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States Form an Alliance to Defy Trump

By Harold Pease, Ph. D

Under the leadership of California Governor Jerry Brown and with governors Andrew Cuomo of New York, and Jay Inslee of Washington, complicit, the United States Climate Alliance was formed, an alliance of states committed to upholding the 2015 Paris Accord from which President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out and renegotiate. “California will resist,” Brown affirmed.

The United Nations deal/accord/agreement (whatever the name), but never called a treaty as this would actually bind agreeing countries, came about December 12, 2015, in Le Bourget, France where representatives of 195 countries assembled. Most agreed to lower greenhouse gas emissions believed to affect climate change. The arrangement attempts to bind signing countries beginning in 2020 to convene every five years with their plans to lowering emissions and reconvene again three years later with statistics on their new improved emission levels.

The problem is that despite the practice of not using the word treaty that began with Bill Clinton’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and GATT (General Agreement on Tariff and Trade), any deal/accord/agreement that has any expectation of accomplishing anything should be called a treaty and must be ratified by the U.S. Senate to be constitutional.   Not using the word treaty means that participating nations simply had a discussion. Politicians cannot just change the word treaty to a synonym of treaty with the intent to thereby bypass the U.S. Senate, which body is responsible for all agreements with foreign nations, and thus the Constitution, to accomplish a binding purpose on this nation.

The Constitution gives the president “Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur… (Art. II, Sec. 2, Cla 2). No other term is used in the Constitution to describe an agreement between nations. Wordage created by the then Barrack Obama foreign policy team presented in a U.N. assemblage in Paris by then Secretary of State John Kerry, without either advice in forming the wordage or consent of the Senate thereafter, is a flagrant violation of the Constitution.

Trump should rescind the “understanding” in Paris on constitutional grounds alone. That the Republicans view the science of human caused climate change as unproved, and thus disapprove of any understanding that binds them as the so-called Paris Accords do, should be secondary. Still, Trump’s resistance to it is understandable. Both political parties should disapprove it, as the U.S. Senate, as required by the Constitution, never ratified it.

But the governors are violating other parts of the Constitution as well. Listed in Article I, Section 10 are powers denied to the states, mostly those given to Congress in Section 8. It begins, “No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation….” The listing follows but it means with any other states or nations. Certainly Brown’s the United States Climate Alliance is an alliance with other states to accomplish a combined purpose specifically forbidden by the Constitution.

Brown has a history of forming other alliances with states as well, even countries, in his Under2 Coalition “a group of national and subnational governments dedicated to keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.” Which “now boasts more than 170 jurisdictions worldwide, with Canada, Mexico and Sweden among the newest members” (Tribune News Service June 2, 2017, “As Trump Exists Climate Deal, States Form Alliance to Uphold it”). These countries include signed agreements with China and Germany. Not only does this violate the above-mentioned constitutional citation but yet another which reads “No state shall, without the Consent of Congress … enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power” (Art. 1, Sec. 10, Cla. 3).

It gets worse. Considering himself America’s climate czar, Brown is “urging the world to defy President Trump and join him in San Francisco next year for a ‘climate action summit’. ” President Trump “is trying to get out of the Paris agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America,” Brown told an audience (Tribune News Service, “Challenging Trump, Jerry Brown Announces Global Climate Summit in California,” July 10, 2017). His defiance is not only unconstitutional but borders on treason. It is a dangerous precedent if the governor’s threat to the nation and Constitution is not challenged.

Brown may argue that he is initiating only economic agreements with foreign countries but the Constitution governs this area as well leaving it to the federal government. “No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports” or “Lay any duty of Tonnage,” and continues with other restrictions on the state (Art 1, Sec.10, Cla.2). Clearly Congress alone has “Power to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations”(Art. 1, Sec. 8, Cla. 3).

Unfortunately, the United States Climate Alliance created by the governors of California, Washington and New York just two months ago, has grown to include 12 states and Puerto Rico. Nowhere in the Constitution is a governor given authority to represent the federal government on foreign policy, defy existing policy or participate in creating new foreign policy. Like it or not Trump does speak for America and constitutionally the federal government is the only authority in foreign policy, including climate policy, or foreign commerce.

 

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

Trump Wants States to Pay More for Infrastructure

By Harold Pease, Ph. D

President Donald Trump has promised to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure but he wants to leverage this money to provide the extra provided by states and cities to make their project possible, not pay the whole thing. This way he gets the most bang for the federal buck. Whether Trump understands the Constitution or not it leaves infrastructure to the states and cities, he seems to be working toward that end, at least having them pay much more for such, but he is likely to get resistance because they are used to handouts.

Three reasons justify this position. Residents are the primary users of what is built, thus should sustain its cost. Infrastructure, or anything like it, is not listed in Article I, Section 8 as a function of the federal government, nor has it been added by way of amendment to the Constitution, and thus, is entirely a state, county and city function. Finally, the federal government is over $20 trillion in debt, a debt that cannot be paid in a lifetime and even then not without quantitative easement of the currency, the process of inflating existing money.

Of course, the argument that the nation has been funding infrastructure for well over a century beginning with the transcontinental railroads after the Civil War, then the numerous construction projects of the Franklin Roosevelt era, then to the interstate freeways under Dwight D. Eisenhower, is a powerful argument. Still, going off the Constitution just once in 1869 to help the Union and Central Pacific Railroads complete the first transcontinental railroad justified going off it two more times the next twenty years for other transcontinental railroads expecting the same benefits. Every special interest group makes its case based upon what was given others. For this reason it is almost impossible to cease giving once started and get back to the Constitution.

When railroad tycoons realized that they could get the federal government to help pay for such, ensuring greater profits for them, other tycoons sought and expected the same benefits. James J. Hill of the Great Northern Railroad crossed the continent without federal help, because he did not want federal control, proving that, sooner or later, it could be done without federal help and damage to the Constitution.

All of the vast federal infrastructure projects of the 1930’s were also not constitutionally based. The federal government had no authority to finance infrastructure projects or job creation. Many also question whether these were absolutely necessary for economic survival. Others, including myself, believe that they prolonged the Great Depression to 12 years, instead of the usual two to three years, and that it was World War II that ended the Depression, not anything that Franklin Roosevelt did.

Federal job creation, formerly left entirely to the private sector, is now expected by voters as is a forced retirement plan called social security. Two new amendments to the Constitution would have authorized these drastic changes in the distribution of power and in authorizing such, but no amendments were even sought. We have had extensive national debt since.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, presumably troubled by the stark constitutional departures of his two predecessors, based his extensive interstate freeway infrastructure project on national security. Why not make landing strips for military planes everywhere available by merely, when needed, closing down a section of the freeway to public travel? It has never been used for such.

It was a brilliant stretch of the Constitution but national defense is at least a federal government responsibility as it is empowered “to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.” Still, given the cost and that its primary function was to promote interstate travel thus, in practice had very little to do with national security, constitutionalists would have had us seek other ways of accomplishing the landing of jets, as for example, at military air bases and, in a real emergency, commercial airports.

Some have defended these huge constitutional departures by referring to interstate commerce. The Constitution reads, “The Congress shall have Power … To regulate Commerce … among the several States.” Under the original interpretation, commerce among the states did not begin until goods commenced their final movement from their state of origin to that of their destination. It was to ensure that states did not impede commerce, the movement of things, by regulation. This had been a problem necessitating the Constitutional Convention. Who had authority at the border, more especially when the border was a river moving commerce, as the Potomac between Maryland and Virginia? But there was never authority given to create the river or the road? Like postal delivery, another itemized federal power, commerce would use existing roads.

Now the states are addicted to federal handouts. Rather than raise state taxes to fund even big projects, often referred to as TIGER grants, to which they have become accustomed, they do not mind federal slavery as long as the feds do not dry up their federal teat. Fifty years ago they would have resisted losing their independence from the federal government. Now dependent they are likely to resist Trump’s measure to be otherwise. Trump wants to stretch federal dollars to provide the extra percent to put the project over the top.

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

Why “Hate Speech” is, and Should Remain, Constitutional

By Harold Pease, Ph. D

Alexander Hamilton once wrote, “The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They 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.”

One such is the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights, which in part says, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” Since neither the executive or judicial branches can make law, only Congress (Art. 1, Section 1), or in the case of the judiciary rule in such a way as to make law, the federal government can impose no restriction on speech and neither can the states as the 14th Amendment made the Bill of Rights applicable to them as well.

Under liberty, speech cannot be qualified by government into types of speech as good, bad, harmful or hateful. Segments of society cannot authorize government to forbid speech they disagree with. It is left to the individual to do it for himself by turning off the television, radio, Internet or not attending an event expected to have such and leaving it when it does. Peer pressure harnesses most unacceptable speech but moving from offensive speech can deal with the rest.

If government could qualify speech into types, levels of restriction would follow with anti-government speech listed as one of the first. The Founding Fathers were at the top of the list in pre-revolutionary times, thus their obsession to forbid a place for government in speech. If government decides these things we are not free, as it will always decide in favor of enhancing itself.

Colleges and universities are places where intellectual debate should flourish and be encouraged. Learning requires the free flow of ideas. Viewpoint diversity, now absent in so many universities, is critical. Restricting viewpoint is tantamount to burning books in medieval times.

Student unrest in many universities last spring demonstrated what is becoming obvious; institutions of higher learning are becoming radicalized and project intolerance for anything but a liberal view. Too few permit conservative or libertarian speakers and far fewer constitutional speakers.

College is supposed to be a big tent housing all types of thinking so that the student can gravitate to what he thinks best after all sides are presented. Although everyone gives lip service to this statement, there still exists a preferred philosophy. Most colleges insist that they adhere to the idea of intellectual diversity, but the literature suggests otherwise, that the vast majority of colleges and universities are weighted in favor of one ideology and professors to one political party. Many political science textbooks acknowledge this. In my field it is rare when professors present more than the preferred philosophy.

There exists a consensus of what a “good education” consists. Students are immersed in race consciousness, feminism, multiculturalism, environmentalism, collectivism, globalism, political activism, class warfare, global warming, acceptance of sexual deviations as normal, and minimization of the importance of Christianity. The end product, the student, must come to accept the above script. It is also in virtually all textbooks. It’s not that any of these notions are bad, in and of themselves, but it is the nearly universal absence of the opposing view that is most troubling.

It is no wonder that in a just completed study of 1500 students; a majority felt that the First Amendment should not protect “hate speech” (which translates to speech they disagree with). In the geographically diverse survey covering college students from 49 states, John Villasenor found that “Freedom of expression is deeply imperiled on U.S. campuses. In fact, despite protestations to the contrary (often with statements like “we fully support the First Amendment, but…), freedom of expression is clearly not, in practice, available on many campuses, including many public campuses that have First Amendment obligations.”

As mentioned, to the question, “Does the First Amendment protect ‘hate speech’?” Most said no. This was so across all three political affiliations liberal, conservative and independent.

Other observations were noteworthy as well. Most, 62% of Democrats and 39% of Republicans also agreed that it was appropriate to shout down a controversial speaker to which they disagreed. With respect to the use of violence to shut down a speaker 20% of Democrats and 22% of Republicans agreed. Most incorrectly believed that the First Amendment required a presentation of a counter view. It does not. Worst yet, as college is supposed to be a place of competing view points, most also expected their institution to provide a learning environment that “shelters them from offensive views.” Nonsense! College is supposed to prepare students for the real world, which has no filters.

This is especially disconcerting as students today do not know the most rudimentary parts of the Constitution and the consequence of this ignorance is serious. As pointed out by the Villasenor Survey, “What happens on campuses often foreshadows broader societal trends. Today’s college students are tomorrow’s attorneys, teachers, professors, policymakers, legislators, and judges.”

“The sacred rights of mankind,” as expressed by Alexander Hamilton, in this instance freedom of speech, is not hidden in old parchment but is, “as with a sunbeam,” in the Constitution. It clearly denies government a function in addressing speech—even so-called “hate speech.”

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

September 17, Largely a Forgotten Holiday

By Harold Pease, Ph. D

This Sunday, September 17, is Constitution Day, arguably the most forgotten designated day in America. The mainstream media will say nothing of it. No parades or city council proclamations; nothing of it in the week prior in university classes. No three-day weekend, beer busts or barbecues in its favor. It is as though it never happened. Probably not one in ten can tell what happened on this day in 1787; it has been ignored so long.

But this day positively affected everyone in the United States and is probably the most important day in our history, the day that we institutionalized liberty in America. The day that the Constitutional Convention ended and the Constitution was sent to the states for ratification.

For nearly six thousand years of recorded history governments best described as regimental have dominated man. Only for a few fleeting moments in the past has individual man had anything to say concerning the restrictions leveled on him. Under an occasional benevolent monarchy or an unconcerned king, man has, in rare in­stances, been left to himself and thus somewhat free. And, even more rare were the instances when as in Athens, Rome or at Runnymede, the people, sometimes through persuasion and often by force, instituted changes allowing individual freedom to flourish for a brief time. Our experiment with liberty was one.

Still, until 1787 man did not know how to harness government. Liberty is, in fact, freedom from excessive government and the biggest enemy to individual liberty is, and has always been, government. But the Constitutional Convention, ending on September 17, did just this.

We abolished kings forever in favor of presidents selected by the state legislatures (before the 17th Amendment) for a short, but defined, period of time. We took away the presidents power to make decrees (even laws or rules) over us, allowing him, in a state of the union address to merely suggest changes, otherwise to sign or veto law made by the legislative branch.

The legislative branch, consisting of representatives for the states, (the U.S. Senate) to protect states rights from federal intrusion, and the peoples’ representatives (the House of Representative) to protect the people from federal intrusion, made ALL the law. Both legislative branches from different perspectives, had to approve every law imposed upon the people and all law had to adhere to the constitutional list (Article I, Sec. 8, Cla. 1-18).

Historically, the two areas most sensitive to the people were excessive taxation, as all monies expended were extracted from the people, and unpopular wars, as all injuries, deaths, and suffering was absorbed by the people. Under the Constitution there can never be an unpopular war as the peoples’ representative (The House of Representatives) have total power over raising and funding the army. They must consent to the war by declaration (because they provide blood and brawn for it) and they alone authorize the treasure for it (Art. 1, Sec. 8, Cla. 11). “All bills for raising revenue shall originate” with them (Art. 1, Sec. 7, Cla. 1). The Constitution, if followed as designed, ended for all time both unpopular taxes and war. We became the first nation in history placing the people in charge of both. Moreover, funding for war could not be extended for more than a two-year time period, thus requiring that the war remain the will of the people (Art. I, Sec. 8, Cla. 12).

The Constitution is marked by four divisions of power the first, and most important, being between the states and the federal government with fear of a national government dominant. Our Founders, under the new concept of federalism, allowed two governments to co-exist, neither to be over or under the other, with primarily external issues governed by a federal government and internal issues by the states—like a marriage—equal partners. All power not specifically listed in the Constitution remained with the states. The federal governments powers were listed in Article I, Section 8, Clauses 1-18 or what the states agreed to give them later, but anything thereafter added by amendment required 3/4th of the states to approve (Article V). It was decidedly a limited government from the outset with few federal laws restricting the individual.

The other three divisions divided power at the federal level. Separation of powers with one body, the legislative branch, making federal law, another, the executive branch enforcing it, and a third, the judicial branch, adjudicating it, is basic to the Constitution. But none of these branches were to legislate, execute or adjudicate in a manner to erase or undermine the first division of power between the states and the federal government. No Founding Father supported this.

The Bill of Rights, demanded by the states as a condition of their ratification of the Constitution, further restricted the federal government in many areas. Amendments thereafter 11-24, approved by 3/4th of the states, altered some parts of the Constitution. Still, the federal government remains limited and on notice to remain subservient to the people.

The Constitution remains an enemy to big government, largely supported by both political parties and liberals and conservatives alike, because big government is an enemy to individual liberty. Perhaps this is the reason so few wish to honor it or bring attention to it on Constitution Day. Americans might awaken to their extensive loss of liberty.

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

Trump Returns Power to Congress Over Illegal Immigration

Harold Pease, Ph. D

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created in 2012 by executive order by then President Barack Obama was 100% unconstitutional; he knew it when he did it, as does everyone who seriously studies the Constitution. He broke the law.

Separation of powers with one body making the law, another enforcing it, and a third adjudicating it, is the most basic principle of the Constitution. In it “all” federal law originates with and is processed through Congress with the President having only the authority to sign or veto law made by Congress and thereafter obligated to enforce all law processed in the same manner, whether he agrees with it or not.

In every presidential inauguration we listen to him pledging by oath to be obedient to it: “I do solemnly swear…that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” (Article II, Section 1, Clause 8). Making his own law, or refusing to enforce existing law coming through the same process, are grounds for impeachment.

Only Congress can make law (Article I, Section 1). Executive orders that have the force and effect of law are entirely unconstitutional. Those supporting the Constitution must oppose made-up law by a single person regardless of political party or personal agreement with the action. That is how law and order breaks down and chaos, even revolution, results.

Obama’s having done so was one of the most willful violations of the Constitution in U.S. History and, as indicated, certainly grounds for impeachment, but Republicans were afraid to pursue this course. Congress had repeatedly failed to pass legislation creating a way to assimilate children of illegal aliens who, through no fault of their own, only know this country. Still, returning illegal immigrants to their own country was/is the law of the land that every president, member of Congress, and elected official, state or federal, takes an oath to uphold. Obama violated his oath of office by not enforcing the constitutional law of the land, as would President Trump, if he did not return “ALL” legislative powers back to Congress by not renewing the unconstitutional DAPA program.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions correctly stated, “In other words, the executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions … Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.”

Immigration law was specifically placed with Congress, which was given the power “to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 4). Clause 18, of the same section, states, Congress shall have the power “to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing Powers.”

The supreme law of the land for immigration is called the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 274 of this titled—Bringing in and Harboring Certain Aliens—requires fines and/or imprisonment of anyone who aids and abets illegal aliens.

Any person who “knowingly” attempts to bring in an alien, has knowledge of, attempts to transport an alien within the U.S., “conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation; …shall be punished.” Punishment is “for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs.” All offenses bring a fine “under title 18, United States Code” and/or imprisonment ranging from 5 to 20 years depending upon the seriousness of the offense.

Illegal immigration law is clear and perhaps too harsh for the children of those who willfully broke the law. Still, many of those brought into the country as children are now adults and this may be the only country they know because of Congress’s inability to build a wall previously and seriously enforce existing law, which is hard to do when the president is the largest violator.

Obama did not take well the news of President Trump’s returning the decisions on immigration to Congress. He referred to it as “self-defeating “ and “cruel.” But it was he who violated existing law and gave these people false hope. In this sense he must share in the accusation of having been cruel. And he now is solely responsible for the anti-Trump rallies on having ended DACA.

Democrats have been successful in persuading illegals, by seemingly offering benefits as they cross the border, that their only hope is through them. Republicans may have a rare opportunity to break this trend and appeal to this group of about 800,000 by allowing them a path to citizenship. This is not to suggest sympathy to the parents but to the children who otherwise have no reason to explore any other political party.   Trump, by allowing the DACA program a six-month extension, instead of immediate closure, which he could have done, has given Congress an opportunity to give these people a home in the only country that they know. This is wise on his part because if Congress does not now respond they alone are to blame—not he—as it should be. It is also constitutional.

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

“The Constitution is a Shield from the Tyranny of the Majority”

By Harold Pease, Ph. D

“The Constitution is a shield from the tyranny of the majority,” so said U.S. District Federal Judge, Roger Benitez late last June when he blocked one of the most horrific laws yet to damage the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights—even in California dominated by one political party and one political ideology. A California referendum, potentially making thousands, perhaps millions, felons, was to go into effect July 1, 2017.

In California gun magazine sales have been limited to ten rounds for the last 17 years but persons already in possession of magazines exceeding this number could keep them as grandfathered in. The state reneged on this last November when Prop 63 required owners to get rid of them or the state would seize them and punish owners with fines up to $100 per magazine or up to a year in jail.  Gun owners were given options for disposal: turn them in to law enforcement for destruction, destroy them themselves, remove them from the state and/or sell them to licensed firearms dealers.

Fortunately, Judge Benitez blocked this measure doing so mostly on the basis of three arguments: the Second Amendment, just compensation, and “criminal law trapping.” On the last, he wrote that the new law made it harder “for people of common intelligence who desire to obey the law,” to comply. And, it gave “hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property… That is a choice they should not have to make.” Moreover, he wrote, it “burdens the core of the Second Amendment by criminalizing the mere possession of these magazines that are commonly held by law-abiding citizens for defense of self, home, and state.” The Constitution, he said, “is a shield from the tyranny of the majority.” Sixty-three percent of Californians had voted for this.

We might emphasize the state cannot confiscate legally purchased property. This constitutes theft when not “for public use,” which thievery is amplified many times when taken without “just compensation,” as when the state mandates taking property “for public use,” as in building roads (Amendment V). This is the only part of the Constitution that permits property confiscation but it houses two qualifiers, it must be “for public use” and it requires “just compensation” to the property owner. Neither condition is met in the case of magazine confiscation.

This referendum on magazines, which, like ammunition, makes the gun operable, has resulted despite the clear language in the Constitution prohibiting government infringement on a citizen’s right to bear arms. The anti-self defense crowd despise the following language found therein, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

There exists no sentence in the Bill of Rights, an amendment required by the people/states conditional upon their ratification of the Constitution, which was more understood at the time. A militia then was the people and an armed populace was understood to be necessary for a free country in two ways: an armed populace could assist the military against foreign invasion, and/or would be in place should the biggest enemy to liberty be one’s own government.

Certainly, when enacted, there was no thought of restricting the type of firearm, amount of ammunition, or where, or who could carry. So its placement as the second most valued freedom in the Bill of Rights had nothing to do with personal safety, or hunting, these were already assumed. Founding documents show it specifically placed right after freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly to make certain that these freedoms were never taken from us. It was aimed (no pun intended) squarely at the government should it become tyrannical as before under the British. But certainly we need have no fear of the government today? Given California’s new gun laws, perhaps we should.

Imagine how restricting magazines, ammunition and etc., that California has imposed on its people, might emasculate citizens in their ability to assist the military against a foreign invasion (as in the case of citizens stopping the British invasion in the Battle of Saratoga) and/or to oppose our own government (the king and parliament at one time) should it become tyrannical as in the American Revolution. Our Founders did not deny future generations the same means of resisting tyranny that they themselves used.

California’s Prop 63 violates the Second Amendment, which placed bearing arms off-limits to government and used the strongest language possible, “shall not be infringed,” in doing so. Any referendum or legislation, state or federal, cannot constitutionally undermine or destroy an amendment to the Constitution.

So U.S. District Federal Judge, Roger Benitez stopped the latest California assault on 2nd Amendment, for now. Unfortunately the radicalized, infamous 9th Circuit will likely reverse his decision. If the Supreme Court chooses not to take the case its judgment will stand. If they do, Trump’s Supreme Court Appointee Neil Gorsuch, will likely provide the vote to save us from the new idea that confiscation of lawfully purchased items, can be constitutionally used to further damage the 2nd Amendment, but this time for the whole nation, not just California. Thank our Founders that their document shielded us from the tyranny of the majority.

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.