Making Brisket of Sacred Cows

Lt. Col. P presented an article from Tom Mullen on Abraham Lincoln and the Confederacy and their relationship to the institution of slavery. It is an interesting read, if only for the last paragraph in which Mullen asks for a restoration of the “natural right” of secession. What is this natural right? If individual citizens, legal immigrants and legal visitors have the right to freely associate with other human beings, are the states therefore considered humans with that freedom to associate and disassociate at will? Is the question behind the question one of revitalizing the 10th Amendment? The questions are valid today because of the concerted effort of Russia with secessionists from California and Texas to split the US into balkanized countries.

Mullen drew on Lincoln’s first inaugural address of March 4, 1861, to illustrate Lincoln’s philosophical perspective as POTUS to his role as POTUS over both free and slave states.

Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.

This was not good enough with the secessionists of 1860. Lincoln had a history, and more importantly, the Republican Party had a history that preceded its founding. The Republicans emerged from the Whigs, which like today’s Establishmentarian GOP didn’t want to rock the boat on slavery, while the Republicans were hardcore abolitionists. Lincoln could say anything, but simply being a Republican meant being an abolitionist. Lincoln was a compromised abolitionist for whom the war allowed him to cast away the compromise.

Casting about for a legal justification to commit Americide, the leading scholars of that day brought up the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution. The authors of the Constitution crafted the wording to make where powers resides as states of being – that some powers belong with the government of these United States, while the rest of the powers reside with the states or with the people. The 10th Amendment isn’t a command, it is a statement of existence.

Amendment 10 – Powers of the States and People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. [emphasis added]

This amendment comes from a compromise with the Anti-Federalists who had a similar restriction in the Articles of Confederation.

Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

The Supreme Court has heard cases centered on the 10th Amendment since 1798, and legal scholars came to the conclusion that the 10th Amendment is essentially non-justiciable.

That which cannot be the subject of a judicial decision. That which is an inappropriate subject for judicial decision.

This is a gutless position. What this has come to mean is that judges give precedence to the centralized, national government of the United States over the states and the people. Today that means federal officers, such as judges and bureaucrats have legal power over the millions of citizens of any state. This really angers Americans.

If the 10th Amendment is truly non-justiciable – that there are no powers reserved to the states and to the people – does this in effect cancel the other amendments?

Are there any state laws that are valid?

If there are no state laws, who writes the implementing instructions? We see the Feds, such as the EPA, writing tens of millions of lines of directives, but the EPA lacks a mind for Liberty, or even a care.

If there are no powers reserved to the states and to the people, does this mean all personnel in the law enforcement infrastructure must be federalized? What does this do for Liberty?

Or, if the secessionists have their way, are there any Federal laws valid? In disagreements between states, such as water rights fights between Oklahoma and Texas, who wins? Oklahoma? Texas? Smith & Wesson? You can see why Russia is sponsoring the secessionists.

  Our very un-Civil War settled the question of the 10th Amendment for 150 years. Now the question has arisen and the opportunity to untangle the ungodly legal mess the black-robed tyrants created since 1798. The 10th Amendment must be revitalized and addressed by the People.

About DaveO

Retired soldier, micro-farmer, raconteur and pet owner from the great state of Oklahoma. Wandered in as a frequent commenter and have been enjoying blogging ever since.
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One Response to Making Brisket of Sacred Cows

  1. burkemblog says:

    I don’t think we’ll ever work out just what the 10th Amendment does or does not permit, at least not in my lifetime–I’m 66 and doubt I’ll reach 100–but it does show up in some very odd cases. Here are a couple of links to a case where it was sort of raised and sort of avoided:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/02/us-v-bond-reexamining-the-mysterious-10th-amendment/71436/ (read this first)

    https://constitutionallawreporter.com/2014/06/19/bond-v-united-states-another-case-constitutional-avoidance/ (read this second)

    Like

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