I wrote a book defining the Bill of Rights and I’m working on one about the Constitution. I don’t find it vague at all. For me it’s a closed loop system that is logical and works.
When people try to mis-construct or abuse our Constitution they have to make it sound vague. Our Forefathers thought they had covered all the bases, but they didn’t realize there would be people who just want to destroy our country.
They told us why they wrote the Bill of Rights in the Preamble to it:
“THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent the misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”
Imagine that, they wanted “Further Declaratory” and restrictive clauses to be added “in order to prevent the misconstruction or abuse of its powers.”
With this phrase, our forefathers were telling us why they wrote the Bill of Rights. They feared the possibility of anyone incorrectly interpreting (“misconstruction”) the Constitution. They also did not want any misconstruction to lead to the federal government abusing its limited powers.
They wrote the Bill of Rights to protect the “political freedom” of the people from the newly created federal government because the greatest part of our Constitution is what it doesn’t say, because what it doesn’t say is what restricts the federal government the most.
I think that is why some people think it’s vague, they won’t accept the fact our Forefathers actually intended the federal government was not to be involved in our daily life.
We know this because in Federalist 45 James Madison wrote:
“Alleged Danger from the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered” – Independent Journal
Saturday, January 26, 1788
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
For myself I need no other proof than the Preamble to the Bill of Rights, The Tenth Amendment and this statement made by Madison in Federalist Paper 45 to convince me our Forefathers never intended for the Federal Government to interfere with the internal workings of any State.
But there’s more
“. . . true barriers [bulwarks] of our liberty in this country are our State governments . . .” (Thomas Jefferson, 1811 letter to Destutt de Tracy)
Said another way, they had no intention of allowing the Federal Government to make any laws, rules or regulations concerning any State or the People. The Federal Governments role was to be involved with “external” issues outside the boundaries of any of the United States.
Think of it this way, if you and a friend are talking about any subject and you want to know if the Federal Government was intended to have any say in the matter, search for it in the Constitution. If it’s not there, the Feds have no authority.
Do you think the Left hasn’t been trying to change the meaning of all of this? It’s all they live for. To overcome this the left has purposely made us think our Constitution is vague. I don’t buy it.
The Left tries to screw us up by defining what isn’t there in our Constitution. One example is the Left’s definition of the so-called Supremacy Clause.
Why would our Forefathers create a Constitution, with the clear intent of limiting the power and authority of the central (federal) government, include a clause that would give that federal government supreme authority in the United States? That just doesn’t sound right.
In my opinion, they did not intend to undermine the very foundation of the Constitution with such a clause. More specifically it is a paragraph in the Constitution also known as Article VI Clause II, (paragraph 2).
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
The modern interpretation of that paragraph is called the “Supremacy Clause” Those who interpret the clause depend on this group of words as proof, the entire paragraph is enough to convince them of Federal Supremacy. The groups of words state:
“and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof,” ,,,,,,,,,,,,, “shall be the supreme Law of the Land,” ,,,,,,,,,,, “and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby.”
When discussing any interpretation of the Constitution, it is extremely important to always remember what our Forefathers were intending to do when they created the Constitution. I call it the Prime Directive.
Above all things our Forefathers wanted to limit the authority of the federal government.
We know that because of the 10th amendment, which states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, or to the people,”
Simply stated, Congress may not pass a law that it is not given specific authority in the Constitution. If that’s the case, and it is, how does that square with the so called “supremacy clause?”
It’s simple, the so-called supremacy clause states:
“Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof,”
And those laws, “which shall be made, in Persuance” must be Constitutional laws, not just any law about any subject.
Because of the 10th amendment we know Congress (United States) may not assume any “powers not delegated to the United States by the CONSTITUTION.”
Congress can only pass laws that Congress is allowed pertaining subjects authorized by the Constitution. This limits Congress’s ability to pass laws, especially those that “are reserved for the States or to the People.”
Conversely the States may not pass any laws whose authority is reserved to the federal government.
Finding the authority reserved for the federal government may surprise you because our Forefathers gave very little authority to the Federal Government in the Constitution. Surprise Surprise!
Thomas Jefferson said, “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”
BUT, If the modern interpretation is what our Forefathers had intended, then Congress could do anything it pleased either through laws and/or treaties. This is counter to the intention of the Forefathers.
Our Forefathers certainly didn’t intend to give Congress a blank check in passing any laws on any subject it pleased. They wanted to limit the authority of the Congress, (central/federal government/United States).
They certainly would not have thrown it all away with the so called “Supremacy Clause.” So, the so-called supremacy clause isn’t so supreme after all, but it does have meaning once a qualifying law is passed.
What our forefathers didn’t see coming was the number of laws passed that are in fact unconstitutional and that really screws things up. Case in point the Federal governments law against Pot. It’s unconstitutional.
Where, in the Constitution, does it give the federal government the authority to ban pot’s use? It doesn’t. Therefore, any federal law that bans the use of pot is unconstitutional and enforcing an unconstitutional law, with Article VI Paragraph II of the Constitution, is just as unconstitutional.
The authority to legalize Pot or not belongs to the States and every law passed by Congress should also show where in the Constitution Congress was granted the authority for the law. It should be verified and part of the Bill before the President signs it.
Yes, there is a Constitutional litmus test that every Federal Law must pass and that’s not vague at all.