Updated 9 September 2003
Updated 21 September 2004
The Constitution of the United States of America is perhaps the most referenced and simultaneously most ignored and/or violated document in the history of the Republic. Innumerable people claim there "constitutional rights" only to discover that courts, law enforcement agencies, and most notably, the federal and state governments routinely trample on such freedoms and do so with complete impunity. As Rodney Dangerfield might have observed, "The constitution just don't get no respect."
Much of the reason for this deplorable state of affairs is that the vast majority of the citizens for which the Constitution is the preeminent social contract don't have a clue as to what the document says. They have likely never read it -- even though they may have memorized the Declaration of Independence in high school. The notification of divorce proceedings against England, they may be familiar with, but the marriage contract among 250 million fellow citizens they have never bothered to check into.
To rectify this wretched condition, the Constitution is presented in these pages in all of its glory and grandeur. Also included are comments on the gory and grotesque manner in which interpretations by The (9) Supremes and outright attacks by the federal government have reduced one of the greater pieces of freedom documentation in the history of the world. While this annotated version of the Constitution may seem a bit extreme, it behooves the reader to at least question reality and/or Question Authority. This is what freedom is all about: Learning the Truth.
<http://www.archives.gov/national_archives_experience/constitution.html>, aka the National Archives and Restoration Administration, provides an excellent presentation of the Constitution for the United States of America, with lots of history, bibliographies of the original founders, and so forth. It also has the advantage that with the transcription of the Constitution in its original form, it hyperlinks those sections which have been amended or superseded. It is important, however, in the process or reviewing the material to note that the original constitution, the first ten amendments (the “Bill of Rights”), and the remaining 17 amendments are all on separate webpages.
Anyone who considers themselves a patriot, a citizen, or qualified to enjoy the Liberty
Other examples requiring special note within the main body of the Constitution include:
1) The Preamble, [which states that the basis of authority -- the grantor or establisher -- is “the people of the United States” -- not some king or governmental authority -- who for various and sundry reasons have ordained and established a Constitution for the United States of America. Not “of”. “For.”]
2) Article I, Section 2. Third paragraph: Representation is based on “the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.” [Not exactly the land of the free just yet.]
3) Further down: “The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative”. [Right now, the number of people allegedly represented by a Representative is more on the order of a half million.]
4) In the following paragraph: “When vacancies happen in the Representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.” [The modern day reality is that governors routinely appoint their friends to fill the term, giving them the status of incumbent -- which almost guarantees their re-election at the polls. This is a result of the 17th Amendment.]
5) Section 3. “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.” [Politicians being elected by other politicians sounds like a nightmare. This is one of the changes -- i.e. from the 17th Amendment -- that really made sense!]
6) Section 8. “The Congress shall have power to...” [This is where it gets interesting. A couple of the key phrases are:] “To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;” [Whereas now The Federal Reserve, a private, non-governmental agency prints Money (debt instruments) at its leisure, and thereby provides a controlling mechanism by the international Banksters over the people. More than most any other thing, this unconstitutional situation is perhaps the most grievous.]
“To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;” [I.e., copyrights and patents.]
“To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;” [Routinely ignored by recent Commanders-in-Chief, Kings, i.e. Presidents, in recent decades, who unilaterally undertake so-called Bush Wars without Congress making a formal declaration of war.]
“To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;” [Lots of luck on a two year time limit!]
“To provide and maintain a navy;” [Note that the Navy can be maintained with no time limits, but the armies are temporary! Navies and Armies have other distinctions, i.e. more than Annapolis/West Point football games! The Knights Templar, for example, had a real preference for keeping a Navy, inasmuch as it was their Navy which saved them from extinction (along with their gold) around the time of The Albigensian Crusade.]
“To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.” [Whoa! Blank check?]
7) Section 9. “The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.” [Slavery still in effect!]
8) “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” [Currently, this can be in abeyance if the Attorney General of the United States unilaterally determines that some one is a terrorist, a soldier in an undeclared war, or an enemy combatant -- in which case they have no rights. Furthermore, The (9) Supremes, under the so-called leadership of Chief Justice William Rehnquist has effectively gutted the right of the accused to be released from unlawful detention.]
9) “No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” [The Infernal Revenue Service (IRS) routinely enacts ex post facto and retroactive laws, rules, and regulations.]
10) “No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” [Rudy Guilliano, former Mayor of New York City was knighted by Queen Elizabeth of England for his leadership during the immediate aftermath of 9-11-2001. This was done presumably with “the consent of the Congress”, or else Rudy’s political career has thus ended. But the more relevant question is, “Why did the Queen of England knight a citizen of the United States for service to the United States?” One might ask if there is still perhaps some formal legal ties between the U.S. and Britain, but which are unacknowledged in the normal course of events. One might notice, for example, that no other country -- e.g. France, Germany, or Canada -- acknowledged Rudy’s service.]
[Another factor is that all attorneys-at-law, who are members of the respective Bar Associations, carry the title of “Esquire”, which is in fact a title of nobility. Despite this, however, lawyers proliferate in the Congress and other governmental agencies (other offices “of profit or trust under” the Congress). At the same time, the American Bar Association is allegedly a subsidiary of the British Bar -- yet another strange example of the ties that bind the United States to Britain. Stranger still is the fact that the word, esquire, stems from the Latin scutarius shield-bearer. Shielding whom?]
11) Section 10. “No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.” [But The Federal Reserve, a private corporation, is allowed to “coin money, emit bills of credit and make” otherwise worthless paper legal tender in payment of debts, and Britain can grant titles of nobility to attorneys-at-law who serve in various capacities in the federal government.]
12) Article II. Section 3, “The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves.” [emphasis added] [In the 2000 Presidential election, Dick Cheney had to hustle back to Wyoming in order to establish residency, so that both he and George Bush would not be an “Inhabitant of the same State”! This is just one more reason why Dick Cheney should not be Vice-President of the United States.]
13) Article II. “Before he [the President] enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:-- ‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’ [Allowing violations of due process and denying constitutional rights of anyone (including a terrorist) is not preserving, protecting or defending the Constitution of the United States.]
14) Article III, Section 2 (last paragraph): “The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.” [emphasis added] [Trial by Jury is often denied defendants, even though it and jury nullification are easily the most important means by which citizens can hold a government accountable. The current court system thereby violates this Constitutional clause on a regular basis, and the repercussions are more than serious -- they are akin to tyranny.]
15) “Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.” [Treason and the basic right of freedom of speech (The First Amendment) are often thought to be in direct conflict. To speak against a war, for example, might be construed as an act giving aid and comfort to the enemy, but in fact the citizen has the right to speak their mind, and to disagree with authorities. Being in a declared or undeclared war (of any kind) is insufficient reason to violate freedoms and rights which are likely what the war is being fought to preserve. The degree to which the U. S. Department of Homeland InSecurity is violating such rights -- and in direct contradiction to Benjamin Franklin's concerns about giving up freedom for security -- is truly horrendous. Freedoms given up in time of crisis seldom re-emerge when the crisis passes. The Treason/Free Speech conflict does not go away easily. Fortunately, the country’s tendency has been to avoid the issue.]
16) Article IV, Section 2. “The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.” [This is routinely ignored, although typically on the basis of misdemeanors, such as traffic violations, where the local residents are given expedient relaxations of fines and penalties -- expediencies denied to out-of-state persons.]
17) “No person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.” [More slavery stuff.]
18) Section 3. “New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.” [Interestingly, when the Republic of Texas was admitted to the union, Texas reserved the right to split into as many as five states. (Texas is a BIG State!) Theoretically, Texas could still do this, and thus could gain eight senators! Whether or not it would be allowed to do so now is questionable, but it would be very interesting if the attempt were made. Go Longhorns!]
19) Section 4. “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.” [A Republic is defined as one of two things: “1 a nation in which supreme power is held by the people or their elected representatives or by an elected or nominated president, not by a monarch, etc. 2 a society with equality between its members.” Obviously, an elected president or congress can enforce an inequality among the people, and thus one can have a republic in one sense of the word, but not the other. This paradox becomes highly relevant when corporations are deemed natural persons, with all the rights of a natural person (see the discussion on The First Amendment). At the same time, corporations have limited liability and are not required, for example, to tell the whole truth, whereas individuals have unlimited liability and are required in law to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. (See the discussion in Corporate Rule.) Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court have thus created and/or allowed a fundamental inequality between “natural persons” (individuals and corporations), and thus have violated for over a hundred years, this article of the Constitution.]
20) Article VI (at the end): “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” [Meanwhile, Attorney General Ashcroft is holding prayer meetings in the Department of (alleged) Justice!]
The Amendments to the Constitution are often the more interesting, in that they are both attempts to correct oversights and deficiencies, and a means of changing the very nature of the basic document (often in ways that are deleterious to the original intentions). The Bill of Rights (the first Ten Amendments), however, are to all extents and purposes welcome additions, and at the same time, fundamental to the Constitution. The preamble of the Bill of Rights makes it clear their important purpose:
“The Conventions of a number of the States having, at the time of adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, and as
If there is any need in any constitution, it is to restrict the power of the government so installed by it. Any constitution, in order to have any viability, must be granted by the people, to the benefit of the people, and ultimately defended by the people.
Amendment III -- “No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” [This is somewhat pointless in that all that it requires is passing a law to allow it.]
Amendment IV -- “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” [This is ignored completely in many cases, and in the so-called Patriot Act passed after 9-11-2001, is codified as something that can be ignored in virtually any case. This is where the true danger of Homeland InSecurity and an out-of-control Justice Department becomes even more evident -- with the simple designation of someone as an enemy combatant in order to toss them into a hidden cell where they can rot.]
Amendment V -- “No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...” [Due process of law is critical to any civilized society, but don’t count on it with the current state of affairs -- particularly with Homeland InSecurity, The (9) Supremes, and the Bush Administration.]
Amendment VI -- “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed...” [This is additional insistence on the need for Trial by Jury, but is by State statute often eliminated. Such a statute is thus unconstitutional, but inasmuch as most courts are Admiralty Courts, they tend to ignore the constitution overall.]
Amendment VII -- In suits at Common Law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.” [emphasis added] [This amendment is incredibly important. It is the critical connection to Common Law, wherein Justice has a fighting chance. The difficulty is that governments (the State) establish statutory law outside of Common Law, and thus feel injured (“the peace and dignity of the state” somehow suffering and justifying redress). Sadly, Common Law courts do not really exist any more. They were fair, whereas statutory laws are primarily means of government gaining power and control.]
Amendment VIII -- “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” [The intent here is laudable, but the lack of clear or precise definitions of “excessive” and so forth leaves a lot of room for discussion.]
Amendment IX -- “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” [This is a very important amendment in that if the Constitution does not specifically allow the government to do something, then the government cannot assume authority over the matter. One can argue, for example, that the Constitution being silent on the subject of cloning or stem cell research, implies that the government cannot pass laws against either.]
Amendment X -- “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.” [This Amendment is slightly less restrictive, in that the individual states can pick up the slack with legislative action. The good news is that we can still move to another state. But perhaps even more importantly, if a power is not delegated to the federal government, and no State slips in to pick up the slack, then the power resides with the people! Furthermore, this is the original source of the rights and the powers to begin with!]
The remaining seventeen amendments (as of 2003) are a mixed bag. For example, the 12th Amendment (with respect to electing the President and Vice President) rewrites a portion of Article II. Section 1 of the Constitution, and is then superseded in part by section 3 of the 20th amendment. A goodly portion of this amendment has never been used, although during the 2000 Presidential election, it came quite close. Had, for example, five justices of the Supreme Court not committed the travesty of picking their President, the issue would have gone to the Congress, where undoubtedly, George Bush Junior would have been elected President by the House of Representatives, and Joseph Liberman elected Vice President by the Senate (with Presidential candidate Gore casting the deciding vote)! Which, when you think about it, would have been a lot more fun!
The 13th amendment is the abolishment of slavery. But there is allegedly a “Missing 13th Amendment”, involving more of the “esquire” business, and the tentacles of England continuing to reach out and affect the United States. Consider the latter as an example of Conspiracies involving the English/American ties that bind. Meanwhile, doing away with slavery continues to be a good thing, regardless of the number of the amendment.
The 14th Amendment is loaded. In Section 1, for example: “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.” [Again, the need for due process of law and in addition, equal protection of the laws! The latter is noteworthy in court cases involving corporations (including federal, state and/or local governments, which are also corporations), when they are arrayed against individuals. This problem results in automatically being unequal protection, because “equal protection” includes (according to Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition): courts being open to all persons (including corporations) in its jurisdiction “on the same conditions as to others, with like rules of evidence and modes of procedure...” Because a corporation is not required to tell the whole truth (and an individual is), then a corporation and an individual are not subject to the same conditions. If the corporation, state or local government, for example, were required to tell the whole truth, then they would be obliged to tell an individual in some cases how to escape the law! They don’t do this.]
[Also, “Equal Protection of the Law” was used by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2000 Presidential election to justify stopping the recount of votes in selected counties in Florida. However, the more reasonable application would have been to note that there was no equal protection of the law in all of the counties of Florida themselves (because of the radically different voting techniques), and thus the entire Florida vote should have been thrown out. But to assume that the Supreme Court ruling was anything but an arbitrary, unlawful, political choice of five justices is to bury one’s head in some very deep sand.]
Section 4 of the 14th Amendment is something very curious. The key phrase is: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law... shall not be questioned.” [emphasis added] [While ostensibly applicable to the debts incurred by the Civil War, it covers all other debts. This raises an issue of Sovereignty within the US Bankruptcy of 1933. There is the potential for great misuse of this particular section, as in any situation where questions are not tolerated by authorities or those in power. With respect to the public debt of the United States, this is a very serious problem.]
The 15th amendment gives the vote to all males (including those who were slaves). Fifty years later, in 1920, the females were emancipated as well and given the right to vote.
The 16th Amendment is the real bugaboo. It allows that: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” [Income tax!! Bah, Humbug! The only possible silver lining is that, according to quite a few scholars (and non-scholars!), the 16th amendment was never properly ratified as claimed (on February 3, 1913). An insufficient number of states voted to ratify on the one hand, and some states reversed their ratification on the other. Regardless, however, the Infernal Revenue Service (IRS) seems unmoved by this argument, and relentlessly attempts to enforce their potentially unconstitutional mandate to collect moneys to pay the US debt, said debts not to be questioned! (14th again!)]
[There is perhaps a better argument -- also ignored by the IRS -- which notes that the income tax does not apply to non-governmental citizens or people not living within the confines of the District of Columbia. This argument has to do with definitions of what constitutes a taxpayer, what constitutes income, and so forth. Whether or not the arguments are valid is highly questionable -- and thus no one should take any potentially illegal action without considerable study of the subject. And in the end, it might not make any difference, because the IRS has never been an organization to pay anything but lip service to the law. They have the power, and they are likely to use it. Caveat! (“Let him beware. Warning to be careful.”) Meanwhile... Ever notice that the Department of the Treasury never entitles itself as the United States Department of the Treasury? What do you suppose that’s all about? Something to do with the 1933 US Bankruptcy, perhaps?]
The 17th Amendment of 1913 modified Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, allowing Senators to be popularly elected (instead of the legislatures of the states choosing them).
[This Amendment looked to be a good thing, until one notices in the third paragraph, “...the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.” This add-on allowed the governor to appoint his or her buddy, without an election, and thus afforded him the status of incumbency. This is not a good thing.]
Not everyone views the 17th Amendment in anything approaching a good light. Richard Zarth, for example as noted the following [private communication]:
Mr. Zarth goes on to note the basically Libertarian view that the size of the Federal government prior to the passage of the 17th Amendment was where it should have been -- but following it's passage the three letter agencies proliferated beyond control.
Amendment 18 took away the booze in January 1919 (Prohibition!), and Amendment 21 brought in back in December 1933 -- Just under five long, dry years, but sufficient to provide material for a lot of Hollywood movies!
The 20th Amendment of 1932-1933 is part of Franklin Roosevelt’s highly questionable legacy. What appears to be a minor matter was in fact curiously important -- or at least so it believed by some. The basic gist of the problem is that the Amendment’s Section 1 changes the beginning of a new President’s reign from March 4th to noon on January 20th. Why is this important? Because of two other dates: July 4th and November 4th (the latter being more precisely the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, i.e. November 2nd to the 8th). March 4th completes with July 4th and November 4th a Grand Trine in Astrology, a highly beneficial aspect for the United States. March 4th is also in Pisces (matching the Cancer-Scorpio Grant Trine), and thus highly conducive to appreciating the whole of human suffering (and thus a desire to initiate healing and relief). The Piscean consciousness craves to reach out and become a part of all life.
Thus, until 1933 when the date was changed, the U.S. was the “melting pot”, the land of promise for refugees from the world over. Now, however, the dating is skewed, with January 20th on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius, which instead of being ruled by the metaphysical Neptune, is ruled by the karmic, limiting Saturn of order and law. Roosevelt is believed by some to have instituted the change in order to set himself up as President for life -- which has it turned out was exactly what happened to him: He died in office.
The sadness is that the founding fathers and the architects of the Constitution understood something about Sacred Geometryand Astrology, and if the New Dealers understood as much, they may have determined to use it for their personal gain and at the expense of the nation. It should be noted, however, that 1933 was the beginning of the US Bankruptcy as well, and thus it may be that Roosevelt simply sold out to the International Banksters, who themselves were almost undoubtedly aware of the destructive nature of the act of changing the Presidential inauguration date with respect to the future prospects of the United States. [All of this discussion might be subject to debate, but if it’s not true, then why in the world would they change the date otherwise? Ignoring Sacred Geometry, Astrology, and their effects on the world is once again to bury one’s head ever deeper into the very deep sand previously alluded to.]
Meanwhile the 22nd Amendment recognized the inadvisability of allowing anyone, such as Franklin Roosevelt, to apparently stay in office for life, and thereafter limited the terms of office of the Presidency by not allowing his being elected more than twice, or more than once if he/she had already held the office for more than two years. [It is noteworthy that President Clinton voiced the opinion that had there not been this Amendment, he would have attempted to be elected in the year 2000 to a third term. Still, given the choice between the Rascal and a Shrub...?]
The 23rd Amendment allowed the District of Columbia to have Presidential electors. Big deal for DC, but otherwise pretty ho-hum.
The 24th Amendment eliminated the poll tax dodge, which was being used to deny the vote to blacks (primarily in certain Southern states). This amendment was passed in 1964, roughly a hundred years after the war to free the slaves.
The 25th Amendment, allowing for filling a vacancy in the office of Vice-President, came about after Lyndon Johnson found himself President after the assassination of President Kennedy, and there was this sense that not having a Vice-President in the wings (West or otherwise) was not a desirable thing. But the Amendment went a bit further in allowing (in Section 4) “a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide,” the ability to determine that “the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” and thus allow the Vice President to “immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.” The President can declare that “no inability exists”, but if the “principal officers” persist, then Congress gets to decide the issue... post haste! This has all the ingredients for a “palace coup” in the event of a really unpopular President! It would no longer be necessary for the messy details of impeachment -- which has recently demonstrated that impeachment is pretty much of a political comedy of errors.
The 26th Amendment reduced the voting age to 18 (based on those of that age being subject to being drafted into the military). Seems fair.
Finally, the 27th Amendment stated that “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.” [Ratified in 1992, this Amendment has apparently been violated more than once already! Are you surprised?]
Now aren’t you sorry you started looking at the Constitution? It’s enough to shake your faith in the political system! (But then probably a third of the country has already decided that the political system of the United States is garbage and unredeemable, so the odds are that not a whole lot has changed in learning why one is fed up with politicians!)
2003© Copyright Dan Sewell Ward, All Rights Reserved [Feedback]