January 21, 2010
The history of the united States of America is not free of defect. But in spite of those defects we were able to fashion a society that rose above the norm of the time and created a nation founded on individual liberty.
One of the defects of the age becomes very much apparent when contrasted against the preamble to the Declaration of Independence in which it states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are crated equal.” And yet we were engaged in the practice of slavery. This is not disputed and the history of slavery has been upon the earth as long as we have recorded history. The Bible speaks of the slavery even during the time of Christ and before. So was there a legal difference between a person who was a slave and person who was a citizen? The answer is obviously yes. We will get into this a little later.
At the conclusion of the civil war, congress proposed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments—abolishing slavery, and creating and granting federal citizenship, and suffrage (voting) for its new citizens. The 13th Amendment was ratified December 6th, 1865. It is interesting to note that the last state to ratify this amendment was Mississippi on March 5th, 1995, a full 130 years after the initial ratification, for a total of 36 out of our current 50 states.
The 13th Amendment states:
Section 1. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Section 2. “Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
This was the first amendment which included an enforcement clause.
Why did congress feel it necessary to include the 2nd section which gave them power to enforce this legislation? It was because they did not have the power to do so by Article 1 of the Constitution. They were expanding their power. Congress had only the powers that were enumerated under Article 1, Section 8. They did not have any authority to enforce the 13th Amendment, as this power was not enumerated. Now we have what I call the initial marriage of the legislative and judicial branches of government. Congress needed to have power to enforce this amendment, to pass laws, (legislate), and to give the Supreme Court, (the judicial branch), the ability to side with congress via this amendment.
Up until this time, many of the states did not recognize blacks as persons who could become citizens. Even with the passing of the 13th Amendment, the Federal Government had no power within the states to effect the necessary changes to force the issue. In the case of Blair v. Ridgely, 97 D. 218,249, S.P. the Supreme Court held “Prior to the adoption of the federal Constitution, states possessed unlimited and unrestricted sovereignty and retained the same ever afterward. Upon entering the Union, they retained all their original power and sovereignty...” The Federal Government, therefore, could not force the states to do all that was required on the issue without granting this additional power.
One very important case of the time was Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1856), which required the 14th Amendment to overturn the Supreme Courts decision. The Dred Scott case was specifically about the rights of slaves, property owners, and the separation between federal and State jurisdiction. The case was brought by Dred Scott, a black man, who by Missouri law, could not be a citizen of that state and, therefore, could not bring suit. The court found in favor of Sandford, the defendant, due to the lack of jurisdiction.
In 1865 The Freedman’s Bureau Act was established which aided the war department in dealing with refugees from the south. It assisted with relocation, feeding, clothing, and transportation of blacks fleeing the south.
In 1866 the Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress. It was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, but the veto was overridden by Congress. This act was the forerunner to the 14th Amendment. This act made all persons born in the United States, citizens of the United States without regard to their previous condition, and it made those who denied blacks these rights guilty of a misdemeanor. Problems began when organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan (and others) ignored the act and defied the federal government. During this time, separatist and Klan groups did everything in their power to defeat attempts to integrate the blacks into the citizenry.
These acts included murder, burning of homes, beatings and many other atrocious acts. In 1870 to 1871, the Enforcement acts were put into place by congress to give further weight to the previous acts and to give criminal codes to violations of federal intent of the reconstruction amendments (13, 14, and 15). They also allow for federal prosecution under those codes.
Prior to the 14th Amendment the federal government had little or no jurisdiction over the citizens of the many states of the union. After the 14th Amendment the federal government became directly involved with the citizens, to the detriment of our entire society and the constitutional republican form of government. At this point, we lost the Constitution of our heritage and we entered a Constitutional dictatorship. Because we elect a new person every four to eight years does not change the dictatorial powers the office holds. If you have any doubt, review the thousands of executive orders/ proclamations that create law and executive organizations—all without congressional approval.
Section 1 of the 14th Amendment reads:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The 14th Amendment attempts to change the very nature of our government and our Constitution. The very first sentence states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” For the first time in our history we had federal citizenship, which is separate and distinct from state citizenship. More importantly, it created a change in the order of government—now the federal was placed ahead of the state.
Now here is where we have s sticky problem. You see before the 14th Amendment there were no federal citizens only State Citizens. So was the purpose of the 14th Amendment designed to make the newly freed slaves on par with the established citizenry? Or was it written this way to ensure federal superiority over the problem states and ensure there would be no further rebellion?
If we look at the continued expansion of the federal government since this time into areas that are not enumerated in the Constitution we would have to assume it was the latter. But this is a discussion for another article.
In Dred Scott v. Sandford the Supreme Court states: “The words ‘people of the United States’ and ‘citizens’ are synonymous terms, and mean the same thing… They are what we familiarly call the ‘sovereign people’ and every citizen is one of this people.” And when answering whether those falling under the 14th Amendment are constituent members of this sovereignty they responded: “We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word “Citizens,” in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States… and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them.”
Those that were citizens prior to the 14th Amendment, De Jure Citizens, had already been defined by those that drafted the document. The 14th Amendment could not redefine that term as they were not the authors and the only other recourse besides this amendment was to hold a Constitutional Convention to foundationally change the founding documents. So instead they crated a second class of citizen – the 14th Amendment citizen.
One other point of interest is that not everyone in our country has the same ‘rights.’ As a matter of fact 14th Amendment citizens do not have rights; they only have privileges and immunities. Remember, our ‘Unalienable Rights’ come from our creator; privileges and immunities come from government and what government can give it can take away. In fact the 14th Amendment does not refer to rights at all and the only illusion to parity was a mention of the 4th Amendment Due Process clause wording dealing with life, liberty, and property.
There is a term, internationally recognized, for someone who receives privileges and immunities from a governmental jurisdiction, it is called a subject. This is what we were before we broke away from England; wishing to no longer be ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof.’
Obviously the existing ‘Citizens’ were not affected by the 14th Amendment; in fact the Supreme Court has cited such. It was only to provide for the protection of those to whom it confers federal citizenship upon.
Herein lays the problem. As time progresses; how does the federal government go about determining who is and who is not a 14th Amendment citizen? Because, as it is worded, anyone being naturalized, of whatever race, would become a 14th Amendment federal citizen.
So the federal government decided to ‘assume’ all persons desiring or attesting to be such were in fact 14th Amendment citizens and would treat them so. However; as time progressed it became ‘common knowledge’ or rather ‘common assumption’ that all citizens were the same. If you were to poll 100 people on the street today if they are United States citizens nearly all 100 would answer in the affirmative. Or conversely asking them if a person was born in a state of the Union what would be their citizenship; nearly all would respond with United States citizen.
The federal government has also allowed anyone in the country to come under the protective arm of the federal citizenship by just attesting to such even if they were not 14th Amendment citizens. How then do we attest to such? We do it every time we sign a document stating that we are a citizen of the United States; such as voting, military service, passport application, Social Security Number, or the myriad of other financial and government forms.
In U.S. v. Anthony the courts stated: “The rights of Citizens of the State, as such, are not under consideration in the Fourteenth Amendment. They stand as they did before the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, and are fully guaranteed by other provisions.” That is because the 14th Amendment did not give this other class of citizen the ‘rights’ enjoyed by the then current citizenry.
The Slaughter House case explains further is stating: “It is quite clear, then, that there is a citizenship of the United States, and a Citizenship of a State, which are distinct from each other, and which depend upon different characteristics or circumstances in the individual… Of the privileges and immunities of the citizens of the United States, and of the privileges and immunities of the Citizens of the State, and what they respectively are, we will presently consider, but we wish to state here that it is only the former, which are placed by this clause under the protection of the Federal Constitution, and that the latter, whatever they may be, are not intended to have any additional protection by this paragraph of the Amendment.” It could only be the former because the Citizenship of the latter was already settled and distinctly different from the new class of citizen.
Of course they do not tell us that there is a difference between these two classes of citizens because to do so would place a great strain on the supposed peace we all enjoy. For instance: what if you found out that you were of the pre 14th Amendment class of Citizen and did not require to pay certain license fees or that you could own your property outright without the fear of tax liens. In fact that every law that infringed upon your unalienable rights would automatically become void, but the government did not tell you. There would be a great deal of unhappy people in this world.
On the other hand what if you were a 14th Amendment citizen and you found out that there was a whole class of Citizens that did not have to pay things you had to or that certain ‘rights’ were not available to you; do you think there might be a few upset people?
The problem is we have lived this way and have been lied to and brainwashed into thinking a certain way when in fact the reality, our history, and our Liberties have been distorted to hide the truth so that we can be controlled by a central government that no longer obeys the charter by which they were created.
The idea of an overbearing central government was repugnant to our founders. We fought bitter wars at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives to get out from under such a government. Today, and since the 14th Amendment, the federal government has invaded every aspect of our lives. The hidden agenda of the 14th Amendment has been the total control of all the States of the Union and all the people, and the Constitution has been relegated to the history books by the superiority clause of this Amendment.
Subscribe to the NewsWithViews Daily News Alerts!
Today we face the most aggressive expansion of federal power and control at the cost of our very freedom and liberty. I challenge each reader to compare the reasons we split from England against the government we now look to in Washington and decide – are we really free?
© 2010 Michael LeMieux - All Rights Reserved
LeMieux was born in Midwest City, Oklahoma in 1956 and graduated from
Weber State University in Utah with a degree in Computer Science. He served
in both the US Navy and US Army (Active duty and National Guard) and trained
in multiple intelligence disciplines and was a qualified paratrooper.
He served with the 19th Special Forces Group, while in the National Guard,
as a Special Forces tactical intelligence team member. He served tours
to Kuwait and Afghanistan where he received the Purple Heart for injuries
received in combat.
Mr. LeMieux left military duty at the end of 2005 after being medically discharged with over 19 years of combined military experience. He currently works as an intelligence contractor to the US government.
Michael is a strict constitutionalist who believes in interpreting the constitution by the original intent of the founding fathers. His research has led him to the conclusion that the republic founded by the Constitution is no longer honored by our government. That those who rule America today are doing so with the interest of the federal government in mind and not the Citizens. Michael believes that all three branches of government have strayed far from the checks and balances built into the Constitution and they have failed the American people. A clear example is the Second Amendment, which the Supreme Court and the founders have all said was an individual right and could not be "infringed" upon, now has more than 20,000 state and federal laws regulating every aspect of the individuals right, a definite infringement. He has traveled around the world living in 14 States of the Union including Hawaii, and visited (for various lengths of time) in Spain, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Korea, Scotland, Pakistan, Mauritius, Somalia, Diego Garcia, Australia, Philippines, England, Italy, Germany, and Puerto Rico.
Michael now lives in Nebraska with his wife, two of his three children, Mother-in-Law and grandchild. His hobbies include shooting, wood-working, writing, amateur inventor and scuba diving when he can find the time.
Contact Michael through his Website: www.constitutiondenied.com