Who Enforces The Constitution?

By Jerry McDaniel

The number of people calling for Constitutional Amendments and Conventions seems to be growing along with America’s increasing dissatisfaction with Barack Obama and the direction his administration is taking the country. I have never quite understood the call for adding more amendments to the Constitution, but since so many of our fellow citizens seem to think that would solve our problems, why not give it a try.

We could start with an amendment listing what it is that we want the government to do for us, and then we could add one forbidding them to pass laws not related to those functions. How about one that says government cannot tax us except for what is necessary to carry out the functions listed? While we are at it, why not pass an amendment allowing us to keep firearms for the protection of our families and perhaps even allowing us to carry them when we go out in public? We could also pass an amendment forbidding government to interfere with our right to express our own mind when it comes to politics and religion. In fact, we could just tell the government our religious practices are none of its business. We could also pass an amendment that allows only Congress to make law, not the President, bureaucrats or judges.

My point is that calling for more constitutional amendments is like Mayor Daley of Chicago asking for more gun control laws to control crime. It is obvious that criminals who commit crimes with firearms are not particularly intimidated by laws against robbery, murder, assault and so on. So why would we expect them to be intimidated by more laws against guns. The same thing applies to adding more amendments to the constitution in the hope that they will in some way influence what government does. Adding another amendment to the Constitution is simply adding another law to regulate government to those already contained in the Constitution.

Any law is effective only when there is a very real likelihood that a penalty will be exacted for its violation. When the criminal knows there is little chance of their being punished for what they do, the fact that it is illegal will not prevent them from committing the crime. The same thing is true with members of government. The Constitution, along with its amendments is the law for government; therefore it applies mainly to politicians and government officials. The only penalty for its violation is removal from office, either through impeachment or through the ballot box. Expecting Congress to impeach its members for violating the Constitution is like deputizing Jesse James to apprehend train robbers or John Dillinger to arrest bank robbers.

The reason illegal immigration is the problem it is today is because those who are responsible for enforcing immigration law are not doing their job. Most thinking Americans realize that simply adding more laws will not correct the problem. The reason government’s violation of the Constitution is the problem it is, is because those responsible for enforcing it are not doing their job. Virtually every elected official who has been in office for any length of time is guilty of violating the Constitution. It is a crime to violate the Supreme Law of the Land, and yet, ninety to ninety-five percent of all incumbent politicians are returned to office by the voters to continue their criminal activities.

It is not the role of the Supreme Court or the Justice Department to enforce the Constitution any more than it is responsibility of drivers to enforce traffic laws. It is their duty to follow the law not to enforce it. When it comes to the enforcement of the Constitution, we, as voters, are the Prosecutor, Jury, Judge and Executioner. We are solely responsible for enforcing the rule of law on government. Until the American people realize and accept this fact, we can add all the amendments we want to the Constitution and it will make no difference. As long as we shirk our duty as the watchdogs of government, we have no right to expect someone else to do our work for us.

The voters of Arizona, while bemoaning the out-of-control problem with illegal immigration, again nominated John McCain as their candidate for Senate in the November elections. McCain has been one of the leading advocates for “comprehensive immigration reform” and amnesty for years. Illinois voters nominated progressive Mark Kirk as their candidate, again one of the most constitutionally criminal republicans on the ballot. Are we really sincere when we demand a return to Constitutional government and then go into the voting booth on Election Day and vote for a candidate that we know from experience, will not honor his oath of office and defend the Constitution?

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6 responses to “Who Enforces The Constitution?

  1. Nice try Jerry, except that Article V is there and you would deny obedience to it while expecting obedience to the rest of the Constitution. In the view of many, popular election of senators was a mistake. However, no way on earth will the amendment be reversed through the traditional course. Our Founding Father understood that we may have a corrupt Congress some day, thus providing for the state’s approach to amending the Constitution.

    • Thanks Sam. In fact, I do support Article V and expect our officials to abide by it the same as any other article. I simply do not agree with your version. As you know, I believe your and FOAV’s understanding of Article V is incorrect, illogical and extremely dangerous to the welfare and future of the country.

      Anyway, you miss the point of the article, which is that if government does not obey the laws that apply to it now, adding more is not going to suddenly make them law abiding citizens.

  2. I did not miss the point. I want government to obey Article V. When you have time, where do we and FOAV’s “understanding of Article V is incorrect, illogical and extremely dangerous to the welfare and future of the country.”

  3. 1. Incorrect: The clause in question is, “on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, [Congress] shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments”… FOAV changes the singular word “application” to the plural “applications”.

    2. Illogical: Changing “application” to “applications” allows for counting the applications as cumulative. Hence, the applications made by Virginia and New York in 1789 are still counted in FOAV’s claim that the number of applications calling for a convention have already surpassed the two-thirds threshold. Obviously, the adoption of the Bill of Rights made those applications mute. Similar situations apply to many of the other applications made by states over the past two hundred years.

    3. Dangerous: Once a convention is convened there is no way to limit its scope. Under FOAV’s reading, we could end up with a new Constitution every few years.

  4. First, if someone is going to make statements, he should not be inaccurate. It is FOAVC not FOAV. More importantly, the author is inaccurate regarding his assumptions. FOAVC has never “changed” the word “application” to “applications.” The author does not understand the wording of Article V obviously. He needs to first learn English grammar before making comments. “On the application” obviously means that the states are mandated only to apply ONCE for a convention call rather than “on the applications” which would mandate the states apply multiple times meaning Congress could easily evade calling a convention by simply requiring a higher mathematical number of applications than already exist. Hence, when the two thirds numeric count of applying states is reached, Congress must call. Obviously this is an accumulated number as it is ridiculous to assume the states must be bound to any limit of time as Congress again would be empowered to set a limit always shorter than what existed and thus always prevent a convention.

    The author makes assumptions which I contend he cannot prove. He says, “Obviously , the adoption of the Bill of Rights made those applications mute.” He then goes on to states other similar applications also make other applications mute. I challenge the author to provide proof of his statements. Prove that these applications are “mute.” Show a formal decision on the part of the United States government that arrived at this conclusion. Provide a public record of statement by the founders (which will be pretty difficult given that the Virginia application he refers to refutes his position. See comments of founders afterward.) Show a court ruling from a federal court declaring these applications to be mute.

    At FOAVC we use court documents, rulings, public record to back our position. We use the fact the government officially and formally agreed with us in a court case. What has the author in the way of proof? If he has such documentation supporting his position, let him now show it or concede. The fact is the government agreed a convention call is peremptory, based on a simple numeric count of applying states with no terms or conditions and that a sufficient number of applications exist to cause a convention call. They also admitted to avoid calling was a criminal offense.

    Now as to his thesis of his article that amendments will not solve the problem he prescribes, that is government officials will not obey the Constitution. Other than oath of office there is currently nothing in the Constitution that says they must do so. That is a weakness in the Constitution which has been exploited which an amendment can repair. True, there are federal criminal laws that punish officials if they do not obey the Constitution. But obviously more is required. An amendment could be fashioned that solves this issue. Simply allow that if any official does violate the Constitution he may be arrested immediately by any citizen and shot without trial. Absurd? No more than his contention the government does not obey the Constitution. He makes presumptions. Now let us see proof. Have him actually show where the Constitution, other in Article V, is actually being violated. He of course will cite some current political hot issue. But the fact is, it is his opinion that for example boarder security is not being followed. Tell that to the men and women actually there who face death daily at trying to stop the flow of illegals crossing our boarders. Tell it to those who are caught and deported.

    The fact is the author gives opinion but no proof. If he has documented proof of such violations, public record and so on then he is obligated to report the same to the government and before he cynically assumes nothing will happen maybe he should do it in person and face the FBI agent or judge or whatever and tell him to his face, you’re a traitor to this nation or you don’t believe in this country. It’s one thing to snipe at people; it’s another to do it.

    And finally what’s wrong with a convention every couple of years if that’s what’s needed? In some countries around the world a convention is held yearly and those nations seem to be getting along just fine.

    • Bill, I apologize for dropping the “C” in the acronym for “Friends of the Article V Convention”. Your comment speaks for itself and therefore I decline your challenge to prove the obvious, particularly your challenge that I show proof that government violates the Constitution, or that federal immigration laws are not being enforce.

      Having studied your website in considerable detail a year or so ago, I am still puzzled as to your organization’s motivation and ultimate objective. What do you expect to accomplish by insisting on a second convention, and why? Can you show that a second convention at this time would be beneficial to the country? In what way?