says that the people perish for lack of knowledge (Hos 4:6).  Such is the way of elections when the electorate is without knowledge. 

The Constitutional Renaissance Convention should place the Judicial Powers Checks and Balances Amendment as one of its top priorities.

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