From New with Views
[Note: My son, Tim, writes today’s column. He is an attorney who received his Juris Doctor degree from Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama. He is a former prosecutor for the Florida State Attorney’s Office and now owns his own private law practice. He is married to the former Miss Jennifer Hanssen.]
Let’s be honest, America is facing the same legal, moral and ethical questions that our Founding generation did, especially regarding the issue of “Who Is Sovereign in the United States.” For our Founders, they fought, bled and died on the principles that no man or government has the right to rule over others contrary to their agreement (i.e. compact, constitution) and contrary to the principles of natural law as revealed in the Creation of God; that all men are born in nature with the power to govern themselves; and that no Sovereign government, established lawfully by the consent of we the people, can be usurped and controlled by any other entity. Thus, today in America, the question once again comes down to “Who is Sovereign in the United States?”
Today, there are 3 basic options for “Who is Sovereign in the United States”: (1) the Federal government, (2) the State governments or (3) We the People. I feel confident in stating that most contemporary Americans believe that the answer to this critical question is the Federal government–especially as it concerns any practical effect on the power of and over government. For years, Americans have been brainwashed though public education, major media networks and politicians that ALL federal laws are the “supreme law of the land” and that no state law or action to the contrary is valid, citing Article 6, paragraph 2 of the US Constitution as their “irrefutable” proof. Of course they are completely wrong: American ideology and legal fact states that sovereignty rests with “we the people.” However, the question must be more narrowly defined.
That is, does the sovereign power of we the people rest with all the people in the nation as one body, or does the power rest with the people THROUGH the respective States? The answer to this question cannot be overstated, because if the sovereign power rests with we the people collectively as one body, then the States have absolutely no power and at the ratification of the US Constitution, the States lost all powers originally granted to them by their respective sovereigns (the people of that State). To the contrary, if Sovereignty rests within or through their respective States, then the States conversely have more power than what is being admitted today by the “Centralists” of our day.
Through an honest study of the history and the context of the Articles of Confederation, the US Constitution, the Constitutional Convention and subsequent Ratification debates, the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, the rulings of subsequent US Supreme Court Rulings and the writings of political philosophers and statesmen of the 1700s and 1800s, the conclusion is undeniable and clear: We the People are the Sovereigns of the States respectively and of the States United through our respective States.
Thus, the issue is not who is Sovereign, because we know that We the People are sovereign in the US and that the Sovereigns of each State have never ceded to the Federal government any power not expressly granted to it by the Compact (the US Constitution). But rather, the issue is one of JURISDICTION: in other words, who has the power to act on behalf of and in compliance with the Sovereign? The issue of jurisdiction is so important because it acknowledges that since the Sovereign has “paramount authority” in government, any powers that are granted from the Sovereign to government are to remain within that grant of authority. Put another way, the States can no more grant authority to the Federal government against the will of the Sovereign–the people–than the Executive branch of the Federal government can give to the Judiciary branch the powers that we the people granted to it alone. To deny that such a grant exists or conversely to ignore the limitations placed on the governments by the Sovereign is to suggest that tyranny is a lawful act and that it must be complied with. America’s founders would have considered such a political theory to be treasonous. Do we the people think so seriously of the matter? According to recent events, the answer to this question will likely be answered sooner than later.
As some of you may know, several states have and are passing legislation regarding the independence and sovereignty of the people of their respective states.